“Sweeney” Blood on Burton’s Hands?


Last week, I made a promise to an acquaintance that the journalist in me regrets: I promised, on penalty of death, not to reveal what this person told me had been cut by Tim Burton in the making of his movie of “Sweeney Todd.” But I didn’t promise not to pass along what other people are saying online about this Christmas release. Specifically, Fox411’s Roger Friedman was told by the musical’s composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, that: a) he likes the movie; and b) the movie’s not the Broadway show. “[The movie] is only an hour and 45 minutes,” says Sondheim. “A lot of the score has been cut. They’ve made it its own thing. You have to go in knowing that. But what they’ve done is great.” Although I made that promise not to reveal what songs have been excised from the cinematic story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, I didn’t promise not to reveal (some of) what’s been left in. What’s made the cut for now? “A Little Priest,” “Johanna,” and “Pretty Women.” By the way, Acquaintance #1 thought the movie was only so-so. Meanwhile, someone else I know thought the movie “was flat-out wonderful. But it’s not going to win a Best Picture Oscar. The Academy won’t reward that kind of gore.”

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