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1976 musical film later adapted for the stage where the entire cast are kids. Very, very loosely based on events in Chicago during prohibition. All weapons used are Edible Ammunition.
Dandy Dan's gang has a new weapon, the splurge gun. This means the custard pies used as weapons by Fat Sam's gang just won't cut it any more.
During this struggle between rival gangs the title character Bugsy Malone (who is somewhat affiliated with Fat Sam but not an actual member of his gang) meets Blousey Brown, an aspiring singer who's trying to get work at Fat Sam's speakeasy. Unfortunately Fat Sam is too distracted by the "war" with Dandy Dan to give her an audition.
Dandy Dan's gang continue to attack Fat Sam's empire, splurging most of his gang after a tip-off turns out to be a trap. After this catastrophe Fat Sam tells his right hand man (and only remaining gangster) Knuckles that everything must continue as normal, eventually giving Blousey her audition, which she aces. However right before the audition Tallulah (Fat Sam's moll) was flirting with Bugsy; although he rejected her advances, Blousey doesn't know this and gets angry with him.
Meanwhile Fat Sam hires Bugsy to drive him and his "specialist" Looney Burgonzie to ambush Dandy Dan at a meeting; it fails. Bugsy and Sam get away and Sam gives Bugsy extra money for his quick thinking.
Bugsy and Blousey make up and Bugsy reveals he has enough money for two tickets to Hollywood; however, as he returns the car he borrowed from Sam to the garage, he is mugged, losing the money. Leroy Smith saves him with what Bugsy calls some impressive punching. So, Bugsy takes Leroy to Cagey Joe's gym to see if he can make it as a boxer.
Sam once again enlists Bugsy's aid, offering him $400 this time, but Blousey is not happy to hear of the delay, and hangs up on him and she is angry with herself for thinking that she could trust Bugsy. Bugsy and Leroy then follow Dan's men to Dock 17, where they discover the guns are being stashed. The two of them can't take the place alone, so Bugsy and Leroy find a large group of down-and-out workers who are having their free lunch and Bugsy persuades them to join him.
They steal the guns and make it back to the speakeasy in time to counter the attack by Dan's Gang. Chaos ensues until they are stopped by a chord from Razzamataz the pianist. Everybody has been splurged (except Bugsy and Blousey). The final song is about everyone realising they can be friends.
- Abnormal Ammo: Edible Ammunition — custard pies, and splurge guns (which are basically tommy-guns that fire blobs of custard cream)
- Artistic License History: Bugsy quotes the film On the Waterfront — "I coulda been a contender, Charlie". A film made 30 years after Bugsy is set...
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: When the Final Battle is cut short, Bugsy and Blousey are the only patrons at the speakeasy not to have been hit with any of the missiles.
- Bright Reprise: The final song is a reprise of "Bad Guys" in which the gangsters sing about turning over a new leaf and being Good Guys from now on.
- The Chanteuse: Tallulah.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Looney Burgonzie
- Cool Car
- Cute but Cacophonic: Lena Marelli, which is to be expected seeing as she was played by Bonnie Langford.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck: Kids film, no swearing, some odd words used
- Lighter and Fluffier: Than history. Interestingly this director went on to direct The Wall.
- The story goes that the director was inspired to make this film after refusing to let his son watch The Godfather. He even throws in a subtle reference to Godfather II (watch out for two guys carrying a carpet).
- Literal Metaphor: One of Fat Sam's workers says he can't stop Dandy Dan's gang because "he's all tied up" (he's actually tied up). Fat Sam replies "I don't care how busy you are."
- Meet Cute: Bugsy and Blousey
- Medium Awareness: Fat Sam says something in Italian. But his henchman, Knuckles, is Jewish and doesn't understand Italian. He is told to read the translation as the subtitle appears onscreen.
- Neighbourhood Friendly Gangsters: Fat Sam and his Gang are sort of the good guys in the story, although they are of course still gangsters. (It helps that Fat Sam is a much nicer employer than Dandy Dan.)
- Nerf Arm: pies are deadly
- Never Say "Die": Characters who are pied or splurged disappear from the action. They're said to be "finished" rather than dead. Everybody who gets splurged in the big showdown is still lively enough during the final song.
- Non-Singing Voice: The kids are lip synching to adult voices. The only time this isn't used is for the Cute but Cacophonic Lena Marelli.
- Only Sane Man: argubly Bugsy
- Pie in the Face: result of the above
- Power of Friendship: the last song along with:
- Power of Love
- The Prima Donna: Lina Marelli.
Lina Marelli: Oscar! Oscar! I'm back! I'll give you one more chance, you hear me? I'll give you one more chance, you hear me, Oscar? Otherwise I'm out for good! Out, out, out! I'm not being humiliated in this place! You know I am the star and I should be treated like it absolutely all the time!
- Smug Snake: Dandy Dan.
- Surrounded by Idiots:
- Fat Sam with his gang, while Dandy Dan's are slightly more competent.
- Bugsy himself
- There Are No Adults: entire cast of children
- Villain Song: "Bad Guys", sung by Fat Sam's gang. (They're closer to Anti-Hero status, with Dandy Dan's gang being the villains, but Dandy Dan's gang don't sing at all.)
We coulda been anything we wanted to be
Specific to the stage version:
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: In the stage version Shady gives Fat Sam information that will lead his men into a trap, he then colects his money from Dandy Dan only to be killed (splurged) while walking away. Dandy Dan takes back his money commenting he can't stand traitors.
- Spy From Weights and Measures: In the stage version, Pop Becker's Bookstore is the front for Fat Sam's speakeasy.