CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • U
  • Drama, Family
  • 2010

Secretariat

Secretariat

Synopsis

Diane Lane and John Malkovich star in Disney's biographical film about the legendary American racing horse

About

Secretariat was an American thoroughbred horse who in 1973 became the first Triple Crown champion in 25 years and broke records that still stand today. If that sentence may as well be written in a foreign language, you'll probably have no interest in this saccharine Disney horse biography that should come with a warning of contracting diabetes.

After her mother's death and with her father's health in rapid decline, housewife Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) takes control of dad's stables despite having zero interest in or knowledge of horse-racing. She immediately ruffles the feathers of the men who run the racing world, with her assertive, skirt-wearing ways. And so she rounds up a small but loyal team, including trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich, "dresses like Supafly"), who are determined to prove all the naysayers wrong and lead Secretariat ('Big Red' to his friends) to a momentous victory.

Who is this film for? The overly soft-focus, aggressively feel-good style won't work for most adults and its themes of dated sexism plus obscenely long running time will bore most children out of their tiny minds. That pretty much leaves an audience of only John McCririck and the few other people who may know what a Secretariat is.

It's not that horse-racing dramas can't be good films (Seabiscuit! Probably others!), it's just that the life-affirming message is not only served up with such a huge dollop of sickening sugar that it is impossible to care about the horse or any of the people who dedicated their lives to his success.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: John Malkovich, Margo Martindale, Nelsan Ellis, Dylan Walsh, Diane Lane
  • Director: Randall Wallace
  • Screen Writer: Mike Rich
  • Producer: Gordon Gray, Mark Ciardi
  • Photographer: Dean Semler
  • Composer: Nick Glennie-Smith

In a nutshell

Bum-numbingly long bore that has a worrying number of talented actors seemingly involved for a cheque. Watch a film about dinosaurs instead; much more fun.

by Limara Salt

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Like Someone In Love

    Like Someone In Love

    Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami travels to Japan for this reflective drama

  • Film4 Shell

    Shell

    Scott Graham's award-winning Highland drama, starring Chloe Pirrie as a teenager who works at a remote petrol station

    On Film4: 4 Aug 11:05PM

  • Film4 Shell

    Shell on Film4

    Watch Scott Graham's award-winning Highland drama, starring Chloe Pirrie as a teenager who works at a remote petrol station

  • Film4 Mistaken For Strangers

    Mistaken For Strangers on Film4

    Indie rock band The National are followed on their tour by the frontman's brother, an aspiring filmmaker

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share