Equus Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Equus script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Richard Burton horse movie based on the Peter Shaffer play.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Equus. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Equus Script



Afterwards, he says, they always embrace.



The animal digs his sweaty brow

into his cheek...



and they stand in the dark for an hour...



Like a necking couple.



And of all nonsensical things,

I keep thinking about the horse...



not the boy, the horse,

and what he might be trying to do.



I keep seeing the huge head,

kissing him with its chained mouth...



nudging through the metal,

some desire absolutely irrelevant...



to filling its belly

or propagating its own kind.



What desire could this be?



Not to stay a horse any longer?



Not to remain reined up forever

in those particular genetic strings?



Is it possible, at moments we can't imagine,

a horse can add its sufferings together...



the non-stop jerks and jabs

that are its daily life...



and turn them...



into grief?



What use is grief...



to a horse?



You see...



I'm lost.



What use, l should be asking, are questions

like these to an overworked psychiatrist...



in a provincial hospital?



They're worse than useless.



They are, in fact...






The thing is...



Iím wearing that horse's head myself...



all reined up in old language

and old assumptions...



straining to jump clean-hoofed onto

a new track of being l only suspect is there.



I can't see it, because my educated, average

head is being held at the wrong angle.



I can't jump, because the bit forbids it,

and my own basic force...



my horsepower, if you like...



is too little.



The only thing l know for sure, is this.



A horse's head is finally unknowable to me.



Yet l handle children's heads,

which l presume to be more complicated...



at least in the area of my chief concern.



In a way, it has nothing to do with this boy.



The doubts have been there for years,

piling up steadily in this dreary place.



itís the extremity of this case that's made

them active. l know extremity is the point.



All the same, whatever the reasons, these

doubts are not just vaguely worrying...



but intolerable!



Forgive me.



Iím not making much sense.



Let me start properly, in order.



Come on. Break it up. Come on!



...through this gate, into another field.

I couldn't see it.



But I knew I had to get through that gate.

lf I did, l could see everything.



All right.



-Take one, Mary Ann.

-I don't want one.



-Mary Ann, come on.

-Don't bother me.



-You don't have to listen to them always.

-I know, but--



-You want one, take one.

-Don't be so ignorant!



All right. All right, now. Settle down.



That's no good. Shall we smash it?







-Now come on, we'll smash it.




-All right. Now pick up your right leg.




-Pick up your right leg, man.




-It would please me a great deal if you did.

-I said, ''no''!



Come on. Up.



Now scream! Jab it! Louder! Go on!



Scream! Scream! That's it.



It began one Monday, some months ago,

with Hesther's visit.



Martin, Iím sorry.

I should have called first, I know.



Not at all. You're a welcome relief.



-Have a filthy coffee?

-No, please, no.



-itís really rather urgent.

-Take a couch.



Martin, Iíve just come from the most

shocking case l ever tried.



My fellow magistrates wanted

to send him to prison on the spot.



Luckily, I got him remanded for a report.



-Who's he?

-A teenager. The name's Strang.



What's he done? Dosed some

little girl's Pepsi with Spanish fly?



What could possibly have thrown

your court into such Tory convulsions?



He blinded six horses with a metal spike.







-All at once, or over a period?

-All at once, the night before last.






In a stable over at Chalk Ford.

He worked there on weekends.



-What did he say in court?

-Nothing. He just sang.




-Martin, you've simply got to take him here.



You think this hospital is suitable?

How dangerous is he?



No, I mean, you personally.



Now look, Hesther,

before you say anything else...



I can take no more patients now.

I can't even cope with the ones I have.



-You must.




Thank you. Oh, for... Damn!



Hello, Pat?



My advice is, cancel her leave for a month.

See what difference that makes to her dad.



Now, why?



Because there's no one else

within a hundred miles of that desk...



who can handle him, and perhaps

understand what this is all about.



The regular hospital will be useless,

and so will the other doctors here.



-That's an unwarrantable statement.

-Well, it's true.



They'll be cool and professional.



Underneath, they'll be disgusted

and immovably English...



just like my court.



-What am I? Polynesian?

-Please, Martin.



-This is the last favor Iíll ever ask of you.

-No, it's not.



He's obviously abominable.

I know that already.



Why me? Why, Hesther?



-There's something extraordinary about him.

-In what way?



Terrible, if you like.



I don't quite know what Iím saying.

I just knew l had to come here.



Take him, Martin. itís very important.



What did I expect of him?

Very little, I promise you.



One more dented Little face.

One more adolescent freak.



The usual unusual.



This room will be completely yours.

No one will come in without your saying so.



There's a bell if you need anything.



There's a lavatory down the corridor,

second door on the left.



I think this is one of the nicest rooms

in the whole place. Don't you, Mr. Pearce?






Sometimes, I blame Hesther.



She brought him to me.



Of course, that's nonsense.



What is he but a last straw?

A Last symbol. That's all.



I was ripe for the confrontation.



-Alan Strang, Doctor.

-Thank you.






My name's Martin. Yours is Alan.



Won't you sit down?



For today, I just want a few simple facts.



is this your full name? Alan Strang?



And you're    is that right?   ?



You work in an electrical shop

during the week.



Electrical and kitchenware.



Double your pleasure, double your fun,

with double-good, Doublemint gum



Let's see, you live with your parents,

and your father's a printer.



What does he print?



Double your pleasure, double your fun,

with double-good, Doublemint gum



Does he do leaflets, calendars?

Things like that?



Try the taste of Martini,

the most beautiful drink in the world



It's the bright one, the right one,

that's Martini



I wish you'd sit down to sing.

You'd be more comfortable.



There's only one T in Typhoo,

in packets and in teabags, too



Any way you make it,

you'll know that it's true



There's only one T in Typhoo



That's a good song.



l like that better than the other two.

Sing that one again.



Double your pleasure, double your fun,

with double-good, double-good....



Now, listen.



This is not a loony bin. itís not a prison.



lf you behave yourself,

you'll have a reasonably all right time.



lf you don't, you'll be packed off

to a mental hospital...



and you'll find things much more restricted.

So it's up to you.



You'll be seeing me every day.



Your session will last exactly    minutes.



And l expect you to be absolutely on time.

All right?



By the way...



which of your parents is it

who won't allow you to watch television?









Or is it both?



Come in, David.



Take Strang, here, on a tour

of the hospital, before lunch.



You'll find it quite pleasant.

There's a piano room...



a darkroom for photographers...



even a television room.



Three nights later,

I had this very specific dream.



In it, l am a chief priest in Homeric Greece.



Iím wearing a wide gold mask,

all noble and bearded...



like the so-called Mask of Agamemnon,

found at Mycenae.



Iím standing by a thick, round stone,

holding a sharp knife.



In fact, I'm officiating some

immensely important ritual sacrifice...



on which depends the fate of the crops,

or of a military expedition.



The sacrifice is a herd of children...



about     boys and girls stretching

in a long queue, across the plain of Argos.



I know it's Argos, because of the red soil.



On either side of me stand two

assistant priests, wearing masks as well...



lumpy, pop-eyed masks...



such as were also found at Mycenae.



Enormously strong, these priests,

and absolutely tireless.



As each child steps forward, they grab it

from behind and throw it over the stone.



Then, with a surgical skill that

amazes even me, I fit in the knife...



and slice elegantly down to the navel,

just like a seamstress following a pattern.



I part the flaps, sever the inner tubes...



yank them out and throw them,

hot and steaming, on the floor.



The other two then study the patterns,

as if they're reading hieroglyphics.



It's obvious to me

that I'm tops as chief priest.



itís this unique talent for carving

that's got me where I am.



The only thing is...



unknown to the others...



I'm beginning to feel distinctly nauseous.



And with each victim, it's getting worse.



My face is going green behind the mask.



Of course,

I redouble my efforts to look professional...



cutting and snipping for all Iím worth...



mainly because I know that if those two

others so much as suspect my distress...



and the implied doubt

that this repetitive and smelly work...



is doing any social good at all...



then Iíd be next over the stone.



Then, of course,

the damn mask begins to slip.



The priests both turn and look at it.



Their gold pop-eyes

suddenly fill with blood.



They tear the knife from my hand, and...



I wake up.



Mrs. Strang, have you any idea

how this could have occurred?



No, Doctor. itís all so unbelievable.



Alan was always such a gentle boy. Always.



-And he loves animals, especially horses.

-Thank you.







He even has a picture of one

up in his bedroom.



His father gave it to him a few years ago

off a calendar he printed...



and the boy's never taken it down.



And when he was seven or eight...



I used to have to read the same book to him,

over and over again...



-all about a horse.




It was called Prince,

and no one could ride him.



You say he kept the picture of the horse

in his bedroom?



-Could I see it?

-Yes, of course.



-Thank you.

-Please, it's this way.



I do remember telling him

one very odd thing.



Did you know that when the Christian

Cavalry first appeared in the New World...



the pagans thought that

horse and rider was one person?



-One person?




Of course.



Actually, they thought it must be a god.



In here, please.



This is Alan's room.







Mrs. Strang, is there...



anything else you can remember

you told him about horses?



Anything at all?



Well, they're in the Bible of course.



''He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha!''



''Ha, ha''?



The Book of Job.



Such a noble passage.



Do you know?



''Hast thou given the horse strength?



''Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?



''The glory of his nostrils is terrible.



''He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha!''



-That's marvelous.




There's Mr. Strang now.



Frank, Iíve got the doctor here.

We'll come down.



He's very upset. You understand, of course?



This is Dr. Dysart, dear.



-Mr. Strang.

-How do you do?



I was just telling Dr. Dysart, dear,

how Alan always adored horses.



In fact, we've always been

a very horsy family.



Well, my side of it has.



My uncle used to ride every morning

on the Downs behind Brighton.



All dressed up in a bowler hat and jodhpurs.

He used to look splendid.



''indulging in equitation,'' he called it.



I remember telling Alan

how that word came from ''equus.''




-The Latin word for ''horse.''



Alan was absolutely fascinated

by that word, I know.



I suppose because he'd never come across

one with two U's together before.



My dear, have you offered

the doctor a cup of tea?



No, dear, I haven't.



You must be dying for one. Excuse me.



My wife has romantic ideas,

if you receive my meaning.



-About her family?

-She thinks she married beneath her.



I dare say, she did.

I don't understand these things myself.



Would you say that she's

closer to the boy than you are?



They've always been as thick as thieves.

I can't say l entirely approve...



especially when I hear her

reading that Bible to him...



night after night, up there in his room.



-You mean, she's religious?

-Some might say excessively so.



Mind you, that's her business, but...



when it comes to dosing it down the boy's

throat, he's my son as well as hers.



Bloody religion.



itís our only problem in this house, but

it's insuperable. I don't mind admitting it.



You must excuse my husband, Doctor.



This one subject is something of

an obsession with him.



isnít it, dear? You must admit.



Call it what you like.

All that stuff, to me, is just bad sex.



-What has that got to do with Alan?

-Everything, Dora.



I don't understand. What are you saying?



Mr. Strang, exactly how informed

would you judge your son to be, about sex?



I don't know.



You didn't actually instruct him yourself?



Well, not in so many words, no.



Did you, Mrs. Strang?



Well, I spoke a little. Yes, I had to.



Let me help you.



What sort of things did you tell him?

Iím sorry if this is embarrassing.



I told him the biological facts.



But I also told him what I believed...



that sex is not just a biological matter,

but a spiritual one as well...



that if God willed,

he would fall in love one day.




-Thank you.



That his task was to prepare himself

for the most important happening of his life.



And after that, if he was lucky,

he would come to know a higher love, still.



There, now, Dora. itís all right. Come on.



-You always laugh, as usual.

-No one is laughing, Dora.



Suddenly, I realized

whose face I'd seen in my dream.



On every victim across the stone...



it was his stare accusing me.



But what of?



How are you this morning?



Sorry if I gave you a start last night.



I was collecting some papers from my office,

and I thought Iíd look in on you.



Do you dream often?



Do you?



itís my job to ask the questions,

yours to answer them.



-Says who?

-Says me.



Do you dream often?



Do you?



-Now, look, Alan--

-Iíll answer if you answer.



In turns.



-Very well. Only, we have to speak the truth.

-Very well.



Do you dream often?






-Do you?




Do you have a special dream?



No. Do you?



Yes. What was your dream about last night?



-Can't remember. What's yours about?

-I said, the truth.



That is the truth. What's yours about?

The special one.



Carving up children.



itís my turn.



What is your first memory of a horse?



I can't remember.



You have no recollection of

the first time you ever noticed a horse?



I just told you. itís my turn.



Are you married?



I am.



is she a doctor, too?



My turn.



What is ''eq''?



You shouted it out in your sleep last night.

l thought you might like to talk about it.



Plop, plop, fizz, fizz



Oh, what a relief it is



Come on now, Alan,

you can do better than that.



So, double your pleasure, double your fun



You can double everything, rolled into one



All right, good morning.



-What do you mean?

-We're finished for today.



-Only had five minutes.

-Too bad.



Didn't you hear me? l said, ''Good morning.''



Well, that's not fair.







The government pays you    pounds

an hour to see me. l heard, downstairs.



Go back downstairs and hear some more.



That's not fair. You're a swizz.



Bloody swizz! Swizz!



-Do I have to call Nurse?

-She puts a finger on me, Iíll bash her.



She'll bash you a damn sight harder,

I can assure you of that.



Now, go.



-On a beach.




Where I first saw a horse.



How old were you?



How should I know? Six.



-What were you doing there?








-Well, what else?



Go on.



That's a terrific castle.



It must've taken a long time to build.



You can stroke him if you like.

He won't mind.



His name's Trojan. Easy there, Trojan.



Easy, boy. Easy there, Trojan.



You can hardly reach from down there.

You want to come up?



Come on, then.



No, come round this side.

You always mount a horse from the left.



Iíll give you a lift up, okay?



Now, do nothing at all. Easy, boy! Easy!



Don't be frightened. Hold on tight

to his mane and grip with your knees.



That's it. Come on now. Let's go.



Do you want to go faster?



All you have to do is say:



''Come on, Trojan, bear me away.''



Say it, then!



Bear me away.



I can't hear you. Say it!



Bear me away!



Come on, Trojan!






Come back here!



-Alan. Hey, you!

-Easy, boy, easy.



-What do you imagine you're doing?




-What is my son doing up there?

-He's not hurt, is he?



You should ask permission

before doing such a stupid thing.



-itís lovely, Dad.

-The boy is perfectly safe. Don't be worried.



Don't you be la-de-da with me, young man.

Come down, you heard your mother.




-Come down here at once.



Right this moment! I said, this moment!



Watch it! Are you mad?




-Do you want to terrify the horse?



-You're a public menace, you know.

-Easy, Trojan.



-He's hurt.

-Putting children on dangerous animals!




-Frank, the boy's hurt.



-Look at his eyes, they're rolling.

-So are yours.



Frank, he's cut himself. The boy's hurt.



Iím not, Iím not!



That's all l remember.



And a lot, too.



Thank you.



Do you know....



Do you know,

Iíve never been on a horse in my life?



Nor me.



You mean, since that?










-How come?



I didn't care to.



You mean to say, you never rode,

even when you were at the stables?




-Wasn't that part of the job?



No, didn't have to.



Why not? Surely it would've been fun,

after being cooped up in that shop all week.



Didn't care to, that's all.



Anyway, it's my turn.

I told you a secret, you tell me one.



All right.



There are patients who have things

to tell me, but they're ashamed...



to say them to my face.

What do you think l do about that?






I give them this little tape recorder.



They go to another room,

they send the tape back through Nurse.



-They don't have to listen to it with me.




Quite simple, really.

You press this button and speak into this.



Anyway, our time's up for today.

Iíll see you tomorrow.







lf I feel like it.






I thought Iíd go in tomorrow...



and see the boy.



Would you come?



Frank, it's not right, your not...



But you should.



You've got to tell him.



The doctor, I mean.



He should know about that.



-You think it's important?

-Yes, I do.






Well, it just could be.



It was sexy.

That's what you want to know, isn't it?




-Hello, Doctor.



I hope it's not too late.



No, Mrs. Strang.



itís just that Mr. Strang and l were talking.



We felt there was something

you may want to know.



Could I come and see you tomorrow?



Why don't l come to see you?



Iím talking about the beach...



that time that l told you about.



l was pushed forward on the horse.



There was sweat on my legs from his neck.



His sides were all warm...



the smell...



and turning him....



All that power, going anywhere you wanted.



And then, Dad....



itís about the picture...



of the horse.



The one on his bedroom wall?



Iím afraid l didn't quite tell you

all about it last time.



I didn't think it was that important.



You see...



it actually took the place

of another kind of picture altogether.



What kind?



It was a reproduction of our Lord

on his way to Calvary.



Alan insisted on buying it

with his own pocket money...



and hanging it where he could see it,

Last thing at night.



My husband was very displeased.



And, to be fair, it is a Little extreme.



Then, one day...



Mr. Strang and I

had one of our tiffs about religion...



and he went straight up the stairs

and tore it off the boy's wall.



Alan went quite hysterical.



He cried for days, without stopping.



But he recovered

when he was given the picture of the horse?






He hung it in exactly the same place.



And we had no more of that awful weeping.



Mr. Dalton?



My name is Dysart. Iím a doctor.



Iím dealing with Alan Strang.

I mean, Iím treating Alan Strang.



I know this is an intrusion,

but Iíd like to have a talk with you.



l realize this must be difficult for you.






For lack of a word.



lf I had my way, that boy would be dead.



I should have killed him that night.



Of course, now you've got him in hospital.

Private room, three meals a day...



remedial therapy, ping-pong, basketwork.



-Mr. Dalton--

-We've got to be modern about it.



After all, there are no criminals now.



We're all capable of everything.

I know. Iíve heard all about it.



Forgive and forget...



two months ping-pong...



and he's paid his debt to society.



Mr. Dalton?



Damn you!



Iím sorry, I can't help it.



I keep seeing it. Over and over, I see it.



Jill's had a breakdown.




-The girl who worked for me.



Complete and utter breakdown.

She'll never get over it.



Of course, she blames herself,

being the one who first brought him here.



-He was introduced to the stables by a girl?

-I just told you, didn't I? Jill Mason.



Excuse me for being stupid,

but was that his girlfriend?



How should I know?



No, he met up with her somewhere,

asked for a job.



She told him to come and see me.



-Piss off now, will you?

-Yes, Iíll be going.



One thing, when he first appeared,

did he seem peculiar?



-I mean, odd in any way?




He did bloody good.



He spent hours with the horses,

cleaning and grooming...



way over the call of duty.



I thought he was a real find.



Apparently, the whole time

he worked for you, he never actually rode.



-That's true.

-Wasn't that peculiar?



Certainly, if he didn't.



What do you mean?



I mean, on and off, that whole year...



I had the feeling

the horses were being taken out at night.



-At night?

-Just odd things I noticed.



I mean...



too often, one of them would be sweaty

first thing in the morning...



when it wasn't sick. Very sweaty, too.



It's stall wouldn't be as mucky

as it should be...



if it had been in all night.



Stupidly enough,

I never paid much mind to it at the time.



It wasn't until l realized

Iíd been hiring a loony...



that I came to wonder if he hadn't been

riding all the time, behind our backs.



All right, it's obviously just my fancy.



This thing has shaken me so badly,

Iím liable to believe anything.



Why should anybody do that?



Why would any boy prefer

to go riding by himself at night...



when he could go off with others

during the day?



Are you asking me?



He's a loony, isn't he?



This girl, Jill Mason...



could you tell me where she lives?



Her mother keeps a shop,

a mile down the road.



-Sells the antiques.

-Thank you.



You won't see her.



And something else.



When the horse first appeared,

I looked up into his mouth.



There was this chain in it.



I said, ''Does it hurt?'' and he....



The horse said....



It was always the same after that.



Every time I heard one clop by,

I had to run and see...



up a country lane...






just to watch their skins...



and the way their necks twist.



The sweat comes in the folds.



Words Like ''reins''...






''flanks, '' ''dashing his spurs

against his charger's flanks''....



Even those words made me....



The way they give themselves to us.



That was it, too.



They could stamp us into bits

anytime they wanted, and they don't.



They just let themselves be turned

on a string all day, absolutely humble.



They give us all their strength,

and we just give them stripes.



They'll run forever.



They'll gallop till they die, they will...



if we don't say ''stop.''



They live for us...



just for us...



their whole lives.



Years, I've never told anyone.



My mom wouldnít understand.

She likes equitation...



bowler hats, jodhpurs.



My uncle dressed for the horse, she says.

But what does that mean?



Horse isn't dressed.



itís naked.



itís the most naked thing you ever saw,

more than a dog, a cat, or anything.



Even the brokenest-down old nag

has got its life.



To put a bowler hat on top of it's filthy.



Putting them through their paces,

bloody horse shows. How do they dare?



No one understands. No one.



Except cowboys. They do.



But they're free. They just swing up,

and it's nothing but miles of grass.



I bet all cowboys are orphans.



I bet they are.



No one ever says to cowboys:



''Receive my meaning.'' Or God.



''All the time, God sees you, Alan.

God's got eyes everywhere.''



No, Iím not doing anymore, l hate this.

You can whistle for anymore. Iíve had it.



-Iím very busy, you know.

-That's why I came to see you.



Mr. Strang, is there something

you're not telling me?



What do you mean?



The last time we met, you said that

religion was at the bottom of all this.



So it is.



-Because his mother reads him the Bible?

-Night after night.



Fifty years ago, that would have been

considered proper conduct for a mother.



I know Iím being impertinent.



Iím prying, and Iím nosy.



But if you want to help Alan,

you've got to help me.



Anything will do, Mr. Strang.



Any bloody thing!



-Your wife told me about the picture.

-No, it's not that, it's....



itís about that.



itís worse.



I wanted to tell you the other day,

but I couldn't in front of Dora.



Maybe I should have.



It might show where all that stuff leads to,

she drills into the boy, behind my back.



What kind of thing is it?



-Something I witnessed.




At home...



eighteen months ago.



It was late.



The boy had been in bed hours,

or so Iíd thought.



Go on.



As I came out of the bathroom...



I heard....



I heard the noise of this chanting.




-Yes, you know.



By the Bible, one of those lists

his mother was always reading to him.



Those ''begat, so and so, begat....''

You know, genealogy.



What did Alan's list sound like?



Well, I remember the sort of thing....



The first word I heard was...










Prince begat Prance.



And Prance begat Prankus.



And Prankus begat Flankus.



And Flankus begat Spankus.



And Spankus begat Spunkus the Great,

who lived threescore years.



And Leckwus begat Neckwus.



And Neckwus begat Fleckwus,

the King of Spit.



And Fleckwus spoke

out of his chinkle-chankle.






Iím sure that was the word.

Iíve never forgotten it.






And he said, ''Behold, I give you Equus,

my only begotten son.''






No doubt of that,

he repeated that word several times.






''my only begotten son.''



And then...



he took this...






and he put it in his mouth, and...



with his other hand...



he picked up this...



coat hanger, this wooden coat hanger...



and he....



Well, you see why I couldn't tell his mother.



Religion is the bottom of this,

don't you see?



Did you speak to him about it later?






I can't speak about things like that, Doctor.

itís not in my nature.



I see that.



Here, let me help you.



Just run it under a tap.

I must say that it's been an enormous help.



Strang, is there something else?



There is, actually. There's one thing.



That night...



that he did it...



that awful thing at the stables....



That night, he was out with a girl.



-How do you know that?

-I just know, that's all.



-Was that girl Jill Mason?

-I don't know her name.



-Mr. Strang, what do you know?

-I can't say any more.



-Mr. Strang--

-Ask him about taking a girl out that night.



-Thanks for the tape. It was excellent.

-Yeah, Iím not making any more.



One thing l didn't understand,

you began to say something about...



the horse on the beach talking to you.



-Stupid, horses don't talk.

-So I believe.



I don't know what you mean.



Never mind about that.

Tell me something else.



Who introduced you

to the stable to begin with?



Someone I met.






Hello, can I do something for you?




-You're always staring in here, aren't you?




-Yes. Every day, at lunchtime.



-Iíve seen you.

-Not me.



Of course it's you.

You looking for a job, or something?



is there one? I can only do weekends.



That's when most people ride.

We could use extra hands.



-It will mainly be mucking out.

-I don't mind.






Come up on Saturday.

Iíll introduce you to Mr. Dalton.



And you went?









You came, then.



Let's find Mr. Dalton.

My name's Jill, by the way. What's yours?



All riders are accompanied, madam.

No riders are allowed out on their own.



All right, Iíll put her down for  :  .

What is the name, please?



Mrs. Shawcross.



Thank you. Goodbye.



This is Alan Strang, Mr. Dalton.



You ever worked in a stable before?



-Can you ride?

-No, I don't want to.



itís not extra, you know.

It comes with the job.



I just want to work here.



You like horses?



Well, we can certainly use the help.



There's enough work around here

for six lads.



Four quid a day.

Saturdays and Sundays. All right?



-Yes, sir.




Now, I expect the place neat,

dry and clean at all times.



The main rule is, never pretend

you know something when you don't.



Actually, the main rule is, enjoy yourself.



Remember,  :   on the dot.



Horses don't oversleep, you know.

See you later.



This is Nugget. Come on, that's it.



He's my favorite.



This is a body brush.



You use it with a currycomb.



Now, you always groom the same way...



from the ears, downwards.



Don't be afraid to do it hard.



The harder you do it,

the more the horse loves it.



Push it right through the coat, like this.



Work towards the tail,

and right through the coat.



See how he loves it?



Giving you a lovely massage, aren't I, boy?



Here, you try.



Nice and easy.



Never rush.



Work towards the tail,

and right through the coat.



That's it.






You've got a feel for it, I can tell.

itís going to be fun teaching you.







-Mr. Dalton wants you. Right away.



Keep that up for    minutes.

Then do old Trooper.



See you later.



All right, Iím off now.

Iíll be back after lunch.



lf anyone rings, just put it in the book.

Two rides this afternoon. That's the lot.



Was it good? Touching them?



Must've been marvelous,

being near them at Last...



making them fresh and glossy.



Tell me...



you worked at the stable every weekend?






You must have seen a lot of the girl.



Tell me about her. Did you Like her?



-Come on, Alan, tell me.

-AII right.



-Was she friendly?




-Or standoffish?




-Well, which?




Which was she?



Tell me, did you ever take her out?



-Did you have dates with her?




Tell me if you did.



''Tell me!''



''Tell me, tell me.'' On and on.

Standing there, nosy parker.



That's all you are, a bloody nosy parker,

just like my dad.



-''Answer this, answer that,'' never stop.

-Iím sorry.



Now it's my turn. You tell me, answer me.



-We're not playing that game now.

-We're playing what l say.



All right.



What do you want to know?



Do you have dates?



I told you, Iím married.



I know. Her name's Margaret, she's a dentist.



You see? l found out.



What made you go with her, then?



Did you used to bite her hands

when she did you in the chair?



That's not very funny.



-Do you have girls behind her back?




Then what?



Do you fuck her?



-All right.

-Come on, tell me, tell me.



-That's enough now.

-I bet you don't.



I bet you never touch her.

You've got no kids, have you?



is that because you don't fuck?



Go to your room. Quick march.






Give me those cigarettes.



Give them to me!



Now go.



Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.



The boy's on the run, so he turns defensive.

What am I, then?



Wicked little bastard.

He knew exactly what questions to try.



Not that there's anything awful about that.



Advanced neurotics can be dazzling at that.



They aim unswervingly

at your area of maximum vulnerability...



which is, I suppose, as good a way as any

of describing Margaret.



Now, stop it.



-Do I embarrass you?

-I suspect you're about to.



My wife doesn't understand me, Your Honor.



Do you understand her?






Obviously, l never did.



Iím sorry.



I never like to ask.



But l always imagined

you weren't exactly compatible.



We were. It actually worked for a bit.



I mean, for both of us.



She, for me, through a kind of...






a clear, redheaded, inaccessible briskness

that kept me keyed up for months.



Mind you, if you're kinky

for northern hygiene which l am...



you can hardly find anything more

compelling than a Scottish lady dentist.



itís you who are wicked, you know.



Not at all.



She got exactly the same from me.

Antiseptic proficiency.



I was like that in those days.



I see us in our wedding photograph...



Dr. and Dr. MacBrisk.



We were brisk in our wooing, brisk in

our wedding, brisk in our disappointment.



We turned from each other briskly

into our separate surgeries.



And now, there's a nice, brisk nothing.



You never had children, did you?






We did not go in for them.



Instead she sits and knits things

for orphans in some home...



and I sit opposite turning over the pages

of books on mythical Greece.



Mentally, we're in different parts

of the world.



She's forever in some drizzly chapel

of her own inheriting...



and I'm in some Doric temple,

clouds tearing through the pillars...



eagles bearing prophesies out of the sky.



She finds all that repulsive.



All that my wife has ever taken

from the Mediterranean...



from that whole, vast, intuitive culture...



are four bottles of Chianti

to make into lamps...



and two china condiment donkeys

labeled Sally and Pepe.



Now you're being cruel.



I wish...



there was somebody in this life

I could show...






instinctive, absolutely unbrisk person

that I could take to Greece...



and stand in front of certain shrines

and sacred streams and say:






"life is only comprehensible

through a thousand...



"local gods.



"Not just the old, dead gods,

with names like Zeus...



"but living geniuses of place and person.



"Not just Greece, but modern England.



"Here spirits of certain trees...



"of certain curves of brick wall...



"of certain fish-and-chip shops, if you like...



"and slate roofs...



"frowns in people, slouches."



I'd say to them:






"all you can see...



"and more will appear."



This boy...



with his stare...



he's trying to save himself through me.



I'd say so.



What am I trying to do to him?



Restore him.



To what?



- A normal life.

- Normal?



It still means something, you know.



A normal boy has one head.



- A normal head has two ears.

- You know I don't...



- Then what do you mean?

- Stop it.



I want to know.



Look, my dear...



you know what I mean

by a normal smile in a child's eyes...



and one that isn't, don't you?






Then we have a duty to that, surely,

both of us.






I'll talk to you.






You're going through a rotten patch

at the moment, I'm sorry.



I suppose one of the few things

one can do is...



simply hold on to priorities.



Such as?



Children before adults.



Things like that.



You're really quite splendid, you know that?



Famous for it.



A// right.



The Normal is the good smile

in a child's eyes.



It's also the dead stare in a million adults.



Both sustains and kills...



like a god.



It is the ordinary made beautiful.

It is also the average...



made lethal.



The Normal is the indispensable...



murderous God of health.



And I am his priest.



I'm sorry about our row yesterday.



Yeah, it was stupid.






Yes, it was.



Would you like to play a game?



What kind?



It's one I invented myself. It's called Blink.



You fix your eyes on something...



say, that little stain on the wall over there...



and I tap my pencil on the desk.



First tap, you close your eyes.

The second, you open.



Close, open, close, open, till I say "stop."



What's the point of that?



Well, relax you.

Make it easier for you to talk.






You don't have to if you don't want to.



I didn't say I didn't want to.






All right.



All right.



Start watching that stain.



Put your hands by your side,

your fingers open wide.



The thing to do is

to feel comfortable and relax...






Watching that stain?



- Yeah.

- All right.



Now try and make your mind

as blank as possible.



That's not difficult.



No more talking.



First tap, close.



Second, open. Ready?



My tools are very delicate.



My compassion is honest.



I've honestly assisted children in this room.



I've talked away terrors,

relieved many agonies.



But beyond question...



I have cut from them

portions of individuality...



repugnant to this God, Normal,

in all its aspects.



And at what length.



Sacrifices to Zeus took,

at the most,    seconds each.



Sacrifices to the Normal...



can take as much as...



sixty months.



Can you hear me?



Can you speak normally?



Say "yes" if you can.



I can.






Now raise your head.



Open your eyes.



Now, Alan...



when you wake up, you're going

to remember everything you've told me.



- Understand?

- Yes.



Now, I want you to think back in time.



You're on that beach you told me about.



You're six.



Above you, staring down at you,

is that great horse's head.



Can you see that?






You ask him a question.



"Does the chain hurt?"






Do you ask him aloud?






And what does the horse say back?






What do you say?



"I'll take it out for you."



And he says?



"It never comes out.

They have me in chains."



- Like Jesus?

- Yes.



Only, his name is not Jesus, is it?






What is it?



It's Equus.






Does he live in all horses, or just some?









Now you leave the beach.



You're in your bedroom at home.



You're    years old.



You're looking at Equus

from the foot of the bed.



Would you like to kneel down?






Go on.



Now tell me...



why is Equus in chains?



For the sins of the world.



What does he say to you?



- "I see you. I will save you."

- How?



"Bear you away, two shall be one."



Horse and rider should be one beast?



"One person.



"And my chinkle-chankle

shall be in thy hand."



"Chinkle-chankle," that's his mouth chain?






You can get up now.



Now tell me...



what is the stable?



His temple? His holy of holies?






Will you wash him, tend him...



and brush him with many brushes?






And there he spoke to you, didn't he?



He looked at you with his gentle eyes...



and he spake unto you.



- Yes.

- What did he say?



"Ride me"?



- "Mount me, and ride me forth at night"?

- Yes.



- And you obeyed?

- Yes.



How did you learn? By watching others?






- Must've been difficult. You bounced about?

- Yes.



But he taught you, didn't he?



- Equus showed you the way.

- No.



- He didn't?

- He showed me nothing.



He's a mean bugger.

Ride or fall, that's straw law.



Straw law?



He was born in the straw, and this is his /aw



- But you managed? You mastered him?

- Had to.



So you rode forth in secret?



- Yes.

- How often?



Every three weeks.

More, people would notice.



On a particular horse?






Let's do it.



Let's go riding...






You're there now...



in front of the stable door.



Go on, open it.



Now go in.



Quiet/y now. Da/ton may sti// be awake.



Quiet/y as possib/e.



That's a good boy.



Are you in yet?






Can you see a// the horses?






Which one are you going to take?






What do you do, first thing?



Put on his sanda/s.



The sanda/s of majesty.



Made of sack.









He doesn't /ike it so /ate.



But he takes it for my sake.



He bends for me...



stretches forth his neck unto it.









and /ead out.



No sadd/e?






Where are you now?



The path.



He's quiet.



A/ways is, this bit.



Meek and mi/d /egs.



Gent/e Equus, meek and mi/d.



At /east, ti// the fie/d.



- What fie/d?

- Ha Ha.






The fie/d of Ha Ha, then there's troub/e.



- What kind?

- He won't go in.



Make him go into it. Come on.



/s it a good fie/d?



/t's perfect.



Fu// of rubbish...



e/ectrica/ and kitchenware.



/t's covered with nett/es.



Burn your feet.



Take your shoes off?






A// your c/othes?






What do you do now?



Hide the c/othes.



Get the man-bit.






Stick for my mouth.



- Your mouth?

- To bite on.



Why? What for?



So as it won't happen too quick.



/s it a/ways the same stick?



Of course.



Sacred stick.



Keep it in the ho/e.



The Ark of the Man-Bit.



And now?



What do you do now?



- Touch him.

- Where?



A// over...









His ribs are of ivory...



of great va/ue.



His f/ank is coo/.



His nostri/s open for me.



His eyes shine! They can see!



His eyes!



Go on.



What then?






- Lump sugar?

- His /ast supper.



- Last before what?

- Ha Ha.



You say anything when you give it to him?



Take my sins.



Eat them, for my sake.



Now he's ready?



- You can get up on him now?

- Yes.



Go on then, A/an.



Mount him.



Into my hands, he commends himself...



naked in his chinkle-chankle.






Take me.



Whoa, down, easy, boy, easy.



Equus, the Godslave.



Faithful and true, that's it.



He's good.



Equus, son of Fleckwus.



Son of Neckwus.






Here we go.



The king rides out on Equus,

mightiest of horses.



Only I can ride him.



His neck comes out of my body.



It lifts in the dark.



Equus, Godslave.



Now the King commands you.

Tonight, we ride against them all...



the hosts of Bowler...



the hosts of Jodhpur...



all those who show you off for their vanity...



tie rosettes on your head for their vanity.



Come on, Equus, let's get them.



Trot! Steady, steady!



That's it, steady.



Cowboys are watching,

taking off their Stetsons.



They know who we are. They're admiring us.



Bowing low unto us. Come on, show them.






And Equus the Mighty rose against all.



His enemies scatter.



His enemies fall.



Turn! Trample them!



Stiff in the wind. My mane, stiff in the wind!



I'm raw, I'm raw. Do you feel my raw?

Feel me on you?



On you! I want to be inside you.



I want to be inside you, and be you.

Forever one person.



I love you!



Bear me away. Make us now one person.






Afterwards, he says, they a/ways embrace.



He showed me how he stands in the night...



/ike a frozen tango dancer...



inha/ing the co/d, sweet breath.



Have you noticed it about horses,

the way they'// stand...



one hoof on its end,

/ike those gir/s in the ba//et?






he's gone off to rest...



leaving me alone...



with Equus.



I can hear the creature's voice.



He's calling me out of the black cave

of the psyche.



I shove in my dim little torch,

and there he stands...



waiting for me.



He raises his matted head.



He opens his great square teeth,

and he says:



"Why? Why me? Why, ultimately, me?



"Do you imagine you can account for me...



"totally, infallibly,

inevitably account for me?



"Poor Dr. Dysart."



Of course,

I've stared at such images before...



or been stared at by them,

whichever way you look at it.



Weirdly, often now with me,

the feeling is that...



they are staring at us.



And in some quite palpable way...



they precede us.



Meaningless, but unsettling.



In either case, this particular one...



this huge, implacable head

is the most alarming yet.



It asks questions I've avoided

all my professional life.



A child is born into a world of phenomena,

all equal in their power to enslave.



It sniffs, it sucks, it strokes its eyes

over the whole, uncountable range.



Suddenly, one strikes.



Then another. Then another.






Moments snap together,

/ike magnets forging a chain of shack/es.






/ can trace them.

/ can, with time, pu// them apart again.



But why, at the start,

they were ever magnetized at a//...



why those particu/ar moments of experience

and no others...



I do not know, and nor does anybody else!



If I don't know...



if I can never know...



what am I doing here?



/ don't mean c/inica//y or socia//y doing,

but fundamenta//y.



These whys, these questions,

are fundamental.



Yet they have no place in a consulting room.



So then, do I?



Do any of us?



This is the feeling, more and more.












"Account for me"...



says staring Equus.



"First, account for me!"



Dr. Dysart!



There's a terrible scene with the Strang boy

in the Violence Room.



His mother brought him chocolates.

He threw them at her, hard!



Don't you dare!



Don't you dare.

Don't you look at me like that.



I'm not a doctor who'll take anything.

Don't you give me that stare, young man.



Mrs. Strang.



- I know your stares, they don't work on me...

- Leave here at once!



- What did you say?

- I tell you to leave here at once.



- Goodbye, Alan.

- Wait for me.



I must ask you never to come here again.



You think I want to? Do you think I want to?



- What on earth has got into you?

- Into me?



Can't you see the boy's highly distressed?

He's at the most delicate stage of treatment.



He's totally exposed, ashamed,

everything you can imagine.



And me? What about me?



What do you think I am?



I'm a parent. Of course, that doesn't count.

Isn't it a dirty word in here, "parent"?



- You know that's not true.

- I know it, all right.



I've heard it all my life.

It's our fault. Whatever happens, we did it.



You say to us, "Who forbids television?

Who does what behind whose back?"



As if we're criminals.



Let me tell you something.

We're not criminals.



We've done nothing wrong.



We loved Alan.

We gave him the best love we could.



Poor Frank digs into the boy too much,

but nothing in excess.



He's not a bully.



No, Doctor.



Whatever has happened...



has happened because of Alan.



If you added up everything we did to him,

from his first day on earth to this...



you wouldn't find out

why he did this terrible thing.



Do you understand what I'm saying?



I want you to understand...



because I lie awake, thinking it out.



And I want you to know I deny it absolutely,

what he's doing now.



Staring at me,

attacking me for what he's done...



for what he is.



Mrs. Strang!



You have your words, and I have mine.



But if you knew God, Doctor,

you would know about the Devil.



The Devil isn't made

by what Mommy says, or what Daddy says.



The Devil is there.



It's an old-fashioned word, but a true thing.



I'll go.



What I did just now was inexcusable.



I only know that...



he was my little Alan...



and then the Devil came.



I thought you liked your mother.



She doesn't know anything.

I haven't told her what you told me.



- It was lies, anyway.

- What was?



You and your pencil.

Just a con-trick, that's all.



Made me say a lot of lies.



- Like what?

- All of it. Everything I said. A lot of lies.



I see.



- Ought to be locked up. Bloody tricks.

- Thought you liked tricks.



There'll be the drug next.



- What drug?

- I've heard. I'm not ignorant.



I know what you get up to in here...



shove needles in people

and pump them full of truth drugs...



so they can't help saying things.

That's next, isn't it?



Do you know why you're here?



So you can give me truth drugs?



He actua//y be/ieves they exist.



- Truth drugs?

- Yes.



- And don't they?

- Of course not.



The important thing is

that he wants a way to speak...



finally tell me

what happened in those stables.



Tape is too isolated...



and hypnosis, he pretends, is a trick,

so he can deny it later.



I'm tempted to play a real trick on him.



Like what?



Give him an aspirin.



Tell him it's

the strongest truth drug in the world.



He'd just deny everything again afterwards.

The same thing all over.



No, because I'd tell him

the truth afterwards...



that it was simply an aspirin.



He'll believe me.



Underneath all that glowering,

the boy trusts me.



You realize that?



I'm sure he does.



Poor, bloody fool.



Please, Martin, dear, don't start that again.



Can you do anything worse to somebody

than to take away their worship?



- Worship?

- Yes, that word again.



Isn't that a little extreme?



Extremity is the point.



Worship isn't destructive, Martin.

I know that.



I don't. I only know it's the core of his life.



What else has he got? Think about it.

He can hardly read.



He knows no physics or engineering

to make the world real to him...



no paintings to show him

how others have enjoyed it...



no music except television jingles...



no history except

tales from a desperate mother...



no friends to give him a joke

or make him know himself more moderately.



He's a modern citizen

for whom society doesn't exist.



He lives one hour every three weeks,

howling in a mist.



"With my body, I thee worship."



Many men are less vital with their wives.



All the same,

they don't blind their wives, do they?



- Come on.

- Well, do they?



You mean he's

a violent, dangerous madman...



who'll go round the country

doing it again and again?



I mean he's in pain, Martin.

He's been in pain for most of his life.






And you can take it away.






Then that's all you need to know, in the end.






Why not?



Because it is his.






His pain.



His own.



He made it.



I don't understand.



I don't!



There's no merit about being in pain,

that's just pure old masochism.



I'm talking about passion, Hesther.



You know what that word meant originally?




The way you get your own spirit

through your own suffering.



Self-chosen. Self-made.

This boy's done that.



He's created his own desperate ceremony...



just to ignite one flame of original ecstasy

in the spiritless waste around him.



All right...



he's destroyed for it, horribly.



He's virtually been destroyed by it.



One thing I know for sure,

that boy has known a passion...



more ferocious than I have known

in any second of my life.



Let me tell you something. I envy it.



- You can't.

- Don't you see?



That's what his stare has said all this time.



"At least I galloped. When did you?"



I'm jealous, Hesther.






of Alan Strang.



That's absurd.



- Is it?

- Yes, utterly.






I go on about my wife.

Have you thought about the husband?



The finicky, critical husband,

with his art books on mythical Greece?



What real worship has he known?

Without worship, you shrink!



It's brutal. I shrank my life.

No one can do it for you.



I settled for being pallid and provincial

out of my eternal timidity.



The old story of bluster, and do bugger-all.



I didn't even dare to have children...



didn't dare to bring children into

a house and marriage as cold as mine.



I tell everyone Margaret is the puritan,

I'm the pagan.



Some pagan. Such wild returns I make

to the womb of civilization.



Three weeks a year in the Mediterranean.



Beds booked in advance,

meals paid with vouchers...



cautious jaunts in hired cars,

suitcase crammed with Kaopectate.



What a fantastic surrender to the primitive.



The "primitive." I use that word endlessly.



"The primitive world," I say,

"what instinctual truths were lost with it."



While I sit baiting that poor,

unimaginative woman with the word...



that freaky boy

is trying to conjure the reality.



I look at pages of centaurs

trampling the soil of Argos.



Outside my window, that boy is trying

to become one in a Hampshire field.



Every night I watch that woman knitting,

a woman I haven't kissed in six years.



And he stands for an hour in the dark,

sucking the sweat off his god's hairy cheek.



In the morning,

I put away my books on the cultural shelf...



close up my Kodachrome snaps

of Mount Olympus...



touch my reproduction statue

of Dionysus for luck...



and go off to the hospital

to treat him for insanity.



Now do you see?



The boy's in pain, Martin.



That's all I see.



I understand, you know.



I'm not just being Mrs. MacBrisk.



You haven't made that kind of pain.



So few of us have.



But you've still made other things.



Your own thoughts. Your own skill.



Skill absolutely unique to you.

I've watched you do it, year after year...



and it's marvelous!



You can't just sit and say

it's all provincial, you're just a butcher.



All that stuff is stupid, hateful.



All right, you never galloped. Too bad.



If I have to choose between

his galloping and your sheer training...



I'll take the training every time.



What's more, so will the boy,

at this moment.



That stare of his isn't accusing you,

it's simply demanding.



- What?

- Just that.



Your power to pull him out of

the nightmare he's galloped himself into.



Do you see?



Do you see?



/t is a// true,

what / said after you tapped the penci/.



Scriptum, / know why /'m in here.



I got your note. Thank you.



Also for the postscriptum.



That's the right word. My mom told me.

It's Latin. It means "after writing."



Sorry I didn't see you today.



- You were fed up with me?

- Yes.



Can I make it up to you now?



What do you mean?



I thought we'd have a session.



- Now?

- Yes, at dead of night.



Better than going to sleep, isn't it?



Listen, Alan.



Everything I say and do

has a trick or a catch.



It's the only thing I know to do.

But they work. You know that.



Now trust me.



- You got another trick, then?

- Yes.



- Truth drug?

- Lf you like.



What's it do?



- Make it easier for you to talk.

- Like you can't help yourself?



Yes, like you have to speak the truth

at all costs, and all of it.



Where is it?






Let's see.



Is that really it?



Yes. You want to try it?






- I think you do.

- I don't, not at all.



Afterwards, you'd sleep.

You'd have no more bad dreams all night.



Probably for many nights from then on.



- How long does it take to work?

- It's instant, like coffee.



- It isn't.

- Promise.






Can I have a cigarette?



Pill first.



What'll I feel first?



Nothing much.



After a minute,     green snakes

will come out of that cabinet...



singing the Ha//e/ujah Chorus.



I'm serious.



You'll feel nothing.



Nothing is going to happen,

but what you want to happen.



You're not going to say anything to me,

but what you want to say.



Sit back. Relax.



Finish your cigarette.



- Bet this room's heard some funny things.

- It certainly has.



I like it.



- This room?

- Don't you?



Well, there's nothing much to like, is there?



Actually, I'd like to leave this room,

and never set foot in it again in my life.






Been in it too long.



Where would you go?












There's a sea...



a great sea that I love.



It's where the gods used to bathe.



What gods?



The old ones, before they died.



Gods don't die.



Yes, they do.



Come with me.



It's a village I spent a night in once...



where I'd like to live.



All white.



How would you nosy parker, though?

You wouldn't have a room for it anymore.



Well, I wouldn't mind.



I don't actually enjoy being a nosy parker,

you know.



- Then why do it?

- Because you're unhappy.



So are you.



Here, I didn't mean that.



It's all right.



Is that how it works? Things slip out

without you feeling anything?






So quick.



I told you.



- You can say anything under it?

- Yes.



Ask me a question.



All right.



Tell me about Jill.



- Nothing to tell.

- Nothing?



For example, is she pretty?

You've never described her to me.



She's all right.



What color is her hair?



Don't know.



- Is it long or short?

- Don't know.



- Come, Alan, surely you know that.

- I don't remember. I don't!






you're going to do this, and do it now.



Tell me everything that happened

with this girl.



And now, not just tell me, show me.



Act it out, if you like,

even more than when I tapped the pencil.



Feel free to do anything

you like in this room.



The pill will help you, I will help you.



Now describe her to me.

Is her hair long or short?



Down to here.



- You sure?

- Yes.






- She was posh.

- You mean snobbish?



Yeah, no. I don't know!



- She was always looking.

- At you?



Saying stupid things.



Always asking questions.



Like what?



Do you find them sexy?






- Horses.

- Don't be daft.



Girls do.



They go through a period

where they pat them and kiss them a lot.



I know I did.



I suppose it's a substitute.



That kind of thing, a// the time.



Till one night...



It was her idea.

She got me into it, the whole thing.



What are you saying? One night? Go on.



/t was a Saturday night.

We were just c/osing up.



How would you like to take me out?






How would you like to take me out tonight?



- I've got to go home.

- What for?



They expect me.



Ring up and say you're going out.



I can't.



Why not?



They expect me.



Either we go out together

and have some fun...



or you go back to your boring home,

as usual, and I go back to mine.



That's the situation, isn't it?



Where would we go?



There's a skin flick over in Winchester.



I've never seen one. Have you?



Wouldn't you like to?



All those heavy Swedes

panting at one another.



Well? What do you say?









- So you did?

- I'm tired now. I want to stop.



- You can't stop there.

- I'm tired, I want to go to bed!



- Well, you can't.

- Why?



- I want to hear about that film.

- Hear what? It was awful.



- Nosy parker!

- Why?



- Because...

- Yes?



The whole place was full of men.



Jill was the only girl.



It was daft.



It all took place in Sweden.



There was this girl, Brita, who was   .



She stayed in this house

where there was an o/der boy.



He kept giving her /ooks.



But she ignored him comp/ete/y.



/nstead, she took a shower.



She went into the bathroom and took off

a// her c/othes, the /ot, very s/ow/y.



/t was fantastic.



Water fe// down her,

bouncing off her breasts.



/s that the first time

you'd ever seen a gir/ naked?






Cou/dn't see everything, though.



/t was funny.



A// around me, a// the men were staring up,

/ike they were in a church.



Like a secret congregation.



Like those ear/y Christians

my mom ta/ks about...



the ones that came together

in caves underground.



And then...









I think he saw me.






You can hear me. Don't pretend.



Do I have to come and fetch you? Alan!



Shut up, will you?



- Alan!

- Stop it!



- Come here this instant.

- But, Dad!



Come on.



You went with him, then?



What e/se cou/d / do?



/t was weird.

/ mean, it turned into fo//ow the /eader.



Dad trying to /ook impressive, and me...



/ suppose, thinking / ought to copy him.



/t was abso/ute/y stupid.



We stood at the bus stop,

/ike three peop/e in a queue...



who didn't know each other.



We must have stayed /ike that

for five minutes.



/ tried to speak, / said:



I've never been in there before in my life.









Ji// tried.



It's true, Mr. Strang.



It wasn't Alan's idea to go there at all.

It was mine.



I'm not shocked by films like that, I just...



think they're silly, that's all.



The bus wou/dn't come.



We stood and stood.



Then sudden/y, he spoke.



/t fe/t /ike it was somebody e/se

ta/king for him.



I would like you to know something...



both of you.



I came here tonight to see the manager.



He asked me to call on him

for business purposes.



I happen to be a printer, Miss.



The picture house needs posters.



That is entirely why I'm here,

to discuss posters.



While I was there,

I happened to glance in, and I saw...



I can only say that...



I'm complaining to the council.



I had no idea they showed films like this.



I'm certainly going to refuse my services.



Yes, of course.



So long as that is understood.






Come along, Alan.






No fuss, please.

Just say good night to the young lady.



No, I'm stopping here.

I've got to see her home.



It's proper.



Very well.



I'll see you when you choose to return, then.



Very well. Yes.






- What was?

- His face.



He was scared.



Scared of me.



We've got to walk.



It's four miles.






What were you thinking?



It was like I'd been fooled.



Like I was the only person who didn't know.



Every man in the street I've ever seen,

all do it.



They're not just dads.



They're all people with pricks.



And my dad, he's not just a dad either.

He's a man with a prick, too.



He's nothing special.



Nothing special at all.

Just a poor old sod on his own.



He goes off at night

and does his own secret thing...



which no one wi// know about, just /ike me.



You were happy at that second, weren't you,

when you thought about your dad?



Other peop/e have secrets, too.



Not just you.






And you fe/t free, didn't you?



Free to do a/most anything.






What's in your head?



Her eyes.



/ keep /ooking at them,

because / rea//y wanted...



/ rea//y wanted...



To /ook at her breasts?






I love your eyes.



Her face was so warm.



You want her very much?



I can't!



- Go on.

- I can't!



You can. You're doing wonderfully.



Don't make me, please.



Don't think, just answer. Come on, Alan.



Where are you now, Alan?



Cabbages, with the moon on them.



Like stee/.



A// the country, /ike it's been stee/-p/ated.



/ know abso/ute/y where we're going.






And / can't stop it.









Come on, then.



Where do you go now?



/nto his temp/e?



His ho/y of ho/ies?



What e/se can / do?



- Are you all right?

- Why?



You look weird.



Come here.



Good things come in threes.



What's the matter?






What is it? Say.



Yes, all right, leave.



Take your sweater off.



I will, if you will.



You're beautiful.



So are you.



She put her mouth in mine.



/t was /ove/y.



What did you do then?



/ put it in her.



- Yes?

- / put it in her.



- You did?

- Yes.



- Was it easy?

- Yes.



Describe it.



- / to/d you.

- What, exact/y?



- / put it in her.

- Did you?



- Yes.

- Did you?



- A// the way.

- Did you, A/an?



A// the way, / shoved it.

/ put it in her a// the way.



- Did you?

- Yes.



- Did you, Alan?

- Yes!



- Tell me the truth. Did you?

- Fuck off!



What was it?



You cou/dn't,

though you wanted to very much?



I couldn't see her.



- What do you mean?

- Only him!



Every time I kissed her, he was in the way.



- Who?

- You know who!



When I touched her, I felt him.



His side under me, waiting for my hand.



I refused him. I looked...



Iooked right at her, and I couldn't do it.



When I shut my eyes, I saw him at once,

the streaks on his belly.



Couldn't feel her flesh at all.



I wanted the foam...



off his neck...



not flesh, hide, horse hide.



And I couldn't even kiss her.



- Hello?

- No.



It's all right.



I don't mind.



Really, I don't.






- Look at me.

- Get out.



- What?

- Out!



There's nothing wrong.



Believe me.



Please, believe me,

there's nothing at all wrong.



Get out!



Listen to me.



Why don't we just...



sit down for a bit and talk?






- Just talk?

- Please.



Look, Alan,

there's nothing wrong, you know.



It happens sometimes.



It really doesn't matter.



Just you tell anyone and see, that's all.



What do you think I am, Alan?



I'm your friend.



- Do you want me to go, then?

- Get out!









Equus the Merciful.



Forgive me.



It wasn't me, not really me.



Take me back.

I'll never do it again, I swear, please.






And he? What does he say?



"Mine. You're mine.



"I am yours, and you are mine.



"I see you. I see you always.



"Everywhere. Forever."



"Kiss anyone, and I will see.



"Lie with anyone, and / wi// see.



"And you wi// fai/, A/an.

Forever and ever you wi// fai/.



"You wi// see me, and you wi// fai/.

The Lord thy God is a jea/ous God."



He sees you, A/an.

He sees you, forever and ever.



He sees you. He sees you.



Eyes, white eyes all round.

Eyes, like flames coming. God sees.



God sees. My God hast seen!






No more, Equus.



Thou, God...









Here I am. Find me. Find me.

Kill me. Kill me.



Find me, and kill me.



Breathe. Breathe in.



Calm, Alan. Calm.



Now breathe in, deep.



Breathe in.



Out. In.



Come on, that's a good boy.



Keep it going. In. Out.



Keep it going.



Easy, now. There.



It's all over now, Alan. All over now.



He'll go away now.

You'll never see him again.



You'll never see him again, I promise you.



There'll be no more bad dreams.

No more awful nights.



Think of that.



You're going to be well.

I'm going to make you well.



I promise you. You just trust me.



Trust me. Just trust me.



Now trust me, Alan.



You lie back.






Just sleep.



You've earned it.



Sleep, Alan.



Remember, he'll go away now.



I'm going to make you well.






I'm lying to you, Alan.



He won't really go that easily...



just clop away, like some nice old carthorse.



When Equus leaves, if he leaves at all,

it'll be with your...



intestines in his teeth.



And I don't...



stock replacements.



The boy's in pain, Martin.






But you can take it away.






Then that has to be enough for you.



A// right.



/'// take it away. What then?



He'// fee/ himse/f acceptab/e. What then?



You think fee/ings /ike his

can be simp/y reattached...



/ike p/asters

stuck on other objects we se/ect?



I mean, look at him.



My desire might be to make of this boy

an ardent husband, a caring citizen...



a worshipper of abstract and unifying God.



My achievement, however,

is more likely to make a ghost.



/'// hea/ the rash on his body.



/'// erase the we/ts cut into his mind

by f/ying manes.



And when that's done,

/'// put him on a meta/ scooter...



and send him puttering off

into the concrete wor/d...



and he'// never touch hide again.



Hopefully, he'll feel nothing at his fork

but approved flesh...



I doubt, however, with much passion.



Passion, you see,

can be destroyed by a doctor.



It cannot be created.



You won't gallop anymore, Alan.



Horses will be quite safe.



You'll save your money every week...



and change that scooter for a car...



and spend glorious weekends...



grooming that.



You'll pop round to the betting shop

and put the odd    pence on the nags...



quite forgetting they ever meant

anything more to you than...



bearers of little profits and little losses.



You will, however, be without pain...



almost completely without...






And now...



for me...



it never stops...



the voice of Equus...



out of the cave.



Why me?






"account for me."



How can I?



In an ultimate sense...



I cannot know what I do in this place.



Yet I do ultimate things...



irreversible things.



And I...



I stand in the dark with a blade in my hand...



striking at heads.



I need...



more desperately

than my children need me...



a way of seeing in the dark.



What way is this? What dark is this?



I cannot call it ordained of God!



I cannot go so far!



I will, however...



pay it so much homage.



There is now, in my mouth...



this sharp chain.



And it never comes out.




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