October 8th, 2010
05:07 PM ET

Who's seeing 'Secretariat' this weekend?

Disney’s spin on the story of Secretariat, the horse that became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years in 1973, is what many critics are fondly referring to as “square.” But if you’re in the mood for a wholesome family film – or just want to admire the beauty of a racing horse – then you should place your bets on “Secretariat” this weekend.

The film stars Diane Lane as Penny Chenery, a woman who finds herself with a winning stallion after she takes over her father’s Virginia horse farm. While the plot unravels the familial tension caused by Chenery’s decision to fight her way through the world of racing, some argue that the real winner of the tale is, of course, Secretariat.

Roger Ebert assures viewers in his review that “This isn't some cornball formula film,” noting that “It doesn't have a contrived romance.” "Secretariat," Ebert says, “takes none of those mundane paths. It is a great film about greatness, the story of the horse and the no less brave woman who had faith in him.”

The New York Times, on the other hand, acknowledges that the film is “Squeaky clean and as square as a military flattop,” but is nonetheless a “pleasurable, seductive fantasy,” partly because “the sight of a running horse is a beautiful thing.”

USA Today, however, cautions the potential moviegoer that the film’s sentimentality, which the reviewer believes is doled out with a heavy hand, ends up undermining the story’s impact.

So is “Secretariat” a little too saccharine, or does the sweet tale satisfy? Let us know with your iReport reviews, either with a photo expressing whether you liked it or not, or with a video telling us if we should check it out.


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  1. accurate keyword tool

    I like the helpful information you provide on your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and test once more here frequently. I'm reasonably sure I will learn many new stuff proper here! Best of luck for the next!

    May 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Helpfoals

    Our group enjoed the movie! We are remembered following Secretariat's triple crown campaign and the scenes in the movie were well done. The up close camera angles added intensity. Acting was excellent. To see the great horse flying down the field brought back memories of his great stride of 25 feet. As to his large heart, it was passed down to him on his dam's side. Google "large-heart" or Pocahontas the main mare of the large heart gene, which she passed on to champions of today.

    October 15, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DDSilks

    I definitely want to see this movie. I know Secretariat was a great racehorse, but it says a lot about the owners too. I saw movies about the racehorses Seabiscuit and Phar Lap and enjoyed them tremendously.
    Frankly, I am sick and tired about seeing love stories about who cheats on who, or murder stories about killings, or war stuff!

    October 11, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. april

    This was definitely one of the best films I've seen in a very long time. The characters made sense and related to one another realistically. The actors did a fantastic job. The story was amazing and inspiring. The horse was magnificent. The camera work brought you into the horses world just a little bit. It was a great film in every way.

    October 11, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. Brian

    Secretariat is a true story. I was at Belmont Park that afternoon in 1973 and as he turned the corner heading down the stretch there has a huge gasp from the crowd which was captured accurately in the film. People immediately realized they weren't just watching a horse winning the Triple Crown, but making history as well in the way he was doing it. I should add that Secretariat didn't just have a huge heart as mentioned, he also had possibly the longest stride of any horse who ever raced. He was an absolute pleasure to watch.

    October 11, 2010 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. JEV1A

    Dear New York Times,
    "Square as a Military Flat top? This Film is flat alright, flat well done, great performances and beautiful to watch! Diane Lane is terrific in the lead role but watch for John Malkovich come Oscar time... he cannot be overlooked for his quirky, candid and frankness of his supporting role as the Trainer. One of the best film's of the year!

    October 11, 2010 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. matt

    who's going to see this movie? NO ONE! Disney will be lucky to break even on this one. should have went straight to DVD

    October 11, 2010 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. J9

    I saw this film Secretariat with my three daughters. We all enjoyed it tremendously. It was a family film in all the wonderful ways. A great story well told. A bit of female empowerment too! Was it sentimental? Yes, and it was that good, too.

    October 11, 2010 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. Phoenix3

    If your not a horse lover and don't remember this amazing horse named Secretariat that won the Triple Crown then by all means don't go see the movie; however, you will be missing one of the best movies of the year and I for one think Diane Lane and the horse that played Secretariat both deserve Oscars. Diane made a perfect Penny Tweety and that horse was amazing, the race scenes were fantastic! This is a movie that the whole family can go see without the fear of blood, gore, violence and verbal abuses of the English language, BRAVO Disney!

    October 10, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. musesicman

    http://www.musesicman.com

    October 10, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Denise

    I don't want to see this movie. It is rare that a movie comes out that I want to see, nowadays. I pretty much stick with watching old movies. This does seem like a good family film to see, but I just happen to not be into movies about animals, except comedic cartoons.

    October 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. wishingstar

    Secretariat, the movie, is as great as Secretariat the horse. It's drama is understated and, so, very strong. The filming techniques for the races were varied, so we don't just see the same horses on the track over and over. I already knew what was going to happen and why, but was still riveted. With a MARGIN OF VICTORY OF 31 LENGTHS in The Belmont Stakes (the longest race), it is very, very unlikely any horse will ever top it. SECRETARIAT IS THE GREATEST RACE HORSE WHO EVER LIVED and we all have Penny Chenery to thank for his brilliant racing career. HOW REFRESHING TO SEE A MOVIE THAT DOESN'T RELY ON VIOLENCE AND OFF COLOR HUMOR, there's also comedy and uplifting music. SECRETARIAT, THE MOVIE, HAS EVERYTHING - GO SEE IT!!!

    October 10, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. caroline

    This is a family film. My 5-year old loved it. There are so few movies- and that includes so-called 'kid' movies – that arent' filled with some kind of violence or backstabbing or language, etc. I cheer this film for it's pure sentimentality. Thank GOd a film that features purely something good, and doesn't feel it needs to counter it with something negative just because crticis think that would give it more 'depth'. I wish they would make MORE films like this these days. If you wanted depressing or violence go see something like SAW 3. Now THOSE are the kind of films that are GARBAGE.

    October 10, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pat A

    It was a wonderful movie that could be enjoyed on so many planes by so many people. You don't get many movies like that today. Who wouldn't be moved by people or animals that prevail in spite of the odds? And the cinematography was breathtaking. For those who watched Secretariat's Belmont run, it revived that sense of total awe at what the magnificent creature could do. For those not familiar with horses, like great nature shows, it focuses us on the majesty and courage of these creatures. See it!

    October 10, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gina

    Haven't seen it yet but want to! Probably next weekend!

    October 10, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Petunia

    I got roped into watching this film earlier this afternoon by a couple of horse-loving friends and quickly found out it was seriously not my bag. If you're looking for something predictable and inoffensive that'll may result in your kids becoming obsessed with horses, this is your movie. It seems more bent on being inspiring and feel-good instead of presenting a well-rounded, interesting story with well-crafted characters.

    October 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Anne

    If it is being sentimental to be moved to tears by a movie about the magnificent and noble Secretariat, it is a compliment.

    October 10, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Christina

    What an awesome movie, maybe not as good as others and definitely predictable, but wonderful and awe inspiring nonetheless. Go see it for yourself.

    October 10, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Robin

    A great film about the greatest horse that ever lived. I felt good when I left the theater! How often do you feel that way these days after doing or seeing anything?!?

    October 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  20. AZ Sprintman

    Saw it it was awsome!

    October 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Rich Moran

    Saw the movie- predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless. One thing, though. Did anyone notice that some of the footage of the horses running looked "digitized"? Some of it looked like it was flickering and appeared to be artificial. Just one man's opinion.

    October 10, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  22. Tom fran

    I am not GAY!

    October 10, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  23. Brandon

    lol@people calling horses magical. A corny movie about a rich girl and her beloved horse ? Isn't that what every horse movie is about ? I like the self righteous people who think they're cultured because they are easily amused by a sappy horse racing movie but put down movies with violence. This movie is made for 8 year olds that are obsessed with horses.

    October 10, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  24. Texas

    Watch the actual race footage. The performance power and grace of this horse speaks for itself. I dare say a performance that will never be equaled at Belmont.

    I too watched the original race what great memories!

    October 10, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Texas

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2KfxdjjvDE&w=640&h=390]

      October 10, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • mlneenan

      Well said, Texas. The clip of the Belmont says it all. Perhaps you just had to be there via TV or in person to realize how important he was to this nation that year when so much was wrong. he was beautiful and honest.

      October 11, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  25. Anne

    Having been raised near Hanover County where Secretariat was born, I used to drive by Meadow Farm and see the big statue of Secretariat which is there. Definitely want to see the movie. There is a lot of interesting info at secretariat.com
    and also info about his brother Royal Flush. You can find it by clicking on "spotlights" and find a link about Sec's brother.
    It is a wonderful story about his rescue from a trip to the slaughterhouse and his long life (to 32 yrs old).
    Think all the fuss about your and you're was funny. One of my pet peeves is using your for you're(because of all the texting shortcuts I guess) but in this case your was correct.

    October 10, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  26. Richard

    Go Big Red !!

    October 10, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  27. Mark Silvers

    Should have come our Direct to DVD with the Tinkerbell crap. No kid is going to relate to this horse. Disney missed the mark.

    October 10, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Christina

      My 5 yr old really liked this movie, so unless you are young child please dont speak for other young children. If you have kids, maybe they didnt think it was great but, not all children are going to like the same things.

      October 10, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  28. uisignorant

    So much hate over s stupid movie....

    October 10, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  29. MOBADTHANGOOD

    I won't watch it at the movies.
    I won't watch it on DVD.
    I won't watch it on HBO.
    Maybe when I'm bored and it comes on network TV.
    That will like what? 4 to 5 years from now.
    I will have my green eggs and ham.

    October 10, 2010 at 6:27 am | Report abuse |
  30. JUMPOFF JACKSON

    i've never even heard of this movie.

    October 10, 2010 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
  31. francis464

    I saw it and at the end of the movie everyone clapped...so there....the people of spoken!

    October 10, 2010 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • MOBADTHANGOOD

      francis464"
      They were clapping because it was over and they could get out of the theater.

      October 10, 2010 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  32. cara

    Before I went to the movies I stopped for a moment in the hallway leading from my bedroom to the living room to admire my favorite picture. A signed picture of Secretariat with exercise rider Jim Gaffney Up. Jim signed this for me at the Belmont 8 years ago. I framed it, hung it up, an cherish it. As an avid horseback rider and lover of the Thoroughbred racing industry I thought the movie was spectacular. It was a true breath of fresh air to see a horse the world looked up to in the 1970's be remembered so fondly. Surely it is a shame todays society cannot recognize such athletes as Secretariat as well as Seabiscuit who both brought joy to our nation. It is sad to me that there are so many people who cannot appreciate the time it took and Honor to the athlete to create this movie. Had it been about a football star people would be saying something sifferent i'm sure. I thought Diane Lane played a wonderful Penny. Go see this picture and go with an open mind, you'll suprise yourself I'm sure of it.

    October 10, 2010 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  33. NotAChance

    not a chance will I be seeing this movie. This looks way overly dramatic for it to be any good. I love disney, but no way!

    October 10, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  34. Kentucky

    Secretariat It was a good clean movie about a Dream the Best 2 Min in Sports !!!! By JACK
    The Kentucky Derby NICE

    October 10, 2010 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  35. Lil

    I was privileged to witness all three of Secretariat's great races and from that moment on, I fell in love with him.
    Yes, I loved a horse - a SUPERhorse at that, and I cried so hard when he had to be put down. Secretariat lifted all of us out of a difficult time in our history and gave us great joy.

    October 9, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  36. matt

    A movie about a horse...and horse racing and how it has to do with hope blah blah blah...no thanks. Send me something else besides another Seabiscuit flick.

    October 9, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Laurie

    I just got back from seeing this film. It's a great story about a great athlete and the people who had faith and believed in him. It tells about the strength to overcome the odds, fight for what you believe in, true heart, and the bond that can be formed between humans and the animals they love. It's nice to see a true story that is a happy one, in light of the current state of the world. Who needs more movies with violence and bloodshed...just turn on the evening news.

    October 9, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Ivy

    It was nice to go to a movie with my husband and 10 year old son and a)have everyone like it and b)not have to cringe at foul language and adult situations. Bravo for a wholesome family film.

    October 9, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  39. John Ingram

    I just watched it and it was a really good film! I would suggest everyone go watch it!

    October 9, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Zack, Austin, Texas

    My wife and I saw Secretariat last night and it was simply great. We would recommend that everyone see this movie. It was a sure joy to see something that was pure thrilling entertainment. People go out there and see it.

    October 9, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Mali White

    Great movie. Well acted. A must see.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Steve

    Hey Cheefsfury, English please!

    October 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  43. apmom

    My youngest asked me who is Secretariat ????? Hes 21 and i thought to myself how in the world could you ask me that question. So we have a mother and son movie date tonight to go and see this movie. Im sure if I asked 20 of his friends who Secretariat is they wouldnt know either.

    October 9, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Petunia

      I'm in my late 20s and if anyone asked me "Who's Secretariat?" I doubt I could have given a better reply than "Some famous horse. I dunno." I've never had any interest in sport or horse-racing and I was born longer after Secretariat was retired when he became little more than a quirky footnote in an American history textbook. It has been nearly forty-years, after all.

      October 10, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  44. derptard

    Sounds about as entertaining as a Lifetime movie. No thanks.

    October 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Zooboy

    Diane Lane is a great actress...I thought she was spectacular in "Unfaithful"! :)

    October 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  46. davetharave

    I'm a horse racing fan and remember quite vividly the events surrounding Secretariat's rise to fame . . his 2 year old racing season where he was already being touted as a once-in-a-generation race horse and early favorite to challenge for the triple crown; his unbelievable 3 year old season where he fulfilled all of these expectations and more; the stunning 31 length victory in the Belmont Stakes (if you've never seen the entire replay of this race go find it on Youtube and watch it, it is one of the most amazing athletic performances by a living being thet you'll ever see), and his mostly victory filled career after that and then eventual (and unavoidable) early retirement to stand at stud .. the only aspect of his life where he purportedly performed at a very ordinary level. Perhaps we'll see a future desendant from his bloodline dominate on the racetrack as he once did.

    I just want to note that I believe the advertisements for this (Disney) movie make it sound like Secretariat was another Seabiscuit . . . the unattractive little horse who overcame great odds to even get onto a race track, then went on to an astonishing career and even beating the mighty War Admiral in a match race. Perhaps there just wasn't enough to romanticize about with Secretariat's story . . . and perhaps the story of a horse born tons the better who raced that way would not all by itself sell movie tickets. Next up for Disney – – how the poor, disadvantaged New York Yankees overcame all odds (well some odds anyway) to go on to win 28 World Championships.

    October 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Dagon

    Not interested in the slightest-horse racing is a cruel and stupid sport. You would think the constant deaths and druggings of these beautiful animals would teach some people a lesson about glorifying this sport.

    October 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Audrey

    Let's not forget the other Cinderella story that came out of Secretariat's great career...his first (though unofficial) foal, First Secretary:

    http://www.equiery.com/pdffiles/FirstSecretary.pdf

    October 9, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Helpfoals

    YES! A group of us will be going to see this movie about the great Secretariat! A friend of mine saw it and this is part of what she said:
    "I thoroughly enjoyed the part of the movie that focused on the pedigree of Secretariat's dam Somethingroyal. Secretariat's sire, Bold Ruler was not an endurance runner, but Somethingroyal's sire, Princequillo was. Secretariat had Princequillo running through his veins, no doubt about it. Secretariat was his grandsire's son."

    October 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  50. cant read

    STOP ABUSING HORSES AND GREYHOUNDS IN RACES. ANIMAL ABUSE

    October 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  51. johnrj08

    I am looking forward to seeing this film because I remember watching this incredible creature win the Triple Crown. Secretariat was the Arnold Schwarzenegger of horses. He was a huge, muscular animal that could win a race simply by showing up. If racehorses could actually be intimidated, Secretariat could do it. Secretariat is, to this day, the ONLY horse to run the Kentucky Derby course is less than two minutes. By far, the greatest racehorse of all time. I'd love to know about his story.

    October 9, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  52. LK

    I don't want to see it, because I know what happens to that horse, and I don't want to cry!

    October 9, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      You know what happens and you don't want to cry? Nothing tragic happens to him. He didn't die until 1989, and they don't touch his death in the movie.

      October 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • LK

      They don't? Wheww! Okay, then I'll watch, but I'll probably still cry! LOL!

      October 11, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  53. Ronnie

    NOT ME!

    October 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Zaglossus

    I guess I'm a decadent Bohemian, but I don't even like wholesome family films. And I don't know what is "heartwarming" about this film, as some of the folks who like these types of films called it. Rooting for Secretariat was about like rooting for the NY Yankees.

    October 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Suncatcher

    I remember cheering on Secretariat in 1973. He won the Belmont – and the Triple Crown – by over 30 lengths. No other horse has come close to repeating this since that I know of. Secretariat was back in the barn when the rest of the field was crossing the finish line! Posters and memorabilia was sold all over the country. He was an international sports star. The movie had to be made. The script was already written!

    I had my bubble burst somewhat when Secretariat eventually died of old age and an autopsy was done. Turns out his heart was almost triple the size of a normal horse. Genetic defect. It took away some of the aura surrounding this legend, but "Big Red" will still live on as the greatest race horse ever.

    October 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kari

      Just one correction, he didn't die of old age. He was euthanized due to the tragic disease that is laminitis, a sad ending to a wonderful life.

      October 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Readthebook

      Another correction . . . Secretariat's heart was approximately 1/3 larger in size than that of a normal horse's heart. It was a healthy heart, when he was euthanized in 1989 for laminitis. Read the book to get the facts.

      October 10, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Anne

      To me, that doesnt detract at all. Big heart, great horse.

      October 10, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Suncatcher

      I did do my homework. From NewWorld Encyclopedia and the Vet who did the necropsy on Secretariat:

      Secretariat was known in life as a horse with a large "heart." However, before his burial, he was necropsied at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Thomas Swerczek, the veterinarian who performed the necropsy, claims that he found that Secretariat's heart was the largest he had ever seen in a horse—approximately twice the size of a normal horse's heart. Dr. Swerczek states in correspondence:

      "Certainly, after performing autopsies on several thousand thoroughbred horses, including mares and stallions, no other horse came close to Secretariat’s heart size. The second largest heart I found was the heart of Sham, who actually broke the Kentucky derby record, but still lost to Secretariat. Sham’s heart weighed 19 pounds. The third largest heart I found was stallion Key to the Mint, which was 16 pounds. The majority of all others were smaller, in the range of 10 to 12 pounds. Bold Ruler, the sire of Secretariat had an average size heart. The heart size seemingly is inherited from the female side of the pedigree. When I performed the autopsy on Secretariat, which was necessary because of insurance and we needed to determine the cause of the laminitis, the cause of destruction, I did a cosmetic autopsy. The reason being I did not want to dismantle such a remarkable specimen and the farm personnel and handlers were present to immediately collect all organs in large plastic bags which were immediately returned to the farm to be buried with the body. Normally, with other horses we can keep all organs and the body for further study, or to preserve large specimens, like the heart, but I was not allowed to do this with Secretariat. For this reason, all specimens were immediately collected and returned to the farm, and I did not get a chance to weigh the heart. However, by comparing it to numerous other hearts I got actual weights on, I am certain the weight was between 21 to 22 pounds. So I considered the heart weight officially as 21 pounds. The heart was in perfect shape, not diseased in any way, but just considerably larger than any other horses I autopsied." (see reference below)

      A normal heart size for a thoroughbred is 8½ pounds.

      October 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Jeri L

    I grew up and still live 30 minutes from Churchill Downs, I have not seen the movie yet and hope to soon. The movie should be seen and loved my many as horse racing is a beautiful thing. If no one has ever experienced the magic and pageantry of the Kentucky Derby or grew up around the horse industry they truly need to see it to understand the depth of it and what this horse stood for and still does to this day.

    October 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Pam S

    Secretariat's inspirational story probably pulled this through but NOT the movie making, script or directing. It is a feel good type of movie and very, very Disney. Seabiscuit in my opinion, is a better film, though the visuals in Secretariat are fantastic. It's a good film to go see with the family.
    IMHO, I don't think Disney should have picked up this film. I think Secretariat's story (for those who were around to witness the horse's impact in 1973) did more for the heart & man than Disney portrayed it. Think the film would have done better if it followed a more Seabiscuit-type structure.
    For some reason, it also felt like Disney was cutting corners with this film to keep costs down.

    October 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  58. DANZIG

    Central to the REAL story is the success of Riva Ridge the year before finally allowing patriarch Christofer Chenery the life long ambition of breeding a Derby winner (he was on his deathbed and died before Secretariat's three year old season). This allowed enough money to keep the farm solvent long enough for the Big horse to come to fruition. The portrayal of Lucien Lauren as a clown does him much disservice as well. The agreement amongst the syndication owners was based upon fertility and not wins and finally NONE of these people were particularly religious but the audience has to put up with the Evangelical director forces upon us. And the schmaltz that somehow this very capable woman had that much input into his creation is baloney as she has admitted often that Riva was her favorite and to leave that out is preposterous.

    October 9, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • mlneenan

      I was afraid there would be no mentiion of Riva Ridge. I have often heard Penny Chenery say that he was the horse she loved. He saved the farm. She had great respect for Secretariat but we have to remember that she got him by default for losing a coin toss. Ogden Phipps got he choice of the first two foals and Penny Chenery, the loser, was to get choice of the next two foals. When one of the mares did not conceive, she got Secretariat by default.

      Is the story corny or cheesy?? Of course. But it was corny and cheesy when it happened. I saw all 3 races and cried with each one. I kept my copy of TIME with Secretariat on the cover and I cried again when I learned he had been put down. he was the most amazing athlete I have ever seen.

      October 11, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  59. JohnB

    Disney wants me to spend 50 bucks to see a movie about a horse that (spoiler here) runs really fast and wins 3 races. Let's add in the popcorn and sodas and we're over 100 for the family. No...sorry. Put some explosions in it and maybe some laser beams...in other words...make me HAVE to see it on the big screen for that kind of money. Now..should the theaters get over the fact that their vomit smelling popcorn isn't worth 7 dollars a bucket then we'll talk.

    October 9, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  60. Gabe

    This film is a beatiful one. I saw it and i'm not a cryer but had tears in my eyes no less than three times throughtout the movie. There literally are no complaints. I think it could be the feel good movie of the year. Randall Wallace who was part of Braveheart, beautifully executed this one. I took my children, ages 5,7,9 and they were all captivated and into the movie the whole time. that was a bit of a surprise, but really cool to see them engage the story.

    October 9, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  61. Ken from FL

    To Koga:

    Who would have thought Kentucky could produce a horse-hater, but apparently it did. Secretariat was a magnificent creature; too bad you can't appreciate that.

    October 9, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  62. Jan in NoGA

    As an avid Secretariat fan, I eagerly awaited this movie for 2 years and was not disappointed. There was so much material to work with, I do wish they could have put more in but overall it does deserve an A. Not necesssarily a fan of any of the actors in it (except Fred Thompson) but Diane Lane did do a good job. The closeup racing scenes were too short and jerky and none of the standins captured the beauty of how that horse really moved. Loved 'discovering' the real Penny in the Belmont fan shots-I'd forgotten she had a cameo. She has never been less than gracious in all these years and more internet posters could use a good shot of that. It's a great family movie, not cloying at all, but then I became an adult that year and I think they touched so many parts of the time in a way that complemented the storyline.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  63. Rachel

    Just left the theater moments ago. Secretariat is FABBBBBBULOUS!

    And to Diana Lane: You were BEYOND AMAZING! Such a natural, I could hardly believe you were acting!! ;-) As always, you have shown such grace in your acting skills. I just love you to pieces!

    October 9, 2010 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  64. Emma J. Orta

    Just saw this movie tonight. Exactly what is needed right now. A good, clean, feel good movie. Beautiful shots of the races. This is just what the doctor ordered. :)

    October 9, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  65. Shirley M. Kerman

    I saw the film Secretariat, and thought it was a wonderful, inspiring, beautiful movie with very exciting racing scenes. All the actors did a great job, but, top recognition should go to the horses used in the film. They performed beautifully, producing great excitement. Diane Lane was excellent, as usual.

    October 9, 2010 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  66. Freddie

    Travers did not say ONE word that had any validity AT ALL. Play the video again and tell me what you learned from his responses. Zero.

    October 9, 2010 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  67. Meghan

    Well I have to disagree with the rave reviews above. I just got back from seeing it with a friend and feel that it deserves about a C- for a grade.

    On the positive side: the racing scenes are absolutely BEAUTIFULLY shot. They capture the excitement and energy of a horse race so perfectly and the power that these animals wield. I also thought Diane Lane was excellent and that the costumes were well done – period appropriate without screaming 1970s.

    But the rest of it was a cheesy, hokey, ham-fisted MESS. The message was fine (follow your dreams, work hard, etc etc etc) but it was hammered into the ground with the aid of a terrible script and a combination of good actors who were working with awful material plus some terrible actors (the girl who played Penny's daughter in particular). The gospel choir soundtrack – what the heck was that all about? And John Malkovich cannot speak French. We get it, Lucien's French Canadian. That doesn't mean I should be subjected to hearing Malkovich butcher the language for absolutely no reason.

    October 9, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      What was the gospel choir soundtrack about you ask – it was about shameless pandering to the Christian Right.

      October 9, 2010 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      Meggie dear, by your comment it is more than clear that you wouldn't know a good movie if it bit you in the rear end. Lousy acting, lousy script? ROFl! I'm sureeeeee!

      Not only was the direction outstanding and the script, fabulous, the acting was amazing. And, Diane Lane was incredibly wonderful as she is in all of her movies.

      I pity you because you are missing out on SO much!

      October 9, 2010 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
    • trulyrough

      Rachel, You're so right. Diane Lane was wonderful in her films such as: Lady Beware, Jumper, Perfect Storm, Judge Dredd, Knight Moves, ....

      October 9, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca

      John Malkovich speaks french. Your assertion that he doesn't makes me think this movie met be pretty good after all.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  68. nathanc

    Saw it tonight . . . well worth it. Go see it if you haven't.

    October 9, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  69. Brandon72

    No, who the heck cares about horse racing?

    October 8, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  70. wesleyj

    Just came back from watching it, having known the subjects years ago, I found it totally based on fact and probably one of the best that I have ever seen, Kudos to Disney, everyone should go see this one.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Joanna K. Murray

    The "Secretariat" story IS sentimental to most people, horse people and non-horse people included, because he was SUCH an amazing horse that raised the bar for Thoroughbreds and the TB industry as a whole. I hope the Thoroughbred breed will benefit from this film that as it shows their heart, soul, and loyalty.

    And Koga, ALL horses are interesting, as they have more integrity and heart than most humans I know. Not everyone thinks of them as "tools", oh wait, only the crass. classless "tools" do...

    October 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  72. jimmy23

    My wife wanted to see it. So I went. Was not disappointed. Best horse movie I've seen in quite a while. Pleasantly surprised. And just to clear the air, I'm not a middle aged female or a 3 year old.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Bruce Springsteen

    Only middle aged women and 3 year olds are seeing this tripe. Another bomb from Diane Lane.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Wrong , Mr. "Springsteen "- When I went to see the movie, there was a wide variety of ages at the film. In fact, our audience clapped at the end, too-imagine that. Diane Lane is a superb actress, and if you watched more than one or two of her films, you'd hopefully see that she embodies the skill of a seasoned actress-unlike many of the reality-star "actors" that Hollywood is churning out these days. Elevate your standards and go to a inspiring film once in awhile. :)

      October 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • joni

      I disagree with Bruce Springsteen ~ ~ ~ there were ALL ages in the theater yesterday when we went to see it. Diane Lane did a great job , but the best one was John Malkovich! He's WONDERFUL !!! It was a lovely film, with a very happy ending and NO violence or nudity or shooting or bad language! The audience clapped at the end. Producers and Directors in Hollywood should make more films like this one.

      October 10, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Runkrod

    Had my doubts. Kids wanted to see it, so I gave in. Assumed it was going to be another Dreamer or Seabiscuit. Was wrong. This was a very well done movie. Laughs and drama, all in the right places. Best thing was it is a true story that didn't need any embellishment or hollywood changes. I came away very impressed.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  75. koga

    As someone who is from Kentucky, has worked with horses, and been a member of national championships of assorted types, let me say that there has never been, nor shall there ever be, a horse that is interesting. They are tools that humans use to get work (or play) done and nothing more. Unless you eat them, then they are a nice piece of lean protein.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tuna

      Recipes, please?

      October 8, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Ed

      I recognize you – you resemble the posterior of a friend of mine.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Courtney

      Koga,
      You are disgusting and a piece of crap. Horses are one of the most beautiful creatures on this planet. Everyone, go see "Secretariat" and find out how magical they can be.

      October 9, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Native Texan

      I feel sorry for the horses you worked with. I've had horses all my life, and they are among the smartest, most beautiful creatures on the planet. I have nothing but respect for them, and admiration for Secretariat, one of the greatest athletes ever.

      October 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • PatA

      Koga, if you are telling the truth about your experience and not just trolling, I presume this is why you no longer work for any " national championships of assorted types" ?? You lack the vision, breadth of spirit and generosity to appreciate horses. I can pity this, just as I pity the tone-deaf when exposed to music. Horses are one of the most interesting creatures of those man has domesticated. And they have vivid personalities and some are capable of problem-solving and altruistic behaviors that are not taught and do not benefit them. I have spent a good part of my life with horses ( not making a penny off them) and I have witnessed this.

      October 10, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Grace

    Just got back from watching Serectariat and it was a very good wholesome movie. They should do more family movies with heart like this one. I actually cried in some scenes....I'm sure it will be up for an award. Great acting!

    October 8, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  77. chuckfromcharleston

    ....will see “Secretariat.”

    October 8, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  78. chuckfromcharleston

    People too old to see “Secretariat.”

    October 8, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Brian

    This is just another Seabiscuit (2003) and Dreamer film. Even how it is marketed. I remember the horse but nothing wants me to go see it. The best horse racing film is the Black Stallion.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Waterville Farm

      The Black Stallion was not a true story! Secretariat is.

      October 8, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      I'm looking forward to seeing the movie Secretariat, but you're right.....The Black Stallion is the best horse/horse race movie ever!

      October 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Margaret

    I've always had a soft spot for Secretariat. I'd go see this film in a heartbeat. And the NYT is absolutely right about the sight of a running horse being a beautiful thing. Previews of this film entice for that very reason.

    October 8, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Susan

    cheefsfury – you're a moron.
    I have already bought my tickets and will be going tonight. Gotta love a good horse story.

    October 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • terri

      I agree with Susan................
      Cheefsfury: you are an idiot. You wouldn't know a good movie if you saw one!!! Secretariat was a wonderful film, the audience loved it, and it was a happy ending, without violence, shooting, cussing, nudity, or poor grammer.

      October 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Parkerman

    We need more movies like this, just a simple story of greatness and simplicity. Perfect postive reinforcement for the family in these stressful times.

    October 8, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas

      I couldn't agree more. We saw the movie last night and it had a strong values message and something intangible that you don't normally see today in films, a story of courage and a belief that against all odds there is a higher purpose that drives the good in us to reach and exceed our potential.

      I hope the public embraces this film because the message in my opinion is a core message that we as a society need to reflect upon.

      October 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Sandy

    Cheefsfury, unable to process in your mind anything in a movie unless there's a car chase or bullets flying everywhere??? Secretariat was a wonderful and amazing race horse with a great heart and speed like the wind. There will be more than one person going to see it. It's OK that a story line and dialogue would be difficult for you to handle.

    October 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      That should be Youre...its a contraction of you and are. Now all you need to do is find out what the word contraction means.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Wow James, nice attempt at a correction, except you misspelled "you're!"

      October 9, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Now all you need to do is find out what the word "apostrophe" means.

      October 9, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Me and you

      James – Since you "aimed your hand to teach," yes, you are is contracted as you're, use the apostrophe, and the contraction of it is = it's. One uses its in all other cases. It isn't easy to be grammarically correct when texting or writing quick replies, but if you're going to correct people, do that right.

      October 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laurie

      I just got back from this movie and it was great! I want to post about it, but find myself first coming to Sandy's defense. Your use of the word "your" in this instance is grammatically correct. If you were to use a contraction of "you're" in your sentence, you would be saying in essence "unable to process in you are mind"... Doesn't make sense to me, but maybe James went to a different kind of school?

      October 9, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christy

      James, you need to get a life!

      October 10, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  84. cheefsfury

    NO ONE WIS GONNA WATCH THIS GARBAGE. POST ABOUT A GOOD MOVIE

    October 8, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicci

      Most Americans wouldn't know a good movie if it came up and introduced itself so that is why this movie is getting such negative reviews. They make a movie about something that really happens and people don't think that it's worth spending money on but now if it had violence in it yeah they would be jumping into the seats. There's nothing like watching a person get hacked to death and god knows what else. Gee sounds like the evening news. To me horror movies of today are garbage but not a movie like "Secretariat."

      October 8, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wick

      My wife and I saw Secretariat tonight, and at the end of the movie, a majority of people clapped. How many other movies do you go to where people clap at the end. It was good family entertainment and the horse racing photography was great. We strongly recommend it.

      October 8, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Foxhop

      Secretariat was a fun story and an instructive business tale. It would have been more fun if the people around me had accepted the outstanding odds that I offered on each race.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Courtney

      This movie is not garbage. It is a fantastic film and very inspiring at the same time. I hope it gets plenty of award nods. Everyone that has heart and uses it, should go see this film. Take your kids too!

      October 9, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Lswingly

      No actually it has nothing to do with violence. Most people won't go to see this movie because they flat out don't care about horse racing. The whole concept of the story is pretentious and I don't care about a poor little rich girl who is faced with the decision of selling a horse worth millions or her ranch. Such a rough life I tell ya. The movie could easily be well made but the whole foundation of the story lacks any sort of appeal to me.

      October 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I am looking forward to seeing this movie. It's a great story and it's real. I agree Nicci. Reality TV and all the other garbage that passes for entertainment today, a good story about once-in-a-lifetime horse is a refreshing change.

      October 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Manon

      Good, clean and fun. It was a feel good movie for a Friday night. There was lots of clapping in the theatre. I think that it is so refreshing to have a movie that is so easy to enjoy.

      October 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christy

      This was a great family movie! Everyone go and take your kids and the grandparents. Everyone in the theater clapped when the movie was over, how often does that happen. Well worth seeing. We need more wholesome movies like this one.

      October 10, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • sadface

      @Lswingly

      You mad bro? Jealous of the poor little rich girl? Need a tissue? Stop me when I get to the right answer. No one is going to make a movie of your mundane life, you mad?

      October 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Z

      I found the movie inspiring, uplifting and just plain entertaining. It had a great story, it was exciting and of course it is from a screenplay that we know is not a 100% reenactment of reality yet it was believable and genuine. It sounds like a few others here, besides me, like an occasional escape from the negativism and unending stream of bad news and sensationalism that is part of daily life in every single medium one encounters. This is a reason I like to go to movies and it is very hard to find this anymore in the barrage of digital effects and absurdly unrealistic and illogical plots that are the basis of most of the "blockbusters". If that seems "square" or "corny" to some they would best stick to the usual fare. There are plenty available each week.

      I hope the movie does fabulously well so that Disney, and other film makers have the courage to make a few more movies where one can walk out of the theater with a sense of enjoyment and maybe even the belief that despite all the unhappiness and distress going in the world there is just a chance that having courage and trying to do the right thing can payoff for those who try.

      October 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • MIke S

      It was a very good movie. Hard to find a movie that makes you feel good at the end of it. Great for any type of movie watcher. Its not about the horse, its about the owner. Everyone knows what happens with the horse, few know about what the woman sacrificed. Everyone claps when he wins the kentucky derby

      October 10, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tammy

      My husband and I saw this movie and it is wonderful! We were lucky enough to get to visit Claiborne farms and see and touch Secretariat years ago. I will never forget watching the Kentucky Derby with my Father and seeing this magnificent animal come from behind and win. We will buy this movie the day it comes out. I have come to know that usually what the critics hate, I love. Go figure!

      October 11, 2010 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      I went to see Secretariat Friday. I loved it! I have noticed lots of times if the reviews are bad I love the movie and if the reviews are good I usually hate the movie!

      October 11, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  85. Dawn

    Tell her they brutally murdered several horses in the making of the film, then she'll want to see something else.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |

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