Sweeney Todd (1928 film)

Sweeney Todd is a 1928 British silent crime film directed by Walter West and starring Moore Marriott, Judd Green and Iris Darbyshire. It was adapted from a popular 1847 stage play by George Dibdin-Pitt called The String of Pearls, or The Fiend of Fleet Street, which in turn was based on an anonymous story called The String of Pearls: A Romance that was serialized in magazine format in 1846. This was the first time the story was adapted into a play, and it featured a surprise twist ending that doesn't appear in later stage versions of the Sweeney Todd legend.[2][3] It was filmed entirely on set at Islington Studios.

Sweeney Todd
Directed byWalter West
Produced byHarry Rowson
Written byGeorge Dibdin-Pitt (play)
StarringMoore Marriott
Iris Darbyshire
Judd Green
Charles Ashton
QTS Productions
Distributed byIdeal Films
Release date
September 1928
Running time
6,200 feet[1]
73 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
English intertitles


A barber named Sweeney Todd slits the throats of his unsuspecting customers, robs them and then dumps their bodies down into his cellar through a trapdoor. He and his partner in crime, Mrs. Lovett, cut up the bodies and use the pieces to make meat pies which she then sells in her bakery shop. In the end, it all turns out to be just a bad dream.



  1. Low p.460
  2. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era. Midnight Marquee Press. p. 332. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  3. "Sweeney Todd (1928)". bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 18 November 2010.


  • Low, Rachel. The History of British Film: Volume IV, 1918–1929. Routledge, 1997.
  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927-1939. British Film Institute, 1986.
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