Film Title: Secretariat
Starring: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Margo Martindale
Director: Randall Wallace
Smiley Faces Score (out of 5): 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
I’ve been intending to create a series of inspiring films reviews for quite some time … years, in fact. So it’s ironic that a film I had no desire to see should become the first review I’ve actually bothered to write.
The reviews for Secretariat have been pretty mixed, with a lot of critics calling it dull and boring. So I had low expectations when we decided to watch the film for ‘family night’. On top of that, I already knew the ending … the horse wins. So where’s the drama?
It turns out I was mistaken.
Secretariat is a terrific film, and is one of the most inspiring films I’ve seen in a while.”
I’m old enough to remember when Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973, but I was too young at the time to fully appreciate the immensity of Big Red’s performance. It really goes down in history as one of, if not the greatest sports performance of the last 100 years … if not ever.
After being named horse of the year as a two-year-old in 1972, there was tremendous anticipation to see how Secretariat would perform as a three-year-old competing with the “big boys”. He put an exclamation point on his legacy by winning the 1973 Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the the Triple Crown, by an astonishing 31 lengths, and still holds the world record to this day. I recall seeing a documentary several years back that referred to Secretariat’s performance at the Belmont as the greatest performance in sports history.
After watching this inspiring film, I’m even more awestruck than before.
The story of Secretariat is the story that almost never happened.
Secretariat the film is about the unwavering faith held by Penny Chenery who refused to allow the legacy of her father’s stables to lay in ruin and instead overcomes very long odds to allow Secretariat to “run his race”.
That’s probably the metaphor that appeals the most to me, the willingness and determination to allow yourself to run your own race, rather than listen to the naysayers.
This is the dominant message of the film, and the performances by the cast are warm and convincing.
Secretariat is a terrific example of how persistence can make the impossible possible.
Here’s a YouTube clip I found of the actual 1973 Belmont Stakes and the astounding performance of Secretariat, the greatest race horse of all time … and an inspiration for today.
You can order it now from Amazon. (Disclaimer – this is an affiliate link.)
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An Intrinsic Coach® and enthusiastic student of personal development, I've been actively writing on a range of related topics for over 10 years. The range of topics I share has varied over time, but I try to pick ones that will hopefully strike a chord with you. You may or may not always enjoy everything I write, but if you appreciate the effort please make a point to share it with someone else.
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