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

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

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 <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No one could stop them.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Release Date:

19 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Public Enemy No. 1  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

On two different occasions, the film utilizes stock footage of exteriors for establishing shots. The first: When Arthur Dunlop (Eric Roberts) is drinking in the bar and spills info on the kidnapping, the exterior shows it to be the "Pitty Pat Club" which was featured in the movie "Harlem Nights". Second: When Melvin Purvis finds Arthur "Dock" Barker (James Marsden) and arrests him, the exterior shot shows a street corner building beneath some elevated tracks with a curved corner. This exterior is from "The Untouchables" (1987). It was in the scene where the little girl goes into the saloon before it blows up. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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.
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User Reviews

 
So not as bad as everyone says it is
20 November 2004 | by (my apartment) – See all my reviews

You can't watch this film for a history lesson. This was the first I had heard of the Ma Barker saga, but I could tell almost immediately that the facts were way off. And with a little internet research I realized I was of course right. Ma Barker sure as hell isn't the sexy, calculating woman the movie portrays her as, and apparently did not orchestrate all the bank robbing schemes, kiddnappings, and murders that her criminal boys carried out.

But don't expect a brilliant crime drama. The script and the acting are adequate, the gunfights are excessive and mostly unrealistic, and there is a very laughable slow motion death scene. So why did I give it a 7 out of 10?

Because it was damn entertaining. The gunfights are fun to watch but there are some deeper themes that emerge between them. The movie has a strong sense of ego intimidation among it's cast of alpha males, each of whom has his own agenda. And I appreciate the minimal use of swears for the period. The set pieces are great, reproducing a convincing 1930s era.

So watch this film like you would a cult film, and take the excessive bloodiness and ruthlessness in stride with the cheesy ultra serious comments from the FBI man who wants to take the Barkers down at any cost. Inotherwords, don't take it too seriously, just have fun with it. And if you like this, you'll love Serial Mom.


7 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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