Brimstone and Treacle

Brimstone and Treacle

Director: Richard Loncraine

Cast: Richard Loncraine, Sting, Denholm Elliott, Joan Plowright

     
 

The arrival of a mysterious stranger disrupts the lives of the members of a British family in this dark, psychological thriller. The stranger is one Martin Taylor (Sting), a dangerous charmer who ingratiates himself with the Bateses, a dignified, older couple (Denholm Elliott and Joan Plowright). The couple becomes especially fond of Martin after he demonstrates a… See more details below

Overview

The arrival of a mysterious stranger disrupts the lives of the members of a British family in this dark, psychological thriller. The stranger is one Martin Taylor (Sting), a dangerous charmer who ingratiates himself with the Bateses, a dignified, older couple (Denholm Elliott and Joan Plowright). The couple becomes especially fond of Martin after he demonstrates a strong, caring rapport with their daughter, a disabled invalid. It is only when he has become a part of the household, unofficially serving as the daughter's caretaker, that Martin's true, potentially demonic nature begins to show itself. Based on a script by Dennis Potter, the creator of the brilliant British television miniseries Pennies from Heaven and The Singing Detective, the film layers its already charged situation with hints of the supernatural, aspiring to be both disturbing family drama and provocatively ambiguous morality play. Some moments of MTV-like stylization threaten to diminish the mood of slow suspense and unhealthy obsession, but Potter's distinctly warped sensibility and the solid performances generally carry the film over its rough patches.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Scripted by the always intriguing Dennis Potter, Brimstone and Treacle offers a disturbing look at what guilt and repression can do to a man, a marriage, and a family. It also offers the best acting work of Sting's movie career. Director Richard Loncraine does a fine job of recognizing the solid script he has been given, yet still manages to find appropriate moments to take some flights of visual fancy. The film plays out in mostly two and three shots allowing the audience to see how the psychopath con man Martin (Sting) is manipulating both Denholm Elliot's guilt-ridden husband as well as Joan Plowright's emotionally exhausted wife. They believably embody long-time married couple who, when faced with the adversity of caring for an invalid daughter, sink deeper into their resentments. Sting, obviously inspired by the work of Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange, seems to be having a marvelous time playing such an unrelenting hedonistic conman. He is equally charming and frightening. And in the few moments where one might find him less than believable, his expert co-stars are there to sell the performance to us. With a running time of less than 90 minutes, Brimstone and Treacle efficiently delivers a parable about honesty with more than a few wicked laughs.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/16/2003
UPC:
0027616895318
Original Release:
1982
Rating:
R
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround]
Time:
1:27:00

Special Features

Original theatrical trailer; English stereo surround; English, French & Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sting Martin Taylor
Denholm Elliott Thomas Bates
Joan Plowright Norma Bates
Suzanna Hamilton Patricia Bates
Benjamin Whitrow Businessman
Dudley Sutton Stroller
Tim Preece Clergyman
Elizabeth Bradley Passerby
Christopher Fairbanks Drunk
Mary McLeod Valerie Holdsworth
Hugh Walters Man

Technical Credits
Richard Loncraine Director
Millie Burns Production Designer
Norman Garwood Production Designer
Paul Green Editor
Peter Hannan Cinematographer
Shuna Harwood Costumes/Costume Designer
Tony Jackson Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Nyman Score Composer
Dennis Potter Screenwriter
Herbert F. Solow Producer
Sting Score Composer
Kenith Trodd Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title/The Innocents [5:59]
2. Preying on Mr. Bates [5:34]
3. Something Wicked [7:50]
4. Stolen Property [4:13]
5. To Be His Bride [8:22]
6. Night Terrors [4:38]
7. Morning Has Broken [3:41]
8. A Day in the Life [5:42]
9. Left Alone [4:05]
10. "Love Conq\uers All" [4:23]
11. The Power and the Might [4:49]
12. All the More Reason [11:23]
13. Autumn Leaves [2:00]
14. "Happy Household" [4:38]
15. Burning Desires [4:23]
16. London Fog/End Credits [5:35]

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