Brimstone and Treacle


Time Out says

Into the musty atmosphere of the Bates' suburban household comes incubus/angel figure Martin Taylor (a pleasing performance from Sting in a role which conveniently requires the star to be seen to be acting). Posing as a friend of their recently brain-damaged child, the narcissistic Taylor charms the prayer-trusting, light-brained mother (Plowright) and challenges the lustfully guilt-ridden father (Elliott), while doing dirty deeds to their daughter in the front room. The quality and ambiguities of good and evil get a thorough, if predictable going-over as Taylor manoevres around the parents like a clay-footed Pan. Betrayed by an over-familiar plotline (Orton's Entertaining Mr Sloane and Pasolini's Theorem for a start) it also suffers from a mild case of stagebounditis as a TV play transferred to the big screen. Otherwise very watchable, thanks to a trio of superb performances, and confident, well-paced direction which only goes overboard in the fantasy sequences.


Release details

87 mins

Cast and crew

Richard Loncraine
Dennis Potter
Denholm Elliott
Joan Plowright
Suzanna Hamilton
Benjamin Whitrow
Dudley Sutton
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