Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +4

Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Dylan Walsh, Scott Glenn, Dylan Baker, Margo Martindale, Nelsan Ellis, Otto Thorwarth, Fred Thompson, AJ Michalka, Kevin Connolly, Eric Lange, James Cromwell. Drama. Written by Mike Rich. Directed by Randall Wallace.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Based on the remarkable true story, Secretariat chronicles the spectacular journey of the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over her ailing fatherís Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Chenery - with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich)ómanages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and what may be the greatest racehorse of all time.


In 1973, Secretariat became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in 25 years, setting race records that still stand today in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes.

Penny Chenery, now 87, is an integral resource in the making of the film. She also appears as an extra in one of the filmís scenes.

In 1973, Secretariat graced the covers of three magazines the same week: Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The last major studio release about horseracing was Seabiscuit way back in 2001(thatís 49 years in horse life), so I guess itís time we once again learn just how difficult it is to own, train and race thoroughbreds. Ever notice how these films are always about the underdogs, never the multi-millionaires. Well, the twist here is that the lead isnít a desperate man. Itís about a desperate woman and sheís played very well by the gifted Diane Lane.

I have never had an interest in gambling. Iíve never even been to Las Vegas. So seeing a movie about horseracing isnít going to tempt me to go to the track. But I want to be sensitive to those who struggle with a gambling addiction. No movie is worth being tempted toward self-destruction. Got a problem with gambling? Then donít go to this film. That said, Secretariat is not about financial gain (thatís how we know itís a movie, not real life). While wagering is central to horseracing in the real world, it is not a focal point to this film. Itís about surviving, overcoming, caring, and faith in what you believe.

Though a great deal of the dialogue is heavy-handed, sometimes even corny, still the film is uplifting, and downright satisfying. Life As We Know It, Stone and Itís Kind of a Funny Story open this weekend, but if you are looking for a film that energizes, engrosses and thoroughly entertains, this one is the real thoroughbred.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Disney Studios

Crude Language: One coarse joke
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: A couple of scenes feature social drinking.
Other: None
Running Time: 112 minutes
Intended Audience: Family

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