Bugsy Malone

"Weak"

Bugsy Malone Review


Fourteen-year-old Jodie Foster had a very busy and very weird year in 1976. There was Freaky Friday for Disney, there was Taxi Driver for Scorsese, and then there was this. Thirty years after its release, Bugsy Malone, an adult gangster comedy/musical in which all the roles are played by children, can make you nostalgic for the '70s and the '30s at the same time. That this oddity was directed by Alan "Midnight Express" Parker, only makes the whole thing more bizarre. Watching the always amazing Jodie vamp it up with her co-star, '70s teen dreamboat Scott Baio, as they lip sync to tracks of the adults who sing for them is one of the stranger cinematic experiences you'll ever have. Forgive me if I pause a moment to go look up more synonyms for "weird."

Basically a story of warring gangs, Bugsy Malone introduces us to Fat Sam (John Cassisi) and Dandy Dan (Martin Lev), who are battling for turf. Bugsy (Baio) shows up at Sam's bar and meets Blousey Brown (Florrie Duggal), who wants to be a star. When the bar is raided, Dandy Dan breaks out his new weapon, a "Splurge gun" that shoots whipped cream. Bugsy and Blousey hit it off, but he's also caught the eye of sexy vamp Talullah (Foster), who always gets her man. Do you care?

With a dozen songs by short-limbed '70s pop music go-to guy Paul Williams, most of which are utterly forgettable drivel that even the Carpenters or the Captain and Tennille couldn't have salvaged, the movie goes along in its own insane way, alternating between boring stretches, the dubbed songs, and Splurge gun fights that leave all the kid gangsters covered with goo. One wonders how all the middle school students who use this story as a basis for their annual school play finesse those gunfight scenes.

If there's any winner here it's Foster, who does what she can with the material, playing the tough girl just as she did for Scorsese (and just as she still does today). There's little else here that delivers even the bare minimum for a musical or a comedy. Your kiddies may find it fun to watch other kiddies playing dress up, but you'll just be scratching your head in amazement as you ponder the fact that Baio, not Foster, was supposed to be the breakout star of this show.

Why doncha come up and see me some time. We'll watch Teletubbies.



Bugsy Malone

Facts and Figures

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 15th September 1976

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Goodtimes Enterprises, Bugsy Malone Productions, National Film Finance Consortium, Robert Stigwood Organization (RSO), National Film Trustee Company, The Rank Organisation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Tallulah, Martin Lev as Dandy Dan, John Cassisi as Fat Sam, as Bugsy Malone, Florrie Dugger as Blousey, Paul Murphy as Leroy Smith, Sheridan Earl Russell as Knuckles, Albin 'Humpty' Jenkins as Fizzy, Paul Chirelstein as Smolsky, Andrew Paul as O'Dreary, Davidson Knight as Cagey Joe, as Razamataz, Jeff Stevenson as Louis, Peter Holder as Ritzy, Donald Waugh as Snake Eyes, Michael Kirkby as Angelo, Jon Zebrowski as Shoulders, Jorge Valdez as Bronx Charlie, as Benny Lee

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Advertisement
Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Demolition Movie Review

Demolition Movie Review

With its darkly emotive themes and brittle humour, this well-made drama by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas...

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.