The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, a.k.a Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop down in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett. Based on the hit Broadway musical.
In the Victorian London, the barber Benjamin Barker is married to the gorgeous Lucy and they have a lovely child, Johanna. The beauty of Lucy attracts the attention of the corrupt Judge Turpin, who falsely accuses the barber of a crime that he did not commit and abuses Lucy later after gaining custody of her. After fifteen years in exile, Benjamin returns to London under the new identity of Sweeney Todd, seeking revenge against Turpin. He meets the widow Mrs. Lovett who is the owner of a meat pie shop who tells him that Lucy swallowed arsenic many years ago, and Turpin assigned himself tutor of Johanna. He opens a barber shop above her store, initiating a crime rampage against those who made him suffer and lose his beloved family. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Composer Stephen Sondheim, notoriously protective of his stage works, long resisted offers to film this story. When Tim Burton expressed interest, however, Sondheim relented when pleased with Burton's vision for the project and on the condition that the composer would maintain casting approval. Burton would only agree to direct with Johnny Depp in the lead, and though Sondheim feared Depp's vocals would be too "rock oriented," the composer approved the actor after a vocal audition. To approve the casting of Helena Bonham Carter, and to combat any rumor of nepotism (as Carter and Burton were romantically involved), the actress sent Sondheim no less than twelve audition tapes of her singing. Very impressed with her vocals, Sondheim immediately approved the actress. Also, in his recent book about his career as a songwriter, "Finishing the Hat" Sondheim states that this is the only adaptation of one of his works for the screen that he approves of. See more »
When Mrs. Lovett is singing "The Worst Pies In London" she is seen pressing on dough on her counter from behind her hand. She leans over to push on it, and the shot changes to in front of her, where she leans over to push on it again. See more »
I have sailed the world, beheld its wonders, from the Dardanelles to the mountains of Peru. But there's no place like London.
No, there's no place like London.
You are young. Life has been kind to you. You will learn.
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Contrary to the many comments I have read and heard about the film thus far, I thought it was absolutely wonderful. After what some could term a "dry spell" for Tim Burton, it is such a breath of fresh air to see this new offering, Sweeney Todd. The movie showed Tim returning to his roots of the dark, the sinister, and the macabre. All were blended together in the setting he is so very well-known for, the dark streets of London.
In addition, I thought the fact that he maintained the musical aspect of the film/play worked in the movie's favor. I know Johnny Depp has said that he can't sing, but he sang rather well if you ask me. Keeping the cockney accent, whether singing or not, it made the film that much better. While I was surprised to see Danny Elfman not included in this movie, I believe the music was performed and carried out beautifully, nonetheless. Indeed, the accents can at times make it hard to discern what is being said, but that's not always a bad thing, considering the circumstances. Were they to all of a sudden not speak or sing with their cockney tones, it may provide a problem with consistency. Overall, I loved the movie and have no complaints. A very refreshing return to the realms and themes that Tim Burton is so very amazing at capturing. Top notch!
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