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Sweeney Todd - The Director's Cut (2006)

Ray Winstone , David Warner , Dave Moore  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ray Winstone, David Warner, Essie Davis, Gabriel Spahiu, Anthony O'Donnell
  • Directors: Dave Moore
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: April 10, 2007
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MR9CXW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,275 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sweeney Todd - The Director's Cut" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Footage not seen in the BBC broadcast
  • Sweeney Todd background essay
  • Cast filmographies

Editorial Reviews

This gripping version of the notorious legend of a murderous barber throws out all the melodrama of the popular Sondheim musical. Instead, this BBC drama of Sweeney Todd treats the antihero as realistically as possible, with compelling results. After spending most of his childhood in the brutal Newgate prison, Sweeney Todd (Ray Winstone, Sexy Beast) becomes a reputable barber--but when he finds a vicious prison guard in his barber's chair, Todd can't keep himself from slitting the man's throat. From there, his bloodthirst grows compulsive, particularly after his life becomes entangled with a younger married woman, Mrs. Lovett (buxom Essie Davis, Girl with a Pearl Earring), whose pie shop begins receiving gifts of unspecified meat... Sweeney Todd skillfully weaves the most popular elements of the legend into a plausible story, adding in sardonic humor, nihilistic philosophy, and a few gruesome twists that will be appreciated by anyone with a taste for the macabre. Winstone's performance turns Todd into a sympathetic figure--without excusing or lessening his crimes. All in all, an excellent version of the story, well-produced, cleverly written, and cleanly directed. (The Director's Cut apparently includes a bit more gore than was in the original broadcast.) Also featuring David Warner (who played Jack the Ripper in Time After Time). --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Ray Winstone, David Bradley, Essie Davis. 18th century London provides the backdrop for Sweeney Todd who, after spending 20 years in a hell-hole prison for a crime he didn't commit, now finds himself battling murderous impulses. Meanwhile, his new lady friend's meat pies become the subject of a police investigation. 2006/color/95 min/NR/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Although some have tried to argue that he was an actual person, it seems likely that the story of a throat-cutting barber named Sweeney Todd arose first as a bit of urban myth that was developed into an 1846 story titled THE STRING OF PEARLS by writer Thomas Prest. A year later the story was adapted to the stage as SWEENEY TODD, THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET. It proved a popular ticket, and in age that knew little of copyright law, versions of the play were soon springing up all over the place, each one tweaking the story a little bit in the process. Consequently, it is almost impossible to say that any one particular version is "more authentic" than any other.

In this particular version, filmed for BBC in 2006, Todd (Ray Winstone)is a barber who spent twenty years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Released, he finds himself shaving a prison guard and on sudden impulse slits the man's throat. One thing leads to another, as you might say, and he soon makes the acquaintance of bake-shop worker Mrs. Lovett (Essie Davis); his fondness for her not only leads him to set her up in her own business, but to supply the occasional cut of meat as well. The twist to this particular version of the story is in the relationship between Todd and Lovett, the latter of whom is more sinned against than sinning.

The script is quite clever, essentially winding most of Todd's motives (including his interest in Mrs. Lovett) around his own mistreatment while an inmate of the notorious Newgate prison, and both Winstone and Davis are extremely impressive in their performances. But for all the blood, and there is aplenty, and for all the sex, and there is some, the film looks exactly like what it is: a made-for-television movie.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Winstone shines, as usual. June 26, 2009
Sweeney Todd (Dave Moore, 2006)

Sometime in the past decade or so, Ray Winstone has quietly gone from being a stock heavy (for example, in 1997's brilliant heist flick Face) to being one of Britain's best, and most versatile, actors. Nowhere has he shown this more than in Dave Moore's striking adaptation of Sweeney Todd, with Winstone playing the title character. A number of film versions of this story that I've seen have been simplified, glossing over some of the darker elements of the story (which is an odd thing to say about a story whose central figure is a serial killer), but Moore (Wallis and Edward) revels in the stuff that's outside the realm of the accepted, and it shows.

In case you've been living in a cave the past few hundred years, Sweeney Todd is a delicate, uplifting love story involving the title character (Winstone), a London barber (remember that back in the day, barbers also performed surgery) and the woman down the street, Mrs. Lovett (Girl with a Pearl Earring's Essie Davis), a former prostitute who now runs a pie shop. The two form a symbiotic relationship; Lovett refers folks to Todd. Todd kills them, then returns the bodies to Lovett, who makes them into pies. Free meat! Bigger profits, and it's probably better than you'd get from your local Megacorp. Needless to say, the police are concerned about the large number of disappearances, and Mrs. Lovett's husband, a nasty brute of a man, is starting to get suspicious. Needless to say, the bodies keep piling up. Didn't I say it was uplifting?

The Sweeney Todd bio has been done about a thousand times on stage and screen, with varying degrees of effectiveness. This one is done very well indeed, especially for a TV movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"Sweeney Todd: The Director's Cut," a 2006 television production of the classic horror story for the British Broadcasting Corporation, reached these shores as a DVD in 2007. It stars Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast,Beowulf), in the title role; was written by Joshua St. Johnston and directed by David Moore. As a director's cut, it includes footage not seen in the broadcast - beware, sensitive souls, it's intensely violent. It also boasts a Sweeney Todd background essay, cast filmographies, and, thank goodness, unadvertised closed captioning: characters in this movie are doing their best to speak early London English. The movie is set in eighteenth century London, where the first, Victorian treatment of this famous horror tale placed it; it runs about an hour and a half.

The award-winning Winstone, who is of cockney origins himself, and a former boxer, succeeds in making the demon barber of Fleet Street a believable human being. Essie Davis (Girl With a Pearl Earring) makes Mrs. Lovett into a lusty young woman, more sinned-against than sinning. And the veteran David Warner (Titanic, Tom Jones (1963),) makes his blind police chief Fielding quite credible, and moving.

The basic plot, of course, is known to all: in filthy, teeming, unsanitary, unhealthy eighteenth century London, Todd, the expert barber, murders the odd customer, whose flesh turns up in his neighbor Mrs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 12 days ago by donquixote
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong DVDs
I didnot realize I was buying a blu ray video of This Is The End. It is useless to me. Had to go out and buy another copy that was not blu ray. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Larry Brake
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT the musical version...
If you're looking for the musical version of Sweeney Todd, this is NOT it. This version is a wonderfully macabre and very different BBC drama adaptation of the famous story. Read more
Published 11 months ago by BaRkiNg MaD
5.0 out of 5 stars 2006 TV version of the Demon Barber
I'd been looking for any more movies or documentaries about the origin of Sweeney Todd. I came across this made-for-tv movie about the Barber. Read more
Published 11 months ago by MmmDawgy
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray WInestone is my favorite actor
Ray Winestone is incredible in this unsettling story. Don't expect the actors to break out in song. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mother in need
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweeney Todd
I only got it because Tom Hardy was in it i didnt see this version of Sweeney Todd yet i seen the one with Ben Kingsley and Joanna Lumley, and i like seeing that movie maybe on my... Read more
Published 17 months ago by sandra m johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Sweeney Todd
This is the best Sweeney Todd movie IMHO. Ray Winstone is excellent in his roll as the barber who wants to love but just can't come to terms with it.
Published 21 months ago by k8sgranny
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweeney Todd
Of all the versions I have seen, this is the one I wanted for my library. It makes all the rest incomplete as far as the story told.
Published on July 9, 2012 by issenia
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I found this version boring, but some of the acting was good. I bought it because I wanted to see it, and I couldn't find it anywhere to just watch it. Read more
Published on April 12, 2012 by LJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Adaptation
If I could have given this non-musical version of the original SWEENEY TODD Broadway production 4 1/2 stars I would have--it is that close to perfection. Read more
Published on June 4, 2011 by JE Farrow
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The Canadian Sweeney Todd
I remember Barry Morse's Sweeney Tood very well, it was the first time I had seen any production of the story, and started my interest in the subject. I believe it was an older play than the one used for Sondheim's version. I also believe it was also done by CBC radio and might still be... Read More
Jan 10, 2008 by Big Georgia Dave |  See all 2 posts
Sweeney Todd: the true story?
There may be a little Historical fact behind this to, not in England however. If you look across the channel into France there is a very simular reported event in Paris around 1800. The story being published in "The Terrific Register: Or, Record of Crimes, Judgements, Providences, and... Read More
Jul 31, 2007 by Andrew J. Pine |  See all 3 posts
Is this in anamorphic widescreen?
Sorry to be late to the discussion -- this is indeed 16:9 anamorphic widescreen. Dunno where the 1.66:1 aspect ratio came from.
Apr 27, 2007 by D. Brian Bennett |  See all 2 posts
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