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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

cinematic roots of: ‘Secretariat’

No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.

In Secretariat, a true story of the fastest horse ever to win the Triple Crown, his owner (Diane Lane) takes huge business risks to promote and race the animal in a time — the 1970s — when women making multimillion-dollar deals was not the done thing. This flick sprang from (among other films):

Seabiscuit (2003), which also tells the amazing true story of a horse who won races and inspired a nation.

Lonesome Dove (1989), for more of Diane Lane in an historical context; in this TV miniseries, she’s another kind of businesswoman with an in-demand career on the Great Plains after the Civil War.

Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005), for another tale of girls who love ponies; here, Dakota Fanning nurses an injured horse back to health and on to racing victory.

We Were Soldiers (2002), for more from director Randall Wallace; this film is about a cavalry unit, though not the horsey kind, in the Vietnam War.
Where to buy:
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Lonesome Dove [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Seabiscuit [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
We Were Soldiers [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]



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