- In this version of the old melodrama, Todd has some grounds for his nefarious activities: his wife was abducted and raped by the Judge and his daughter abandoned, while he himself was deported on a false charge.
- He returns to avenge his family, accompanied by a sea captain, Anthony, whose life he has saved.
- Anthony falls in love with a young girl, the Judge's ward, who turns out to be Todd's daughter.
- Todd, meanwhile, sets up with Mrs. Lovett, the pie maker, and provides her with fillings for her pies.
- He proceeds with his vengeful plans but the outcome is bitterly ironic.
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