December 16, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

Seabiscuit tells the true story of how a puny, ungainly horse became a racing champ and an American obsession of the 1930s. Writer-director Gary Ross stuck closely to the narrative of Laura Hillenbrand’s best-seller, and aided by an exquisitely bred cast — Maguire as half-blind jockey Red Pollard and Cooper as taciturn trainer Tom Smith are neck-and-neck with great performances — he delivered a crowd-pleasing drama that is in every way what the legendary steed was not: big, beautiful, and molasses-paced. EXTRAS Include a making-of feature (how many horses played Seabiscuit?), original newsreel footage, cast and crew interviews, and commentary by Ross and Academy thoroughbred Steven Soderbergh.

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