Trick or Treat (unfinished film)

Trick or Treat
Directed by Michael Apted
Produced by David Puttnam
Sandy Lieberson
Written by Ray Connolly
Kathleen Tynan
Based on novel by Ray Connolly
Starring Bianca Jagger
Jan Smithers
Nigel Davenport
Goodtimes Enterprises
Release dates
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £600,000 (£400,,000 of which was spent)[1]

Trick or Treat is an unfinished British film directed by Michael Apted that was started in 1975 but never completed. It led to the breakup of the producing partnership between David Puttnam and Sandy Lieberson.[2][3]


A lesbian couple who want a baby become involved with a married couple.



Ray Connolly first thought of the idea in 1969. He wrote it as a novel in 1974. He then turned it into a screenplay and succeeded in attracting the interested of David Puttnam of Goodtimes Enterprises. Connolly:

It was, in my mind, a love affair between four people, a sort of erotic Chabrol piece about sexual relationships and emotional ambivalences. It was to be set in Europe and to star three Europeans and one American. At a time when English films were unattractive outside Britain, here seemed an opportunity to make a film with international appeal. In fact I’d even gone to Paris to write the novel in the first place.[1]

Finance was obtained from the National Film Finance Corporation, EMI Films, and an Italian company called Rizzoli Film. Later Playboy's film division contributed to the budget. Bianca Jagger and Stephanie Audran were cast in the leads; Audran later dropped out and was replaced by Elsa Martinelli.

Production on the film commenced in 1975. Connolly says that Bianca Jagger was difficult to work with:

She wanted the script to be more faithful to the book, which was a surprising request since the book was much more sexually explicit than any of the scripts. During the next six months the question of the sex and nudity was to be a point for endless discussions between Bianca and the rest of us; we wanted to make a serious film about a sexual relationship between two women and a man. To us that involved nudity. In Bianca’s mind there was some big bad film baron who wanted us to make a dirty film; that was absurd. Neither the producers nor the financiers ever put any pressure upon us to make a film other than the one we had always intended to make. Bianca never said she wouldn’t do the nudity – and even signed a contract to say that she would: she just moaned a lot about it. But then she moaned about most things … the costumes, the way the film was lit, the importance of having a say in approving the other girl and the eventual choices of the married couple... But most of all she moaned about the script.[1]

Kathleen Tynan was called in to work on the script.[4] Jagger refused to do nude scenes during filming in Rome.[5] She claimed the movie was "pure pornography".[6]

Filming was eventually called off in January 1976. Connolly estimated around £400,000 had been spend leaving under forty minutes of usable footage.[1]


The fate of the movie contributed to the breakup of the partnership between David Puttnam and Sandy Lieberson.[7] It also resulted in a number of lawsuits[8] and was how Tynan met Puttnam and Apted; the three later made Agatha together.[4]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "The Making of Trick Or Treat?" The Sunday Times Magazine, September 1976, at
  2. Trick or Treat at BFI Screenonline.
  3. "Bianca Jagger and the Film that Never was." Sunday Times [London, England], 5 September 1976: 43[S]+. The Sunday Times Digital Archive. Web. 26 May 2014.
  4. 1 2 Unraveling a Christie Mystery. Krier, Beth Ann. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File), 11 October 1978: f1.
  5. "Date set for police hearing", The Guardian (1959-2003) [London (UK)], 16 September 1977: 2.
  6. Roberts, Michael. "Look! News in Fashion." Sunday Times (London), 29 February 1976: 43. The Sunday Times Digital Archive. Web. 26 May 2014.
  7. "Interview with Sandy Lieberson", 1970s Project 6 March 2008 accessed 26 May 2014
  8. "It's Goodby Glitter, Hello Work". Mann, Roderick. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 30 March 1978: f14.
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