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The Story of Seabiscuit (1949)

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Horse trainer Shawn O'Hara and his lovely niece, Margaret, come to America to escape the memory of an accident involving Margaret's brother, Danny. Working with thoroughbreds in Kentucky, ... See full summary »


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Title: The Story of Seabiscuit (1949)

The Story of Seabiscuit (1949) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Complete credited cast:
Margaret O'Hara / Knowles
Shawn O'Hara
Lon McCallister ...
Ted Knowles
Rosemary DeCamp ...
Donald MacBride ...
George Carson
Pierre Watkin ...
William Forrest ...
Thomas Milford
Joe Hernandez ...
Race Commentator
Hal J. Moore ...
Race Commentator (as Hal Moore)
Clem McCarthy ...
Race Commentator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sugarfoot Anderson ...
Walkin' Murphy, Milford's Boy (as 'Sugarfoot' Anderson)
Seabiscuit ...
Himself (archive footage)


Horse trainer Shawn O'Hara and his lovely niece, Margaret, come to America to escape the memory of an accident involving Margaret's brother, Danny. Working with thoroughbreds in Kentucky, Shawn takes a liking to a yearling named Seabiscuit, and fights to convince the horse's owner that the tiny horse with big knees will become a top-notch racehorse. Meanwhile, Margaret begins a tentative relationship with jockey Ted Knowles, but is haunted by her brother's death in a steeplechase spill. Written by Ray Hamel

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 November 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Story of Seabiscuit  »

Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the close-ups, Seabiscuit was played by Sea Sovereign, his son. See more »


In the final scene at the winner's circle, an apparent newsreel cameraman is filming while cranking his camera - backwards. He pauses for a few seconds, starts to crank one way, then the other. Finally, he resumes cranking, this time in the correct direction. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: [voice over narration] Here in Kentucky is the Blue Grass Country where champions are born. Black, beige and chestnut. Glorious creatures. Born to run and keep on running.
See more »


Edited from National Velvet (1944) See more »


A Gal in Calico
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Whistled briefly early in the film by Lon McCallister
See more »

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User Reviews

A day at the races
12 June 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"The Story of Seabiscuit", which was shown recently on TCM, is a film that is pleasant to sit through, but inferior to the much better "Seabiscuit" that came out on 2003, based on the magnificent book by Laura Hillenbrand and directed by Gary Ross. This 1949 movie was perhaps a vehicle for an adult Shirley Temple. As directed by David Butler, the film has some good moments.

The best thing in the movie is the irresistible Barry Fitzgerald. As Shawn O'Hara, he comes to America to work with horses at the Milford Farms. He arrives with his niece, Margaret. Shawn knows a lot about horses and he spots Seabiscuit right away. His love for the horse puts him at odds with George, the head trainer. Since Seabiscuit doesn't show anything at the beginning and Shawn's health seems to deteriorate, Shawn and Margaret decide to go on to California to work with the Howards, a couple that appreciate Shawn's advice.

Among the recommendations Shawn tells the Howards, is to buy Seabiscuit from Mr. Milford for the sum of six thousand dollars. After Shawn resumes training the horse, and with the help of Ted Knowles, the jockey, Seabiscuit begins to respond and win. Seabiscuit was a legend in the sport.

The story is conventional, but totally watchable by the presence of Barry Fitzgerald. He steals every scene in which he appears. Shirley Temple is not believable with her Irish accent, but she is a sweet figure in the story. Lon McCallister, playing Ted, is fine. Rosemarie DeCamp is an elegant figure who doesn't get much to do.

The film doesn't attempt to be anything but a semi documentary about Seabiscuit and its trainer and the relationship between them. Horse race fans will have a good time with the film thanks to Mr. Fitzgerald's contribution.

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