A film set and partly shot in Bradford has broken box office records at a cinema which features in the movie.

The Jealous God, based on an autobiographical novel by Bingley author John Braine who wrote Room at the Top, stars Cutting It actor Jason Merrells as shy schoolteacher Vincent Dungarvan who is destined for the priesthood until he falls for a local Protestant girl.

The film is shot in the style of 1960s films such as Room at the Top and Billy Liar, both filmed in Bradford.

Several scenes in The Jealous God were shot at St Bede's School, Heaton, where Braine was a pupil. Other locations include the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, Halifax, Huddersfield and Leeds, and the cast features Denise Welch, Dinnerladies star Andrew Dunn and Catchphrase host Roy Walker.

In one scene Vincent takes his girlfriend, Laura, on a date to a cinema where the film Room at the Top is showing. The scene was shot at The Rex in Elland, where director Steven Woodcock says The Jealous God has broken box office records.

"It's the highest-grossing film there over the last two years, with the exception of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," he said. "It's also doing well at the Plaza in Skipton and the Keighley Picture House and those cinemas, along with The Rex, are keeping it on.

"At The Rex you can watch a scene filmed in the seats you're sitting in, which appeals to audiences," said Steven. "And I think the older people who are more inclined to use these cinemas are those who particularly appreciate this film."

The film, billed as an alternative to modern blockbusters that feature sex and violence, targets older audiences who remember Yorkshire as it was in the 60s.

"I consulted with cinema managers who confirmed there was a market for good solid British films that weren't nodding their hat at America," said Steven. "I want to make films primarily for British audiences." The film has received mixed reviews in the national press and Steven hit back at critics he claims have missed the point.

"I deliberately filmed it in the style of 60s films but some critics have dismissed it as a low budget northern film. It was actually shot on a bigger budget than Mike Leigh's Vera Drake," he said. "There's a snobbery among some film critics, I'm afraid it's the social prejudice of the North/South divide.

"I was also criticised for using television actors. I used them because they are good actors and recognisable faces. But it said it all when one critic wrote: 'Jason Merrells apparently appears Cutting It' - it was as if he wanted to get across the fact that he would never watch something so popularist!

"The local press reviews have been great though, and the film has done particularly well in the North."

The Jealous God is the second film produced by North Country Pictures, run by Steven and his wife Julie.

The company is building a brand-name of film adaptations of Yorkshire novels.

"They're good, character-led stories with a nostalgic appeal," said Steven. "I grew up reading these novels and they inspired the films that inspired me, films about ordinary people, shot in places in the North that I recognised."