Big Bad Mama

Big Bad Mama

Director: Steve Carver

Cast: Angie Dickinson, William Shatner, Tom Skerritt

     
 

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There are bad movies and there are good bad movies. This welcome DVD reissue of Big Bad Mama proves that even after all these years, it's hard not to like this rough-and-tumble exploitation picture. Capitalizing on the success of Bonnie and Clyde, the anti-establishment 1970s, and the looks of lovely leading lady Angie Dickinson, this Roger CormanSee more details below

Overview

There are bad movies and there are good bad movies. This welcome DVD reissue of Big Bad Mama proves that even after all these years, it's hard not to like this rough-and-tumble exploitation picture. Capitalizing on the success of Bonnie and Clyde, the anti-establishment 1970s, and the looks of lovely leading lady Angie Dickinson, this Roger Corman midnight favorite unfortunately comes in a digitally remastered full-screen presentation only. To add insult to injury, the disc has been remastered from a pretty faded source print, making the phrase "digitally mastered" a bit pointless. Older color film stock degrades very quickly and is expensive to restore. Thankfully, there are two plus points to the DVD. The first is a bonus interview with Roger Corman, a smart, classy guy who specialized in producing trash that was often more fun than -- and sometimes better than -- bigger-budgeted mainstream Hollywood fare. The second DVD bonus is a better-than-average booklet outlining Roger Corman's career. Big Bad Mama has earned a loyal cult following over the years and a widescreen edition of the DVD that features a restored print is in the works.Angie Dickinson essays the title role in Big Bad Mama. This Depression-era crime caper casts the future star of Police Woman as sexy Ma Barker type Wilma McClatchie, who forces her nubile daughters (Susan Sennett, Robbie Lee) into participating in a robbery/kidnapping/murder spree. Wilma seems to be as motivated by the erotic thrill of lawbreaking as she is by the financial gains. She evens hops in the sack with her daughters, as does her common-law husband, played by William Shatner. A sequel appeared in 1987.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Dissed and dismissed upon its 1974 theatrical release as a grade-B rehash of Bonnie and Clyde, this tawdry little potboiler clearly didn’t aspire to greatness. In fact, much of the time, it seems as if B-movie veterans Roger Corman (producer) and Steve Carver (director) are winking at viewers, serving clichés as if from a 55-gallon drum of squeeze cheese. Big Bad Mama was considered quite a comedown for top-billed Angie Dickinson, but even the most obtuse observer would be able to see that she is just romping through the picture. She’s delightfully uninhibited as hard-bitten thief and rumrunner Wilma McClatchie, raising Old Ned during the Depression years with both her old lover Fred Diller (Tom Skerritt) and new partner William Baxter (William Shatner). Smoking cigars, wielding a Tommy gun, and doffing her duds with wild abandon, Dickinson turns in the campiest performance of her career. Shatner layers the ham on heavy, too; but then as now, the Shat has license. Obviously, Carver wasn’t taking the movie any too seriously either: In addition to swiping from Bonnie and Clyde, he apes familiar scenes from other hit movies of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, not the least of which is the wedding sequence from The Graduate. Awash in sex, booze, and blood, Big Bad Mama is one of our favorite guilty pleasures of '70s cinema, and its release on DVD is cause for celebration in this corner.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/23/1999
UPC:
0736991413641
Original Release:
1974
Rating:
R
Source:
New Concorde
Region Code:
0
Sound:
[stereo]
Time:
1:23:00

Special Features

Film critic Leonard Maltin interviews Roger Corman about the making of the film; Eight page booklet outlining Roger Corman's career; Digitally remastered; Theatrical trailers; Cast biographies; Interactive menus; Scene index

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Angie Dickinson Wilma McClatchie
William Shatner William J. Baxter
Tom Skerritt Fred Diller
Susan Sennett Billy Jean McClatchie
Robbie Lee Polly McClatchie
Noble Willingham Uncle Barney
William O'Connell Crusade Preacher
Charles Pinney Kingston
Dick Miller Bonny
Tom Signorelli Dodds
John Wheeler Lawyer
Sally Kirkland Barney's Woman
Michael Talbott Sheriff's Son
Jay Brooks Wesley
Paul Linke Bank Teller
Georgia Lee Mrs. Kingston
Mickey Fox Hattie
Wally K. Berns Legionnaire
Joan Prather Jane Kingston
Royal Dano Rev. Johnson
Ralph James Sheriff

Technical Credits
Steve Carver Director
Roger Corman Producer
Jon Davison Associate Producer
Frances Doel Screenwriter
Robert Gravenor Sound/Sound Designer
David Grisman Score Composer
Tina Hirsch Editor
Peter Jamison Art Director
Bruce Logan Cinematographer
Jac McAnelly Costumes/Costume Designer
William W. Norton Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1

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