The Tale of Sweeney Todd (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Tale of Sweeney Todd (1998)

The Tale of Sweeney Todd





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The Tale of Sweeney Todd Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

John Schlesinger directed this razor-sharp retelling of the familiar Demon Barber legend, previously a Victorian penny-dreadful by Christopher Bond (The Story of Pearls), a stage play by George Dibdin-Pitt, a Tod Slaughter film (the 1936 Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street), and the 1979 Stephen Sondheim stage musical (Sweeney Todd). Sondheim's musical has been televised in a production with George Hearn and Angela Lansbury heading the cast. This John Schlesinger drama, scripted by executive producer Peter Shaw, is set in turn-of-the-century London where bald barber Sweeney Todd (Ben Kingsley) runs a cutting-edge business with an affluent clientele. He also has several sidelines, including the sale of his murder victims' jewelry, plus a profitable agreement with Mrs. Lovett (Joanna Lumley), who uses an industrial-size meat grinder to prepare her tasty "meat pies" for her unsuspecting customers. American insurance investigator Ben Carlyle (Campbell Scott), tracking $50,000 worth of missing diamonds, encounters corruption throughout the city as he attempts to solve the case. Victorian London locales seen here were actually filmed in Dublin. Shown April 19, 1998 on Showtime.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Television, Horror, Musical & Performing Arts, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Peter Buckman, Peter Shaw
In Theaters:
Ardmore Studios


Ben Kingsley
as Sweeney Todd
Campbell Scott
as Ben Carlyle
Joanna Lumley
as Mrs. Lovett
David Wilmot
as Tom knowler
John Kavanagh
as Maj. Rutledge
Joe Savino
as Chambers
Peter Jeffrey
as Dr. Maxwell
Bosco Hogan
as Head Clerk
Birdy Sweeney
as Elderly Cutter
Des Braiden
as Toothless Man
Sandy Kennedy
as Prostitute
Gerald Walsh
as Bewigged Customer
Alan Barry
as Surgeon
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Tale of Sweeney Todd

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Audience Reviews for The Tale of Sweeney Todd

Another great rendition of Sweeney Todd. It's great to see stories that can be retold and remain interesting. This throws out the idea of Sweeney as a victim, or his looking for revenge. This is much more in keeping with the original tail. A man that murders for greed. The best part about this film is that is doesn't try to justify the actions or make us sympathise with Todd. He's a terrifying and grotesque creature. Cold, calculating and very deceptive. The investigation narrative is just as interesting as Todd's deeds. I'd still put it behind Winstone's Sweeney Todd, due to the sheer power of that production, but it stands above and shits upon Burton's misfire.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

Good movie, but too bad I had to see the old one instead. It was cool I wanna know how Human flesh meat pies taste. I wanna see the new one but I'll have to wait.

Michelle G.

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