Movies Not On DVD: Bugsy Malone
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Movies Not On DVD: Bugsy Malone

There are hundreds of movies that were never released on DVD. Many of them are obscure titles with unknown stars. Bugsy Malone however, is a title that does not fit in that category. It stars Jodie Foster and Scott Baio and has a fair amount of notoriety. Although it has been released in certain parts of the world, Bugsy Malone is still not available in North America.

Bugsy Malone was released to the theaters in 1976 and is quite an unusual film. It is a story about gangsters, but all of the cast are children. The movie is a British production but it includes well known American actors Jodie Foster and Scott Baio. The movie is a cross between a musical and a gangster film and is literally a spoof of most gangster films. The child actors use guns that shoot out whipped cream and the cars are just pedal driven models.

Although Bugsy Malone is an unusual film, the movie has some incredible performances. The child actors play it up like adults and perform the musical numbers with a professional quality that is quite surprising. In spite of the all around great performances, none of them besides Jodie Foster and Scott Baio had any other notable roles outside this movie. The storyline about gangsters, club singers, and turf wars takes a back seat to the sets and performances. It is an unusual treat to see a movie with this subject matter, carefully restructured to bring it to a child’s level.

Paul Williams did the musical score and the songs are quite noteworthy. Jodie Foster gives a great performance as the club singer. All the singing was dubbed in by adults and hearing adult voices coming out of children can be a little strange. The voice dubbing did not sit well with some of the performers and it is said that Jodie Foster was quite upset with these circumstances.

Bugsy Malone was produced by Paramount Pictures. The movie was released on VHS in the early 1980’s and then re-released in 1996. It has been released on DVD in several markets such as Great Britain and Japan but it is still unavailable in region 1 North American markets. The DVD version was rumored for a U.S. release on April 11, 2006 but the release never happened. Although there has been no definitive answer, the reason for lack of a DVD release in the United States is said to be tied up in a legal dispute over the soundtrack.

Bugsy Malone has attained a cult-like status over the years and has been voted one of the best 100 musicals of all time in many polls since its release. It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song Score and it was nominated at the Golden Globes in the same category. Many schools do stage performances of the movie and songs from the movie have ended up in some unusual mediums such as Super Bowl commercials. In spite of the high profile cast members and the popularity of the movie, the chances of a DVD release are fading away with each passing year.

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