Based upon the immensely successful Peter Shaffer play, Hollywood transforms this theatrical piece on to the big screen in an impressive way. Richard Burton leads the cast of “Equus” as Dr. Martin Dysart, psychiatrist, who takes the case of young Martin Strang (played by Peter Firth, who also starred in the London stage production). Martin is
accused of blinding six horses with a metal spike. The courts have turned him over to Burton for psychiatric examination. What follows, of coure, is Burton's determination to find out the real reason for this young man's traumatic and bizarre behavior. To find the
truth, both doctor and patient enter into areas that neither may be willing to be led--nor driven. Director Sidney Lumet carefully paces this film and deftly leads the players--and the audience--into one of filmdom's most climactic scenes. And while some critics hail
Burton's performance as “the best of his career” (they perhaps forgot “Virginia Woolf” and “Becket”?), he certainly was deserving of his Oscar nomination (alas, Burton never got an Academy Award for any of his roles!). The movie doesn't stray from its theatrical past,
however, as the screenplay was also written by Shaffer; however, as the movie transcends the stage, allowances are made, modifications are rendered, and interpretations are
sometimes altered. It's still a powerful film to watch.
The review of this Movie prepared by Bill Hobbs