Sunday, August 03, 2014

"Bugsy Malone": cute or creepy?

A kid’s fantasy: You get to dress up as gangsters, you get to shoot guns that fire whipped cream, you get to drive cars with pedals that look like real cars, and you get to talk like a grown-up. I mean, you couldn’t ask for a better first big gig. Talk about getting you hooked on a business! It was fantastic.
Recently was reintroduced to this nearly 40-year-old British-made, American-cast gangster musical set during Prohibition, all kids, mostly around 12 or 13 years old. So Scott Baio was in a well-made period piece. Him, Jodie Foster (actually not the female lead, who was Florrie Dugger), and great hats. Good cast and movie all around. Even a little priest at the end, in cassock and biretta.

But... well-done school play (rich school?) or a bit pedo?


  1. Anonymous9:54 am

    Those were the days we could enjoy this without thinking 'a bit paedo'…

    1. I'd argue "not pedo" because it's not adults paired with young teens; it's 13-year-olds romancing other 13-year-olds (possible problem: adults watching this). You get into the movie's world where the young teens are the adults. Dress-up: kids learning how to be adults; not offensive.

      Roger Ebert liked and explained this movie:

      "Bugsy Malone" isn't intended as a kids' movie so much as a cheerful comment on the childlike values and behavior in classic Hollywood crime films. ... "Bugsy Malone" is like nothing else. It's an original, a charming one. ... "Bugsy Malone" depends almost totally on tone, and if you put kids in these situations and directed them just a little wrongly the movie would be offensive. But it's not.

    2. Anonymous10:06 am

      Yup yup, I agree entirely.


Leave comment