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Bugsy Malone (1976, Jodie Foster, Scott Baio)

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Alan Parker’s debut feature as director/ writer (he is a veteran of ad and tv work, including an Emmy for Evacuees ) remains unique – a spoof 30s gangster movie musical with an all-kids cast – but it was Oscar-nominated for the score as well as winning five of the nine BAFTAs for which it was nominated.

Scott Baio stars as Bugsy Malone, a boxer recruited to Fat Sam’s (John Cassisi) mob, which is in the middle of a battle with Dandy Dan (Martin Lev, at 16 the oldest cast member), whose gang have the new splat gun that distributes immoblising custard pies. Bugsy’s task is to get hold of these deadly weapons, but thrown into the mix are his moll Blousey Brown (Florrie Dugger) and vampish singer Tallulah (Jodie Foster).

Baio and particularly Foster, fresh from Taxi Driver , turn in superb performances and the film’s central conceit soon takes hold with Paul Williams’ songs matching the period. Other details match the juvenile cast, with the cars pedal driven and the strongest drink sasparilla. Parker claimed he got the idea from watching The Godfather , but replaced the guns with custard pies.

production details
UK | 93 minutes | 1976

Writer and Director: Alan Parker

cast
Jodie Foster as Tallulah
Scott Baio as Bugsy Malone
Florrie Dugger as Blousey
John Cassisi as Fat Sam
Dexter Fletcher as Baby Face
Martin Lev as Dandy Dan
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
Michael Jackson 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
John Rafter Lee as Benny Lee
Bonnie Langford as Lena Marelli
Louise English as Ballet Dancer
Mark Curry as Producer

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