Brimstone and Treacle (1982)

UK, 1982
35mm film, Technicolor, Dolby, English

A British fantasy film directed by Richard Loncraine.

Plot Summary

Tom and Norma Bates, a middle-aged couple living in suburban Britain, care for their teenaged daughter Patricia, paralysed in a traffic accident. Tom – who caused the accident that left his daughter an invalid – meets a mysterious young man, Martin, who charms his way into the Bates household, suggesting that he be allowed to look after Patricia. But is Martin all he seems to be?


Director: Richard Loncraine
Namara Films, Pennies From Heaven Films, Sherwood
Executive Producer: Naim Attallah
Producer: Alan E. Salke, Herbert F. Solow, Kenith Trodd
Script: Dennis Potter
Director of Photography: Peter Hannan
Editor: Paul Green
Music: Sting, Michael Nyman
Sound Recording: Tony Jackson
Costumes: Shuna Harwood
Make-up: Elaine Carew
Hair: Maureen Stephenson
Production Designer: Milly Burns

Sting (Martin Taylor)
Denholm Elliott (Thomas Bates)
Joan Plowright (Norma Bates)
Suzanna Hamilton (Patricia Bates)
Benjamin Whitrow (businessman)
Dudley Sutton (stroller)
Mary MacLeod (Miss Holdsworth)
Tim Preece (clergyman)
Elizabeth Bradley (passer-by)
Hugh Walters (man)
Christopher Fairbank (drunk)

Alternative Titles

Brimstone – working title

Remake of
Play for Today: Brimstone and Treacle (1976)



  • Films in Review January 1983 pp.47-48 – review
  • Total Film September 1998 p.98 – review (by Dan Rider)


  • Fight and Kick and Bite: The Life and Work of Dennis Potter by Stephen W. Gilbert p.350 – credits
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.71 – credits, synopsis
  • Horror and Science Fiction III by Donald C. Willis pp.37-38 – credits