Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

4.7 17
Director: Terry Hughes

Cast: George Hearn, Angela Lansbury, Calvin Remsberg

     
 

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Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a videotaped staging of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's 1979 Broadway musical. This winner of nine Tony awards was based on Christopher Bond's adaptation of the venerable Victorian melodrama of the same name. The eponymous Mr. Todd (George Hearn), an ill-tempered London barber, pursues the grisly sideline of

Overview

Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a videotaped staging of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's 1979 Broadway musical. This winner of nine Tony awards was based on Christopher Bond's adaptation of the venerable Victorian melodrama of the same name. The eponymous Mr. Todd (George Hearn), an ill-tempered London barber, pursues the grisly sideline of slashing his enemies' throats, grinding up their bodies, and selling the results in meat pies! This is material for a musical? Yes, and it's terrific. The production is at its best when Angela Lansbury, as Todd's looney mistress, belts forth one of the score's 26 songs. When first offered on the Showtime cable service in 1983, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street carried home a shelf-full of ACE awards.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Stage productions filmed "as is" for television are difficult to make work. They are not being reimagined for another medium, so they most often serve merely as a record of an important stage presentation. Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street suffers somewhat from this problem, but the stunning original material and brilliant performances of the two leads more than make up for this. Stephen Sondheim's score is in a class by itself; rarely has the musical theatre created a score that demands such attention, grabbing the listener by the throat from the beginning and never letting go. "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd," repeated throughout, creates an atmosphere of unease, forboding and fear that prepares the audience for the gruesome story to come, which contrasts nicely with the lyrical purity of " Johanna" and "Not While I'm Around." There's also a marvelous music hall turn in "The Worst Pies in London" and delirious black comedy in "A Little Priest," as Todd and Mrs. Lovett hatch their scheme of popping people into pies. Sondheim also uses cinematic underscoring to good effect. Angela Lansbury gives a pitch-perfect performance of wild abandon and grotesquerie, but always with an understanding of what makes the character human; she captures the audience's heart with the honesty of her portrayal, so that the viewer wants this evil woman to get the simple happiness she so desperately craves. George Hearn is her match, creating a Todd that is suspicious, underhanded and ultimately irredeemable, but still sympathetic. His performance of "Epiphany"is terrifying and his despair at discovering the ultimate fate of his wife is palpable. The supporting cast, including Cris Groendaal and Betsy Joslyn, are very good, but it's Hearn and Lansbury that dominate the proceedings.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/01/2008
UPC:
0883929017683
Original Release:
1982
Rating:
NR
Source:
Turner Home Ent
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:19:00
Sales rank:
5,133

Special Features

Closed Caption

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
1. Credits [1:09]
2. The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (I) [3:26]
3. No Place Like London [3:09]
4. The Barber and His Wife [3:10]
5. The Worst Pies in London [3:29]
6. Poor Thing [4:49]
7. My Friends [3:06]
8. The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (II) [1:07]
9. Green Finch and Linnet Bird [3:14]
10. Ah, Miss [3:22]
11. Johanna [3:33]
12. Pirelli's Miracle Elixir [3:31]
13. The Contest [5:35]
14. The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (III) [1:05]
15. Wait [2:15]
16. Anthony's Affections [1:58]
17. Blackmail and Bloodshed [4:04]
18. The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (IV) [:54]
19. Kiss Me [3:03]
20. Ladies in Their Sensitivities [4:19]
21. Prized Customer [2:58]
22. Pretty Women [4:50]
23. Epiphany [3:39]
24. A Little Priest; Intermission [8:56]
25. God, That's Good! [6:28]
26. Johanna [7:50]
27. By the Sea [5:15]
28. Wigmaker Sequence [4:41]
29. Not While I'm Around [5:14]
30. Baking Secrets [2:18]
31. Parlor Songs [3:59]
32. The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (V) [1:06]
33. City on Fire [3:04]
34. Stink of Evil [3:06]
35. Pretty Women and Revenge [2:40]
36. Don't I Know You? [3:24]
37. The Barber and His Wife [4:06]
38. The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (VI) [3:04]
39. Bows and End Credits [3:03]

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
D_MacGowan More than 1 year ago
Who other than Sondheim could create such beauty and humor out of something so bleak? Just genius.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first saw this way back when I was 16 years old on public television. I remember watching it with my mouth agape. Were they truely singing, about, killing and EATING people? Oh..My...Goodness! Yes they were! And not only was it great theatre, it was great music. Off beat, sick, thought provoking...I can not say enough about it. I am a musical nut, but this musical made me the queen nut.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This musical is wonderful I saw it in the state of Oklahoma and las vegas last weekend. I have drawn set designs and costume designs for Sweeney Todd. George Hearn is great so is Angela Lansbury. If dont know if youve seen the concert version if you havent you should.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a fanatic when it comes to theater shows, especially musicals and Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is definitely up there among my favorites. It is bizarre, dark, twisted, sick in some ways, and yet completely irresistible once you start watching. The story of a crazy barber, Sweeny Todd, who in his plot for revenge teams up with the even crazier Mrs. Lovett, ends up sliting the throats of his customers who then wind up in Mrs. Lovett¿s meat pies, is one that is amazingly written and acted out by the cast. I highly recommend it to theater lovers¿ as long as you don¿t a weak stomach!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My drama teacher put this on just to waste time and it was unbelieveable. Never before has a play, or even a movie, had me on the edge of my seat like this! The music, the acting, the plot, everything about it was just enjoyable from beginning to end!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I watched the concert version of Sweeny Todd and enjoyed it much more. I felt the acting and makeup were too overdone in this version, especially by Johanna. The white face paint on Todd, and the long unnatural curls on Johanna made me laugh rather than feel creeped out. I much prefered the concert veresion because of the simplicity and it was much creepier without the facepaint and with the simple black costumes. I also thought Victoria Clark was a more natural Johanna than the girl in this film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I defintaly prefer George Hearn and Angela Lansbury as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett to the origanl cast. I feel they play the roles better and are more true to what the great Sondheim had in mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nothing is like Sweeney Todd. I believe it to be the best musical ever written, though many people would disagree. It's music is so complex and undeniable, so are it's themes. The way it molds everything together (music, themes, story, etc) is unparalleled. It's funny, tragic, and horifying all at once. Stephen Sondheim, to me, is a genius.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
George Hearn and Angela Lansbury's performances define their characters in Sweeney Todd, pure and simple. I rented the version with Johnny Depp, and while I am a big fan of Depp's, was disappointed in his Sweeney Todd role. The shallow characterizations and the soundtrack were nowhere near as compelling as this version. Sweeney Todd may not be to everyone's taste, but for fans this is the version to have, at least in my opinion. Even though it is a filming of a staged performance, rather than a native cinema work, as the Depp version was, it has more believable characters and the soundtrack is much superior.
Mooggee More than 1 year ago
I remember seeing this on television in the early 80's on PBS station. We loved it!!! We went out and bought the VHS, album, play write... went to high schools and college plays. Anything you can think of. Since then we bought and watched all the other ones from the black and white version to Johnny Depp's. This will just pull you in with laughter, mystery etc... If it's you first time watching; you'll be hooked. I still love this version the best. Didn't know about this DVD til yesterday. Have to get this one. Angela Lansbury is great!!! George Hearn was the best Sweeney to date!!
MarcelFernandez More than 1 year ago
From the first time I watched this musical, I have loved it ever since. This is the originator for the Tim Burton film of the same name. The cast includes a couple of stage legends, Angela Lansbury and George Hearn in probably one his best known roles. The music is enchanting and stick in your head for days. I highly recommend this to anyone who appreciates musicals as well as music in general. Needless to say this is one of the most recognized musicals in history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i have enjoyed seeing her return on broadway in 3 more recent shows so i was thrilled when this dvd was released & was not disappointed in being transported back in time to a show i was unable to watch over 20 years ago. i hope they will release other broadway classics on dvd, i also recommend julie andrews cinderella & victor/victoria, which is coming out on bluray this summer!
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