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Secretariat – Movie Review

By Lorraine Messina

Secretariat – Movie Review from Lorraine Messina on Vimeo.

Secretariat was an American Thoroughbred racehorse. In 1973 Secretariat became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in 25 years. The Triple Crown consists of three events. The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Having lived through this history it was interesting to watch a film about this amazing animal.

Walt Disney Pictures

The re-creation of the races was superbly done. The movie does a great job capturing the historical significance of the events. The scenery and the photographic imagery in the film just captivates you and brings you back in time to the 1970s. Not even a single crunch of popcorn by your fellow movie goer could make you take your eyes off the screen. The only thing missing was the smell of the animals.

Having ridden horses at one point in my life I could identify with the care that is needed in training horses. This care was wonderfully expressed by the owner, stable hand and trainer in the movie.

The acting was great. I especially liked John Malkovich’s portrayal of Lucien Laurin Secretariat’s trainer. Mr. Malkovich’s performance showed the humorous, annoying, and dedicated side to Secretariat’s trainer. Everything that would give an audience a real sense of who the character was.

The racing scenes in Secretariat were all recreated. There is one scene in the movie that is the historical footage of the actual Preakness race with Secretariat. Another item of interest in the film is that the Triple Crown trophy was the actual trophy on loan from the Kentucky Derby museum.

This is a really great family movie. Having lived through Secretariat’s history making races I can say for the first time viewer you will be inspired by Secretariat’s grace. Definitely put this movie on your must see list.


Penny – Diane Lane
Lucien Laurin – John Malkovich
Penny’s father – Scott Glenn
Phipps – James Cromwell
Eddie Sweat Nelsan Ellis
Jack Tweedy – Dylan Walsh
Bull Hancock – Fred Dalton Thompson
Bill Nack – Kevin Connolly
Pancho Martin – Nestor Serrano

Directed by Randall Wallace
Written by Mike Rich

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