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Screenplay by Mike Rich
Based on a book by William Nack
Directed by Randall Wallace

IN SHORT: nnn. [Rated . minutes]

The greatest racing horse of my generation -- perhaps the greatest ever, say those who would know better -- was named Secretariat. Like any templated drama, said horse wasn't thought much of. He then outraced everything in the gate and, well, became the greatest of all time.

]I'm going to write this up under my occasionally used "family movie" ratings for my site -- that means no Dollar Rating. Simply, with the $$ rating the film wouldn't do well (probably in the $3-$4 "watch at home" area). For those of us old enough to remember 1973 and who may want to expose our kids to the WOW of the Triple Crown win, the big question (I) walked out of the screening room with was: What happened with the marriage? That isn't what the film is about nor is it something you would want to delve into with a family friendly film. It is what it is and what was there was not properly addressed. Having two characters die early on isn't helpful either -- darn that History -- but that was handled fairly well. Which leaves the need to explain, or not depending on the parents lugging their kids, the whole Vietnam thing. I don't want to suppose that the parents were pro-war at the time while the kiddie was anti-war but that's how it came off to me. With that kind of lightning rod sitting among the human characters, y'all made the choice to keep the film kid friendly, which is fine but didn't add a lot to the story. Again, this viewer brings in reality ... I had the same thing with my parents back in '73. Dad was pro-war, mom was hedging and I was against. It was a really big deal. In dancing around all the non-racing stuff you lose a way to make the characters fuller and better rounded. Maybe "mom" did keep her mouth shut but that's not what was happening back then... ...and this is a film about the greatest racing horse of all time and he ain't talking. So what'cha gonna do? I wasn't terribly disappointed with Secretariat but given that I knew the ending <g> it was all the extra, human stuff that was of most interest. In that, Malkovich steals the whole thing. As for the horse racing sequences; in and of themselves they were OK, but nothing to have me jumping up and down cheering. Can't say what kids who don't know the story will do. I'm guessing that the smaller the kiddie the better the reaction will be.



On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Secretariat, he would have paid . . .



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