5.5/10
511
14 user 25 critic

Crazy Mama (1975)

Several women begin an outlaws' lives in a desperate trip to their family farm, which was taken off them by corrupt authorities.

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writers:

Robert Thom (screenplay), Frances Doel (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cloris Leachman ... Melba
Stuart Whitman ... Jim Bob
Ann Sothern ... Sheba
Jim Backus ... Mr. Albertson
Don Most ... Shawn (as Donn Most)
Linda Purl ... Cheryl
Bryan Englund Bryan Englund ... Snake
Merie Earle Merie Earle ... Bertha
Sally Kirkland ... Ella Mae
Clint Kimbrough Clint Kimbrough ... Daniel
Dick Miller ... Wilbur Janeway
Carmen Argenziano ... Supermarket Manager
Harry Northup ... FBI Man
Ralph James Ralph James ... Sheriff - 1932
Dinah Englund Dinah Englund ... Melba - 1932
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Storyline

Jonathan Demme directs this joyous relentlessly kitschy celebration of 1950s America: opportunity, rock'n'roll, and the road. He follows three generations of women and the men they pick up, for a crime spree from California to the old family homestead in Arkansas. Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They shot her father, killed off her man, stole her land. She became the ... [video cover] See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Drama | Crime

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crazy Ladies See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New World Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ann Sothern's daughter Tisha Sterling plays the younger version of Sothern's character Sheba who's seen in the prologue for this film. See more »

Quotes

Bertha: I think I'm gonna start smokin' a cigar, you know, change my image. What's so good about being an outlaw when you look like an in-law?
See more »

Connections

References Vertigo (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Lollipop
Written by Beverly Ross and Julius Dixson (aka Julius Dixon)
Performed by The Chordettes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Promises more than it actually delivers.
10 November 2013 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Any movie that opens with a montage with typically nostalgic images of life in the 1950's, and to the wondrous tunes of "All I have to do is Dream" by The Everly Brothers, is half of a winner already in my book. I instantly presumed that Jonathan Demme's "Crazy Mama" would become a massively entertaining 70's road-movie/parody exploitation flick, full of memorable highlights and delightfully eccentric characters, but that turned out a little bit disappointing to be entirely honest. The movie kicks off energetically and tremendously joyous, but runs out of steam surprisingly fast. When evicted from her Californian beauty parlor, enraged mother Melba mobilizes her daughter and mother to head back to Arkansas and reclaim the family farm grounds that were violently taken from them in 1932. Hiking along are daughter Cheryl's surfer boyfriend and a trio of a flamboyant weirdos the gang picked up in Las Vegas, including macho hunk Jim Bob, gambling addicted senior citizen Bertha and greasy biker kid Snake. The deranged motley crew leaves a trail of armed robberies and kidnap conspiracies from West to East, but the biggest confrontation with the law awaits them in Arkansas. In spite of the speedy pace, "Crazy Mama" is overall rather dull and repetitive. I also would have preferred the film to be more violent and gritty, instead of comical and trashy. The performances are pretty lackluster, with Cloris Leachman not really fitting her role and Don Most being a bleak imitation of the characters Ron Howard played in the sixties and seventies. Stuart Whitman is cool, though, and Linda Purl depicts a lovable 70's exploitation wench. The only aspect that remains brilliant throughout is the soundtrack full of golden oldies, like "Lollipop" and "Running Bear". "Crazy Mama" is the third and final feature in trash-producer Roger Corman's unofficial Mama-trilogy, with "Bloody Mama" and "Big Bad Mama" as its predecessors. I'm surely going to track down those, because they look a lot cooler than this "Crazy Mama". Director Jonathan Demme has had one of the most uneven careers in Hollywood, for sure! From the sloppy Women-in-Prison flick "Caged Heat" onto exploitation flicks like "Crazy Mama" and "Fighting Mad" and towards more serious thrillers like "Last Embrace". In the 80's, Demme directed a few TV-movies, popular comedies and a lot of Neil Young videos before hitting it big with Academy Award winning blockbusters "Silence of the Lambs" and "Philadelphia".


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