A psychologically-disturbed matriarch presides over her damaged family of bank-robbing misfits.

Director:

Roger Corman

Writers:

Don Peters (story), Robert Thom (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shelley Winters ... 'Ma' Kate Barker
Pat Hingle ... Sam Adams Pendlebury
Don Stroud ... Herman Barker
Diane Varsi ... Mona Gibson
Bruce Dern ... Kevin Dirkman
Clint Kimbrough Clint Kimbrough ... Arthur Barker
Robert De Niro ... Lloyd Barker
Robert Walden ... Fred Barker
Alex Nicol ... George Barker
Pamela Dunlap ... Rembrandt
Michael Fox ... Dr. Roth
Scatman Crothers ... Moses (as 'Scatman' Crothers)
Stacy Harris ... Agent McClellan
Lisa Linsky ... Young Kate (as Lisa Jill)
Steve Mitchell Steve Mitchell ... Sheriff
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Storyline

A psychological gangster film based on fact. Machine gun totin' Ma Barker lead her family gang (her sons) on a crime spree in the Depression era. Her loyal brood have every perversion imaginable. The sadistic Herman sleeps with his Ma. When Fred Barker is released from prison, he brings home his cellmate and lover Kevin Dirkman, who also sleeps with Ma, much to Fred's chagrin. Lloyd Barker is a spaced-out drug addict who sniffs glue if nothing better is around. Ma kidnaps happy-go-lucky millionaire Sam Adams Pendlebury and holds him for ransom. Arthur Barker, Ma's wallflower son, and Herman's hooker lady friend Mona Gibson also figure in the story. The bloody finale is virtually choreographed, and a visual stunner. Filmed in the Ozarks. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You gotta' believe... You gotta' have faith... But first, you gotta' get rid of the witnesses! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert De Niro arrived in Arkansas a week prior to shooting, so he could learn all about the local culture. See more »

Goofs

In the prison cell when Freddie is walking on Dirkman's back, if you look on the cell wall behind him, you'll see graffiti of a Nazi swastika on the wall. The movie takes place circa 1930 and the Nazi symbol didn't even exist (at least in America's consciousness) until the late 1930's-1940's. Correction: The swastika was used as good luck symbol long before the Nazis. It was a common Native American symbol of good fortune and was on the official patch of the 45th Infantry Division of the US Army prior to 1930. So it's use as graffiti is not impossible. See more »

Quotes

'Ma' Kate Barker: It's supposed to be a free country Mona. But unless you're rich, you ain't free and you know that. So I aim to be freer than the rest of the people.
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Alternate Versions

The film was originally rejected for a UK cinema certificate by the BBFC and then released 8 months later in 1971 with cuts to nudity, violent beatings, a rape scene, the drowning of Rembrandt, Lloyd's injection scenes and the violent shooting of Herman. The 18-rated UK video release of this film was cut by 11 seconds by the BBFC and removes the scene where Bruce Dern drops a tethered piglet into a river to use as alligator bait. The cuts were fully waived for the 2009 Optimum DVD. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Roger Corman (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Bloody Mama
Written by Don Randi, Guy Hemric and Bob Silver
Performed by Bigfoot
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User Reviews

Bloody fantastic fun!!
11 November 2001 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

I can't believe there is only ONE comment on this classic piece of Roger Corman trash! Corman is known as the King of the Quickies, which gives many people who aren't all that familiar with his work the impression is that all he made was "bad" movies that can only be enjoyed on a camp level. This is not true, and 'Bloody Mama' proves it! Sure it's an exploitation movie, but exploitation doesn't necessarily equate with worthless trash, as the movies of Russ Meyer or Larry Cohen or Sam Fuller show.

'Bloody Mama' tells the story of Ma Barker and her sons, infamous criminals during the Depression. Exactly how much of this movie is historically accurate I don't know, and it doesn't really matter. This is a non-stop action ride, low budget yes, but full of energy, clever touches, and generally strongly acted by the cast, which includes - get this! - cult favourites Don Stroud and Bruce Dern AND a scene stealing performance from a young Robert De Niro. If the thought of those three absurdly talented actors appearing in the same movie isn't enough to get you running to your local video store, then you're beyond help!

Add to that the familiar character actors Pat Hingle, Scatman Crothers and the appearance of Diane Varsi from the legendary 'Wild In The Streets', and b-grade film buffs will be ecstatic. Last but certainly not least, Shelley Winters in the title role is outstanding. She has had a long and varied career, but she always gives her best whether she is in a- or b-grade material, a star vehicle, supporting role or a cameo. More power to her!

'Bloody Mama' is a movie to be treasured! Trash with intelligence. Don't miss it!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1970 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Bloody Mama See more »

Filming Locations:

Bull Shoals, Arkansas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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