Sweeney Todd: the 2008 Tim Burton film or the 1982 with Hearn and Lansbury?

I love both of them, but for me, Hearn and Lansbury win by just a little. More indepth stuff coming up.



Sweeney: George Hearn was definitely the one with the better voice. (Not that I blame Johnny, who did well considering he's not a singer.) As for acting...they're tied. Both were great, though I personally thought Hearn was overacting in some places, but then, the 1982 was an onstage recording as well, and on stage, you can't be as subtle as on film. Tie here.

Mrs. Lovett: Angela Lansbury wins here. She's a brilliant actress and her Mrs. Lovett was just completely four dimensional, though I loved Helena too.

Judge Turpin: Harder choice here. Both played him as someone I could very easily hate. I'll say Alan Rickman, because his left a bigger impression on me.

Toby: Well, one Toby was supposed to be a boy, and the other older and sort of mentally disturbed, so from the start they're two different people. While Ken Jennings's fully losing his sanity at the end of 1982 was both fantastic and memorable, I'll have to say Ed Sanders.

Update 2:

Johanna: Honestly, though she had a beautiful voice, I found Jayne Wisener's acting dissapointing. Lines like "I never had dreams. Only nightmares." felt flat and, in my opinion, she sounded completely perky during Green Finch and Linnet Bird. Now, Betsy Joslyn had a completely different portrayal, as very jumpy and rather...strange is the only word I have for it, however vague. She was definitely interesting to watch. So, Joslyn wins here.

Anthony: Jamie Bower had a bit less to work with than the one in 1982, due to Kiss Me being cut from Tim Burton, and ended up just singing the same song over and over. However, he did well on that song. 1982 Anthony was perky and rather annoying, but that was probably intentional. Again, 1982 Anthony wins here.

Beadle Bamford: As much as I love Timothy Spall, I'd have to say I prefer the 1982 Beadle. This one was more of a right-hand man than a sidekick to Turpin, and, though not King of Evil, definitely someone I can hate.

8 Answers

  • Aly
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I saw the Tim Burton film first. Then I was so excited that I researched scenes from the 1982 play on YouTube, so I haven't seen all of that one.

    But from what I did see, I liked different parts of each. I like Helena better than Angela because A) I never thought of Mrs. Lovett as that old and B) I sympathized more with Helena's Mrs. Lovett. I liked George better than Johnny (even though I am a HUGE Johnny Depp fan) because of that beautiful voice of his. I liked the movie version of Toby, and the play version of Johanna. I love Alan Rickman from the bottom of my heart, so he's my favorite Turpin. All in all, I think the singing was better in the play, but I preferred the acting in the movie.

    That paragraph was really confusing, but it leads up to my answer. I liked (forgive me, Johnny!) the 1982 play best. I was absolutely hypnotized when Antony sang Johanna.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    As a whole, I hate the 1982 version. Lansbury's voice annoys me to death and I just couldn't connect with her performance. Her voice is so... warbly and over the top and annoying to me. I just don't like it at all. I sympathized so much more with Helena's version of the character, and I like her voice much better. She made me feel the emotion of the character more than Lansbury did. Lansbury was too all over the place for my taste.

    I like the voice of the guy from the 1982 version, but I prefer Johny. Again, it's because Johny made me feel emotion that Hearn did not. I felt like Johny Depp captured the character of Sweeney Todd better. The way Johny Depp played the part made me fear and love Sweeney all at the same time. I'm a complete sucker for anything with Johny Depp, too. I think he's a much better actor than Hearn (who am I kidding, Johny Depp is a better actor than 99% of the male population).

    I like Joanna better in the older version (the girl in movie has an obnoxious voice), but I prefer Ed Sanders, Alan Rickman, and the kid who played Antony over the actors from the 1982 version.

    I don't like Broadway voices very much. I'm a freak, I know. I love Broadway plays, but I usually prefer the movie versions of those plays. I'm not sure why that's so, but I suspect it's because the music is always so much better in the movie versions since they have bigger budgets and because I've never actually seen any Broadway plays live, only recordings and soundtracks. I don't like the Broadway version of Phantom at all, either, but I adore the movie and watch it frequently. The same is true for Sweeney Todd. In both cases, I saw the movie before I heard the original soundtrack, which is probably another reason why I like the movie versions so much more.

  • Anna D
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I thought Tim Burton's version was beautifully shot, but the 1982 version wins for me hands down. George Hearn owns the role of Sweeney - while I liked Johnny Depp's interpretation of the character, his singing really let him down, in my opinion - HBC the same. Also worth noting that there is a brilliant recording of the show in concert with Patti LuPone and George Hearn, backed by some other great soloists (Neil Patrick Harris' Toby is sheer brilliance), a huge chorus and full symphony orchestra - it's absolutely my favourite DVD of the show. I saw the revival version (actors as musicians as well) and loved it, but there isn't a DVD commercially available of it.

  • bodder
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I saw the original Broadway production, so I'm partial to Hearn and Lansbury. There was so much excised from the Burton version. Not to say that I don't adore Burton the stylist, I love his work, and Johnny was extremely good. But the original was, as noted, richer. And I can tell you that Ms Lansbury was an absolute monster on stage. You couldn't watch anyone but her when she was on. Truly memorable, astonishing performance.

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  • 1 decade ago

    As I have not yet seen the 1982 version, I suppose I choose Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd.

    I'll have to make a point of watching clips from the 1982 version, though, just for comparison's sake.

  • 4 years ago

    My score: 5 stars = outstanding/enjoyed it. the two acquaintances and family contributors have additionally given it 5 stars. i've got given it a 5 with the aid of fact the songs have rather intelligent lyrics that tell memories whilst nevertheless having catchy tunes. all the actors have great voices and the costumes are extreme-high quality. I enjoyed the incontrovertible fact that they replaced maximum of characters' outfits in the process the action picture and made each and each so complicated. the way the action picture seems average is dazzling. i like that it became a gloomy action picture and consequently, all human beings had very mild faces and the sky became consistently gray. ultimately, yet maximum severely, the storyline became became ok-written. It provided a sparkling definition of "mad guy" and how a ways he's keen to flow to get his revenge.

  • 1 decade ago

    I also have never seen the 1982 version, but I loved the 2008 movie. I'll have to watch the older one sometime.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hearn and Lansbury hands down....

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