A maid who reads detective stories finds herself embroiled in a real life mystery involving her dead boss and a mysterious statue he brought back from China.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Momma Sykes
Sgt. Alvin Sykes (as Kene Holliday)
Frank Converse ...
Tom Hackman
Ames Prescott
Edwin Forbes
Dr. Glickman (as Lawrence G. Luckinbill)
Sally Hackman
Jane Hitchcock ...
Claude Brooks ...
Jessie Sykes
William Walker II ...
Andy Sykes
Miguel Pinero ...
Jack Straw ...
Arthur French ...
Rib Man
James Dukas ...


A maid who reads detective stories finds herself embroiled in a real life mystery involving her dead boss and a mysterious statue he brought back from China. Written by Mike Justice <Fergus21@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

9 January 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Momma the Detective  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Esther Rolle, Estelle Evans and Rosanna Carter are all sisters to one another. See more »


[Momma Sykes suspects a tenant in the building killed her boss]
Momma Sykes: I need you to search all the apartments while you're cleaning up.
1st Maid: I can't conduct a search and do my job, both!
Momma Sykes: Woman, if you can clean and watch daytime TV, you can clean and search!
See more »

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User Reviews

Dated and hilarious
6 August 2003 | by (Hollywood, California) – See all my reviews

I remember when this movie premiered on TV, and I begged my mom to let me stay up and watch it because the preview featured a man in an oriental mask chasing Esther Rolle out to the end of a pier. It actually gave me nightmares for a few days. It re-ran on cable when I was a teenager and it became something of a "midnight movie" around my neighborhood. It's dated and hilarious, with a great, tv-movie-style canned jazz soundtrack and Esther Rolle being as sassy and irreverent as ever. In one scene, a mugger attacks her on the street and she's able to fend him off by repeatedly hitting him with her purse. He eventually runs off, screaming, "You're crazy, lady!" In the before-mentioned "pier" scene, she manages to knock the oriental-mask-wearing assailant off the dock by rocking it back and forth with her own weight. Still later, she throws Pine Sol in his face and warns, "You better run!" when he takes off crying in pain. After repeated viewings, my friends and I started talking back to the screen and acting out scenes from the film in our living rooms. I'd give anything to have a video copy of it today, but it's relatively hard to come by.

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