The Story of Seabiscuit (1949)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Family, Romance  |  12 November 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 523 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 6 critic

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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Complete credited cast:
Lon McCallister ...
Ted Knowles
Rosemary DeCamp ...
Donald MacBride ...
George Carson
Pierre Watkin ...
William Forrest ...
Thomas Milford
Joe Hernandez ...
Hal J. Moore ...
Race Commentator (as Hal Moore)
Clem McCarthy ...
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:

A História de Um Vencedor  »

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?


Though shot in Technicolor, the film incorporates actual black-and-white footage of Seabiscuit in races. 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 »


Referenced in Muscle Up a Little Closer (1957) See more »


What's the Matter with Father
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne
Played when Margaret pours the whiskey in the tea and when Sean drinks it
Also played when Sean hurts his back
See more »

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User Reviews

Seabiscuit by a mile
15 November 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although the fine version from 2003 about Seabiscuit that Jeff Bridges and Tobey Maguire brought to the screen is far more factual, this B film that stars Barry Fitzgerald and Shirley Temple should please fans of the sport of kings. Considering what the costs are to maintain horse racing as a sport only royalty or those considered royal in their societies can afford to participate other than at the $2.00 parimutuel window at the track.

For reasons not quite clear Barry Fitzgerald together with niece Shirley Temple are brought over from Ireland because stable owner William Forrest has heard of Fitzgerald's legendary ability to judge thoroughbred horseflesh. Of course that brings him into contact with Donald MacBride who is already Forrest's trainer and they disagree over a yearling that Fitzgerald sees promise in and MacBride doesn't. Barry leaves and goes to work for Pierre Watkin and Rosemary DeCamp and later on they acquire the horse now named Seabiscuit.

A young jockey played by Lon McCallister, the part Tobey Maguire played in 2003 is interested in Shirley Temple and the fictional romance doesn't interfere with Seabiscuit's legendary exploits on the track. Newsreel footage of the famous match race with Triple Crown winner War Admiral is shown in its entirety with Clem McCarthy's famous call of the race. Including McCarthy who was one of the great sports announcers of all time really captures the flavor of the period. McCarthy's voice is also the one covering the famous second and very short Joe Louis/Max Schmeling fight. Horse racing was his first love however and McCarthy covered and called every major race in a 20 year period.

It's not as good as the newer film, but The Story Of Seabiscuit while its characters are superficial does capture the racing scene of the time.

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