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Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street [DVD] [1982]


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Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street [DVD] [1982] + Sweeney Todd
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Product details

  • Actors: Angela Lansbury, George Hearn, Cris Groenendaal, Sara Woods, Edmund Lyndeck
  • Directors: Terry Hughes, Harold Prince
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 12 May 2008
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014T7EK0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,971 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Stephen Sondheim's acclaimed Broadway musical. Set in the 19th century, the story begins with the arrival in London of Benjamin Barker, a local barber who has been in jail for years for a crime he didn't commit. Benjamin discovers that after his exile, the man responsible for his incarceration, Judge Turpin (Edmund Lyndeck), raped his wife Lucy, who committed suicide soon after. To make matters worse, Turpin adopted Benjamin's daughter, Johanna (Betsy Joslyn). Consumed with rage, Benjamin changes his name to Sweeney Todd and plots a bloody revenge with help from the admiring Mrs Lovett (Angela Lansbury), the local pie shop owner.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By I. R. Scott on 23 Jan 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a superb film. Anyone who appreciates Stephen Sondheim will enjoy this excellent performance. Hearn is the finest Sweeney ever and Angela Lansbury is brilliant as Mrs Lovett. There is not a weak link in the cast. I would recommend this to anyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By film and theatre buff on 5 Feb 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you remember the original production of Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd", then this filmed version of the production in Los Angeles is an excellent reminder. Of course it lacks the immediacy of seeing it live, but the music and the sets are spectacular. The acting is quite "big" - well it would have to be to fill a theatre. On TV, certain characters appear a bit, well, overblown. In short, this DVD divided our household. Those of us who'd seen a large scale theatre version really enjoyed it. Those who had seen a recent small scale London Fringe production of the show, which was truly superb, found this DVD overdone, hammy, and not in the same league as a live show
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By H. Frohmann on 21 July 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Thank goodness this recording of the stage show is now available with its magnificent central performances from Angela Lansbury and George Hearn.

The show's triumphant mix of gruesome comedy, melodramatic lovers' subplot and final tragic depiction of what revenge does to a human soul is brilliantly acted and excellently sung.

This is the only version you'll ever need.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. Standfield on 3 May 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was pleased with this dvd. It was the version I remembered from years ago. Previously I had bought the one with Johnnie Depp in and was dissapointed as nearly all the songs were missed out. The description on the web page was informative and the delivery was within a few days.
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By Alfie Cooke on 25 April 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've always tried to avoid giving bad reviews for anything but, sitting watching this film again after a few years, it's hard not to. To be fair, there are good points. For a start, it is an exceptionally well-written piece of theatre. Whether you come to it through the Tim Burton version or this theatrlcal performance, it is easy to see the potential for a great show through any faults. But the faults are huge and impossible to ignore.

To begin with, there is the travesty that is Angela Lansbury's mockery of a cockney accent - shrill and ear-piercing whenever she sings and full of the worst Eastenderisms whenever she speaks. Possibly the worst aspect of this version is her accent, through which she murders every song more viciously than Todd murders his clients! With a similar disregard for the actor's technique of doing only those accents of which you are capable, Ken Jennings, who plays the barber's assistant Toby, takes us on a veritable tour of the British isles, changing accent at every opportunity, and while Sal Mistretta's over-done Italian accent works perfectly for the over-blown Pirelli, his change to Irish when his true identity is revealed suggests that it is for his offences to Ireland that Todd kills him rather than to protect himself from blackmail. While it is set in London, most members of the cast make no attempt at putting on a London accent and their parts work much better. George Hearn in the title role remains American throughout and stands out in his performance, while Judge Turpin's upper-crust American is truly menacing. When Hearn and Lyndeck sing their duet "Pretty Women", their equally evil intentions are mesmerising.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is real Sondheim, not disneyfied Sondheim.

The harmonies are 'bad', the characters insane, the acting crass and the music indiscrete. But this is what makes Sondheim, Sondheim!

If you want to see Sweeney Todd, as Sweeney Todd, then go for it, and get this!

My only reservation is of the choice of some actors, not Sweeney or Lovett, but of Toby, and to a lesser extent, Johanna. Perhaps, though, this is merely them, unable to stand up and be seen alongside greats such as Lansbury & Hearn.

Staging is brilliant, music is fantastic. If you want to see what Sweeney is all about, then try this for size!
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By Sally Ellingworth on 30 May 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My son who this was bought for, was delighted by this purchase so thank you very much for the swift arrival
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Format: DVD
Thank heaven this production was recorded, else we unfortunates who never saw Angela Lansbury as Mrs Lovett would have just the audio version to enjoy (which, by the way, is a masterpiece). Lansbury and George Hearn ham it up to the highest degree, but how else could such a gruesome tale be portrayed in a musical? To see the normally elegant Angela cavorting about as she does here, is something else! A gem as far as she and Mr Hearn are concerned.
The rest of the cast are somewhat overshadowed by the two leads, and (this is the reason for four stars and not five) the actress who plays Johanna is probably the most irritatingly forced soprano I have heard in my life. When singing, the poor dear looks as though she is about to burst!
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