Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
In choosing to film Stephen Sondheim's dark and audacious 1979 Broadway hit Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Burton not only made one of the most successful screen musicals of the last 10 years, he also brought to life a character who is, even for Burton, an extreme outsider. Depp's Todd—whose factual existence is debated but whose legend dates from the early 1800s—is a man consumed with grief and driven by revenge: returning from years at sea to a London he views as a cesspool, Todd re-establishes himself as a barber par excellence in an upper atelier that he rents from Mrs. Lovett (Bonham Carter), the slatternly proprietress of a meat pie shop. Though furtive and withdrawn, the glowering Todd does not long escape the romantic attentions of his avaricious landlady who will stop at nothing to peddle her foul pies to a dwindling clientele. In an alliance made in hell, Todd and Mrs. Lovett stumble onto a scheme designed to satisfy his bloodlust while saving her failing business. Shot in shadowy, de-saturated color by Polish-born cinematographer Dariusz Wolski and played out in production designer Dante Ferretti's stylized Dickensian London, rank with open sewers and twisting alleys, Burton's Sweeney Todd is a triumph of French-style grand guignol in all its bloody glory. "Something close to a masterpiece, a work of extreme—I am tempted to say evil-genius… a fable about a world from which the possibility of justice has vanished, replaced on one hand by vain and arbitrary power, on the other by a righteous fury that quickly spirals into madness."—A.O.Scott, The New York Times.
Bing Theater | $10 general admission. $7 museum members, seniors (62+), students with valid ID; price includes both films in double-bill. | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.