Brimstone & Treacle (film)

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Brimstone & Treacle
Theatrical poster for Brimstone & Treacle
Theatrical poster for Brimstone & Treacle
Directed by: Richard Loncraine
Produced by: Naim Attallah
Written by: Dennis Potter
Starring: Sting
Music by: Michael Nyman
Edited by: Paul Green
Distributed by: United Artists Classics
Release date(s): 1982-11-12
Running time: 87 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
Language(s): English
IMDB link

Plot summary

Tom and Norma Bates lead a sad but quiet life caring for their invalid daughter, Patricia. Their lives are turned upside-down upon the arrival of a mysterious man named Martin, who plays a con on them and manages to convince the Bates that he is an old boyfriend of Patricia's and would like to help take care of her. Norma is charmed, but Tom is suspicious that Martin's arrival will reveal the truth behind Patricia's condition and tear their family apart.


Primary cast members of the film included:

  • Sting (Martin Taylor)
  • Denholm Elliott (Tom Bates)
  • Joan Plowright (Norma Bates)
  • Suzanna Hamilton (Patricia Bates)
  • Mary MacLeod (Valerie Holdsworth)


Brimstone & Treacle was originally written as a television play by Dennis Potter in 1976. It was commissions as part of BBC Television's Play for Today series in, but this original version was not aired until 1987 due to objections of the BBC's then Director of Television Programmes.[1] Potter then re-wrote it for the stage, in a version that was produced in 1977.

Primary filming location for this 1982 theatrical release starring Sting was Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England. Filming began on 1981-10-12 and ended on 1981-12-17 or 1981-12-18. Sting did some reshoots in England at the end of February / early March 1982.


Brimstone & Treacle was first released in theaters on 1982-11-12.

Video and DVD releases

Cover art Release date Country Format Language Special features
Sting-brimstoneandtreaclevhs83.jpg 1983 U.S.A VHS (Region 1/NTSC) English
Stub.gif 1988-11-01 Japan VHS (NTSC) English (?)
Sting-brimstoneandtreaclevhs93.jpg 1993-06-30 U.S.A VHS (Region 1/NTSC) English
Sting-brimstoneandtreacledvd2.jpg 2003-04-14 U.K. DVD (Region 2/PAL) English 4:3
Sting-brimstoneandtreacledvd.jpg 2003-09-16 U.S.A. DVD (Region 1/NTSC) English trailer, 1.66:1 widescreen; French and Spanish subtitles


Year Winner Award Category
1982 Richard Loncraine Montréal World Film Festival Grand Prix des Amériques


Quotations and trivia

  • The role of Martin Taylor was apparently originally offered to both David Bowie and Malcolm McDowell before being accepted by Sting.[2]

See also

External links & reviews