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9 Reviews
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Been waiting for this for YEARS!!, 9 July 2005
By 
Orcadian1968 (Kirkwall, Orkney) - See all my reviews
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I saw this on the BBC about 20 years ago. I luckily recorded it on Betamax (yeah - a long time ago!) I then had to transfer it onto VHS when my beta packed up. I have been watching a VERY poor quality copy of this for the past 20 years. I went out and bought a brand new multi region dvd player to buy this dvd. This verion IS history. Angela Landsbury and George Hearn are just AMAZING. Landsbury quite right getting a Tony for her performance. The other amazing advance is that it is now in remastered 5.1. AMAZING. If you love Sondhiem, if you love this musical - then BUY it - you'll not be dissapointed. I've been waiting for 20 years for this - I'M NOT
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great show, great performances by Hearn and Lansbury, 27 July 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, is Stephen Sondheim's telling of a barber driven mad. His wife and child were taken from him by a corrupt judge. He was transported, but he managed years later to return to London. He takes his revenge on humanity by slitting the throats of those he shaves. He's fortunate in meeting Mrs. Lovett, who makes a poor living making and selling awful meat pies, the main ingredient of which is cat. Now with Sweeney providing a constant source of fresh meat, her pies become best sellers. Sweeney finds his daughter, but retribution is inevitable.

Sondheim brings together some major themes in telling this story. It's a big production for a big score and story. Angela Lansbury and George Hearn as Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd command the stage. It's not an opera, but is sung through with little dialogue.

The play was filmed while the show played Los Angeles. We're viewing a stage production, but the direction, camera work and editing give an excellent feel of immediacy.

For me, Sondheim has always seemed to be over-intellectual with too much of an air of the alienated high school loner about him, but he has created some excellent, original shows. And he knows how to put together magnificent set pieces, critical to a show, which are stunning by themselves. In Sweeney there's a long number called "Johanna." His daughter is singing from a nunnery where the judge has placed her. The sailor who met her and who fell in love with her is singing. And Sweeney is singing. All singing of longing, with a beautiful, melodic theme...and while Sweeney is singing he's slitting the throats of his customers. It's a powerful moment. Check out the "Someone in a Tree" number from Pacific Overtures or "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs" from Follies. These are works of an extraordinarily gifted composer.

The DVD is full frame, as it was broadcast on television, and is in excellent condition.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sondheim's perfect musical, 22 Aug. 2004
By A Customer
This is a brilliant version of the Sondheim blockbuster. There is brilliant camerawork throughout the show which means that you do not miss any of the action. Lansbury is as always wonderful and hilarious to watch with her Cockney singing. Hearn is not as good as Cariou in the original recording of the show; his voice is not as powerful or as smooth. Occasionally, there is sometimes trouble with the sound quality of the orchestra. Particularly before the entrance of Mrs Lovett - the romping fanfare she receives before we see the pie shop for the first time.
Despite a few mishaps - this DVD is perfect for any fan of the show if you want to see a stage version over and over again. Buy it if you love Sonheim's Sweeney!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Place Like London!, 12 Feb. 2008
By 
F. S. L'hoir (Irvine, CA) - See all my reviews
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Buy this DVD for the moving performance and the magnificent voice of George Hearn in the title role, as well as for the classic comic romp of Angela Lansbury, whose voice and splendid diction are also thoroughly suited to the complexities of the music. In "Sweeney Todd," Sondheim is at his most melodious. Although it is hard to choose my favorite among songs such as "No Place Like London," and "Not While I'm Around," the third ensemble of "Johanna," in which the hauntingly beautiful melody stands in sharp contrast to the ghastly action onstage, ranks high.

Almost all the voices are equal to Sondheim's brilliant score, which belongs in the pantheon of grand opera. The exception is the girl playing Johanna, whose shrill soprano voice is forced to such an extent that it goes sharp; thus one loses not only the thread of the melody, but also the lilting beauty of the "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" song. As one who loves the audio CD, in which soprano Sarah Rice floats effortlessly through the aria, I was severely disappointed.

Fortunately, the rest of the cast is splendid: especially the Beggar Woman, Anthony the Sailor, and the boy Toby (The DVD edition has more or less toned down the extent of Judge Turpin's perversions, which are blatant in Edmund Lyndeck's incredible version of "Johanna" in the audio CD.). Unfortunately the DVD does not provide the cast list on or inside the box, so I shall have to go back to the end of the disc and see who's in it besides the stars.

Nevertheless, the stars are shining brightly in this dark comic opera over a London that seems more like Paris of the Grand Guignol, the horror spectacle which once sent shivers down the spines of Parisian theatre goers. Even though the horror of the plot is unlikely to thrill the jaded modern audience, the performance of George Hearn certainly will.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh my give me a piece of pie, 30 Mar. 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The story of the unexpected return of a convict barber Benjamin Barker alias Sweeney Todd (George Hearn) that is a cut above the average barber and his relationship to a talented meet pie baker Mrs. Nellie Lovett (Angela Lansbury.)
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Book by Hugh Wheeler; Based on a version of "Sweeney Todd" by Christopher Bond.
The intrigued in this program made for TV is not as much the story line but how it is executed. There are some great Stephen Sondheim musical pieces and excellent actors such as Edmund Lyndeck who plays Judge Turpin, the judge that falsely convicted Benjamin Barker. You feel that you are in a live audience and find your self shouting out don't do that to those intending to be well groomed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars arrrrgh!, 23 Jun. 2007
By 
Amazon Customer "hamble" (somewhere in west europe) - See all my reviews
i bought the video of this on ebay a few years ago and it cost me over a hundred pounds! imagine my horror when i saw it here for under a tenner! AND ON DVD! arrrrgh!

a great show. you will enjoy it. angela lansbury rocks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is amazing!, 12 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
George Hearn is awesome! He is the 'Sweeney Todd ' for me.
I love whole songs and whole casts!
I just love it ♥
I've found this version on Youtube, still it certainly worth having it.
Thank you for safe shipping and for the great product!
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5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL!!!, 10 Dec. 2007
Lansbury at her best and funniest.The whole production is well worth watching from beginning to end. I have seen many stage productions of this musical and this outshines them all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars dvd, 22 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
the ultimate recording of this excellent and brilliant musical in the performance which has not been superseded by any other.
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