It's the Depression, and everyone needs to hold onto a dream to get them through the bad times. Car maker Charles Howard is no different, he who is trying to rebuild his life after the tragic death of his only child and the resulting end of his first marriage. With second wife Marcela at his side, Charles wants to get into horse racing and ends up with a team of underdogs who are also chasing their own dream. The first is trainer Tom Smith, who has a natural instinct to spot the capabilities of horses. The second is the horse Tom chooses for Charles, Seabiscuit, an unconventional choice as despite his pedigreed lineage, Seabiscuit is small at fifteen and a half hands tall with a slight limp. But Tom can see something in Seabiscuit's nature to make him a winner, if only Seabiscuit can be retrained from his inbred losing ways. And third is the jockey they decide to hire, Johnny "Red" Pollard, so nicknamed because of his hair color. Like Tom, Red has always shown a natural way with ... Written by
While the movie describes War Admiral as being a huge horse close to eighteen hands tall, the real-life War Admiral was well known for being one of the smallest sons of Man o' War. War Admiral was actually the same size as Seabiscuit, which was approximately fifteen hands tall. See more »
The jockeys all wear clear plastic safety lenses, which weren't used until after World War II. See more »
The first time he saw Seabiscuit, the colt was walking through the fog at five in the morning. Smith would say later that the horse looked right through him. As if to say, "What the hell are you looking at? Who do you think you are?" He was a small horse, barely fifteen hands. He was hurting too. There was a limp in his walk, a wheezing when he breathed. Smith didn't pay attention to that. He was looking the horse in the eye.
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"Sea Biscuit" is a story about a long shot horse and a man who discover each other on the road to equestrian glory. An extremely rewarding journey though the lives of man and beast. Every aspect of human emotion, bonding and courage is explored with an "equine" tinge. Set in a time when horse racing is more passion than business, Seabiscuit glorifies the positive appeal of horse racing. Every derby event is an emotional doorway which lifts your spirits. Be it the Santa Anita or the Pimilco, you are just just hanging on the edge of your seat praying, vying and hoping for a Seabiscuit win. Such is the emotional grasp and visual brilliance of Gary Ross's direction and Scwartzman's cinematography. Being a thoroughbred race horse by birth, Seabiscuit treads the race track under the watchful eyes of trainer Tom Smith (played by Chris Cooper) and jockey Red Poddard (played by Tobey Mcguire). What follows is a sequence of predictable vicissitudes. Why! This movie wasn't advertised in the mystery genre either!
A frail looking (really) Tobey manages to deeply bond with the horse at least on screen, kudos indeed. Nobody else could have possibly fit into his role as well as he did, physically too. Chris Cooper is the silent marvel. There is a completely subtle tinge to his acting which lays low, yet beautifully exuberates class. Seabiscuit is simply one of those "silent' movies which just hurtles you beyond imaginable frontiers. Sit back and relax and let the long shot consume you.
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