Based on the 1973 U.S. Triple Crown winner, the film Secretariat is a true story about one of the fastest race horses ever born. The story begins in 1969 when a coin toss is planned by a horse owner named Mr. Chenery (Scott Glenn) and a wealthy breeder named Ogdem Phipps (James Cromwell) to determine who will receive one of two foals sired by one of the most well bred stallions of the day named Bold Ruler. After loosing the coin toss – a year later when the other foal is born – Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) the daughter who took over the Virginia based Meadow Stables from her ailing father names the colt BIG Red. With the horse farm owing millions of dollars in estate taxes, Penny’s brother Hollis (Dylan Baker) wants her to sell Big Red so the family can pay their debts. Penny thinks Big Red will be one of the best race horses ever and hires horse trainer Lugien Laurin (John Malkovich) to train the horse later known as Secretariat, to race in the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes) This is one of those inspirational feel good films that the whole family will enjoy. Diane Lane’s portrayal of Penny Chenery is realistic and shows us how to be confident and strive for what we want. On the other hand, Penny took a real gamble and it could have ended up with Penny loosing the farm. (No pun intended) The supporting cast is also solid, everybody loved the beautiful country scenery and I was impressed with the sound effects when the horses were racing. You can hear the labor of the horses breathing and the beating of the horses hoofs on the track driving the energy level through the roof. Just a little note: Secretariat won 15 races out of 29 in 16 months with three 2nd place and one 3rd place finish. (I wonder if anybody ever bet against Secretariet at the race track.) This is a conventional film and everybody knows what’s going to happen but I still really enjoyed it and I’m giving it a B+ rating.
This movie has been given a PG rating by the MPAA
Although I am blind, I can appreciate a good movie as well as sighted individuals.
I rely more on a good story line than special effects.