Alan Parker (Mississippi Burning) wrote and directed Bugsy Malone, a Prohibition-set gangster movie in which all the hoodlums and showgirls are played by kids, and instead of guns the ‘men’ settle their differences using custard pies and splurge guns that cover the victims in a creamy goo.
It’s an incredibly silly (for adults) but fun (for kids) musical, as Bugsy (Baio) tries to help local tough guy Fat Sam in a gang war while romancing new-to-town Blousey Brown (Dugger) and being distracted by nightclub singer Tallulah (a fourteen-year-old Foster vamping it up).
Grown-ups provide the singing voices for the cast, which can be a bit disconcerting for adult viewers (Jodie Foster herself has said she found that a bit odd when showing the movie to her own child), but all in all this is harmless fun. Trivia fans may like to know that Baio, best known as the Fonz’s cousin in TV’s Happy Days, continues to appear on TV and was a beau of Pamela Anderson, Florrie Dugger never acted in film again and now works for the air force and, erm, Jodie Foster has a successful film career and has won two Oscars.
Is Bugsy Malone suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...