Bugsy Malone (1976) Poster

(1976)

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The greatest kiddie-gangster-musical flick ever to land on the Silver Screen!
ES-III29 December 1999
Bugsy Malone, a childhood favorite of mine, is perhaps the only musical spoof of gangster films and film noir where all the roles of the gangsters, flappers, bartenders and hitmen are played by children (collective age: 12). In place of the universal racketeer firearms are "splat guns" that cover victims in whipped-cream. Likewise, the cars are pedal-driven like bikes. The story tells of the rise of the womanizing, ex-boxer Bugsy Malone (Scott Baio) who finds himself enlisted in the mob of speakeasy-owner Fat Sam (John Cassisi), who's in the middle of a fierce territorial battle with the suave Dandy Dan (Martin Lev). Dan has come up with a new weapon, the splat gun, leaving Fat Sam to rely on the antiquated manually-thrown pies for his heists. Sam's gang is sweetly gunned-down bit by bit, and Bugsy is ultimately recruited to get a hold of this new weapon and rebuild the gang (which he does with the homeless Down-And-Outs and boxer Leroy Smith, played by Paul Murphy). Baio is remarkable (if you can believe that), and most of the performances are amazing! Jodi Foster excels as vampy nite-club singer Tallulah, and Florrie Dugger (as Blousey Brown -- in her only role to date) is wonderful as Bugsy's piquant love interest. I just don't understand why more of these child-actors didn't go on to bigger and better things like Jodi Foster! And whoever played "Babyface" is remarkable, showing three-times the amount of charisma of Macaulay Culkin. The film was nominated for a series of Oscars and Golden Globe awards and it's apparent as to why. Paul Williams' score is amazing - so many of these songs should be remade! If telling you to seek this one out for sure!
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10/10
Beautiful parody of gangster movies with great musical score
v-tadic16 July 2006
The film is unique musical parody of gangster movies, where all the roles are played by children. I first watched it shortly after its release, and was absolutely thrilled. Balanced director's work, smartly composed screenplay, great and very temporary musical score and, above all, the brilliant talent of young Jodie Foster. Not all the roles were played equally convincingly, but the kids were generally quite good. I enjoyed the film even more while writing subtitles (for home use) for it several months ago, being thus forced to listen carefully to every word spoken or sung. After 30 years, I really have nothing to add to my first impressions. "Bugsy Malone" is timeless, and should be listed among the movie classics, along with "The Wizzard of Oz" and "Oliver".
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8/10
A cute and enjoyable movie-almost to cute
llltdesq26 September 2001
This is a very cute and enjoyable movie, quite possibly the only one in a very small sub-genre in the genre of gangster films-a musical gangster movie cast entirely with children. The cast is notable principally by the presence of Jodie Foster (as a side note, this was released the same year as was Taxi Driver!) and Scott Baio, the musical score was done by Paul Wiliams (who was nominated for an Oscar for his efforts here) and the costumes are quite nice. One thing about the music: I've seen this several times and I still can't be sure if the cast is singing or if the singing is dubbed. I think it's dubbed, as the numbers are almost stiltedin nature. Still fun-just put your brain on neutral and enjoy. Well worth watching.
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Get a life!!!!
tam12227 April 2004
For anyone who sees this film as sinister or as a paedophiles dream GET A LIFE!!!! It was made in the 70's when we weren't politically correct and living was fun! What has happened to us that we can't see a film with children in it without thinking that it was made for an ulterior motive? Enjoy the film for what it is. I saw this film for the first time when I was about 9, loved it then and still do (I'm now 34!) It's harmless fun, something you would have loved to have been involved in had you been given the chance. All those splurge guns and pedal cars, think about it, it would have been great fun! And that's what you should remember when you watch it, it's great FUN! I have 2 children who ABSOLUTELY love this film as much as I do and I have no qualms whatsoever about letting them watch this. Just remember you were young once, watch this film, forget about everything, and recapture your youth!!!!
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9/10
My Name Is Tallulah!
loopy_lucy1424 September 2006
The first and only gangster movie to involve cream. Bugsy Malone (Baio) was a ladies man and a regular at the club "Fat Sam's" were the famous Tallulah (Foster) normally performs, Tallulah is going out with Fat Sam (Cassisi) the owner of the club, this is also the head quarters of his gang. Fat Sam's gang is under threat as another gang is trying to take other there territory, and doing this very successfully as they have "Splurge Guns". Whilst as Fat Sam's Bugsy meets Blousey (Dugger) and they start dating. One, by one all of fat Sam's gang is killed off and only he is left. Bugsy then promised Blousey he will buy them a ticket to Hollywood, so to get the money he begging to work for fat Sam and help him save his business but will he succeed and will him and Blousey ever make it to Hollywood? This is a very unique movie and they will never by one like it. It is unique in3 ways.1. It is a gangster movie which uses child actors, which brings a knew type of energy to the movie.2. It uses splurge guns instead of real guns which use dream instead of bullets and this makes the movie more suitable for younger children and 3. When the children are singing it's not actually them singing, which make the songs sound nicer but is also quite a comedic effect to see this big strong voices, coming out of such little kids .I also think it is interesting that some of the actors become very famous actors when they got older such a Scott Baio and Jodie Foster. I think this movie is great and there is just something about it is just great, and all the characters are so lovable. It's just a great family film for anyone and is suitable for all ages and everyone will enjoy it!
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10/10
Timeless
dmk22 June 1999
Like all period films this is timeless. It is characterised by the fun and enthusiasm shown by the young cast (average age 12). Who wouldn't have wanted to join in. Films don't have to be grand with big budgets to entertain. I read somewhere once that the film was shot with an amazingly low number of re-takes. An indication of how easy it can be to work with children. Of all films made with a cast of only children this one has to be the best. A film which I go to see whenever I find it showing somewhere. Excellent stuff for the big kids (like me) around.
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10/10
Scintillating!
pwmoses25 May 2000
This is one of my all time favorite films, straight up, no chaser! Some films possess a magical quality that cannot be planned as they are filming. This film has that magic. The musical numbers are wonderful, the performances genuine. I love the way the romantic subtleties are handled since the cast children. This film is made by the music. There is not one bad number in the film. Bring back the splurge gun!
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9/10
Very innovative considering it's from 1976!
1kathy882 April 2005
I think this is an excellent movie...good clean fun and there isn't near enough of that on the screen these days! I love the music, (I have always liked Paul Williams' music) the dancing, the kids AND the pedal cars! All in all a great movie. Great costuming, too. It's hard to get pre-pubescent girls to look like vamps but those costumes did a lot in that direction.

The only part that I didn't like was the "Fat Sam" character whose "New Yawk" accent was just a little bit overdone. But I think they did a little play on that when Fat Sam said the word "personally" & Tallulah was making fun of his pronunciation!

It's a shame more of these kids didn't go on to become stars. Maybe their acting wasn't top notch but some of those faces were "wow"! Scott Biao & Jodie Foster are the only two who seem to have went anywhere with their talents.

Fair warning: The "Michael Jackson" in this movie is not the "Michael Jackson" formerly of "The Jackson Five" & known for his "Thriller" video & "other things". It's a totally different person.
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It's Cool
benutopia3 November 2003
When i was a kid I loved this film, the music was good, it wasn't violent and was light hearted. I think most kids would like it today if they watched it. It was quite original and fun, and you can see that on the actors faces. Beats having to watch terrible remakes of classic films, or more awful commercial tie-in films, which do no more than advertise new toys for kids to play with! Plus I bought it on DVD for £5 at HMV, which you can't moan about and the DVD itself has a few interesting extras, bargain!
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A fun movie for kids. Pies instead of bullets.
copycat-522 January 2001
I watched this movie in the mid-1980's when I was around 6 or 7. I just loved it. I recently got a chance to watch it again on television and it brought back memories. When I watched it as a child I didn't know who Jodie Foster or Scott Baio was. Now that I'm in my 20's I realized that they were in the movie. I love this movie because I loved it when I was younger. I don't know what my impression would've been if my first viewing was in my adult years. This movie is kind of corny but for kids it's hilarious. I love the songs! I remember I use to tape record them and play them over and over till the tape wore out.
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Fun & Nostalgic
Barney Rubble12 December 2000
I saw this when I was a child and loved it, I just bought it and watched it with my Daughter(12), she did not care for it but when we saw it again it was HER suggestion to watch it, then I hooked our Little Cousin (6).

Jodie Foster was CLEARLY a wonderful Actress then and now. Scott Baio was fun too. Does anyone know if Razamataz was (The Michael Jackson?) it is not on his credits.

Wonderful fun! I want one of the cars!
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10/10
A very Fun Movie for All ages!!
davidhanten6 February 2007
I saw the movie myself when I was a kid and I am 36 years old. I loved the movie and at the time I would always wish I had those hard to find legendary "Splurge Guns" as well as the peddle cars. This is a very good movie for whether or not you have kids. I still watch it and it just reminds me of my youth. If you have watched the Super Bowl last weekend you also would have noticed that in the Coke commercial they took the ending song or last song in the musical of Bugsy Malone and used it in the Coke Superbowl commercial. I believe the song was called"You give a little Love" I used to want to be Bugsy Malone and would play gangster wars with my brothers as a kid.
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10/10
a really good movie
Noodles-3422 May 2000
Ive always liked this one, it gives kids a chance to experience "playing soldiers" if they cant do so, due to their position in life or otherwise. Besides the fact that when i first viewed this film, RENTED at 8 yrs old, I was somewhat like this. But thats a different story. The cast is excellent, music, acting, dialogue, its all very good and true. I loved this film, eventhough I love all films, I suggest you see it whenever you can. It has meaning, and is playful in many ways. Thank you.
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7/10
great fun
claudecat5 February 2007
I remember my father announcing a family plan to see this movie the year it came out, when I was 9. I didn't want to go--a gangster movie with kids? I thought it would be scary, or worse, boring. But the decision had been made, and I reluctantly went along to the theater. As it turned out, my father was right to take us: "Bugsy Malone" became one of my favorite childhood movies. My brother and I were given the soundtrack LP for Christmas that year (I still have it), and we learned all the songs.

I've since seen the movie as a grownup, and I still think it's very well-made. It wasn't until I was older that I could appreciate the acting, and the sophisticated production design (though I knew when I first saw the movie that it had a very clever script). My only quibble is the filmmakers' decision to have adults sing all the songs--it's a bit bizarre to hear grownup voices coming out of children, and after a while you start to notice that the voices sound the same, since they didn't cast different singers for each character (Paul Williams himself does most of the vocal work). It makes the film feel more low-budget than it should.

Mickey Dolenz directed a stage version of the film in London years later, which I was hoping had all-singing kids, but apparently the songs were pre-recorded. High schools now perform the show, however, so at last the voices will match.

Any kid that's interested in old Hollywood should be given a chance to see this film.
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10/10
Fantastic!
littleminx133 January 2007
I watched this film at various stages throughout my life and still have a soft spot for Bugsy Malone. Jodie Foster is and always has been one of my favourite actresses and this is the film I first saw her in. I watched Bugsy Malone at the weekend with my 4 year old son to try and take him away from 'Power Rangers' for a while. He watched the film 3 times.....back to back!! He laughed so much especially when babyface says 'get Babyface..I am Babyface' who incidentally is a British actor called Dexter Fletcher and has been in many television productions and films more famously in Lock Stock as Soap. The British actors seem to have done more with their lives than the American ones.....please correct me if I'm wrong. I wont mind...

This film is never outdated, should still be 'allowed' by the PC Brigade and no doubt be watched a few generations down the line. I thoroughly enjoyed it as a child and now as a 35 year old with a child. I was laughing out loud throughout the film....which is a rarity for me!! LOL The actors were outstanding for their age and for the time and the whole thing was written well for them.

I don't know what else I can say about this film, only you can be the judge of what you think is good but I would be very surprised if you didn't enjoy this film...or watched it 3 times back to back LOL
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9/10
What a Great Film
Maeric25 October 1999
I enjoyed this movie with its' comedy and slapstick humour. The music was especially good. Scott Baio (Bugsy) and the character Fizzy put on the best show of all. The acting was flawless for children. I'm not sure this movie would have been as good if it were done by adults. Recommended for all ages!
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10/10
"Bugsy Malone" : If You Were A Kid, You Should Get It
happipuppi1328 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Well, before I decided to review this 70s camp classic,I read some of the other reviews here. Glad to see that the vote tips in favor of the film. As always,there's some who just don't get it.

The movie is not just a send up of gangster flicks but it's also a great view of what someone with a good imagination can bring to the movies. Every bit of this movie is awash in simple genius.

The songs sung by adults with the kids acting them out are not supposed to be perfect. It's just supposed to be fun and for those of us that haven't lost our ability to enjoy simpler humor,funny.

One reviewer said "Maybe I've lost my sense of humor". Yes,that person definitely has,when they can't recognize simple,easy or dry humor. In this day and age where "humor" is defined by the likes of "Jackass","American Pie" & so forth,people have forgotten how to laugh at humor that isn't born from below one's waist.

I love every moment in this film,from when I was a kid to now. The only sad note for me is,I had the soundtrack album and it got wet when water seeped into my closet in 2006 and wreked it and many other LPs. I got it back in January 2009. I think a select few of you out there need to stop being such "adults" and find your inner child and sense of humor again. Otherwise,I feel sorry that you've become the kind of "mature" person we all dreaded that we'd be as well...humorless.

Ten stars Bugsy! (END)
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8/10
A special film, one of a kind.
Mightyzebra6 November 2007
I am inclined to list a number of reasons why this film is special and one of a kind.

1. This is a gangster film and yet all the cast are children. They do an amazing job. 2. Instead of real guns, they have either guns that splurge out custard pie to kill people, or just custard pies. 3. The songs are very fun and very varied, sort of fun but not completely cheerful, which is good. 4. The idea is very good and must have been worked on quite a lot, even though the plot goes all over the place in confusing directions. 5. This film is enjoyable for a wide variety of ages - although best for those aged 9 and up.

A gangster gang in America are losing business and most importantly - men.

Meanwhile, Bugsy Malone, a member of the gang, lives casually and easily, also talking to a new woman called Blousie Brown.

On both sides of the story, things are soon about to change...

Enjoy "Bugsy Malone"! :-)
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10/10
Great flick!
nconnor12913 March 2001
This is one of my favorite movies from my childhood. Excellent sound track (can't find it anywhere) and a funny story. Definite must-see! This brings back memories of how movies used to be - light and fun to watch. Too many movies today are too obnoxious and pretentious. It's not Shakespeare, but it's entertaining.
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10/10
An all-time Classic
tomsparham20 January 2007
This movie is a definite Classic and one of the films that I enjoyed watching as a Kid. It's an enjoyable film to look back on, and remember the good old days. Also, the character of Bugsy Malone is quite amiable and admirable for being laid-back and quite easy-going. It's a must for people who like classic 1930s Gangster films, as although it is not violent, it still shows what it was like in the prohibition era.

It's all good, but my favourite parts in the movie are probably where Bugsy meets Leeroy for the first time and where they are hiding in the bushes from the Splurge Guns Inc. factory.

This is an all time genuine classic.
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7/10
cool!!
gem-wick916 June 2006
i think this movie is a really good idea and is funny we are doing this film as a play at our school i play 1 of the dancers its so cool we're doing this play we have a lot of fun doing it!!! I really like the 50's feel to it and the gangsters!!! i think its really different that there played by kids its really a lot of fun to watch and i so love the songs in it!!!! My favourite really catchy songs in it are so you wanna be a boxer and fat scam's grand slam!! anybody who doesn't like this film must be mad because i think its really really really really good!!!!!! and i can't wait until we do it at our school!!!!!!! i would recommend it for all ages.
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10/10
Fantastic
beef108823 January 2005
Bugsy Malone is one of the funniest musicals of all time. It is full of humour and wit from the start and each character plays their part brilliantly.

The film is based on a rivalry between two gangs and their leaders Fat Sam and Dandy Dan who are having very different fortunes. Dandy Dan is beginning to take control of the city thanks to their secret weapon the "Splurge gun." Fat Sam begins to panic and calls on his old Friend Bugsy Malone who is already busy trying to get the attention of Blousey Brown, a talented singer who Bugsy Fancies. The film then takes really takes of in a fast paced finish with both Gangs aiming to be top dogs in the city. Who is victorious? Does Bugsy get his girl? You'll have to watch it to discover the answers.
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Jodie Foster as Tallulah
didi-528 April 2004
Alan Parker and Paul Williams collaborated on this fun kid's musical, with a cast including Scott Baio and Jodie Foster. Most of the songs are mimed by the kids to adult voices (with the exception of Foster's ‘My Name is Tallulah') but the story – a group of gangsters who wipe out rival gangs with splurge guns – is fast-paced and inventive.

This is certainly one of the best films aimed at children to come out during the 1970s, and has a lot to offer for a general audience, too. Parker of course would move on to more successful musicals aimed squarely at a mature audience (The Commitments, Evita) as well as a range of other things, but this is a well-filmed and interesting piece of work.
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Don't 'Speak Easy' about this brill flick
buckaroobanzai5026 August 2003
A lot of people have criticized this, by saying it's basically just soft paedo porn, and aimless. But they're missing the point really. If you are of the MTV generation, and did not see this movie when you were 8 like I did, it WOULD be hard for you to see the charm of it all. The whole idea of setting the child actors in a pastiche of films from the '20s and '30s was a stroke of genius, and works pretty well even though some of the acting is a bit ropey. It was a well deserved hit when released, and fortunately wasn't followed up with a sequel. Alan Parker already had some prior experience of dealing with child actors when he made Bugsy, from his days in advertising, when he directed some now legendary Beef Burger ads in the UK. In a recent TV documentary, Parker spoke of the problems he had had with the studio during filming. They had no faith in the film's success, and therefore would not pay to build certain sets. Parker had to spend some £30,000 of his own money to finance the scenes he wanted to shoot. More fool the studio.

Another poster has commented that a film such as this would not be made today. I disagree. Film studios would readily cash in on any, franchise, as they call them now. And a film such as Harry Potter, though hardly multiracial the way Bugsy Malone is, only has a few adult leads actors in it.

By the way...What number Star Trek are they up to now?
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7/10
A excellent idea well-executed by Alan Parker
Diego_rjc28 January 2010
What if there was a gangster movie starred by children? What if this movie were a musical? Alan Parker took this idea and transformed into a movie in 1976. And it worked really well.

As i said, 'Bugsy Malone' is a gangster movie starred by children, and there isn't much more to say about the story. The script has that feeling of 'I have seen this before', telling the story of Bugsy Malone (Scott Baio), a gangster in the late 1920's New York, in the middle of the Depression. The predictable script is really no problem, because it's told in a different way than any gangster movie you've ever seen - through songs. The musical feeling really works, and original songs are absolutely great. Two days after I've watched the movie, 'Tomorrow', 'My Name is Tallulah' and 'Bugsy Malone' kept playing on my head. Definitely gonna buy the Soundtrack.

The acting in this movie is not marvelous, but with every member of the cast been under 16 you can't expect much. For kids, they did a nice job. I was amazed to see that most of the cast didn't do anything after this, which is a shame, 'cause they sure had talent. Scott Baio is nice as the lead, but when you watch the movie, your eyes can't help it and are going to focus on Jodie Foster. She was fine as Tallulah, and 1976 was a great year for her, also appearing on Scorsese's 'Taxy Driver. She is the only member of the cast that turned into a star.

The British-born Alan Parker writes and directs here and does a good job in both functions. It's amazing to think he did this in 1976. With almost the whole movie been shot in the set, he putted the camera at so- interesting that you don't realize it's not location. There is one scene at the end of the movie that really resembles the also Alan Parker's later 'Pink Floyd - The Wall'. Maybe he did it on purpose, who knows... The cinematography is quite weird, having that old-European movie feel to it. One thing that I particularly liked was the art-direction. The cars and guns were a nice catch.

Overral, Alan Parker written and directed this excellent idea, and he executed it very well. Of course 'Bugsy Malone' is no masterpiece, but it's really fun to watch. Hope they don't remake this - it would that take away all the magic.

7/10
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