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Jeff Bridges was working at a bicycle manufacturing plant as the movie Seabiscuit opens. His task was menial. The repetitive chore of building bicycle wheels with an endless number of spokes was monotonous.
Then, in an off-hand comment from his boss a dream was born. Thinking of “a better way” starts his mind churning. He opens his own bicycle shop only to realize that his world is way too small for the growing appetite in American consumerism.
Yet, opportunity knocks. A man with a Stanley Steamer automobile breaks down in front of his bicycle shop. Of course when he is asked if he can fix it, he says, “Sure!”
He has a gift of understanding mechanics. Not only does he fix the problem, he improves the design. This launches him into the new world of cars and leads him to his wealth.
But, his life is thrust into tragedy with the death of his only child and the eventual crumbling of his marriage. Dispair is compounded with the Great Depression. Now the story weaves itself into an amazing tapestry.
While the world struggles to survive the economic chaos, gifted lives connect. A horse trainer played by Chris Cooper brings a horse with great promise to a once exclusive automobile aficionado. His ability to spot talent and heart in a horse proves to be world-class.
Then, Toby Maguire plays a young boy also gifted with horses who is given up by his parents for a chance at a future. His parents are desperate during the Depression to survive. They agree to leave their son in Bridges care. In their hearts it is a sacrifice of love. But, this young boy only feels confusion and anger at his “abandonment.”
In their stable is a horse with a similar history. He is disrespected, abused, and abandoned. This is a story about the amazing strength that hope can give.
For a nation with so many trying to rebuild after their lives, this story of a courageous horse, three lives with deep personal hurts, and the chance to try and tackle the impossible paint a picture of hope. It is a true story set in a time when every American needed a lift, this triumph of life is a gift of hope. Dreams and desire are reborn through a ride that lasted far longer than a fast ride around the track. Watch it for the first time or watch it again.
photo credit: Google image