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'Secretariat' and all the (other) pretty horse movies

”The Godfather,” ”Seabiscuit,” and the other great equestrian movies

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With their picturesque vistas and exhilarating races, equestrian films have long been a tradition in Hollywood. Secretariat, about the 1973 Triple Crown winner, will try to follow in the hooves of these beloved films.

A Day at the Races (1937)
The uproarious Marx Brothers comedy features cinema’s most memorable horse entrance, as Hi-Hat bursts into a sprinkler-soaked sanitarium to rescue Groucho, Chico, and Harpo.

National Velvet (1944)
In her star-making role, a 12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor portrays a spunky girl who trains (with Mickey Rooney’s help) an unruly beast for England’s Grand National steeplechase.

The Black Stallion (1979)
This film is best remembered for its hauntingly beautiful scenes on a deserted island, where a young boy (Kelly Reno) befriends a wild (and fast) Arabian runner.

Seabiscuit (2003)
Nominated for seven Oscars, Gary Ross’ feel-good Depression-era picture tells the true story of how an underestimated steed and its jockey (Tobey Maguire) captured America’s heart.

The Godfather (1972)
No uplifting equine message here. But Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster classic boasts cinema’s most famous horse shot. You know the one. Horse lovers are still recovering from it.

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