Bugsy Malone

(Cert 12A)

If Alan Parker tried making this 1976 romp now, he might have got his collar felt for that extraordinary chorus of prepubescent chorus girls. It's a real curiosity, though, and perfectly watchable: a cod-1930s gangster musical, performed entirely by kids of around 13 years old. These include the eerily self-possessed Jodie Foster who looks a couple of decades ahead of her quasi-amateur co-stars. It's boisterous and good-natured, with catchy songs, and always sublimely unaware of its own strangeness. An oddity, but one to see, if only for the remarkable spectacle of super-cool Jodie, fresh from co-starring with De Niro in Taxi Driver, getting hit in the face with a custard pie. Let's be grateful Alan Parker never felt like making an all-singing kiddie version of Midnight Express.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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