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Bugsy Malone Academy Award Nomination! 

By Gary S. Dalkin

Writer-director Alan Parker's feature debut Bugsy Malone is a pastiche of American movies, a musical gangster comedy set in 1929, featuring prohibition, showgirls, and gang warfare, with references to everything from Some Like It Hot to The Godfather. Uniquely, though, all the parts are played by children, including an excellent if underused Jodie Foster as platinum-blonde singer Tallulah, Scott Baio in the title role and a nine-year-old Dexter Fletcher wielding a baseball bat. Cream-firing "spluge guns" sidestep any real violence and the movie climaxes cheerfully with the biggest custard pie fight this side of Casino Royale (1967).

Unfortunately for a musical, Paul Williams's score--part honky-tonk jazz homage, part 1970s Elton John-style pop--lets the side down with a lack of memorable tunes. Nevertheless, Parker's direction is spot on and the look of the film is superb, a fantasy movie-movie existing in the same parallel reality as The Cotton Club and Chicago. A rare British love letter to classic American cinema, Bugsy Malone remains a true original; in Parker's words "the work of a madman" and one of the strangest yet most stylish children's films ever made.

Academy Awards

Bugsy Malone received an Academy Awards nomination for Music Scoring Awards (Best Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score; Paul Williams - Song Score)..

Share Your Memories!

Is Bugsy Malone one of your favorite movies? What do you remember about it? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"Definitely my all time favourite movie, the characters are great and fun, the lyrics had good meaning and gave a good message. This is one of the best movies for young people ever made, it is a classic in my books. Well done Paul."

--BM Fan

"Bugsy Malone has incredible charm that shines through in the actors. Yeah the lip-syncing was probably a bad idea, but it is a classic!! I love it!!"

--tallulah

"I played the part of Louella (Dandy Dan's fiance) in the junior version of Bugsy Malone about a month ago. I strongly disagree with the thought of the play being a flop. I enjoyed every moment of it, myself. The entire cast had a blast!

Sure, I'll admit some parts are a little corny, but over-all, it is an excellent show. I don't know about the writer of the play much, but I don't think that he wasted his time making this composition at all. Perhaps the thought of an all kid cast is a little absurd, but it seems to have worked just fine.v"

--Louella

"I watched Bugsy as a kid and I thought it was awesome. It has inspired me to become a big fan of gangsters, an obsession which lasts to this day. When I was a kid the idea of being a gangster held a mysterious allure for me and still does. I thought any 'misplaced idea' syndrome, which I admit there was definitely a bit of, was made up for by the kicking soundtrack. Quite frankly ideas have to be tried out, and the more people doing 'wacky' stuff like Bugsy Malone with original concepts and/or twists on a theme the better. Sure it was not the kind of thing an 'ordinary' mind would immediately come up with, but then that was the beauty of it."

--Anonymous

"This film is so brilliant! The fact that the gangstas are played by kids is fab, and the storyline is A*. I totally love the concept of 20's Chicago and even though I wasn't alive in the Super70s, this had to be SUCH a hit."

--Anonymous

"It is a brilliant film with really ridiculous ideas which are terrific. Jodie Foster is amazing!"

--Nicky

"What can I say? It is probably one of the greatest movies ever!!! I love it sooo much I have it on video, Dvd and the soundtrack. I'm probably Bugsy's biggest fan im off to see an amateur production but my main aim is to one day star in a production of Bugsy Malone myself as Tallulah or Blousey. I know all the lyrics by heart.

Well its just excellent if you haven't seen it go see it now you donít know what your missing"

--Baggytrousers

"I love Bugsy Malone! I've always loved mafia/gangster-movies and this is one of the best. I played Tallulah in a Norwegian production of Bugsy Malone and that was probably one of the funniest thing I have ever done in my entire life! Blousy can just give up, because Tallulah is, has always been and will always be the star of Bugsy Malone!"

--Tallulah4real

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)DVD unavailableBuy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated GNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Alan Parker

Stars: Jodie Foster, Scott Baio, Martin Lev, John Cassisi

Released: October 9, 1976

Availability: VHS CD


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