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Kansas City Bomber (1972)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  2 August 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 667 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 16 critic

Roller-derby skater K. C. Carr tries to balance her desire for a happy personal life and her dreams of stardom.


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Title: Kansas City Bomber (1972)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Henry
Jackie Burdette
Horrible Hank Hopkins
Trainer Vivien
Lovey (as Mary Kay Pass)
Martine Bartlett ...
Mrs. Carr
Cornelia Sharpe ...
Tammy O'Brien
William Gray Espy ...
Richard Lane ...
TV Spokesman Jen
Russ Marin ...
Dick Wicks
Georgia Schmidt ...
Old Dame
Shelly Novack ...


Roller-derby skater K. C. Carr tries to balance her desire for a happy personal life and her dreams of stardom.

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The Hottest Thing On Wheels


Drama | Sport


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 August 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kansas City Bomber  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the trailer, K.C. and Burt Henry are shown discussing K.C.'s problems with Jackie while wearing bathrobes, probably meant to follow the sequence where K.C. takes a taxi to Burt's hotel and he first divulges his plans to take her to Chicago. See more »


After Big Bertha defeats her in the grudge match a reverse image of K.C. is shown laying across the track with her splint seemingly on the left wrist and her number 11 backwards. See more »


Jackie Burdette: I said I'm okay when I'm okay and, ah...I'm okay when I'm not okay. Okay? Okay?
See more »


Referenced in Weeds: See Blue and Smell Cheese and Die (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Wrestling On Wheels
20 May 2010 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Bruising action and bruised egos propel the plot in this look at the pro roller derby world of the early 1970s. Raquel Welch plays K.C. Carr, a physically tough but emotionally vulnerable young woman who can "jam" with the best of them. For K.C., her job as a player pays the bills, but it keeps her on the road, separated from her two young, fatherless children.

I would estimate that roughly fifty percent of the film takes place in an indoor rink, where skaters go lap after lap around the rink, trying to gain advantage on each other, as the audience cheers and jeers, depending on who they like and don't like. The film portrays fans as low-class, uneducated dolts, oblivious to their obvious manipulation by franchise owner Mr. Henry (Kevin McCarthy), who carefully orchestrates skater performances. The seedy backstage world of pro skating reeks of cheap quarters and beer joints. Among the players, jealousies, anger, and fear lurk just below the surface.

Aside from the roller derby element, the story is rather thin. But it does end in a somewhat surprising way.

Raquel Welch gives a really fine performance, even though she's just a tad too "pretty", relative to the other women skaters. K.C. wants to get along and be a team player, but her adversaries give her a rough time. Welch gives her character an emotional depth that makes K.C. warm-hearted despite her physical toughness.

Lighting is very dark, which matches the film's dreary, downbeat tone throughout. Camera shots are quite effective in the fast changing skating action.

Owing to its narrow focus, "Kansas City Bomber" will be of interest to a very restricted base of potential viewers. Beyond this base, the film is worth a look for the fine performance of Raquel Welch.

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