Customer Reviews


17 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably moving
Sidney Lumet made some of the very best films of the 70s; 'Serpico', 'Dog Day Afternoon' and 'Network' being his best known. He also made some phenomenal British movies, the best of which are 'The Offence' (1972) and 'Equus' (1977).

I came to this film knowing very little about it, and am very glad for that fact, as it is not something to which justice can be...
Published on 16 Dec 2007 by James the King

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the easiest of viewings...
Twisted? Yes. Inspiring? No. Popcorn film? Absolutely not. Equus is not a sit-down-with-the-family film, unless your family is very liberal, and even then, certainly if you are under 18, will be cringing even more than you do in an average episode of "The Inbetweeners". The film is....of its time, and I mean that in a perfectly nice way, and no, I'm not just insulting the...
Published on 19 Oct 2011 by Alice_R_Foster


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably moving, 16 Dec 2007
By 
James the King (...under the stairs) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Equus [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Sidney Lumet made some of the very best films of the 70s; 'Serpico', 'Dog Day Afternoon' and 'Network' being his best known. He also made some phenomenal British movies, the best of which are 'The Offence' (1972) and 'Equus' (1977).

I came to this film knowing very little about it, and am very glad for that fact, as it is not something to which justice can be done in a small summary of its story, nor is it a story that would make most people subsequently want to see the film. For this reason I will simply tell you that this film's power is not in its story, but in its exceptional delivery.

Lumet's films almost always have a certain unspoken quality to them that is very hard to define. I used to think it was the absence of a director's mark, but that is precisely the mark of Lumet; we don't know he's there. There is never any notion of self-consciousness in his films and, in a film this prone to pretension, that is quite a feat.

Shaffer's writing is inspired and meticulously researched, but never at the expense of the audience's attention. The psychology and philosophy that form the undercurrent of this movie demand that it be a slow paced film and that the viewer be prepared to ask themselves a lot of difficult questions, but the result is ultimately all the more rewarding.

I cannot imagine that the two leads could've been better cast. The criminally underrated Peter Firth manages to evoke fear, confusion and pity without ever resorting to acting by numbers. There is a coherence to his character which makes us want to put the pieces together, which is precisely why Burton's doctor is so drawn to him in the film. Burton is also on fine form, and Lumet does a wonderful job of keeping him on the screen despite the theatricality of the character and his dialogue, not to mention that of Burton as an actor.

This is not a film I would recommend to many people, as it is not easy viewing and it demands a good deal of emotional intelligence and the patience to use it. This is far from popcorn. If that statement makes you want to see the film even more, I recommend you do so as soon as possible.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Religious allegory, entertaining cinema, 23 April 2004
By 
Andy Millward (Tiptree, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Equus [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
At the time this film adaptation of Schaffer's stage play came out, Ithought it was as powerful as any film I'd seen in its allegorical debateon the importance and role of religion, explored through the theme of adisturbed boy who blinds six horses, having begun to worship Equus the godto substitute for a lack of reference points in his own life. Inretrospect some of the power has been diluted, particularly by thespecific language and dated references, but the themes and performancesremain timeless.
Richard Burton could always be relied upon to elevate fine scriptwritingto majestic heights, though at times he comes perilously close to hammingit up and destroying the carefully constructed edifice. This is actuallyno bad thing since Burton embodies the fragility of the human psyche, anessential component of Shaffer's argument. He is never less thanhypnotically watchable, which can also be said of Jenny Agutter!
Burton might be dead, but his work lives on. Equus is a finely-craftedfilm, almost deceptively so, that stands further analysis, but can also beenjoyed at a superficial level. Watch and enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful but flawed, 15 Mar 2006
This review is from: Equus [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
The play on which this film is based, by Peter Shaffer, was apparently a big hit on Broadway. Sir Peter Shaffer is now 80, and a revival of his excellent play 'The Royal Hunt of the Sun' is about to open at the NFT at the time of writing. Most will know him as the playwright behind Amadeus. Dramatically speaking a great deal happens in Equus, and it is clear why it has such appeal on the stage, also bearing in mind the (kooky) psychoanalytic approach, at a time when R.D. Laing was still in favour.
Central to the play and film is the common theme of the collapse of religious order, the sway of psychoanalysis, and the conflicts within adolescent sexuality of fantasies of power and the realisation of actual powerlessness. Or something like this. One of the really memorable moments is when the boy incessantly, compulsively repeats advertising slogans, as a kind of unthinking, worldly mantra. You realise to what extent he is subject to much larger unconscious forces, and how vulnerable in the face of these he really is. And we realise how little has changed to this day.
While fascinating, of course, the underlying psychoanalytic ideas are dated, and it remains a film (and play) very much of its time. The performances are pretty good, although Burton takes himself too seriously of course. Maybe the parallel with R.D. Laing was intentional, maybe not. Whatever, this will remain a watchable, thought-provoking and at times quite horrific exploration of the adolescent psyche, with enough happening dramatically to be always interesting and sometimes thrilling, a real period piece that still has current appeal. Had I been old enough, though, I would have preferred to see it in its original theatrical incarnation back in 1977, when it must have won over audience and critics alike.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equus - The Movie, 6 April 2010
By 
Mrs. Dorothy Mcgregor (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Equus [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Having been to see the play at my local rep I wanted to see what the film was like. I was not disappointed. A very sunsettling film at times, but the acting more than made up for it. Richard Burton was mesmerising!! Peter Firth as the young boy with the strange fascination for horses, was brilliant.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!, 8 Mar 2009
By 
M. A. Robinson (Framfield, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Equus [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Richard Burton and Peter Firth outstanding in this powerful drama. Stands the test of time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equus, 13 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Equus [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Received in Excellent condition and just what was required to keep the grown ups entertained an excellent film with good entertainment all around
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INCREDIBLE CINEMA MAKING, 11 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Equus [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
A DEVASTATING AND ALARMING FILM THAT COMPLETELY HAD ME ON THE ROPES.RICHARD BURTON IS UNBELIEVABLE AS THE PSYCHIATRIST TRYING TO SOLVE THE QUESTIONS SURROUNDING THE SHOCKING ACTS OF AN UNSTABLE YOUNGSTER,PLAYED ASTONISHINGLY BY PETER FIRTH.BY INVESTIGATING THE CASE BURTON IS DEEPLY EFFECTED AND EVEN THOUGH HE FINDS OUT THE REASONS IN THE END I THINK NOBODY CAN BE SURE ABOUT THE TRUTH.A DIFFICULT AND COMPLICATED FILM AT TIMES,WITH MANY DISTURBING SCENES THIS IS DEFINETELY NOT FOR EVERYONES TASTE BUT A MASTERPIECE NEVERTHELESS.SURELY BURTON AND FIRTH DESERVED MORE THAN JUST AN ACADEMY NOMINATION.THE SUPPORTING CAST IS SUPERB AND JENNY AGUTTER CONTRIBUTES IMPRESSIVE FULL NUDITY TO AN ALREADY OVERWHELMING STORY.QUALITY OF PICTURE IS HIGH ADDING TO THE GENERAL CLASSY FILM MAKING. A MOVIE TOTALY RECOMMENDED!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the easiest of viewings..., 19 Oct 2011
This review is from: Equus [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Twisted? Yes. Inspiring? No. Popcorn film? Absolutely not. Equus is not a sit-down-with-the-family film, unless your family is very liberal, and even then, certainly if you are under 18, will be cringing even more than you do in an average episode of "The Inbetweeners". The film is....of its time, and I mean that in a perfectly nice way, and no, I'm not just insulting the awful clothing, it's the tone, the mood and colour scheme....well, frankly it's very dated. However, as the film is already difficult to watch and stay focussed for the whole film, the bland, dark colour scheme does nothing for it, and makes staying awake even harder

The film's lead actors, the psychotic Allan (Peter Firth) and the enigmatic Dysart (Richard Burton) carry their respective roles in a slightly maverick and very wavered view of psychology, so if you do work in that field, try not to pay to close attention to Burton's practisces, and try not to get too irritated during the hypnosis scene (it's just a film after all). Burton's rambling monologues are also a draw back to the film. Though Burton tries to work with the material he's been given and make it interesting, watchable and attempts not to bore the audience to sleep, he sounds less like a deep intelligent man who and more a shouting, raving lunatic, haunted by the demon of "Equus". Though I did think the exploration of religion and childhood and how Allan linked that to Equus as a God was very interesting

The film also suffered, because it couldn't seem to make it's mind up, on the one hand it was a naturalistic portrayal, on the other hand, Burton's monologues, complete with intense angry stare, and the blinding of the horses scene (a rather gruesome one for the squeamish) were both very abstract in their presentation. The film also seemed to struggle to find a point, and struggled to establish a protagonist, umming and ahhhing over whether to follow Dysart's story or Allan's, and thus confused the viewer even more with the already mind bending plot.

Overall a good film, but think before you watch it, it's not light hearted so be prepared for over an hour and a half of depressing, difficult and very uncomfortable topic. But, perservere with it, because it really is a good film
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horses for courses, 27 Dec 2010
By 
All of them Witches (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Equus [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Film adaptation of the acclaimed play by Peter Shaffer concerning a disturbed adolescent who falls under the auspices of a psychiatrist, played by Richard Burton, after blinding half a dozen horses with a billhook. Lots of melodramatic monologues, psychoanalysis and exposition by Burton who powerhouses his way through the story.
A very creditable performance also from Peter Firth as the disturbed young man Alan Strang and nice supporting work from the sumptuous Jenny Agutter as the naughty stable girl.
There is a lot of exploration of Alan's home environment and the possible pseudo religious-sexual influences that may have contributed to Alan's extreme behaviour. I've never seen this before and it didn't feel particularly dated to me. There is a lot of delving, examination and theorising however and its no short film at nearly 2hrs 15 mins so a second watch at some point would no doubt prove beneficial.
Very good for what it is but it's far from an easy watch due to the subject matter and heavy narrative. Also contains quite a bit of full frontal nudity, mainly from Firth but also a nice scene with Jenny Agutter in the altogether and some graphic horse mutilation near the end. Interesting stuff.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Stage to Film Transition, 13 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Equus [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Richard Burton is brilliant in this. It's obviously a filmed stage play but directed with panache. Psychologically intriguing and powerfully done. Well worth revisiting if you've seen it before. Bob Trueman
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa3440930)

This product

Equus [DVD] [1977]
Equus [DVD] [1977] by Sidney Lumet (DVD - 2003)
4.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews