6.5/10
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Brimstone & Treacle (1982)

A strange young man has a sinister effect on the family of a middle-aged writer.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Martin Taylor
...
...
Norma Bates
Suzanna Hamilton ...
Patricia Bates
...
Businessman
...
Stroller
Mary MacLeod ...
Valerie Holdsworth
Tim Preece ...
Clergyman
Elizabeth Bradley ...
Woman Passer By
Hugh Walters ...
Man
Christopher Fairbanks ...
Drunk
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Storyline

Brimstone and Treacle is a modern gothic tale about the evil that men do and the price that must be paid to make things right. The film, a remake of a 1976 teleplay that included Denholm Elliot in its original cast as Mr. Bates, the film also included an incredibly cool soundtrack of songs by artists like The Go-Go's, The Police, Squeeze and an irreverently stylish 1930's little diddy called "Spread A Little Happiness", performed by Sting by himself. Written by Gerry Kissell <repdetect@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

daughter | guilt | remake | invalid | sex | See All (27) »

Taglines:

An intriguing fantasy of angelic innocence and devilish passion.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 November 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brimstone  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whilst making the movie, Sting, had an accident injuring his arm. His band, The Police, were, at the time, on tour promoting their album Ghost In The Machine. During a performance at the NEC Arena, Sting appeared with a heavily bandaged arm, and was unable to play bass,and was replaced by his roadie, Danny Quatrochi. See more »

Quotes

Tom Bates: Miss Holdsworth, raise your skirt please.
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Crazy Credits

End credits are listed on turning pages of a book. See more »

Connections

Remake of Brimstone and Treacle (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

A Kind of Loving
(uncredited)
Written and performed by The Police
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very intriguing allegorical thriller
13 May 2003 | by (Ohio, USA) – See all my reviews

Polite, mannered drifter Martin Taylor (Sting) charms his way into the home of Thomas Bates (Denholm Elliott), an outwardly upright publisher of religious text, his simple-minded, devout wife Norma (Joan Plowright) and their catatonic daughter Patricia (Suzanna Hamilton), whom he claims to know. Martin is allowed to stay in the home for a couple of days, cooks, cleans, "cares" for the daughter and tries to help the couple through their marital problems, but he's also the catalyst that forces some dark secrets out of the family closet.

Sting's character will either annoy or fascinate you as he exists solely as an enigma, representing angel or demon, or possibly both. Originally a play, this film never quite escapes the stage, but that only feeds into the claustrophobia of the stuffy household and guilt-ridden, lonely characters who inhabit it, and, all in all, it's an intriguing allegory on the nature of good and evil that has a lot to offer, including potent religious imagery, a knockout nightmare/fantasy sequence and a good score (plus songs by The Police) all driven home by excellent performances by the three leads and assured direction by Richard Loncraine.

Dennis Potter's script was previously filmed in 1976 for BBC (that version also starred the great Denholm Elliott).


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