Todd:I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay.I sleep all night and I work all day.
MOUNTIES:He's a lumberjack, and he's okay.He sleeps all night and he works all day.
Todd:I cut down trees. I eat my lunch.I go to the lavatory.On Wednesdays I go shoppin'And have buttered scones for tea.
MOUNTIES:He cuts down trees. He eats his lunch.He goes to the lavatory.On Wednesdays he goes shoppin'And has buttered scones for tea.He's a lumberjack, and he's okay.He sleeps all night and he works all day.
Todd:I cut down trees. I skip and jump.I like to press wild flowers.I put on women's clothingAnd hang around in bars.
MOUNTIES:He cuts down trees. He skips and jumps.He likes to press wild flowers.He puts on women's clothingAnd hangs around in bars?!He's a lumberjack, and he's okay.He sleeps all night and he works all day.
Todd:I cut down trees. I wear high heels,Suspendies, and a bra.I wish I'd been a girlie,Just like my dear Papa.
MOUNTIES:He cuts down trees. He wears high heels,Suspendies, and a bra?![talking]What's this? Wants to be a girlie?! Oh, My!And I thought you were so rugged! Poofter![singing]He's a lumberjack, and he's okay.He sleeps all night and he works all day.He's a lumberjack, and he's okaaaaay.He sleeps all night and he works all day.
- ... That is the most bizarre thing I've ever read.
- You were right!
- Or perhaps instead of buttered scones he has shepherd's pie.
- But there are characters that don't fit the mould...I'd say the film merely shares archetypes with the commedia dell'arte tradition, and is not quite inspired by it...then again, you have some cool points.
- Please explain! I want to hear what doesn't fit!
- Actually it works pretty damn well, with each of the nine principle characters representing a twisted version of the original stock characters:
- Sweeney- Probably the hardest to fit, but his gleeful manic energy (especially when played by George Hearn) is incredibly reminiscent of Arlecchino or Truffeldino.
- Mrs. Lovett- A delightfully batty Columbina. She is completely enamored of Sweeney, and is the more practical and clever of the two, as Columbina is to Arlecchino.
- Anthony and Johanna- Obviously, the Innamorati. Young, star crossed lovers who are more than a little naive and air headed.
- Judge Turpin- An exceptionally cruel Pantalone. The original am character lusts after young women, which is obvious in the case of the Judge lusting after Johanna. The Judge's old age and upper class mannerisms are also very reminiscent of Pantalone.
- Beadle Bamford- Dottore. The Beadle is usually played by a larger actor, he usually has many foppish mannerisms, has a tongue twister vocabulary, and dispense advice on women to his friend, Pantalone. Dottore and Pantalone often have a close friendship in original Commedia scenarios and it is nicely reflected in Sweeney.
- Tobias- Pedrolino, the innocent and often abused servant at the bottom of the totem pole. It also helps that Pedrolino is in love with Columbina, who doesn't love him back. In Sweeney, Toby sees Mrs. Lovett as a mother figure, which she doesn't return.
- Pirelli- Capitano, Capitano, Capitano! Flamboyant and showy personality, boastful and proud, secretly a complete fraud. Pirelli probably fits the original Commedia mould the most out of any character.
- The Beggar Woman- La Strega, the witch. An outsider to the action of the other characters, she's a raving mad woman who frightens the other characters. La Strega is often a manipulator who knows more than the other characters, and in the case of the Beggar Woman, she has a very big secret about her that is vital to the plot of the show.
- DUDE. THAT IS COOL.
- Johnny Depp being in From Hell (a Jack the Ripper movie costarring Hagrid) makes this even cooler.
- Y'know what'd make this a hat trick of cool? What if the Ripper murders were done using Sweeney Todd's razors? He'd have five more murders by proxy! Well, if he really had existed...
- Well, you gotta do something with them... (In this troper's personal continuity, Johanna kills Jack the Ripper. With her dad's razors, of course. Mostly spawned by the deliberate misinterpretation of fanart.)
- Sweeney Todd did exist.
- Or not. Anything is possible but research into crimes at the Old Bailey and other researches by historians have found no clue that there was an actual murderer named Sweeney Todd or anyone who dispatched their victims in this way. However, there were many legends and tales about cannibalistic meat pie vendors and gruesome murderers, any of these could have been based on or inspired by some crime that does not come down to us. A mad serial-killing butcher killing people with a straight edge razor could have existed in the first part of the 1800s. Sweeney Todd (as a named person living in the 1800s) most probably did not exist.
- Also on the Toby-as-Ripper front— if you go with one of the productions with a sturdy, matronly older Lovett (as opposed to HBC's Marla!Lovett) there's a bit of resonance with the majority of the victims the Ripper chose, which were middle-aged, slightly overweight women down on their luck.
- Also, somewhere between the events of Sweeney Todd and Toby's killings as Jack the Ripper, Toby will change his name to Sebastian for unknown reasons (maybe as a result of his traumatization).
- Except the Marquis was incarcerated in France...Sweeney takes place in London, which had plenty of asylums at the time. Odds are Toby would be institutionalized in London rather than being randomly sent to a French Asylum, and vice versa with the Marquis. And also, Sweeney Todd takes place in 1846...by that time, the Marquis had been dead for 32 years.
- Or Billy is his Identical Grandson.
- Actually, is it ever clarified anywhere why he'd pick that as a particular pseudonym?
- I've only seen it explained in fanfic. Theories include (a) his mother's maiden name was Sweeney or Todd, (b) Lucy's maiden name was Sweeney or Todd, (c) he had childhood friends with those names, (d) he had fellow prisoners with those names, and (e) he picked Todd because Tod is German for death and he wanted to be threatening and stuff. I've also heard that the name Sweeney could reflect anti-Irish sentiment on the part of the penny dreadful authors/urban myth spreaders. Personally, I think he used the names of his first pet (Sweeney the goldfish) and the first street where he lived (Todd Lane).
- B-but "Tod" isn't pronounced that way! (Not like a quasi-Victorian English native could tell.) I'd buy the anti-Irish sentiment theory, and/or the fellow prisoners one. (This troper's roleplaying partner took the cellmates theory and ran with it... by having at least one of them be a crazy prison rapist. Fun tiems.)
- I've heard the anti-Irish theory also with an interesting twist. I have no idea where I heard this, but the argument is Sweeney is just as stereotypically Irish name as Sawney is to Scots. Thus, it alludes to Sawney Bean, the subject of another urban legend who supposedly ran a family of cannibals.
- Sawney Bean is mentioned in the special features in the DVD of Tim Burton's version, and it seemed quite obvious that there was a connection there by way of names. Derived from it's Irish spelling, "Suibne" was also an epithet meaning "pleasant", so adding that to the German "Tod"...(This troper was the roleplay partner with the crazy rapist cellmate theory) Though I'm fond of the goldfish idea. Pleasant deadly goldfish.
- So Sweeney Todd is Ben Baker's "Pornstar Name"?
- Damn straight it is. And now, fetch the brain bleach.
- "Sweeney" was Victorian slang for "Irish barber." It was a slur at first, but they (as a group) then reclaimed it, so by the time Benjamin Barker came back, it simply meant "barber." So, really, he only chose the name Todd.
- Most likely whoever Benjamin Barker was based on in reality never chose the name Sweeney Todd, rather it was a nickname the people who spread the horror story gave him.
- Actually, is it ever clarified anywhere why he'd pick that as a particular pseudonym?
- I threw up in my mouth a little.
- I laughed. Heartily.
- If that happens, I'll die more than a little bit inside.
- There's the likelihood of some mental illness from her father's side of the family, fifteen years being taken care of by a corrupt judge with an unwholesome interest in her innocence, a stint in that most comforting of places, the nineteenth century madhouse, an attempt on her life, and the discovery of a serial killer. Who was her dad, who killed her mom, who herself was a mentally ill beggar and prostitute for those fifteen years. And of course, the discovery of a Torture Cellar filled with bits of people in meat grinders. Just the fact that she goes off with Anthony doesn't insure their happy ending lasts. Given just how little time she spent with him, she probably would have jumped on any chance to get out of the Judge's care.
- Also, they look just enough alike that the already crazy Mrs. Lovett can immediately draw the conclusion that he's Barker.
- Pirelli recognized the razors, and Todd practically forced Turpin to realize that he was Barker.
- The razors were kept and given to him by Mrs. Lovett, though, so that's already covered by the idea that Mrs. Lovett mistook him for Barker. And Turpin doesn't recognize him directly — only through his references to Lucy and Johanna.
- True or not, it adds a whole new dimension to the story.
- Unfortunately, this is extremely unlikely. He was able to recognize Lucy.
- Not at first, in the begining of the play the prostitute we later learn is Lucy encounters Todd and says. "Hey, don't I know you, mister?" and Todd Chases her off in anger. He only recognises who Lucy was after her death.
- Bellatrix shares her fashion sense with Mrs. Lovett, as well as having a crush on a ruthless serial killer. Also you can't deny that baking pies out of human meat would not be exactly that far out of character for our lovely friend Bella...
- Meanwhile, Wormtail enjoys himself by being the right hand of an evil and powerful man.
- Judge Turpin on the other hand, just happens to look like Severus Snape by mere coincidence.
- Not to mention that young Gellert Grindelwald seduces and then runs off with Snape's ancestor's ward and intended wife.
She found her way into the movie somehow, probably by killing the REAL Mrs. Lovett-who would've immediately turned Todd back over to the judge.
- Or she was there cause docks are a good place for prostitutes to find work. She did follow Sweeney home after she recognized him, but really, she was just looking at the prisoner ship because she figured most of them hadn't seen all too many women in Botany Bay.
- Well that's just silly, because Mrs. Lovett would have noticed her get pregnant, and Mrs. Lovett would have put that in the story she told Sweeney wait... unless...
- In the light of the guess immediately above, this means that Mrs. Lovett was envious of everything Lucy had that she didn't, family- and probably lifestyle-wise, not just Benjamin.
- To further this, perhaps most of the story she told Sweeny Todd was a lie. Yes, Sweeney Todd was falsely sent to prison and Judge Turpin did take Joanna as his ward, but everything else could've been a lie to hide her crime, and she knew that Sweeny Todd would be willing to believe her story because of his hatred towards Judge Turpin.
In "Final Scene" Lucy tells Todd to beware of Mrs. Lovett, "She with no pity in her heart." She's constantly calling Mrs. Lovett evil. And Mrs. Lovett says that Lucy "Should've been in a hospital/Wound up in Bedlam instead!" If Mrs. Lovett was taking care of Lucy (or at least Johanna, as she knows that all Lucy's done is lie in bed for weeks) then who else could have sent Lucy to Bedlam?
- Judge Turpin arrives on the scene hopeful Lucy has finally come to her senses. Instead he discovers she is now raving mad and no longer of use to him. He orders Beadle Bamford to take Lucy to Bedlam and repossess all of the Barkers belongings. However, recognizing a resemblance between the young Joanna and her mother he decides to adopt her as a ward until she comes of age...
Mrs Lovett stands idly by and protects only Benjamin's razors hopeful that with the wife and child out of the way if he ever returns she can have him for herself.
- The razors either cause the people around them to become evil, attract trouble, or has a thirst for blood. Possibly all three. First, the razors corrupt Daniel Higgins, causing him to become a child-beating con man. Without any power to get Benjamin to commit evil acts, it brings Lucy to the Judge's attention. After being stuffed into hiding, it corrupts Mrs. Lovett until she becomes a manipulative, lovesick woman. When Barker returns, its power grows with each life it cuts down. However, when Sweeney kills the Judge, he declares that the razor can finally rest, said razor panics. It gets Sweeney to kill Mrs. Lovett before using already-corrupted Toby to kill Sweeney, possibly repeating the process later on.
- In her dream, she still has her business, which she lost some time before 1832. Desperate to keep it, she doesn't hesitate to use human meat (since she was already using kidney of a horse and liver of a cat, it's the next logical step).
- Her husband, whom she hates, is an over-the-top, show-off, Villain In Name Only Italian barber who is killed early, instead of the over-the-top, Belgian innkeeper who gets away without any consequences after all he's done. Pirelli's abusive treatment of Toby reflects the treatment he gave to their children and Cosette. Signor Pirelli carelessly sharps the knife on Toby's hand when he's trying to be impressive, the same way M. Thénardier makes Anzelma cut herself by punching a window to inspire pity. The way he treats Toby in general represents the abusive treatment both gave to Cosette, of which she feels guilty, which is why she bonds with Toby. Furthermore, Toby himself represents Gavroche. Mme. Thénardier blames herself for his death. Toby is a Heartwarming Orphan who loves Mme. Thénardier, and she loves him back. When he realizes Sweeney is evil, she has to lock him in the basement where Sweeney will kill him. In Les Miserables, it was because of Parental Abandonment that Gavroche had become the way he was, so eager to fight in a barricade he got himself killed. In this alternative version, Gavroche lives because Mrs. Lovett raised him, even if her methods were questionable.
- Anthony is Marius, being a Wide-Eyed Idealist Stalker with a Crush. Johanna could be either Cosette, who Mme. Thénardier perhaps actually loved deep down, unaware of it, or Éponine, who she wants to be alive and happy.
- Judge Turpin is Valjean, who is the Big Bad of her story. Lucy is Fantine.
- In this AU, she's with a man who she actually loves, but he gives her Laser-Guided Karma for the harm she caused. This is the end of the dream and the trigger of her HeelFace Turn (which happens offscreen).