Glorified and glamourized fact-based tale of Ma Barker and her boys who robbed banks and generally terrorized the Midwest in the 1930's and was eventually gunned down by g-man, Melvin ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leah Best ...
Young Kate Clarke
Chip Heller ...
Tom Ward ...
Brent O'Plotnik ...
Trevor Meeks ...
Lloyd Barker at 10 years
Joseph Lindsey ...
Lloyd Barker (as Joseph Dain)
Terry D. Seago ...


Glorified and glamourized fact-based tale of Ma Barker and her boys who robbed banks and generally terrorized the Midwest in the 1930's and was eventually gunned down by g-man, Melvin Purvis. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No one could stop them.


Drama | Thriller | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, some sex scenes, drug use and language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Public Enemy No. 1  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


While Melvin Purvis did arrest Arthur "Dock" Barker in real life, he was not present at the resort home in Lake Weir where Ma and Freddie Barker were killed. That raiding party was led by Special Agent E.J. Connelly. Purvis's capture of "Dock" Barker was his last major arrest before leaving the FBI. See more »


The final shootout between Ma Barker and Melvin Purvis is captioned to have occurred in Lake "Wier" when in fact the location is near Lake Weir. See more »


Kate "Ma" Barker: You said, "Dead by Christmas." Is that the kind of chance you're talking about?
Melvin Purvis: You can't believe everything you read in the papers. I'm the F.B.I., not a bounty hunter.
Herman Barker: No difference.
See more »

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User Reviews

Jaw Droppingly Awful
8 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Some people may remember Ms. Russell from films such as "Black Widow", which had some appeal and critical acclaim. Boy, she must have really needed a rent check when she signed on to do this dog.

Yes, there will be those who like the gratuitous violence and nudity. But one must sit back and wonder, in retrospect, what possessed anyone to spend money and time to make this in the first place. I just saw this movie on one of the "HBO's", and I can't believe they picked it up.

In 1996 Ms. Russel didn't have the physical attractiveness she did earlier in her career. But, come on! Having her play Ma Barker??? Her "sons" all look like they could be her brothers. It's also creepy in that you think there are going to be incestuous relationships occurring (thank goodness there aren't, hope that doesn't count as a spoiler). With Eric Roberts and Alyssa Milano added into the cast, this one is B-movie 'straight to video' all the way.

The scenes between Purvis and Ma Barker, either in person or on the phone, are a primer in terrible, terrible acting. Oh, wait, I forgot terrible, terrible writing as well. Chalk this one up to experience. A bad experience.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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