A gangster movie where all the gangsters are played by children. Instead of real bullets they use “splurge guns” that cover the victim in cream. The story tells of the rise of “Bugsy Malone” and the battle for power between “Fat Sam” and “Dandy Dan”.
Steve Crook <[email protected]>
User Reviews: I remember my father announcing a family plan to see this movie the year it came out, when I was 9. I didn’t want to go–a gangster movie with kids? I thought it would be scary, or worse, boring. But the decision had been made, and I reluctantly went along to the theater. As it turned out, my father was right to take us: "Bugsy Malone" became one of my favorite childhood movies. My brother and I were given the soundtrack LP for Christmas that year (I still have it), and we learned all the songs.
I’ve since seen the movie as a grownup, and I still think it’s very well-made. It wasn’t until I was older that I could appreciate the acting, and the sophisticated production design (though I knew when I first saw the movie that it had a very clever script). My only quibble is the filmmakers’ decision to have adults sing all the songs–it’s a bit bizarre to hear grownup voices coming out of children, and after a while you start to notice that the voices sound the same, since they didn’t cast different singers for each character (Paul Williams himself does most of the vocal work). It makes the film feel more low-budget than it should.
Mickey Dolenz directed a stage version of the film in London years later, which I was hoping had all-singing kids, but apparently the songs were pre-recorded. High schools now perform the show, however, so at last the voices will match.
Any kid that’s interested in old Hollywood should be given a chance to see this film.