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This Oscar®-nominated* adaptation of Peter Shaffer's Tony Award-winning play erupts on the screen with the same power and passion as the stage original. Richard Burton gives "one of his best performances ever" (Boxoffice) in this "elegant and provocative" (Newsweek) tale ofmyth and madness. What would drive Alan Strang (Peter Firth), a troubled adolescent stable boy, to blind six horses with a metal spike? Psychiatrist Martin Dysart (Burton) investigates these unspeakable acts and delves deep into Alan's psyche, confronting the mysteries of sexual passion and madnessas well as the dark demons buried within his own soul. *1977: Actor (Burton),Supporting Actor (Firth), Adapted Screenplay
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The boy is sent to a hospital where he is under the care of psychiatrist Martin Dysart (Richard Burton.) In treating the boy, Dysart begins to confront his own inner struggles, which are almost as, if not more, fascinating than the boy's. He wrestles with questions of how to live well and passionately and whether a sense of awe and connectedness are possible in the world. Is he (Dysart) a healer or a hack?
Whether you agree with Dysart's conclusions (playwright Peter Shaffer's conclusions?) or not, the film raises the questions very well--questions that are relevant and engaging to anyone.
Although highly dramatic and stylized at times, the film is true to its theatrical roots and it works. It is reminiscent of Ordinary People, taking a journey into the soul--if you liked that film, you will like this one as well. Highly recommended.
Sidney Lumet's adaptation of the Peter Shaffer's stage play EQUUS is exceptional for its ability to transport to film the full emotional complexity and intensity of a psychiatrist's relationship with one of his patients. And this is done almost entirely through the skill of the actors: Richard Burton as the psychiatrist Dr. Martin Dysart, Peter Firth as the disturbed stable boy who inexplicably blinded several of the horses in his care, Colin Blakely and Joan Plowright as the boy's religiously incompatible parents, and Eileen Atkins as a judge who has asked Dr. Dysart to take on this challenging case. This is not to minimize other contributions--the cinematography is exceedingly intelligent and unobtrusive. It's simply to say that Lumet seems to have realized that he had assembled a dream cast and made every effort to stay out of their way and to let each actor shine. Burton's performance is perhaps the best of his film career. Though intense at times, he is completely devoid of the stagey "haminess" that has marred some of his other film performances. Firth, as the patient, moves easily from jingle-singing dissociated boy, to surly rebellious youth, to a sort of highly eroticized mythic being. It is truly fascinating to watch. Because the psychiatrist has issues of his own, and because the story is as much about his coming to terms with his own demons as with those of his patient, EQUUS is not your typical Hollywood psychotherapy movie. It delves into the mythology and religion as well as the human condition. In the end, the film gives you a lot to think about after you've hit the stop button on your remote. A disturbing but powerful film.
with the intensity that he plays his character is amazing, helping a young teenager fight off
his demons,, and coming to the realization that he to has his own demons that come into light..
A very must see movie.....by one of the greatest actors of his time.....