I don’t quite know why it came into my mind, but I was talking to a friend about the song “Worst Pies in London” from the filmed version of Sweeney Todd. On stage, it is nothing special: just a pretty and amusing song. In the film, it is something quite different: an interesting contrast between the beauty of the song and the reality of mid-19th century London. The pie filling looks like it is something dredged from the sewer; cockroaches the size of mice are everywhere; and the actual pie seems to have mold on it. “It tastes like pity?” I think that is a decidedly optimistic appraisal.
Regardless, I love the song. I love the movie. It is extremely rare that a Broadway musical is brought to the screen so successfully. I can only think of two films off hand: West Side Story and Cabaret. Just the same, I can rarely get myself to watch Sweeney Todd. I admire it, but it is hard to take. It has a lot of great moments, however. And this is definitely one of them.