MOVIE: "Sweeny Todd" ... Thoughts?

Anyone else interested of the film version of Sweeney Todd coming out next year with him in the title role? I honestly don’t know what to think of the casting for it, but I’m going to see it anyway because in spite of my better nature, I do love Sweeney Todd.


I always resisted going to see Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street because it sounded so disgusting.

Then a few years ago, I went as a chaperone for a group of teenagers. (And I actually got to SEE Stephen Sondheim in person!)

It is now one of my top five favorite musicals! I hope the movie can capture it all.

I can’t WAIT to see Johnny Depp in this picture! And I’m so glad that the movie version will be available so more people can discover that it’s NOT disgusting. (Well, actually it is disgusting, but there’s a lot more to it.)

Stephen Sondheim made the comment that if people understand that this musical is a horror story (like Dracula or Psycho) they will appreciate it more. It’s not meant to be a deep social commentary or a historical fiction or a romance or anything but a good, scary story.

You have to give Johnny Depp credit for creativity and ambition. I just wish that he would–just once–take on a role as a “normal” person. But I guess a character actor has to be careful not to play against type. But just once…

BTW, parents, you might want to see the movie first before taking your kids. It has some pretty vile scenes. I personally don’t think it’s appropriate for kids under 12, but I think it would be a great discussion-stimulator with kids over 12. (It was fun chaperoning the teenagers, who discussed the show with great animation all the way home.)

I’m looking forward to it. I’ve never seen the musical, though I’ve heard some of the songs.

Anyone else read the penny dreadful the whole thing was based on? It’s pretty good :slight_smile:

If Johnny Depp’s in it, it should be good. And he will be great, as always. :thumbsup:

You’d never recognize him in Donnie Brasco.

I’ve seen the stage production and look forward to the film. I hope it is not “over done” (the throat-slittings are quite effective on stage, without CGI effects et cetera).

Also: Whenever I flip past *Jersey Girl *on television, I get a kick out of the *Sweeney Todd *vs *Cats *sub-plot. :stuck_out_tongue:


Mirdath, link me the penny dreadful. Kplsthx???

Right here!

I found it years ago when that site was BlackMask… they went down last year and I thought I’d heard the last of them. It’s great to see they’re still going :smiley:

This site looks like a Gutenberg for cultural history nerds.
<— is a cultural history nerd

Back in the day (I haven’t looked at the new site much, but I imagine it’s still like that) it was more like PG for the eccentrics. All kinds of stuff: alchemy, hermetic magic, religion, pulp fiction from Victorian times on up, classics, fairy tales, and Charles Fort’s Book of the Damned. All of which, conveniently, I’m highly interested in. I’m so happy it’s back! :extrahappy:

Oh hey, this is where I found The Twenty-Two Goblins! Great Hindu fairytales, check it out…

While I prefer his stranger roles, he has done some very good normal turns as well. I’m probably giving the wrong title, but he was in a movie called The Nick of Time, very good, but hard to believe that it is Johnny Depp due to his ‘normalsy’. Another half way normal role was in Chocolate. He was actually pretty cute in there:blush:

Back to the subject at hand. I’ve never seen the stage play, but I am looking forward to this movie. Isn’t Tim Burton the director? If so, he’s the perfect choise for a movie of this subject matter.

Yes, Tim Burton’s directing. That’s why Johnny Depp is being cast as the title role. Johnny Depp is the lead in virtually everything Tim Burton does, LOL.
I’m not confident in his directing ability for this, because IMNSHO, virtually everything Tim Burton does, while much of it is good, is “goth fantasy”, and if you’ve ever done the Sondheim Sweeney Todd, it doesn’t actually feel appropriate (then again, neither does pretty pretty Alan Rickman for creepy Judge Turpin). I’m more inclined to think it’s about how normal people can do really horrible things if they have an otherwise decent goal making them do it than a goth fantasy making cannibalism look cool, which is what the casting is going to do to it.
No spoilers, but I’m inclined to think of Mrs. Lovett as the real villain of the Sondheim.

Trailer’s out - Yahoo Video, YouTube, etc. I am actually impressed by it. Johnny Depp still isn’t “my Sweeney”, but he does a good job at his own version of it. Everyone else is wonderful.

Wow, I didn’t know Johnny Depp could sing! I’m a huge fan of Broadway, and am glad to see any musical get brought to the Silver Screen. I may have to watch this one alone, though. When it was featured on the Tonys a few years back with the musician/actors my husband was totally freaked out by the performance. I’ve heard good things about it though, and would like to see it!

The movie is rated R, so they must have played up the violence. It might be best not to let kids see it.

Johnny Depp is from Kentucky:)

Lucky you. I don’t know of anyone famous from Florida.

I agree, it sounds like it would be best to leave the kidlets at home. Sweeney Todd isn’t Peter Pan.

There is a “masturbation” song in the play. Whether or not the masturbation theme is played up depends on the actor/director. Maybe this is really played up in the movie. In a way, I hope so–it really emphasizes the grossness of the villain.

And of course, perhaps the movie shows the grisly details of the barber shop killings and the grinding of the human meat into pies. Yech. I hope not. I prefer seeing red lights on a stage instead of severed necks on a screen.

Sondheim calls Sweeney a horror story. Would you normally bring your kids to a horror movie (a modern one, that is)? Most of us wouldn’t.

However, because of the redeeming nature of the story, it probably is worth considering bringing teenagers to the movie and discussing it with them afterwards. It depends on the teenagers, of course, and on the family’s comfort level with horror stories. Some families avoid them all.

I have an older daughter who is a professional stage manager for live theaters. She’s seen more musicals than most of us know exist! But I don’t think she has ever seen Sweeney Todd, and I doubt she’ll go see the movie. She just doesn’t like horror. So even if your kids are stage-struck and Broadway bound (or Johnny Depp fanatics!), this musical may not something that they will like.

Concurring about how you definitely want to reconsider taking your Johnny Depp fangirl twelve-year-old daughters. This appears to be on the same level, or even more violent, than From Hell (another Johnny Depp movie), and that freaked me out hard when I was a non-squeamish fifteen. It’s of course going to have lots of blood and death, and the way Burton is shooting this suggests it will be extreme realism.

Cat: Have you seen the trailer? There’s a clip suggesting that Judge Turpin’ dirty old man version of “Johanna” is in the film. However, since the film’s only “R” rating is for violence (“graphic bloody violence” to be precise), I think it’s been shot so as to downplay the filthier aspects. Supposedly it can be done (had a friend in a production where they had a sixteen-year-old playing Johanna so had to stage it differently). I’m glad about the “downplaying”, but only because it’s Rickman playing Turpin and I never want to associate him with that (since we’re getting married and all).

If we’re thinking of the same song I am not sure I would characterize as a “masturbation” song. My memory of it is that Judge Turpin flogs himself to drive out those feelings.

In some stagings (including one I saw), and in the original libretto, it is quite clear that the self flagellation leads to “gratification,” if you follow my meaning. Some directors either omit that song altogether, or clean up the ending.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit