The Story of Seabiscuit (1949)

92 or 96 mins | Drama | 12 November 1949

Director:

David Butler

Producer:

William Jacobs

Cinematographer:

Wilfrid M. Cline

Editor:

Irene Morra

Production Designer:

Douglas Bacon

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's working title was Always Sweethearts . The real Seabiscuit won a record-breaking total of $437,730 in his racing career. He was purchased by C. S. Howard for $8,000 in 1934 and won the Santa Anita Handicap in 1940. Portions of the film were shot at Willits, CA, where Howard's farm was located, according to a HR news item. The film incorporates black-and-white newsreel footage of actual races, including the $15,000 match between Seabiscuit and War Admiral at Pimlico, as well as color footage of the Santa Anita Handicap. In 2003, Gary Ross directed Seabiscuit , another story about the famous horse, starring Tobey ... More Less

The film's working title was Always Sweethearts . The real Seabiscuit won a record-breaking total of $437,730 in his racing career. He was purchased by C. S. Howard for $8,000 in 1934 and won the Santa Anita Handicap in 1940. Portions of the film were shot at Willits, CA, where Howard's farm was located, according to a HR news item. The film incorporates black-and-white newsreel footage of actual races, including the $15,000 match between Seabiscuit and War Admiral at Pimlico, as well as color footage of the Santa Anita Handicap. In 2003, Gary Ross directed Seabiscuit , another story about the famous horse, starring Tobey Maguire. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Oct 1949.
---
Daily Variety
25 Oct 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
26 Oct 49
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 49
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 49
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Apr 49
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 49
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 49
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Oct 49
p. 65.
New York Times
12 Nov 49
p. 8.
Variety
2 Nov 49
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
Asst props
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff dir
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Tech adv
Scr supv
Best boy
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Always Sweethearts
Release Date:
12 November 1949
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 11 November 1949
Production Date:
early April--20 May 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 May 1950
Copyright Number:
LP110
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
92 or 96
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Upon arriving at Millford Farms in Kentucky, Irish horse trainer Shawn O'Hara and his niece Margaret, who is studying to be a nurse, are greeted by Thomas Millford and his other trainer, George Carson. Millford has hired Shawn because of his reputation for judging the potential of racehorses early in their development. Shawn left Ireland after the death of his nephew, Margaret's brother, during a steeplechase race made him reluctant to train jumping horses. One night, when Margaret is home from nursing school, Shawn shows her a trick for appraising a horse: He holds out a carrot to a group of yearlings and looks for the first one to claim the reward. This night, as on several previous occasions, the winner is an unprepossessing horse named Seabiscuit. Later, when Shawn, Carson and Millford cull the yearlings, Shawn begs Millford to keep Seabiscuit, but on Carson's advice, Millford turns him down. Meanwhile Millford's jockey, Ted Knowles, flirts with Margaret, but she has determined never to fall in love with a jockey and rebuffs his advances. Ted asks Shawn to intervene on his behalf, and Shawn agrees, provided Ted will buy Seabiscuit. When Ted approaches Millford with an offer, however, Millford suspects that Shawn is behind it and agrees to keep the horse for his stubborn employee. Despite Shawn's faith in Seabiscuit, his initial performance is poor. Shawn tries many tricks to increase the horse's speed, but finally Millford refuses to spend more time on the horse. After Shawn takes ill, Margaret takes him to California. Shawn convinces racehorse owner Charles S. Howard and his wife to buy Seabiscuit from ... +


Upon arriving at Millford Farms in Kentucky, Irish horse trainer Shawn O'Hara and his niece Margaret, who is studying to be a nurse, are greeted by Thomas Millford and his other trainer, George Carson. Millford has hired Shawn because of his reputation for judging the potential of racehorses early in their development. Shawn left Ireland after the death of his nephew, Margaret's brother, during a steeplechase race made him reluctant to train jumping horses. One night, when Margaret is home from nursing school, Shawn shows her a trick for appraising a horse: He holds out a carrot to a group of yearlings and looks for the first one to claim the reward. This night, as on several previous occasions, the winner is an unprepossessing horse named Seabiscuit. Later, when Shawn, Carson and Millford cull the yearlings, Shawn begs Millford to keep Seabiscuit, but on Carson's advice, Millford turns him down. Meanwhile Millford's jockey, Ted Knowles, flirts with Margaret, but she has determined never to fall in love with a jockey and rebuffs his advances. Ted asks Shawn to intervene on his behalf, and Shawn agrees, provided Ted will buy Seabiscuit. When Ted approaches Millford with an offer, however, Millford suspects that Shawn is behind it and agrees to keep the horse for his stubborn employee. Despite Shawn's faith in Seabiscuit, his initial performance is poor. Shawn tries many tricks to increase the horse's speed, but finally Millford refuses to spend more time on the horse. After Shawn takes ill, Margaret takes him to California. Shawn convinces racehorse owner Charles S. Howard and his wife to buy Seabiscuit from Millford. He also persuades the Howards to buy Ted's contract. Using a new training method, Shawn finally makes Seabiscuit a winner. After Ted is injured in a race at Santa Anita, Shawn arranges for Margaret to be his nurse. Margaret admits that she returns Ted's love and agrees to marry him if he will give up racing. While Ted is recuperating, jockey George Woolf rides Seabiscuit in more winning races. Disaster strikes, however, when the horse develops a career-ending problem in one leg. At the request of Mrs. Howard, Shawn agrees to attempt to cure Seabiscuit, and against all odds, he succeeds. Shawn offers Ted a position as his assistant, and Ted accepts so that he can marry Margaret; however, when George is unavailable to ride a recovered Seabiscuit, Ted takes over. Furious, Margaret breaks her engagement. Ted then tells her that he is willing to leave racing, but that he wants to leave as a winner. Now that she understands, Margaret relents, and Seabiscuit wins the Santa Anita Handicap on 2 March 1940, establishing a new track record. A statue of Seabiscuit is later erected at the track, and Ted leaves racing to marry Margaret and become a trainer. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.