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Seabiscuit - The Lost Documentary
Seabiscuit - The Lost Documentary
Actors: Martin Mason, Doc Bond, Charles Howard, Mrs. Charles Howard, Charles Kurtsinger
Director: Manny Nathan Hahn
Genres: Documentary
UR     2003     0hr 50min

Original documentary of the horse seabiscuit made in 1939 by the horses owner charles howard. Studio: Arts Alliance America Release Date: 03/15/2005 Run time: 50 minutes


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Movie Details

Actors: Martin Mason, Doc Bond, Charles Howard, Mrs. Charles Howard, Charles Kurtsinger
Director: Manny Nathan Hahn
Creators: Charles Howard, Manny Nathan Hahn, Alan Folkman, Barry Sandrew, David Martin, Ed Shapiro, Hazel Merry Hawkins
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Arts Alliance Amer
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 11/11/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1939
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/1939
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 0hr 50min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Amazing how much of this "lost" footage appeared in other pl
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 06/28/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Seabiscuit (Manny Nathan Hahn, 1939)

Now known as Seabiscuit: The Lost Documentary, because it was feared no print had survived degradation for decades, this short, commissioned by Charles Howard upon his legendary horse's retirement, was rediscovered about a decade ago and put through the remastering process. (If you pick up the DVD, there's also a colorized version. Hey, it's only fifty minutes long, they had to do something with the extra time.) And I apologize for that insanely long sentence. In any case, it should set off alarm bells in your head right around the time you see the word "commissioned." (If you know something of the history of short film, and have seen a number of movies from around this time period of this variety, that may also be sending some bells off. They are warranted.) If you're looking for an objective assessment of the horse and his career, this ain't it. There's some nice footage of the horse's early years, but I have to admit, when I watch mare-and-foal footage, I can tell who the mare is about 10% of the time if I've seen her race. Foals all look alike to me, just as babies all look like Winston Churchill. So it may well have been Seabiscuit as a foal. I have no clue. Then comes the racing footage. And if you know anything about Seabiscuit, if you've seen any TV spots about him (and how could anyone miss that, back when the movie came out?), you've seen this footage before. All you're missing is the narrator talking about how great Seabiscuit is. Yeah, we know. It can be argued that Howard, understanding that fame in racing can be ephemeral, wanted to ensure his horse wouldn't be forgotten. And I guess you can't tell who's going to be remembered down the line; I saw another one-reel short recently from the late forties that made the assumption that forties Derby winner Zev was destined for immortality; he's now a Derby trivia question at best, while Seabiscuit is still a household name. It's like taking a look at the finest horses of the nineties now and figuring out who people will still be talking about in fifty years--Cigar? Skip Away? Gentlemen? Silver Charm and Swain? I don't know. And Charles Howard probably didn't, either, back in 1939. I shouldn't fault him for talking the horse up, with the benefit of my hindsight. And yet I somehow can't overlook it; maybe it's because videos like this remind me of promo videos for cars and such (Howard was, after all, an auto magnate), and it hits that ugly spot in me that frowns when seeing horses treated like commodities rather than living things. Or maybe it's because I've seen most of this footage so many times before, and given how long this documentary was feared lost, they must have gotten it from somewhere other than a print of this. But there's something unsatisfying about it. If you're a fan, you'll obviously want to check it out, but don't have many expectations when you do. **
A little disappointing - not enough documentary
Eric Carlson | Cupertino, CA USA | 04/06/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I'm a huge fan of documentaries, but this video contains too many scenes of current horse races and interviews with people (who are totally unrelated to the story) about what they thought of Seabiscuit. But on the plus side, the video did contain some facts regarding jockey George Woolf that I found interesting because I've never seen it before in any other related documentary."