(1949)2.5Craig ButlerThe only thing really wrong with The Story of Seabiscuit is that it simply isn't the story of Seabiscuit. One expects Hollywood to play fast and loose with the facts when it makes a biopic about a person, so it's probably no surprise that they play even faster and looser when filming the biography of a horse. But Seabiscuit would have been a much better film if the creators had simply told his real story rather than inventing a bit of distracting and not terribly believable fluff about a trainer, the trainer's niece, and her romantic interest in a jockey. This is really what the film is about, and it's an incredibly dull and uninteresting little tale. Fortunately, Seabiscuit has Barry Fitzgerald on hand to play the trainer, and his warm-but-ragged personality helps to push the film -- barely -- into the winner's circle. He's helped enormously by the use of actual archival footage of the famous horse in two of his most important races; these two sequences truly get the blood pounding and the pulse racing and demonstrate what the film might have been like if it had really been about the titular subject. There are a few other things of note in the film, such as Rosemary de Camp's performance and parts of grown-up Shirley Temple's (as well as all of Temple's grown-up beauty). But mostly it's Fitzgerald and the actual race footage (some of it causing the film to jump suddenly from color to black-and-white) that make Seabiscuit worth a look or two.