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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(play), (screenplay)
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Brimstone and Treacle (TV Movie 1987)
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Director: John-Paul Davidson
Stars: Alan Bates, Theresa Russell, Sting
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Suzanna Hamilton ...
...
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) »

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An intriguing fantasy of angelic innocence and devilish passion.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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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

The project had been in development for some years with names such as David Bowie and even Michael Palin considered for the role of Martin. According to Sting he was eventually offered the part ahead of Malcolm McDowell after convincing director Richard Loncraine during an early morning meeting in New York. 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

Narration
Performed by Sting
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User Reviews

 
further info
7 October 1998 | by (london, england) – See all my reviews

The film is re-make of a television play which the BBC chose not to transmit because of its controversial subject matter, in particular the final sequence of rape. This version which received a cinema release, appeared 6 years later, and included one member of the original cast, Denholm Elliot.

The central role of Martin was re-cast with Sting (then lead singer with The Police) who also provided music material, including his first solo single Spread A Little Happiness. (Michael Nyman also provided soundtrack material.)

The script remains largely faithful to the original screenplay, though several minutes of discourse in one of the final scenes is excised completely. This is a discussion of racism which provokes Mr Bates to retract from his outspoken racist views.

The original TV play is set mostly within the confines of a living room, while the

bigger-budget movie is less restricted, and has a Gothic, sinister atmosphere. References to Martin's diabolical nature are more subtle too – the TV play shows Martin with hairy, clawed feet. The closing scene of the film suggests that Martin may have been caught out (by an angel – or devil?), while the TV play implies that his actions within the Bates household are just one of many continuing abuses on a never-ending cycle.


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