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Bugsy Malone Blu-ray Review

“Bugsy Malone” is one goofy movie musical.

A G-rated gangster spoof musical with all child actors is probably not something that would fly nowadays, but it did back in 1976. Granted, guns have been replaced by pies and “Splurge Guns,” but still. 

The 1929 NYC set “Bugsy Malone” was written and directed by Alan Parker with music and lyrics done by Paul Williams. The story (if you want to call it that) largely concerns a gang war between Fat Sam and Dandy Dan, but there’s also a central story about the titular character falling in love with a wannabe singer/actress (Blousey Brown) who dreams of going to Hollywood. 

Although it has become a cult favorite since its release, I found “Bugsy Malone” to be an utterly ridiculous high concept/gimmick movie. It just doesn’t work. Seeing kids act as hoodlums and showgirls spouting 20’s era gangster movie dialogue is already goofy enough but add in the fact that they lip sync to Paul Williams and others and you can’t help but shake your head at what you’re seeing. As big of a misfire as it is though, you can’t help but stare at the screen just to see how it all plays out. There certainly aren’t many movies like this.

Going back to the music of Paul Williams, I will say there are two memorable songs here with the title track and the closer “You Give A Little Love” (which has appeared in commercials and so forth). I will fully admit the ending is one of the cheesiest things I’ve seen though despite the tune being catchy.

Cast wise, Jodie Foster and Scott Baio may be the big names here, but they aren’t the stand-outs. Both are fine in their roles, but Foster has little to do and Baio is overshadowed by the central plot. The 2 scene-stealers here are John Cassisi (Fat Sam) Martin Lev (Dandy Dan). Cassisi seems to be having real fun with the role while Lev is amusingly really into the part and leans into the villainous nature of the character.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The print has been remastered from original elements and the result is a fantastic and sharp new restoration.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The track is a little soft but it does the job.

Extras include trailers for “Bugsy Malone,” “Paper Moon,” “Grease,” and “Black Beauty,” a new Filmmaker Focus interview segment with executive producer David Puttnam and an interview with the legendary Paul Williams in the new bonus feature “Give A Little Love: Paul Williams On Bugsy Malone.”

September 12, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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