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Seabiscuit (2003)

PG-13 | | Drama, History, Sport | 25 July 2003 (USA)
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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)
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:

The hopes of a nation rode on a long shot. 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

Gross USA:

$120,277,854

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

Chris Cooper had to be aged for his character to look the part. Because he was over 25 years younger than his character, Cooper's hair was whitened and his hairline was shaved back to show a widow's peak hairline. Cooper, despite being two years younger than Jeff Bridges, was made to appear older in contrast. See more »

Goofs

Late in the film, as Charles Howard worries in the bleachers about letting Red Pollard ride in the race, his wife Marcella plays with the marble game. She keeps talking in the next shot, but her lips (at the top of frame) don't move as the audio finishes. See more »

Quotes

Red Pollard: Brick by brick, my citizens. Brick by brick.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The King of Queens: Awful Bigamy (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Joy in the Salvation Army
Written by William B. Bradbury (as William Bradbury)
Performed by The Salvation Army Southern California Ensemble
See more »

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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 racehorses 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 that 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 men's 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 depression era 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. Yet it's with the thundering race sequences that Seabiscuit really triumphs best, magnificent beasts hurtling around the race track are excellently handled by Ross and his cinematographer, John Schwartzman, whilst a nod of approval must go to the sound department's efforts, for this is 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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