Secretariat (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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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 named 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!
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The movie leaves you feeling very good, and aware of just how special this horse was. One of the most amazing things that keeps coming back to me is: in the Belmont Stakes, which was the longest track in the Triple Crown, Secretariat ran every quarter-mile faster than the preceding one! So on the final stretch, instead of running slower out of fatigue, he was running faster than at other point in the race. And that wasn't put in the movie for sensationalism -- that's what happened in real life, back in 1973. AND, Secretariat set a record time at Belmont that hasn't been broken to this day. One person remarked that it hasn't even been "approached."
Sure, there are parts in the movie that didn't happen in the real life story. But the movie does capture the essence of Secretariat's life, his greatness, and his owner's, trainer's, and exercise rider's relationship to him. And it does so in a BEAUTIFUL and JOYFUL way that will make you feel great having watched it.
And Amazon, just in case you ever read these, thank you for always, without exception, having the movies I'm looking for that Netflix never does.
Why is it that Netflix brags about all their tens of thousands of movies when they don't even have a simple movie like Secretariat, a movie so uplifting and so historic that everyone should see it?
See Secretariat - Definitely. And quickly.
The human storyline of Penny Tweedy & Lucien Laurin is an engaging fiction. Diane Lane does a great job playing a Penny Tweedy who might have existed in a parallel universe: the 'little housewife' fighting against the big ol' boys club of thoroughbred racing. The Penny of the movie who researches her bloodlines & believes in her red horse is a terrific story & one I enjoy with each watching although it is an utter fiction, as is the 'retired' Lucien Laurin, well-played by John Malkovich. Even though I well remember Secretariat, and his Meadows Stables predecessor in the Derby, Riva Ridge, and have read everything available, I still enjoy the lovely little make-believe of this movie.
Of course, the Belmont Stakes of 1973 was no make-believe: it was the most incredible horse race anyone has ever seen. The movie does it justice (you can also see it for yourself on youtube, in terrible '70s TV coverage!). And if you want the real story, by all means read William Nack's 'Secretariat' - it's the truth, and it's much, much better than any movie could ever be. The movie got that right: the man writes like a poet.
Top international reviews
I don't know what it is about them: I just do. From National Velvet, Seabiscuit, Hidalgo, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken...I could go on.
This is a very stylish movie and Diane Lane is a wonderful leading lady. She portrays her character with elegance and warmth. You feel that she is truly paying tribute to her real-life counterpart.
It's a well-worn story about a motley crew pulling off incredible victories but it nevertheless charms you and captures your imagination. You *will* be cheering for Secretariat during the final race even though you know the result (which shows how good the direction & editing is).
I was initially worried that the film would be too long, but I really didn't feel its 2 hours and would happily spend time watching it again.
It goes without saying that if you like a horse movie, you'll love it. Even if you don't, I would recommend reading Roger Eberts *beautifully* written review of this movie to get a full sense of what it offers movie fans.
I just love the character of Lucian: extrovert, lover of extraordinary hats and ties, and brave in the use of colour in his clothes, yet a great and soft heart and love for the horse, Penny, and the jockey.
Eddie, the Stable Lad, is another very endearing character. His love, understanding, and communication with Big Red, and love of Penny and her daddy are just beautiful.
Another endearing moment is the washing of Big Red with much joy, despite very testing circumstances at the time, and that lovely old song, and number 2 pop hit of 1969: Oh Happy Day", which we also hear much later on, in amazing victory.
There is some nail-biting footage of horse racing, and ultimately an unbeatable winner: "The greatest racehorse that ever lived".
A superb and lovely film, which I keep watching again and again.
I agree with some of the criticism: even overlooking the many liberties they took with the real events, the movie is really all about Penny Chenery and her determination to see this special foal run and prove himself. She had many obstacles to overcome but too much is made of her "housewife" state, after all she was born and raised on a training farm.
Secretariat was truly a super-horse (his heart was twice the size of that of an average horse and some of his records still stand after 37 years) but neither his physical and mental gifts nor his unmatched dominance of the sport were sufficiently conveyed in this movie. Instead, his remarkable string of victories is presented more like a vaguely mystical journey with religious overtones. In fact, the coverage of the Belmont race is the weakest moment in the whole film, ludicrously interrupted by gospel music and shoddily re-enacted on a much smaller racecourse. It would have been much better to show the actual footage of the race which still stands as one of the greatest moments in any sport. Finally, the hippy daughter fabrication further detracted from the action, making Secretariat himself too much of a bit player.
Despite all of the above, my family enjoyed this movie so much that we have already watched it a second time and I suspect it will get further airings from time to time.
Just got Disney Castle then nothing. Returned
The racing sequences are brilliant and the special features of the original races etc give a great perspective on the reality of the plot and the amazing feats that this horse achieved.
In Australia, our racing hero is "Phar Lap" (see movie) with more than a few similarities to the Secretariat story of hope and inspiration to a population in bad times.