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Secretariat (2010)

PG  |   |  Drama, Family, History  |  8 October 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 19,852 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 135 user | 160 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

Penny Chenery Tweedy and colleagues guide her long-shot but precocious stallion to set, in 1973, the unbeaten record for winning the Triple Crown.



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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
E.V. Benjamin (as Mike Harding)
Keith Austin ...


Housewife and mother Penny Chenery agrees to take over her ailing father's Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Chenery -- with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin -- manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in twenty-five years. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Impossible True Story


Drama | Family | History | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 October 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A paripa  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,694,770 (USA) (8 October 2010)


$59,699,513 (USA) (4 February 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Penny Chenery was on set for much of the filming. She was absent when she took an afternoon nap, but otherwise was there each morning and later in the day. See more »


At Aqueduct race track the police are shown wearing Nassau county uniforms. Aqueduct is located in Queens NY which is part of NYC. The police should be NYC cops. Belmont Park is located in Nassau County NY which is not part of NYC. See more »


Penny Chenery: More than three thousand years ago a man named Job complained to God about all his troubles and the Bible tells us that God answered. Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? He paused fiercely, rejoicing in his strength and charges into the fray. He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing, He does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Zappa Studios talent for extra work. See more »


Featured in Richard Roeper & the Movies: Secretariat (2010) See more »


It's Who You Are
Written by Randall Wallace
Performed by AJ Michalka
See more »

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User Reviews

Secretariat, U.S. Triple Crown Champion 1973. Penny Chenery, Owner, Housewives Champion.
10 February 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Secretariat is directed by Randall Wallace and written by Mike Rich and Sheldon Turner. It stars Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Margo Martindale, Amanda Michalka, Dylan Walsh, Scott Glenn, Kevin Connolly, Dylan Baker, James Cromwell and Drew Roy. Music is by Nick Glennie-Smith and cinematography by Dean Semler.

With the success and quality of production that came with 2003's Seabiscuit, it was perhaps inevitable that someone would turn their hand to making a film about a horse that many agree is the greatest American horse of all time. With Disney funding the cash flow and an A list cast assembled, Secretariat the movie is every inch the professional production you would expect. However, thematically it's surprising that the horse is very much secondary to the story of his owner, Penny Chenery (Lane).

Chenery's story as written on the film version page, is a worthy one to tell, for sure. After suffering family bereavements, she stood firm after winning the horse on a coin toss to guide the horse to the greatest of American horse racing triumphs. This in a male dominated sport dominated by chauvinists. Further more, Chenery had to hold her own family together whilst running the Chenery ranch. Inspirational woman for sure, and Lane is naturally steely in the role, but there just isn't great human interest drama crafted by director Wallace to warrant the film being primarily about the good lady.

Naturally, when the horse racing takes centre stage it's gripping and exciting, the race segments very well filmed, but we already knew that Secretariat was an awesome horse, how he got to be that way isn't known to us. Malkovich plays trainer Lucien Laurin with moody flamboyance, but we see next to nothing of his training of the horse! It's one of the many oversights that stop the film competing with Seabiscuit. It may seem unfair to compare the two, but the makers of Seabiscuit got the blend right whilst cleaving close to the facts to tell their story.

There's also the controversy factor, the fudging of the facts to suit the makers ends, where some characterisations have been pointedly argued to be incorrect and a deviation from truths to the point we don't have the real story of what made Secretariat so great. Whilst it spins a rags to riches story when in reality it wasn't, Riva Ridge anyone? Where's the Preakness clocking controversy? These facts would have boosted the film no end, but I guess this is the price we pay for having Disney funding the film supposedly about the magnificent beast in the title.

Come the home straight the music does swirl and the cheers go loud, and undeniably the uplift factor takes a hand, but there's too much wrong all told to make this a great picture. I have to say it, go watch Seabiscuit instead. 6.5/10

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