Secretariat [Blu-ray + DVD]
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Disney presents an astonishing true story bursting with hope, heart and courage. Diane Lane and John Malkovich lead a celebrated cast in this inspirational motion picture from the producers of MIRACLE, INVINCIBLE and THE ROOKIE. Behind every legend lies an impossible dream. Witness the spectacular journey of an incredible horse, Secretariat, and the moving story of his unlikely owner, a housewife who risked everything to make him a champion. Out of the gate with never-before-seen bonus features, SECRETARIAT is hours of pulse-pounding entertainment for the whole family!
The "greatest racehorse of all time" mantle fits easily around the neck of Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner. So why not a movie version of this champion's life? Secretariat begins in the late '60s, with some good behind-the-scenes material on how thoroughbreds come to be (there's flavorful atmosphere inside the horsey world, including an account of Secretariat's ownership being decided by a coin flip as part of an old-school agreement). A highly lacquered Diane Lane plays Penny Chenery, the inheritor of her father's stables, who segues from being an all-American mom to running a major horse-racing franchise; reliable character-actor support comes in the form of John Malkovich, as a gaudily outfitted trainer, and Margo Martindale, as Chenery's assistant. Screenwriter Mike Rich and director Randall Wallace must do some heavy lifting to make Lane's privileged millionaire into some sort of underdog--luckily, the hidebound traditions of the male-dominated racing scene provide some sources of outrage. The need to stack the deck even more leads the movie into its more contrived scenes, unfortunately, as though we needed dastardly villains in order to root for Penny and her horse. Meanwhile, attempts to reach for a little Seabiscuit-style social relevance don't come off, and a curious religious undertone might make you wonder whether we're meant to assume that God chose Secretariat over some less-deserving equine. The actual excitement of the races can't be denied, however, and Secretariat's awe-inspiring win at the Belmont Stakes remains a jaw-dropping, still-unequaled display of domination in that event. And maybe in sports. --Robert Horton
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Top Customer Reviews
Since we already know the horse wins the triple crown, the movie attempts to create drama where none exists. John Malkovich plays a trainer whose clothes sometimes appear to be made from discarded table cloths. The husband is stereotypically non-supportive, until the end. When dad dies the poor family has a 6 million dollar estate tax and only 11 million dollars worth of horses. My heart just bled for poor little rich Penny who wanted to keep her prize horse. Around this point she becomes a Republican, who attends all white parties while the black horse groomer sleeps on hay.
While the acting was good, I found the script to be a bit pretentious.
I do not believe we will ever see his like again!!! A great story to show girls and women because Ms Chenery was a smart woman who refused to give up and knew a business usually populated by men.
Most recent customer reviews
I love this movie. It is about life and hope and finding joy in God's creatures. Secretariat was an amazing horse; but he was also a symbol of one of the best things about being... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
What a heartwarming story. Cheney is a wonderful, strong, courageous woman. This story is almost as much about her as Secretariat.Published 4 months ago by PaulMPleau
This is an amazing movie for the whole family. I remember Secretariat, this movie almost makes the past come to life. It is about believing in yourself and going for it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lynda K