My favorite scene(s) take place toward the beginning of the film before the introduction of the "main" character, Seabiscuit - the horse. The scene opens with Charles Howard, a wealthy business man who built his fortune on selling automobiles is talking to an associate on the phone about how bad things are getting due to the stock market crash of 1929. Charles stands in his "castle" but the shot is set at a POV other than his own. After careful observation, the room is seen through the eyes of Charles' son Frankie.
Cut to an MS of Charles. He is full of worry and speaks into the phone but looks toward the camera, his son;
No. No, Bill.
I'm not gonna do it.
No more layoffs.
Well, it can't get any worse.
He casts a glance at his son.
And cut to Charles' POV of Frankie.
Cut back to Charles.
Look, if it stays like this, we'll just--
Bill, we'll be fine, really.
All right. l'll see you in town.
The Audience knows what he says is a lie because of the way the cabinet obscures his face. It's also nice bit of foreshadowing considering he's looking at his son. "We'll be fine..."
Charles moves to walk out of shot.
Cut to an up angle (Frankie's POV) on Charles. Note how Charles looks off the right slightly and above camera. Even though it's an up shot, Charles doesn't feel like he is possessing the weight of the shot, merely passing through it. He is troubled and worried.
Frankie, come on.
It's a glorious day outside.
Cut to an ERL on Frankie as his dad stands in OTS to the left. The camera position gives Frankie ownership of this scene. Frankie is his dad's whole world, the man would do anything for his son and this shot drives that point home. Charles asks:
Why don't-- Why don't you go fishing or something?
Cut back to Charles still in up shot but staged to the left of frame. With everything falling apart with his work, he hopes to gain control of just one thing in his life at this point and says:
You can read when it's raining.
Come on. I'll teach you to drive the truck.
Cut to centered Frontal ERL of Frankie. Frankie, without a doubt, has dad wrapped around his finger.
You already taught me how to drive the truck.
Cut back to Charles.
Well, what are you reading?
Cut back to Frankie, camera still on his ERL.
Cut to CU Charles, still at left of frame as he sighs.
Cut to CU Frontal of Frankie (his ERL).
Come on, Dad. It's about the future!
Back to dad, he scoffs. He has lost this battle too.
Cut to Ext. shot of the car being loaded and the trunk closing.
Charles and his wife are going back to San Francisco and leaving Frankie to stay at their house.
Charles tells Sam how long they will be gone.
Meanwhile, Frankie lies on his bed, reading, as he can hear his dad speaking outside.
Frankie gets up and looks out the window.
What makes the shot great is the staging; the very thing that made Charles' fortune is the same thing that brought his son's demise.
Cut to more inserts which show the aftermath of the accident.
A little later in this scene, we see the Howard's car being loaded very much the same as what we saw earlier when Frankie watched his parents leave.
You can watch the scene here, it's pretty amazing! Inserts can be your friend! Thanks for stopping by.