Bugsy Malone (1976)

“We could have been anything that we wanted to be!”

What happens when you take the classic prohibition gangster story, write a few tunes and cast only children? You have a LOT of fun. Bugsy Malone, starring a bunch of kids (including Jodie Foster) is a fantastic addition to the genre and gives an entirely new perspective on the tried and tested themes of a gangster movie. Using all the cliches in the book we are taken on a rollercoaster ride through the battle for territory, love and the “sarsaparilla racket”, all through the eyes of some of the best child actors you’ll find. Not only is it the film fun, it’s very clever. The gangs use “splurge guns” and cream pies to get rid of their enemies, ride around in bicycle powered 1920s themed cars and although it may a little too suggestive, the song “My Name Is Talulah” is charmingly witty.

Bugsy Malone (dir. Alan Parker,  DOP Peter Biziou, Michael Seresin)

It’s easy to go on about the great things this film has to offer, but in reality it does fall a little short. The story gets a little lost at times, there are some unnecessary scenes and the lack of a real storyline for the police is disappointing. About half way through you realise that this musical and story is probably better suited for the stage than the screen which I think is actually a compliment, not a criticism. Regardless, you’ll be singing the songs for days to come and wondering if anyone actually died or if they were simply playing cops and robbers.

The Podfather Score: 7.25/10



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