26 October 2014

Sweeney Todd (1982)
140 min.
Directed by Terry Hughes.
With Angela Lansbury, George Hearn, Cris Groenendaal, Sara Woods, Edmund Lyndeck, Calvin Remsberg, Betsy Joslyn, Ken Jennings.
A stunning horror musical.

In 1846 Victorian London: times are hard and so local piemaker Nellie Lovett (Lansbury) scrapes by as best she can.

But when mysterious barber Sweeney Todd (Hearn) comes to town, the two form an unholy alliance.

Seems Sweeney has a personal vendetta from the past to settle...which he'll do by razor-slitting the throats of select customers who stop by his newly opened hair salon.

In turn, Nellie will hack the bodies to pieces and pop the tasty human meats into her pies for sale.

Mmm goooood!

This 1982 videotaping of the smash 1979 Broadway terror hit is exceptional throughout; Lansbury is delightfully sinister - and creepy - as the amoral Nellie, while Hearn's brooding portrayal of Sweeney is combustible tension.

Buoyed by wonderful songs from composer Stephen Sondheim (Pretty Women and A Little Priest are especially great) and topped by a great turnabout ending.

See also the 1936 Todd Slaughter melodrama version.

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