One of the best sports movies EVER! And a fine movie in general. (by McCormack7)
SECRETARIAT is not just a great great sports movie it is just a great movie full-stop. EVery about this film is spot on. The story is wonderfully crafted and well told. The photography is beautiful and classy. The acting is phenomenal. DIANE LANE is in Oscar form as Penny Chenery the owner of Secretariat. She owns the film and gives a very powerful and realistic portrayal. JOHN MALKOVICH is also superb in support. The racing scenes are simply stunning. You are there in the race. It is very well done and doesn't resort to cheap "shaky-cam" stuff. A very moving and enjoyable <more>
movie. It's one of the best sports related movies EVER and comes very highly recommended!
Secretariat is not only the first film in many years where both old and young can share the same theater; it contains the elements that make you both laugh and cry as most good movies should. From peaceful mornings at sunrise we experience exhilarating horse racing that brings pensive waiting for results of a race already in the history books.I agree with the Movieguide comments: "SECRETARIAT is a very uplifting, inspiring, exciting movie about a true story, the story of a determined woman who raises one of the most successful, dynamic racehorses of all time. SECRETARIAT is stirring and <more>
joyful, with many references to God, Jesus Christ and the Bible and a pro-capitalist message celebrating American values " Now, what's wrong with this picture? It is refreshingly entertaining.
I saw the sneak preview of this movie tonight and I applaud all of the actors, producers, directors, etc. for such a clean movie, proof positive that you don't have to fill a script with obscene language in order for it to be seen by the public. I want this movie on DVD for Christmas and am telling my kids so! Hats off to Disney as well for a job well done. It was absolutely a beautiful movie and I am going to watch it over and over! The casting director s did a magnificent job of casting people who look like the people they are portraying. I could not find anything wrong with this movie <more>
whatsoever. However, it being a Disney movie says a lot for Secretariat because Disney does not make junk!I thought that Secretariat had passed and the first thing I did when I got home was Google him. The world lost the greatest racehorse of all time. Thank God he's daddy to a bunch of other horses. Maybe some of them will take after him.
Great Horse & one of the top athletes of the century! (by ccohron1)
There were some surprising acting in this movie. John Malkovich played the trainer, Lucien Lauren. Such a character and it would not surprise me if he won an Oscar for this part...just great! The movie needed a character to give the movie some personality and he did a great job. Another actor that stood out to me was Neisan Ellis as Eddie Sweat, the groom. Again he helped add that touch to the movie that helped you identify with this story. Diane Lane as Penny Chenesy, owner, played her part well too and playing roll as owner, wife, mother. The horse, and I assume that there was more than one <more>
horse used in this film as Secretarit, did a good job. The horse came across that he knew the fans where there for him. We enjoyed this movie and it makes a great family movie because it is about life and challenges we face.
This movie puts you right in the saddle of one of the greatest racehorses of all time -- a movie the whole family can enjoy. (by labeckley)
I have little interest in movies and haven't been to a movie theater in years, but I did go to see Secretariat because that was such a big event for my horse-loving 13 year old self back in the 70's. I loved the cinematography of the movie – how it put you right into the race with one of the most phenomenal horses of the century. I particularly loved the close-ups while those passages from the Book of Job were being recited: "He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: He goeth out to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not dismayed Neither turneth he <more>
back from the sword The quiver rattleth against him, The flashing spear and the javelin He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage "It really captured the beauty and power of the racehorse—to me, the movie was worth going for those scenes alone.The movie did contain inaccuracies and omissions for example, I found it humorous that Pancho Martin, the trainer, was featured as if he were Sham's owner, trading barbs directly with Penny – where were Sham's owners? And that the movie made it appear that Sham won the Wood Memorial, when Angle Light was the victor, and that the coin toss over Secretariat was presented in a highly simplified manner. However, I do understand that Disney had to simplify the story line so as not to confuse the average viewer especially after spending 20 minutes trying to explain to my husband the complexities of the way Secretariat was actually acquired in the famous coin toss. To me, it wasn't at all surprising that Disney developed the movie in the way they did. When I first noticed a movie was coming out about Secretariat, my immediate thought was – "What is there to say?" I wondered what there could be in the story with which a typical American movie goer could identify. This was no story of an underdog who came out of nowhere; if such an amazing horse was going to come in to being, it happened exactly in the way anyone would expect–a colt with the bloodlines of some of the best Thoroughbreds in the entire world, bred by wealthy people in Kentucky and Virginia. Secretariat was two year old Horse of the Year, and part of a racing stable that had the previous years Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner,Riva Ridge. No surprises in this story. It was clever to develop the story angle focusing on his owner, Penny Chenery, and her struggles against adversity as she brought Secretariat to the races.I was initially no fan of Secretariat's while he was racing--I was rooting for Sham all through the triple crown races, and at the time, often felt like the only one who wanted Sham to win. I worked at a riding stable in Virginia at the time and it seemed everyone was a huge fan of Secretariat – there was so much hype and excitement over him. All you heard in the media was about the "big red machine" and how invincible he was. So for me, it was a breath of fresh air to hear about this horse from California named Sham who could be a worthy opponent for Secretariat. Secretariat seemed too beautiful and perfect, and I resented the fact that everyone was calling him by Man O' War's old nickname, "Big Red."I admired Sham's tremendous spirit. Perhaps I was also partial because "Sham" is the name of the Godolphin Arabian in Marguerite Henry's books-- after all, I was 13. There's been much made in reviews of the movie over how Frank "Pancho" Martin came across as the "bad guy" because of all his boasting about Sham. It is true that he did boast about Sham, but for those of us who were fans of the horse and were weary of hearing all the time about "Big Red," it was absolutely delightful– I for one loved it. The truth is, the real underdog in the Secretariat-Sham competition was Sham. I'm not at all surprised that Pancho's boasting was spun out of proportion in the movie to make him appear villainous, because the movie-makers had to jump through hoops to make the real underdogs appear like the villains. Let's face it – Sham's owners and trainers may not have had quite the wealth and connections of Secretariat's team – it's possible you could find a much more riveting "rags to riches" story in Pancho's background than in Penny Chenery's she was an heiress, after all . Amidst the onslaught of publicity over the super-horse Secretariat, to me, Pancho stood like a David against Goliath passionately defending his own amazing horse. In addition, Sham was racing on the West Coast when the very best racehorses supposedly raced on the East coast. Sham was not blessed with Secretariat's charisma or beauty – but he was a kind, extremely game horse. Though I will admit, even given all that, Sham was not a perfect underdog because he, too, just like Secretariat, was bred at Clairborne Farms in Kentucky. Though I was and will always be a fan of Sham, when I saw Secretariat blow the rest of the field away in the Belmont Stakes, winning by 31 lengths, I was overcome with a sense of awe at having witnessed a once in a lifetime demonstration of searing power, speed, and beauty. And I fell under Secretariat's spell and became a fan of his, as well.I'm glad Disney made this movie -- they did a nice job. It's one that the whole family can enjoy.
Black white relations in early 70s (by ariadne721-866-827427)
I loved the film, Big Red, the fabulous speed records. I was also saddened by the fact that in the film and obviously also in reality the black groom, Eddie Sweat played by Nelsan Ellis, had to sit away from the trainer and owner during the races. He looked so alone in the crowd while the "family" could hug and cheer and share in the great miracle of a Triple Crown. I am wondering,did white grooms also stay separate from the owners/trainers? Is that an unwritten rule of racing? Did the groom need to be ready to hot walk off the horse after the jockey dismounts? Eddie Sweat's <more>
wiki page does elaborate on his career so I am happy to say that he was no doubt a very happy proud man, though deceased now from leukemia.
The film 'Secretariat' would have had to be awful for me not to Love it (by binaryg)
I remember seeing the Belmont Stakes on TV in '73 and knowing I had seen a remarkable achievement by an equestrian or any athlete. Since that day 37 years ago the mystique of that horse, "Big Red" has only grown in my heart. I still cannot watch Secretariat run that day, without tears coming to my eyes. Thank god that U Tube exists and I can watch every race that wondrous stallion ran and see footage of him running in his paddock, filled with himself and his power. I don't know about Man of War but I do know about Secretariat and I have a hard time believing there was ever <more>
a greater Racehorse than he.When I learned that a film was coming out about Secretariat, I could only hope it would do him justice. I am not a great fan of the genre of sport films, with 'Raging Bull' being one of the few exceptions. All I felt I could hope for was that they would not demean the memory of the great Secretariat. I have waited until the film showed at my favorite local cinema to view it.I was planning to see it on the day that the equally wondrous filly Zenyatta was attempting to conclude her remarkable racing career by winning the Breeders Cup Classic for the second year in a row a feat almost as remarkable as Secretariat breaking the record for a 1 ½ mile race by 2 2/5 seconds, a record which still stands and which will not be broken, at least, in my lifetime. I would like to think that Zenyatta is a candidate for another equestrian cinema biography.When Zenyatta made another of her great stretch runs from far behind not unlike Big Red's usual mode of running but this time came up a nose short I found myself again in tears and unable to go see 'Secretariat'. But the next day I decided to see 'Secretariat..' I'm glad I saw it and while it is certainly not perfect, and is a Disney product with designs to sell it as a Christian media event, the story is actually accurate from what I know, to the achievement that Secretariat, Penny Chenery, Ron Turcotte, and Lucien Laurin were able to pull off.Diane Lane and John Malkovich were really fine. I wondered how Secretariat would come across. In the film he's a cipher just as he was in my mind in real life. How was he able to accomplish what he did in the Belmont Stakes? We'll never know.So here's to the film makers for not totally screwing up Secretariat's life as they did with that Seabiscuit film..Long Live King Secretariat Big Red and Long Live Queen Zenyatta!!
Feels Good & Is Nice Looking, But........ (by ccthemovieman-1)
This was a nice movie, a feel-good film, even if you knew everything about what the great race horse did back in 1973. Having read several books on Secretariat, I was well familiar with owner, trainer, jockey and horse but I was curious how Disney was going to portray them on film. They made a pretty, but very flawed movie.Generally-speaking they did all of the major players favors by making them all - Penny Tweedy, Lucien Laurin, Ron Turcotte and Secretariat - look very good. Laurin and Turcotte, by the way, sounded and acted totally different in real life. The worst hatchet job was on <more>
"Pancho Martin," the owner of "Sham," Secretariat's Triple Crown rival. In real life, Pancho was nowhere near as arrogant and nasty as portrayed on film.Although Diane Lane is fine as Penny Tweedy, I thought John Malkovich as the most interesting. Malkovich has a habit of getting our attention no matter what role he plays on screen. As with most horse stories i.e.Seabiscuit, Dreamer, etc. these stories are beautifully-filmed, as this Disney effort is no exception.The only thing that bothered me was making the story primarily about Mrs. Tweedy, instead of the horse. Calling Mrs. Tweedy a "hero," for sticking to her guns and keeping faith that Secretariat would turn out to be a champion is wrong, too. Excuse me, but a mother who stays away from her three kids and husband for long stretches to tend to a horse, is not admirable, much less a hero. Her family is what she should have been concerned with first, not a horse. I'm not surprised Disney turned the story into feminist propaganda.Yet, in all, being a horse racing and Secretariat fan, I enjoyed it.
¨This is not about going back. This is about life being ahead of you and you run at it. Because you never know how far you can run unless you run.¨Secretariat is one of those rare sports movies that manages to hook your attention and maintain the suspense despite knowing how it will turn out at the end. It's impossible not to fall in love with this horse and his story. Disney was the right choice for the production of this film considering their success with other family friendly sport films like Remember the Titans. Secretariat was voted as one of the best athletes of the century <more>
number one on the list if we don't count human performances , and several of his records still stand to this very day nearly 40 years later. His story had to be told in film as Secretariat is considered to be the best racehorse of all time. The story involving his owner, Penny Chenery, and how she saved her ailing father's stable risking everything including her marriage and betting it on the horse just adds to the overall dramatic effect of the plot. Secretariat reminded me a lot of another good racehorse film: Seabiscuit. I wouldn't say this is a better movie, it's different, but I can say that Secretariat was a better racehorse that won the most important races, including the Triple Crown in 1973 a feat that hadn't been accomplished in 25 years . Randall Wallace writer of Braveheart and director of We Were Soldiers did a good job with the direction of this film, despite being better known as a screenplay writer. The screenplay for Secretariat was written by Mike Rick, which was adapted from William Nack's book about the large chestnut colt nicknamed ¨Big Red.¨Diane Lane is Penny Chenery, a mother of four and housewife who's life changes after her mother's death and a visit to their stable based in Virginia. Penny's father used to be the brains of the entire operation in Meadow Stables, but with the death of his wife and his illness things are going downhill at the stable. Penny decides to change things around in order to save the stable and begins by firing their trainer who seems to be making some unfavorable deals with other owners by trying to sell their horses at a much lower value. Penny with the help of the family's trustworthy secretary, Miss Ham played humorously by Margo Martindale begins managing the place. The first smart move she makes is breeding one of her horses: Somethingroyal with a famous Thoroughbred racehorse named Bold Ruler. The result was the birth of the large chestnut colt nicknamed ¨Big Red¨, but better known in the horse-racing world as Secretariat. Penny hires Lucien Laurin John Malkovich as the trainer and Ron Turcotte Otto Thorwarth as the jockey, and along with the groom, Eddie Sweet Nelsan Ellis together they form a great team and foster the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. Of course the movie can't be successful if it doesn't have some drama in it, and so some problems surface back home with Penny's husband, Jack Tweedy Dylan Walsh , because running a stable back in Virginia has affected Penny with her housewife duties. Somehow Penny has to manage saving the stable in a macho dominated society and maintain her family together, while risking everything on one horse: Secretariat.Secretariat succeeds as a film because the story is just so powerful and uplifting. The movie deals with overcoming difficult odds and following one's dream. Penny had a good life as a housewife, but all this had led her far away from her early goal of following her father's footsteps and managing the Meadow Stables. Once the opportunity presents itself to her she quickly takes on the difficult task and decides to follow her long life dream. Secretariat teaches us that it's never too late to follow one's dreams and overcome difficult situations. Disney has always been good at reminding us how important it is to fight for our dreams. Life is a race and if we don't wake up in time our dreams and goals might just end in that: only dreams and we will never achieve anything if we don't take risks in order to live out our dreams. Penny took the risk and bet it all on Secretariat who didn't fail her. The story of this colt is just amazing and inspiring. The final scene where he is racing at the Belmont Stakes is just mesmerizing and left me full of goose bumps. Secretariat was such an amazing horse, and his story is done justice in this family friendly film. It is a strong, memorable movie that teaches us some important lessons while at the same time never ceases to entertain it's audience. The performances in this movie are also great. Diane Lane as Penny and John Malkovich as Lucien give memorable and fun performances. Secretariat is a movie for the entire family to enjoy.http://estebueno10.blogspot.com/