• Brothers and Sisters
  • 1981, 96 mins

General Information

  • Company: British Film Institute
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Type: 35mm Colour Feature film
  • Topic: Reflective thriller revolving around murder of prostitute in Northern city
  • Available as: 35mm, 16mm, DVD or other digital format (pending)
  • Available from: Yorkshire Film Archive (


  • Director: Richard Woolley
  • Script: Richard Woolley and others
  • Production: Keith Griffiths/Peter Sainsbury
  • Line Producer: Jim Pearse
  • D.O.P.: Pascoe Macfarlane
  • Sound: Alf Bower
  • Editing: Mick Audsley
  • Dubbing: Doug Turner (Delta Sound)
  • Music: Trevor Jones


  • Carolyn Pickles......Theresa Bennett/ Jennifer Collins
  • Elizabeth Bennett......Sarah Barratt
  • Jenifer Armitage......Tricia Snow
  • Robert East......James Barratt
  • Sam Dale......David Barratt

BROTHERS AND SISTERS is a very different kind of thriller – a provocative investigation of sexual violence and mores both inside and outside of film. When JENIFER COLLINS, a part time prostitute, is found murdered, two upper-class brothers become suspects. Neither have alibis and although political rhetoric divides DAVID BARRATT, a self indulgent 'revolutionary' living in a communal house, from his brother, James, a right wing army major, both men are linked by their shared sexual hypocrisy. James, it seems, prefers secret liaisons with prostitutes to sleeping with his wife. While David, who has been sneakily conducting an affair with Theresa, the dead woman's sister employed by James as a nanny, bleats that he has just been 'trying to work out new codes of sexual behaviour', when challenged by Tricia, his live-in lover.

"By a clever juggling of murder-thriller suspense and soap-opera naturalism, Woolley shrewdly anatomises Anglo-Saxon attitudes to sex and the sexes" Financial Times
"A continuously interesting picture, formally adroit and persuasively acted" The Observer
"Woolley has the rare gift of keeping you anxious to know what happens next" The Times
"The film achieves an unexpected immediacy with Carolyn Pickles giving an impressive performance..." Time Out

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  • "Richard Woolley has the rare gift of keeping you anxious to know what happens next"
  • David Robinson, The Times