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Bugsy Malone

Where to Watch Bugsy Malone


Bugsy Malone, a 1976 British-American musical film, represents a unique take on the classic gangster movie genre which is reimagined through the comedic and fanciful lens of director, Alan Parker. This distinctive film features a cast exclusively comprising of child actors, including a young Jodie Foster and Scott Baio, who intriguingly play adult roles within the narrative. The film remarkably retells the familiar narrative of 1920s Prohibition-era Chicago, in a tone and style that is simultaneously whimsical, humorous, and occasionally poignant, achieving a peculiarly enthralling fusion of the malicious and the innocent.

Scott Baio stars as the title character, Bugsy Malone, an endearing, street-smart boxing promoter who navigates through the dangerous and frequently ludicrous gangster milieu of the Roaring Twenties. Baio managed to turn in a top-notch performance where his charisma and boyish charm shine brightly. At the other end of the spectrum is a young Jodie Foster, who delivers a striking performance as Tallulah, a hardened nightclub singer. Foster’s performance astutely balances the character’s underlying vulnerability with her tough exterior, providing a complex portrayal far beyond her years. These acting feats, by such young performers, undoubtedly stand out, ultimately serving as a testament to Parker's distinctive directorial vision.

The film creatively uses the device of child actors to an ironic effect. Florence Garland leads the ensemble cast of cheerful young performers as they inhabit perfect parodies of notorious gangster archetypes, with their oversized suits, exaggerated accents, and an undeniably comic air of seriousness. Splurge guns - firearms that discharge whipped cream instead of bullets - and pedal-powered vintage cars stand as brilliant symbols of the film's distinctive setting where adult affairs are acted out in a childish milieu.

Whilst the film falls into the category of a gangster movie, it is essentially a musical. The catchy, ragtime-infused score eloquently captures the spirit of the 1920s jazz age. Penned by Grammy-winning songwriter Paul Williams, the songs constitute the central vehicle through which the character’s emotions are expressed. The score, underscored by a youthful chorus, presents a charming, energetic element that further imbues the film with a light-hearted and loveable aura.

The plot, which avoids undermining the fun atmosphere of the film, is layered with adult themes of rivalry, loyalty, and love, presented in a child-friendly way. A turf war between rival gang leaders Fat Sam (John Cassisi) and Dandy Dan (Martin Lev) serves as the backdrop, while the romantic arc between Bugsy and budding starlet Blousey Brown (Florrie Dugger) provides a stirring heart to an otherwise comedic adventure.

Bugsy Malone, undoubtedly, is an inventive work of cinema, exploring adult themes while retaining a childlike innocence. Director Alan Parker uses the paradoxical blend of the grim gangster world with the whimsy of childhood to his advantage, delivering a film that is as unique as it is entertaining. Moreover, he cleverly navigates between the zany fun and underlying note of poignancy, eventually leading viewers to the realization that these are, after all, children playing out the tragic-comic parody of a violent world.

With impressive performances by a young cast, in particular, Jodie Foster and Scott Baio, the film effortlessly avoids reducing its characters to mere caricatures of the mob world. Instead, Parker consciously allows his characters' youthful innocence to shine through their adult personas, creating a captivating contrast that becomes the film's defining charm.

In conclusion, Bugsy Malone stands as a triumph of cinematic creativity that, while being a parody of the traditional gangster flick, manages to create its own merits through its clever conceptual execution, memorable performances, and an infectious musical score. Combining the charm of a children's film with witty dialogue, satire of the gangster genre and a heartfelt romance, Bugsy Malone represents a gem of the 1970s cinema that continues to resonate with audiences of all ages till today.

Bugsy Malone is a Drama, Action, Comedy, Music, Kids & Family movie released in 1976. It has a runtime of 93 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.8. It also holds a MetaScore of 71.

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Where can I stream Bugsy Malone movie online? Bugsy Malone is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Bugsy Malone for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Alan Parker
Scott Baio, Florrie Dugger, Jodie Foster, John Cassisi, , Martin Lev, as Dandy Dan
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