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, ...
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Priscilla Williams is a young girl traveling with her mother, Joyce, to join her paternal grandfather, a British army colonel, at the post he commands in northern India. Upon arrival, they ... See full summary »
C. Aubrey Smith
Wealthy Edward Morgan becomes charmed with a curly-haired orphan and her pretty older sister Mary and arranges to adopt both under the alias of "Mr. Jones." As he spends more time with them, he soon finds himself falling in love with Mary.
Shirley Temple's father, a rebel officer, sneaks back to his rundown plantation to see his family and is arrested. A Yankee takes pity and sets up an escape. Everyone is captured and the ... See full summary »
After Southern belle Elizabeth Lloyd runs off to marry Yankee Jack Sherman, her father, a former Confederate colonel during the Civil War, vows to never speak to her again. Several years ... See full summary »
Ching-Ching gets lost in Shanghai and is befriended by American playboy Tommy Randall. She falls asleep in his car which winds up on a ship headed for America. Susan Parker, also on the ... See full summary »
Dimples Appleby lives with the pick-pocket grandfather in 19th century New York City. She entertains the crowds while he works his racket. A rich lady makes it possible for the girl to go legit. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is performed.
Shirley is the orphaned survivor of an Indian attack in the Canadian West. A Mountie and his girlfriend take her in. Everybody suffers further Indian attacks and the Mountie is saved from ... See full summary »
William A. Seiter,
Little Martha Jane, aka Little Miss Marker (Temple) is left with the bookmaker Sorrowful Jones by her dad as part of a bet on a horserace. Sorrowful (Menjou) and his group of fellow bookies... See full summary »
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
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 »
[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.
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"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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