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Equus 1977 ****

 

Peter Shaffer’s play has been successfully revived with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe in the lead; in 1977, it was Peter Firth who played Alan Strang, the disturbed boy who comes under scrutiny for blinding several horses. Richard Burton brings all his weight to Martin Dysart, the psychiatrist investigating, delivering straight-to-camera monologues with genuine gravity. How accurately Equus deals with mental health issues is up for debate, but what’s on screen in undeniably compelling, with Sidney Lumet making the best of unfamiliar UK locations and Jenny Agutter excellent is a crucial role.

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