Cinema: Marathon '32

The mirrored chandelier whirls, the trio blares Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?, and the master of ceremonies booms, "Yow-sah, yowsah, yowsah." The place is the Aragon Ballroom in Los Angeles, the time is the Depression, and the event is an extravagance of sadomasochism known as the Marathon Dance.

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? is a strenuous attempt to make that marathon a metaphor for man's fate. The contestants are the populace of a wasted nation. One girl, Ruby (Bonnie Bedelia), is pregnant. Gloria (Jane Fonda) is a brassbound bitch from the Dust Bowl....

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