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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:

MEET MA BARKER who took her bibles, her hymn book and her tommy and raised four sons and more hell than most of the mobs in Chicago. 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

Shelley Winters played a character that spoofed "Ma" Barker. On Batman (1966), she played "Ma" Parker in a couple of episodes as a guest star. 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

Featured in Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) 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

Violent Fun
15 July 1999 | by gwerqSee all my reviews

A gleefully trashy Corman cheapie, with Shelley Winters as the sex-crazed head of a family of criminals. Very bloody and perverse, yet strangely campy, and with good support from Bruce Dern, Robert DeNiro and Don Stroud, in a brilliantly sadistic role. Add to this Winters' fascinatingly overblown performance and you have a classic. Based on a true story, but you'd never guess.


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