It was his performance in the 1969 film “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?,” a grueling existentialist drama directed by Sydney Pollack, that established him as one of the era’s more intriguing antiheroes. He played Robert Syverten, an aimless, unemployed film extra who enters a marathon dance contest with the equally desperate Gloria (Ms. Fonda), hoping to win recognition and prize money. Instead, after days spent circling the dance floor, he ends up fatally shooting his partner in a twisted act of mercy.
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? is on my top five or ten favorite movies. How about you? My emphasis.
Here's the last scene - boy, was I both surprised & impressed.