Tag Archives: Jodie Foster

The Set of 400: #54 – My Favorite Death by Pies

Today! Because I gave up yesterday/But they still want more –

Bugsy Malone (1976)

Directed by Alan Parker (x2)

Starring Scott Baio, Jodie Foster (x3), Florence Garland, John Cassisi, Martin Lev, Paul Murphy, Sheridan Earl Russell, Albin Jenkins, Dexter Fletcher

My favorite modern-ish, live-action, non-puppet led musical, Bugsy Malone is nonetheless anything but conventional, what with its world of 1920s child gangsters belting out grown-up songs with adult dubbed voices. If you’ve never seen it, it is a pretty jarring choice, but again, these aren’t really children’s songs, so it works more than it doesn’t. The film, however, is very definitely a kid’s movie, and so may not seem like an obvious first time pickup for the adults out there. But if you somehow avoided Bugsy Malone all these years, you owe it to yourself to see this glorious bit of filmmaking.

First off, and most notably, you have Jodie Foster – the greatest child actor of them all – as the third lead. This is her second list film from 1976, neither of which are Taxi Driver, and while she’s easily the most talented person in the film, it’s hard for me to immediately hand over that MVP. Chachi/Bob Loblaw Scott Baio gives her a solid run as the title good guy mobster, everyone’s pal Bugsy, while the competing mob bosses – John Cassisi’s Fat Sam and Martin Lev’s Dandy Dan – are equally terrific in their opposing comic styles. Hell, actor/director Dexter Fletcher (who completed Bohemian Rhapsody once Singer got canned, and then helmed Rocketman, which hasn’t been released as of this writing, so I don’t know if that’s a positive or not) has a terrific, brief role as Baby Face. The child actor cast is first rate. Even the much maligned Florence Garland (who was thrust into the lead as Blousey when the previous actress grew too tall) gives a pretty game effort, even if she’s a bit unsuited to play opposite Baio so much.

Oh my God, how cute are these little criminal shits?

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The Set of 400: #174 – My Favorite Basket of Lotion

Today! Because his pulse never got above 85, even when he ate her tongue –

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Directed by Jonathan Demme (x2)

Starring Jodie Foster (x2), Anthony Hopkins (x6), Ted Levine, Scott Glenn (x2), Anthony Heald (x2), Frankie Faison (x2), Stuart Rudin, Brooke Smith, Tracey Walter, Diane Baker, Roger Corman, Charles Napier (x2), Brent Hinkley, Kasi Lemmons, Paul Lazar, Chris Isaak, Daniel von Bargen (x2), Harry Northup

Come on, you had to figure if I’ve got #255 Red Dragon on the list that Silence of the Lambs was on the way, right? And I think both of these movies work for largely the same reason – not too much Hannibal Lecter. See, when they move Hannibal to the center of the story – à la Hannibal – he’s sort of too much. It’s like the key to every great Muppet film – you reserve Miss Piggy for the second act. Hannibal Lecter is the Miss Piggy of the psychological horror genre.

Ah, what could have been

Buffalo Bill is a pretty interesting villain in his own right – not unlike the Tooth Fairy in Red Dragon – and the manhunt for him is equally compelling. The difference, quite obviously, is the Clarice/Hannibal interplay leading up to the finale. Where Will Graham and Hannibal had all this backstory between them – coloring everything that happens in Red Dragon – Clarice is coming at this whole thing a bit under-prepared, and so needs to navigate their relationship on the fly through this dicey kidnapping/murder investigation. Also, in Red Dragon, you know going in there’s no chance Hannibal is going to end up busting out at some point. While here… Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #366 – My Favorite Water Skiing Demolition

Today! Because that’s not my foot, that’s mom’s foot! And those are mom’s legs –

Freaky Friday (1976)

Directed by Gary Nelson

Starring Barbara Harris, Jodie Foster, John Astin, Dick Van Patten (x2), Sorrell Booke, Ruth Buzzi, Kaye Ballard, Patsy Kelly, Alan Oppenheimer, Marc McClure, Sparky Marcus, Al Molinaro, Charlene Tilton, Fritz Feld

This one is a bit of an odd story. I didn’t grow up with Freaky Friday, even though it is decidedly a children’s movie, straight from the House of Mouse. I knew kid Jodie Foster from Taxi Driver almost exclusively – to me she made that and then was immediately an adult winning Oscars for The Accused and Silence of the Lambs. And I may have even seen Nashville already, so this wouldn’t even have been my introduction to Barbara Harris. But, one night in college, half drunk I suspect, I was hanging out in my great friend Dave’s basement, and we happened upon Freaky Friday on the Disney Channel. I have no idea why we sat and watched the whole thing, but there we were, yukking it up over the old body switching premise. And it was followed by the TV remake from the ’90s with Gaby Hoffman and Shelley Long, so we watched that, too. And this random incident always stuck with me, to the point that if it’s on, I’ll flip on Freaky Friday for a few minutes, and probably end up watching the whole thing yet again.

And, kick ass ’70s effects!

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