The Grotesque (film)

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The Grotesque
The Grotesque promotional poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byJohn-Paul Davidson
Produced byStephen Evans
John Kay
Trudie Styler
Written byPatrick McGrath
(novel and screenplay)
StarringAlan Bates
Lena Headey
Theresa Russell
Music byAnne Dudley
CinematographyAndrew Dunn
Edited byTariq Anwar
Distributed byLive Entertainment (U.S.)
Release date
  • 14 June 1996 (1996-06-14) (UK)
  • 7 March 1997 (1997-03-07) (U.S.)
  • 28 November 2001 (2001-11-28) (France TV)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Grotesque (also known as Grave Indiscretion and Gentlemen Don't Eat Poets) is a 1995 British film by John-Paul Davidson, adapted from the 1989 novel of the same name by Patrick McGrath. It stars Alan Bates, Lena Headey, Theresa Russell and Sting.

Costume Designer Colleen Atwood worked on the film, and McGrath's wife, actress Maria Aitken, performed in a supporting role.


Eccentric paleontologist Sir Hugo has little interest in his wife, Lady Harriet, but the new butler, Fledge, gives her the attention she needs. Hugo dislikes his daughter Cleo's fiancé, aspiring poet Sidney, and Sidney's subsequent disappearance places the household in further turmoil.



The film was released under the title Gentlemen Don't Eat Poets in the United States, and later its US video title was Grave Indiscretion.[1] It is also known as Butler morden leiser in Germany, Grotesco in Portugal, and Perverso in Spain.

The film is available on Region 2 DVD (as The Grotesque) and VHS (Grave Indiscretion) only, though both versions are out of print.


Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club called the film "predictable", noting its "lack of substance" and that "Bates and Russell deliver amusingly over-the-top performances...but Sting and Styler give wooden performances that make their characters seem not so much eerie and mysterious as heavily sedated."[1]


  1. ^ a b Rabin, Nathan (29 March 2002). "Grave Indiscretion". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 29 May 2019.

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