Monday, 10 August 2020
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Tuesday, 12 October 2010 11:25

SecretariatThere is something wholesome and comforting about a good old-fashioned horse movie. Maybe it’s because horses bring to mind my childhood self who, like most little girls, couldn’t get enough of them. Or maybe it’s because there are so few great simple stories worth telling, and the story of Secretariat is one of them.

Based on the true story of Secretariat, a racehorse that in 1973 won the first triple crown in 25 years by an astounding 31 length victory! Hollywood didn’t need to embellish on that to make it an incredible story. His owner, Penney Chenery Tweedy (Diane Lane) was also an inspiring woman, who took it upon herself to turnaround her ailing father’s horse ranch and bring it back to it’s former glory. To do so, she places all her hopes on the young red colt that eventually brings her victory.

Diane Lane is certainly a vision with her golden hair and refined looks, in perfect knitted 70’s separates. She’s a great actress playing an intriguing woman, but the script doesn’t give us enough of an emotional connection to her. She gives some stirring speeches, which occasionally made me roll my eyes; and she misses her young family who are growing up without her. There seems to be no love between her and her husband (Dylan Walsh) who only seems to miss having a cook/maid at his beck and call. They greet each other with chaste kisses on the cheek despite weeks apart.

Lane and MalkovichI never thought I’d say the name John Malkovich in reference to a Disney movie about horses, and yet here he is! He plays Lucien Laurin, a French-Canadian horse trainer. Malkovich is unmistakably NOT French and makes no attempt at an accent, but he won me over anyway with his dry humor and crazy fashion.

By far the best parts of this movie star the horse. It’s awe inspiring to see the beauty in the movement of these incredible animals, and the filming of the race scenes is spectacular. A camera mounted on the horse actually gives us a “horse-eye view” of what it’s like to fly around that racetrack. And one slow motion scene shows the mechanics of a horse galloping at full-speed, his hooves barely touching the ground.

Beautifully filmed, though perhaps not as emotionally involving as it could have been, Secretariat is an old fashioned Disney family film.


Directed by Randall Wallace, Starring Diane Lane and John Malkovich.

Ron Turcotte, the jockey that rode Secretariat to fame, is from Drummond, New Brunswick and still lives in Grand Falls.

He was left paraplegic after tumbling off a horse and now helps raise funds for disability programs.