The wholesome, family-friendly movie "Secretariat" has sparked a debate about Nazis, propaganda, white power and a host of other unsavory stuff Disney probably didn't bargain for.
Mostly the conversation has raged online between film critic Roger Ebert and Salon reviewer Andrew O'Hehir, but movie-loving bloggers everywhere are weighing in.
It started with O'Hehir's review of "Secretariat." Here are a few examples:
-- "The welcoming glow that imbues every corner of this nostalgic horse-racing yarn with rich, lambent color comes from within, as if the movie itself is ablaze with its own crazy sense of purpose. (Or as if someone just off-screen were burning a cross on the lawn.)"
-- "It's legitimate to wonder exactly what Christian-friendly and 'middle-American' inspirational values are being conveyed here, or whether they're just providing cover for some fairly ordinary right-wing ideology and xenophobia."
-- " 'Secretariat' is a work of creepy, half-hilarious master-race propaganda almost worthy of Leni Riefenstahl ... [about how] all right-thinking Americans are united in their adoration of a Nietzschean Überhorse."
That was a little over the top for Ebert, who wrote a lengthy takedown of O'Hehir and defense of "Secretariat," the movie, and the horse.
"His review resembles a fevered conspiracy theory," Ebert wrote. "I saw a straightforward, lovingly crafted film about a great horse."