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The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1936)
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (original title)

 |  Drama, Horror  |  March 1936 (UK)
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Reviews: 29 user | 18 critic

A Fleet Street barber recounts the story of Sweeney Todd, a notorious barber who in the last century murdered many customers for their money.



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Title: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1936)

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Complete credited cast:
Tod Slaughter ...
Stella Rho ...
John Singer ...
Tobias (as Johnny Singer)
Eve Lister ...
Bruce Seton ...
D.J. Williams ...
Stephen Oakley
Davina Craig ...
Jerry Verno ...
Graham Soutten ...
Beadle (as Ben Souten)
Billy Holland ...
Mr. Parsons
Norman Pierce ...
Mr. Findlay
Aubrey Mallalieu ...
Trader Paterson


In the Nineteenth Century, in London, the barber Sweeney Todd invites lonely and wealthy costumers in the port to his barbershop on the nearby Fleet Street and murders them to take their money, while his associate Mrs. Lovatt and owner of a bakery below is barbershop gets rid off the bodies. Sweeney uses his fortune to help the fleet owner Stephen Oakley with the intention to force his daughter Joanna to marry him. However, the beloved Joanna's boyfriend Mark Ingerstreet returns rich from his last voyage and Sweeney decides to kill him and steal his fortune in pearl, making Mrs. Lovatt jealous with the situation. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Horror


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Release Date:

March 1936 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Demon Killer of the Slums  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(Visatone Marconi)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The "stone" steps in Sweeney Todd's cellar make very hollow, wooden-sounding noises when walked upon. See more »


Sweeney Todd: May I polish you off sir?
See more »


Featured in Shepperton Babylon (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Not just of a different era, but of the theatre.
24 June 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A real curio here, with a totally old-fashioned production and the wonderfully Dickensian Tod Slaughter performance merging well with the intrinsically macabre tale. The subject matter, whether shown or suggested, is sinister, and played as gallows humour by Slaughter. The rest of the cast is hardly particularly impressive, but fits well enough into the story, allowing Slaughter centre-stage most of the time, although there is a bizarre foreign interlude that is somewhat out-of-place.

I love the recurring wistful, whistleable tune - absurdly Romantic, yet very low calorie British too - over the opening credits; very melodic and all the more striking as, besides this refrain, there is little or no other incidental music. The photography, could, I suppose, have been more conducive to 'atmosphere', but what is that but an expectation we have about noirish cinema? This is pure theatrical melodrama. The production is indeed spare and minimal, and we're left largely to enjoy the ripping old story and a fine 'turn' from the star. There are very good lines, presumably tailored to Slaughter's stage performances in the role; he delivers them with Dickensian gusto, in a gloriously theatrical performance, which is the main, if not quite the only reason to view this oddball, watchable antique piece.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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