Widescreen wind around my eyes — SECRETARIAT

I saw Secretariat tonight at a sneak preview screening with the rest of the RTIP.  I enjoyed the movie, despite its fuzzy history and melodramatic tendencies.  It is a nice tribute to Big Red.  People who were old enough to remember 1973 will see it as a fun look back in time, and the young’uns will enjoy the racing scenes.  Jim would have loved it (NOT ENOUGH GAFFNEY!!).

I found myself reciting the race calls of the Triple Crown races.  I only tear up over horse races.  By the time they got to Belmont I was on the verge of a meltdown – but not because of “Penny’s heartwarming family scene.”  I was picturing the magnificent performance that I’ve seen thousands of times on video.

Secretariat is one of those personalities difficult to make non-documentary movies about because of the intensity of his fans.  We know all the stats, have seen all the races and can quote the calls, we’ve seen all the interviews and heard all the stories from the major players.

He was such a striking physical specimen that it’s hard to cast stand-ins.

But the most difficult thing for a feature film to capture is the personality, the style, the raw emotion stirred by the original Big Red.

I would have been just as happy had they simply showed the original Triple Crown races on the widescreen, and wrap myself in nostalgia for a time and a hero I never knew.



Filed under Infield Trips, Jim Gaffney, promoting racing, reviews, Secretariat, Secretariat movie

5 responses to “Widescreen wind around my eyes — SECRETARIAT

  1. Pat Houser

    And for those of us not lucky enough to have a press pass, there are trailers available for viewing at IMDB:

    I’m glad to see they hired a first rate cast. LOVE Diane Lane; I’m sure she’s perfect. I hope they didn’t play ‘too’ fast & loose with the facts. And yes, I’m old enough (just barely) to remember Secretariat — the first name of a race horse I ever learned. The reason I went straight to the school library and read about all the others.

    There are lots of beautiful pictures of Big Red online, but this first one pretty much says it all: http://media.photobucket.com/image/secretariat/defrostindoors/history/T026040A.jpg


  2. Vicki

    ” Jim would have loved it (NOT ENOUGH GAFFNEY!!).” You’re scaring me. Has something happend to Jim? I talked to less than four months ago. What gives?

  3. Brock Sheridan

    Good review Candice. I suspect I’ll have the same emotional breakdowns when I finally get to the theater.

  4. Part of the problem is the moment a track got the slots, many of them immediately sold out to a casino company who has use for horse racing of any breed.

    The sad truth is racino slot revenue is welfare and with the perfect storm of near economic collapse, horse racing is going to get less of the revenue from slots.

    Horsemen gave up on the future of horse racing much sooner than most fans did. It it a case of grabbing what they can now becausse the well is going to go dry.

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