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.
***Hope for the broken via a quirky, forsaken race horse***
During the Depression, an undersized, “lazy” horse named Seabiscuit becomes a champion, lifting the spirits of both its team and that of the nation. Jeff Bridges plays the owner, Tobey Maguire the jockey and Chris Cooper the trainer. Valerie Mahaffey is on hand as the owner’s wife.
Based on the real story, “Seabiscuit” (2003) is reminiscent in tone of another timeless historical drama starring Bridges, “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (1988) by Francis Ford Coppola. I prefer the underrated “Tucker” because it’s snappier and less vague, but “Seabiscuit” ain’t no slouch.
Like the historically-based “Jeremiah Johnson” (1972) the manner of storytelling respects the intelligence of the viewer to sometimes read between the lines. One of the best parts is the build-up to the race with War Admiral and the thrilling race itself. Not knowing the real-life events, a couple of the twists were surprising. The first act, however, seems bogged down by extraneous details about the owner.
The film runs 2 hour, 19 minutes and was shot in California, New York and Kentucky.
Touchstone Pictures, Universal Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, DreamWorks Pictures by Gary Ross, Laura Hillenbrand.
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Cooper.
Genres: Drama, History, Sport
Keywords: horse race based on novel or book american dream horse racehorse great depression based on a true story jockey horse trainer seabiscuit 1930s
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