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- Bugsy Malone
- Runtime:93 min
- Release Date:2014-04-25 12:58:04
- Director: Alan Parker
- Genres: Comedy, Crime, Family, Musical
MOVIE REVIEW:Bugsy Malone
"Bugsy Malone" is comedy with some musical numbers that recreates the
gangster films of the 1930's with a ensemble casting of kids and teens.
Instead of blood and guns these gangster kids throw cream, pie and
shoot with splurge guns to each other. It might not be as glamorous as
those movies or even with the same richness of details like "Cotton
Club" (1984) but its good intentions and its humor are far better than
many forgotten classics of the same genre (and it cost less than the
bad "Cotton Club").
The title of the movie is a reference to Scott Baio's character, a
young guy romantically involved with Blousey Brown (Florrie Dugger) a
young singer trying to get a chance to work in the club of Fat Sam
(John Cassisi) a powerful gangster. Bugsy also gets involved with one
of Fat Sam's girl Tallulah (played by Jodie Foster) also singer at the
club but much more prettier and smart than Blousey. At last during
these good times there's the power battle between Fat Sam and Dandy Dan
(Martin Lev) another powerful gangster who happens to own a new secret
weapon that's "killing" all the thugs that work for Sam. And now Fat
Sam needs all the help he can't get to survive to this creamy battle in
This is one of those rare films when you really get jealous for not
being involved at it. Seriously, I think all these kids really had a
great time doing their parts here, acting like adults in a very cool
movie. It makes you think that if when you were child you really wanted
to be part of this. All the ensemble casting is great (notably Baio and
John Cassisi), they're very charismatic in their roles, not a single
bad acting in this movie. The only disappointing thing was the songs.
Most of it it's played repeatedly, the lyrics are not so much inspiring
and to make things even more creepy all of the songs are performed by
adults. That's right, the kids are dubbing during the musical numbers.
But it's not all the songs that are bad, after all the Bugsy Malone
theme and the song played at the ending are very interesting (this
theme was used in a Coca-Cola commercial a few years ago so when I
heard some of the lines it was like a Dejá-Vù feeling).
What makes this movie so appealing: The kids playing tiny versions of
grown-up characters in a gangster movie. Quite original if you consider
that most of the movies this kind of situation doesn't happen, always
has to be some adult in the film playing a father or a mother. The kids
were left alone in scene and they did a wonderful job. Not just that,
there are very funny moments too. The comedy works pretty good
(specially Knuckles the dumb thug played by Sheridan Russell, always
making that annoying noise with his fingers making Fat Sam nervous).
The idea of the splurge gun and all that cream, and the strange cars
also were a great idea, a movie starring kids specially made for a kid
audience but it's very good for adults too, way better than to take
kids to see some stupid little movies with boring punchlines that many
adults are forced to watch.
I'm giving 9 starts only because of the songs that distract me in some
points but it was a training exercise for director Alan Parker (his
first feature film released in theaters) with the musical genre
something he would do better with "The Commitments" and "Evita". Worth
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.
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