5.6/10
2,645
41 user 39 critic

Bloody Mama (1970)

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 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1970 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Bloody Mama - gangsterfamilien Barker See more »

Filming Locations:

Little Rock, 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene where Herman Barker (Don Stroud) punches Ma Barker (Shelley Winters) in the nose, Stroud accidentally punched Winters in the nose for real, and hurt her badly enough, that she had to be taken to the hospital. 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.
See more »

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

Edited into Frogs (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Bloody Mama
Written by Don Randi, Guy Hemric and Bob Silver
Performed by Bigfoot
See more »

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User Reviews

 
interesting early Deniro
14 February 2008 | by PaulyCSee all my reviews

Shelly Winters plays a wild Ma Barker in this decent Roger Corman directed flick about the Barker gang of the great depression era. Everyone playing Ma Barkers sons, who include Robert Deniro, gives a good performance. Bruce Dern also has a small role as sort of an outside member of the gang. The Barker gang is on the run, lead by their fearless mother. They rob banks and whoever they can get their hands on. There is one particular good scene involving Deniro, complete with his Max Cady accent, where he acts on the advances of a young blonde swimmer who flirts with him while he sits on the dock. Her flirty ways turn to terror as Deniro realizes he tells her some forbidden information and can't afford to let her live. Deniro lost 30 pounds for the role. He also told Corman he could drive even though he didn't have a license. Pat Hingle, a great character actor, as a high profile man who the gang kidnaps to get ransom money is also very good. This film is no "Bonnie and Clyde" but I'm surprised it didn't get more attention. Worth a look.


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