Bugsy Malone is a 1976 musical film, very loosely based on events in Chicago, Illinois in the Prohibition era, specifically, the exploits of gangsters like Al Capone. The tongue-in-cheek movie stars children as the gangsters and their molls. The plot concerns the manufacture of a brand of killer custard, which is used first in pies then later in splurge guns to kill people. The musical centres on Fat Sam's Grand Slam speakeasy.
Written and directed by Alan Parker and produced by David Puttnam, the film stars Jodie Foster and Scott Baio as the title character. The music and lyrics are by singer-songwriter Paul Williams. All the songs on the soundtrack were actually performed by adults, including Williams himself, in his unmistakable high-pitched voice, and lip-synched by the cast. Tagline: Every year brings a great movie. Every decade a great movie musical!
After the film
Since the film's release, Bugsy Malone has been adapted into a stage show.
The song "Ordinary Fool" has been performed by Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme.
In 2003, Bugsy Malone was voted #19 on a list of the 100 greatest musicals, as chosen by viewers of Channel 4 in the UK, placing higher than The Phantom Of The Opera, Cats, and The King and I. Channel 4 adapted the list to a TV special format, on which Scott Baio appeared.
A 2003 documentary called Bugsy Malone: After They Were Famous attempted to trace the current whereabouts of the movie cast, many of whom had not pursued further acting careers. It was aired in December 2004 on ITV in the UK.