7.3/10
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458 user 173 critic

Seabiscuit (2003)

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True story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation.

Director:

Gary Ross

Writers:

Laura Hillenbrand (book), Gary Ross (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,445 ( 2,679)
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David McCullough ... Narrator
Jeff Bridges ... Charles Howard
Paul Vincent O'Connor ... Bicycle Supervisor
Chris Cooper ... Tom Smith
Michael Ensign ... Steamer Owner
James Keane ... Car Customer
Valerie Mahaffey ... Annie Howard
David Doty David Doty ... Land Broker
Carl M. Craig Carl M. Craig ... Sam (as Kingston DuCoeur)
Michael O'Neill ... Mr. Pollard
Annie Corley ... Mrs. Pollard
Michael Angarano ... Young Red Pollard
Cameron Bowen ... Pollard Child
Noah Luke Noah Luke ... Pollard Child
Mariah Bess ... Pollard Child
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A long shot becomes a legend. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual situations and violent sports-related images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 July 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alma de héroes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$87,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,854,735, 27 July 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$120,277,854, 5 February 2004

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$148,336,445
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the film leaves unexplained Riddle's demand that the War Admiral-Seabiscuit match race not use a starting gate, he did have an actual reason: War Admiral loathed starting gates. See more »

Goofs

While Red is exercising a horse for his former boss, the "hand start" John Deere tractor makes a sound like an electric starter. See more »

Quotes

Red Pollard: This isn't just any race. This is the Santa Anita. I had that race. I was there.
Charles Howard: I know.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Chase Australia: Episode #2.27 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Everloving
Written by Moby (as Richard Hall)
Performed by Moby
Courtesy of V2 Records, Inc. / Mute Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
It wears its sentimental heart firmly on its fetlock.
30 March 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

As the depression era kicks in, Americans were grasping for any sort of inspiration they could get, enter equine supreme, Seabiscuit. Considered broken down, too small and untrainable, Seabiscuit went on to become a bastion of great racehorse's, and in the process bringing solace to those closest to it.

Back in 2003 upon its initial release, critics were very divided as to the merits of Seabiscuit as a picture. Some were concerned that this adaptation from Laura Hillenbrand's highly thought of novel missed too many crucial elements, others were merely touting the tired old charge of the film purely baiting Oscar {something that is levelled at every film in history about hope and second chances}, the more astute critics of the time however lauded it as the delightful and inspiring piece it is.

It would be churlish of me to not agree that Seabiscuit is laced with sentiment, rookie director Gary Ross barely wastes a chance to tug the heart strings and paint an evocative sequence, but if you have got it in you to accept this true story for its base emotional point, then it is one hell of a wonderful experience. Seabiscuit is not just about the equine beauty of the picture, it's also a fusion of three mens personal wavering, who for one reason or another need the horse for far more important crutches than those provided by financial gain, make no bones about it, Seabiscuit is a very human drama. Knowing how the picture will end never once becomes a problem, because the historical accuracy in the story makes one yearn for that grandiose ending, one to gladden the heart in the way it must have done to thousands upon thousands of Americans back in the day.

Ross wisely chooses to filter in as much realism as he possibly can, archive stills and narration serve as exceptional points of worth to the narrative structure. Then there is the first rate cast to fully form the emotional complexities that Seabiscuit provides. Jeff Bridges, Tobey Maguire {waif like}, Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, top American jockey Gary Stevens and a splendidly jaunty William H Macy, all can rightly feel proud of their respective work on this picture. But it's with the thundering race sequences that Seabiscuit really triumphs best, magnificent beasts hurtling around the race track is excellently handled by Ross and his cinematographer, John Schwartzman, whilst a nod of approval must go to the sound departments efforts, it's definitely one to give your sub-woofer a work out.

Seabiscuit was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning none, perhaps the Academy also felt like those critics who thought it was trying too hard for a Golden Statue? But now after the dust has settled some years later, it pays to revisit Seabiscuit and judge it on its own emotional terms, for it's a tremendously well crafted picture that is of course as inspirational as it most assuredly is tender, a fine fine picture indeed. 9/10


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