11/20/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

PBS Home Video presents
American Experience: Seabiscuit (2003)

"For a brief moment in America, a little brown racehorse wasn't just a little brown racehorse. He was a proxy for a nation."
- Laura Hillenbrand, on Seabiscuit

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: July 22, 2003

Stars: Seabiscuit, War Admiral, Red Pollard, Laura Hillenbrand, Jack Whitaker
Other Stars: Scott Glenn
Director: Stephen Ives

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 00h:51m:10s
Release Date: June 03, 2003
UPC: 794054885125
Genre: documentary


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+B+B C

DVD Review

You may already have read the book, and the feature film is due out in a matter of days, but there's nothing like the truth, and this documentary on one of the most celebrated racehorses of the twentieth century has enough inherent drama and gripping improbabilities for at least a couple of movies. Produced for the PBS series American Experience, this film tells the story of Seabiscuit, one of the greatest racehorses of the 1930s, and his unlikely odyssey to glory. The confluence of the keen eye of his trainer, Tom Smith; the ambition of his owner, Charles Howard; and the perseverance of his jockey, Red Pollard, make for a fairy tale that would be dismissed for its lack of plausibility were it not true.

The filmmakers were blessed with not only a great story, but a treasure trove of material—both Howard's and Pollard's families had been hoarding Seabiscuit memorabilia for decades, and there's a tremendous amount of archival footage in respectable condition, ranging from Seabiscuit at the track to the home movies of the Pollard's wedding. Scott Glenn narrates this rags-to-riches equestrian tale: Smith spied Seabiscuit at Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts, where the horse was an overrun, undertrained two-year-old; Smith convinced Howard to take a gamble, for a paltry $8,000, sensing that greatness might be lurking.

This was an awkward horse, with a strange gait and without a regal bearing; on looks, his archrival, Triple Crown winner War Admiral, had it all over him. The film does a fine job relating the crucial elements of the story in a relatively short period of time; the emphasis is decidedly upon Pollard, an oversized jockey lucky to survive a couple of calamitous racetrack mishaps. Seabiscuit also became a star figure, and the film is especially interesting in providing historical context—horse racing was the only legalized form of gambling during in those years, the nadir of the Great Depression, and the horse had a series of endorsement deals that would be the envy of Tiger Woods. Seabiscuit's likeness was used to hawk hats, oranges, hotels, and dry cleaning, and his most fruitful years coincided with the ubiquitous spread of radio. The horse was one of the big stars of the new medium.

The movie is of course scored with the music of the period, and it's always a treat to hear the likes of Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby. Music also does well in highlighting the divide between the East Coast racing establishment and the young Western upstarts, who were concentrated mostly at Santa Anita. The film is brimming with information about the horse and his time; if this doesn't sate your appetite for the Biscuit, check out Hillenbrand's book, and the upcoming feature film based on the same.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The archival footage varies in quality, but overall the transfer to DVD is a clean one, and the newly shot interviews are tastefully lit and shot with understatement.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: There's a little too much reverb on Scott Glenn's narration track, but otherwise things sound pretty fine.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 11 cues and remote access
1 Featurette(s)
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: unmarked keepcase
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. racehorse gallery
Extras Review: In a brief interview (04m:58s), Stephen Ives, the director of the documentary, discusses boiling down Hillenbrand's book, and his good fortune in finding so much archival material. Weblinks are provided to PBS and the documentary's companion website; a Superhorses Gallery offers brief panels on ten thoroughbred champions, from Man o' War to Seattle Slew, with a full account of their lifetime earnings. Giddayup.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

A couple of dollars down on Seabiscuit to win is a good safe bet. A smart and intelligently assembled look at the horse and what he meant to the nation.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store