Movie Review: Secretariat Blu-ray

A horse race for all time and a winner of not only the Triple Crown but also setting records that more than 25 years later still hold up is what Secretariat is all about.

Film making 19/25
Video 20/25
Audio 22/25
Bonus Features 18/25
Total 79/100


Winning the Kentucky Derby and setting a track record for the 1 1/4 mile long race that has yet to be broken was just the start of this horse’s historic racing career. In 21 races Secretariat finished 20 times in the top three places but this is not just about Secretariat, the movie is about his rise to prominence in horse racing history.

The movie Secretariat starts with the death of mother Helen Chenery and further winds up with daughter Penny Chenery taking over the family horse farm operations. Penny’s father Christopher Chenery is old and suffering from dementia so Penny vows to carry on her father’s dreams of raising a winning race horse.

Christopher Chenery and others breed horses but instead of paying for the breeding they would toss a coin to decide who received the offspring of their breeding. They agreed on rules for this arrangement and when Penny was involved due to her father’s illness she decided that the offspring of Somethingroyal and Bold Ruler would be a winner.

The coin toss between Penny and fellow stable owner Ogden Phipps was to decide who got the better of the deal between a brood mare for future breeding or the colt who would have to prove himself in racing in order to be valuable. Penny believed that through the previous bloodlines the colt was to be the better of the deal and was sure Phipps thought getting the mare was the top choice.

Phipps won the coin toss and chose the mare while Penny was more than happy to settle for the colt that would prove to be the historical winner. The colt was born to a small audience who saw the colt had promise with the way he got to his feet so quickly after his birth.

Penny, being a woman had a strike against her in the horse racing circuit of the 1970’s and had more strikes against her in her bid for horse racing immortality. By the end of the film you know the outcome but it still is an entertaining movie and well worth finding out how things happened.

Secretariat is one of those underdog films that Disney is infamous for and it does tug at the heart strings more than once. The actors are more than what makes this film so enjoyable, they really put their own hearts into their characters.

Secretariat is a great film and a soon to be classic of family friendly films that include all you need for an entertaining as well as informative movie based on real life events. The video and audio are great and typical of Disney quality Blu-ray offerings with great but not exceptional video.

A few softer scenes crop up and some shots are less than stellar quality, especially the horse mounted shots but over all video quality is much better than average. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound is fantastic and just about perfect with excellent surround and well done clear voice.

There are a few scenes with good use of surround but overall the audio is better than video and well worth the efforts to make this a great entertainment value. Bonus content is also well worth checking out and with about an hour of features, director’s audio commentary and a new trailer navigation the Blu-ray edition is a worthwhile purchase.

Secretariat on Blu-ray looks great, sounds even better and has enough extras to make the slightly more costly edition a good purchase and a great family friendly film.

Secretariat Website