"Movies... For Free!", showcasing classic movies that have fallen out of copyright and are available freely from the public domain. This week...
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 1936.
Directed by George King.
Starring Tod Slaughter and Stella Rho.
Britain's answer to Hollywood horror icons such as Bela Lugosi, celebrated screen villain Tod Slaughter provides a maniacal, over-the-top performance as the murderous 'Demon Barber of Fleet Street' in this 1936 adaptation of the notorious penny dreadful character Sweeney Todd. Low-budget British filmmaker George King delivers the first sound version of the tale (silent versions were produced in 1926 and 1928, with the former now lost to history), which also marks the first in a series of collaborations between the director and star.
Gaining widespread attention and 'urban myth' status as a result of Victorian stage plays 'founded on fact', the story centres on barber Sweeney Todd, who supplements his income by killing wealthy customers and supplying accomplice 'Mrs. Lovatt' (Stella Rho) with grisly ingredients for her meat pies. In addition to a 1979 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, the character has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years with TV movies in 1998 and 2006 featuring Ben Kingsley and Ray Winstone in the title role, along with an Oscar-nominated performance from Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's 2007 big-screen musical.
Embed courtesy of Internet Archive.
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