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The Secretariat


National Library Board


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Title: Secretariat

Director: Randall Wallace

Cast:  Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Scott Glenn

Year of release: 2011

Running time: 123 minutes

Call number: English AV 791.4372 SEC - [ART]


Summary and Review


Based on William Nack’s book of the same name, Secretariat is the story of how Penny Chenery (Diane Lane), a housewife and mother of four, becomes the owner of Secretariat, the greatest thoroughbred racehorse in American history.


Forced to drop everything in her life and rush to her parents’ home when her mother passes away, Chenery arrives to find her father’s (Scott Glenn) horse farm, mismanaged and in financial disarray. Expected to sell the farm when she takes over, Penny surprises everyone – the male-dominated racing industry and her family alike – when she decides to keep the farm by trying to rear a winning racehorse in Secretariat, affectionately called “Big Red.”


While the book about Secretariat, the film focuses on the people around him. The underdog here is not Secretariat; it is Penny Chenery, who risks estranging her family and literally bets the farm on her belief that she can raise a champion racehorse and successfully manage the farm like her father did. Her stalwart team consisting of a lively horse, an experienced jockey, and her personal assistant who previously worked for her father – round out the human story.


Since becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 1973, the real Secretariat still holds the records for the fastest times in both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes at the time of this writing. He was also the only non-human chosen as one of ESPN's “50 Greatest Athletes of the Century.”


The above review is contributed by Roy See, National Library Board (NLB).


The DVD cover is the copyright of the respective movie production companies.