Join (free) | Login 

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
   Services MarketPlace (Free to post!)
Where Authors and Readers come together!

Signed Bookstore | Authors | eBooks | Books | Stories | Articles | Poetry | Blogs | News | Events | Reviews | Videos | Success | Gold Members | Testimonials

Featured Authors: John Herlihy, iLiana Margiva, iRalph Cates, iMr. Ed, iHelen Vandepeer, iCatriona King, iRon Cox, i
  Home > Arts/Entertainment > Articles
Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Betty Jo Tucker

· Become a Fan
  Notify me of new titles
  added by this author.

· 224 titles
· 153 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
· Save to My Library
Member Since: Apr, 2002

   Success Story
   Contact Author
   Message Board
   Read Reviews

· The Reel Deal: Writing about Movies

· Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick

· Confessions of a Movie Addict

· Strange Magic: Film Review

· American Sniper: Film Poem and Review

· Favorite Films of 2014

· Big Eyes: Film Review

· Surviving Christmas: Film Review

· Wild: Film Review

· Jessabelle: Film Review and Poem

· Dead and Breakfast: Film Review

· The Two Faces of January: Film Review

· My Old Lady: Film Review

· Gone Girl: Poem and Review

· Father's Day Golfers

· Maleficent Film Poem and Review

· Sandy Hook Lament

· 360: Film Poem

· Bel Ami Poem

· True Grit Poem

         More poetry...
· Funny Ladies of Film

· Judy Reyes Interview

· Oscar Mania

· A Romance with Movies

· Hugh Jackman Celebration

· Movie Memoir Wins Coveted Book Award

· Morgan Freeman Tribute

Betty Jo Tucker, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.

Secretariat: Film Review
By Betty Jo Tucker
Last edited: Thursday, October 28, 2010
Posted: Sunday, October 10, 2010

Share    Print   Save  Become a Fan
Recent articles by
Betty Jo Tucker

• Strange Magic: Film Review
• American Sniper: Film Poem and Review
• Favorite Films of 2014
• Big Eyes: Film Review
• Surviving Christmas: Film Review
• Wild: Film Review
• Jessabelle: Film Review and Poem
           >> View all 214
Excitement mounts with every hoof beat in "Secretariat." Thanks to Randall Wallace’s sure-footed direction, Diane Lane’s award-worthy performance, and racing scenes that take your breath away, this excellent film crosses the finish line as a real crowd pleaser. I’m one of the millions who thrilled at Secretariat’s real-life Triple Crown win in 1973, so I loved watching the cinematic presentations of these races and even clapped enthusiastically along with the rest of the screening audience as the end credits rolled.

Similar to the way Big Red ran most of his races -- coming from behind the pack -- Secretariat starts out slowly, then picks up momentum as the story enfolds. Kudos to Wallace (We Were Soldiers) for allowing us to get settled in with the characters before unleashing the movie’s powerful dramatic elements. Lane (Under the Tuscan Sun) transforms herself into Penny Chenery, a housewife with strong convictions and nerves of steel, who sees great things in store for the foal she wins in a coin toss.


Although faced with almost insurmountable obstacles, Penny’s commitment to this unusual colt never waivers. At great risk to her relationship with her husband (Dylan Walsh) and children, Penny decides to do everything she can to save her father’s horse farm and to make sure Big Red has the best trainer (John Malkovich as Lucien Laurin) and jockey (Otto Thorwath as Ron Turcotte) possible.  


If Secretariat needed an alternate title, it could have been A Woman and Her Horse, for the film is as much about Penny as it is about Big Red. Lane makes us understand the woman’s deep connection with this amazing animal, especially in a poignant scene showing non-verbal communication between the two before an important race.


Fortunately, Lane receives strong support from the rest of the fine cast, including the beautiful horses portraying Secretariat. Malkovich (Burn After Reading) and Margo Martindale (Orphan) add a touch of humor as the unconventional, flashy trainer and Penny’s droll secretary, respectively. Nelsan Ellis (The Soloist) stands out as the gentle groom, the man who spent most time with Secretariat, and Walsh (The Stepfather) is convincing as a husband dismayed about his wife’s absence from the family. In fact, he’s so convincing   I wanted to shake him a couple of times and say, “Get with the program!”      


Of course, central to this story of the greatest racehorse of all time are the racing sequences. Cinematographer Dean Semlar (2012) deserves credit for giving viewers a chance to view part of one race almost the way the jockey sees it as well as for fascinating shots of the horses inside the starting gate. Moments before a particular race begins, Secretariat seems to be giving one of his most important challengers the “evil eye” and vice versa. Details like this enhance the movie’s visual appeal. And, even though I knew how each race would turn out, I couldn’t help feeling excited as the powerful thoroughbreds thundered down the track.  


Skillfully adapted for the screen by Mike Rich (The Rookie) and suggested by Secretariat: The Making of a Champion by William Nack, Secretariat ranks high on my list of all-time favorite racing films. I’m sure it will also end up on many “2010 Best Movies” lists. (Released by Walt Disney Pictures and rated “PG” for brief mild language.)


Review also posted at ReelTalk Movie Reviews.  

Web Site ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Books by
Betty Jo Tucker

Confessions of a Movie Addict

Buy Options
Kindle, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

The Reel Deal: Writing about Movies

Buy Options

Arts/Entertainment Articles
  1. Reuniting West Side Story's Chakiris & Tam
  2. Best DVD Director's Commentaries
  3. American Sniper: Film Poem and Review
  4. Backstory 2--Book Review
  5. Bill Medley Regrets Breaking James Bond Li
  6. Jessabelle: Film Review and Poem
  7. Sinatra, Mitchum, Marvin, & Crawford's Bra
  8. George Pal and Me
  9. Michael Caine Stops Bigot by Using Humor
  10. Favorite Films of 2014
  11. Handsome Jay Hammer of Guiding Light
  12. A Lovely Rose/International Arrangement
  13. Animal House's John Landis and Me
  14. Tony Curtis' Most Romantic Scene Ever
  15. Woody Strode's Body on Display at Disneyla
  16. Lee Marvin Silences Vegas Vic
  17. Big Eyes: Film Review
  18. The Adult Video Awards Show – 1990
  19. Angelina Jolie's 'Salt' Survival Bag
  20. Why Do We Want to be Famous?

You can also search authors by alphabetical listing: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen

© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.