Big Bad Mama (1974) - Rotten Tomatoes

Big Bad Mama (1974)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Big Bad Mama Photos

Movie Info

Set during the Great Depression, this crime caper centers on a tough but sexy woman loosely based on the figure of Ma Barker. With the help of her two beautiful young daughters, she embarks on a major crime spree, using her feminine wiles and her machine gun in equal measures.

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Angie Dickinson
as Wilma McClatchie
William Shatner
as William J. Baxter
Tom Skerritt
as Fred Diller
Susan Sennett
as Billy Jean McClatchie
Robbie Lee
as Polly McClatchie
Joan Prather
as Jane Kingston
Royal Dano
as Rev. Johnson
Ralph James
as Sheriff
Sally Kirkland
as Barney's Woman
Michael Talbott
as Sheriff's Son
Rob Berger
as Charlie
Wally K. Berns
as Legionnaire
Georgia Lee
as Mrs. Kingston
Jay Brooks
as Wesley
Paul Linke
as Bank Teller
Mickey Fox
as Hattie
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Critic Reviews for Big Bad Mama

All Critics (16)

"Big Bad Mama" is really Dickinson's big show, and she delivers a wonderfully enthusiastic performance as the titular criminal.

August 2, 2021 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Less a gritty crime drama a la Bonnie and Clyde and more scampy sexploitation, Big Bad Mama is the tale of a singularly determined woman who flaunts her brains, body and ambitions.

June 28, 2021 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Corman's 'lady gangster' movies exposed more than skin: They essentially pantsed Uncle Sam, organized religion, law enforcement, big business and patriarchal society in general. These were exploitation movies about exploitation...

January 18, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This is a classic Corman drive-in picture combining crime-movie spectacle, period color and sexploitation diversions between the capers...

December 7, 2010 | Full Review…

Big Bad Mama strikes the perfect balance between exploitative raunchiness, and great low-key action and excitement.

December 4, 2010 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Not bad enough to be either bad or good.

March 7, 2010 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Big Bad Mama


Obviously aimed to capitalize on the success of Arthur Penn's "Bonnie and Clyde," this film is hardly on that level but is more fun to watch. Angie Dickinson and her two sexed-up daughters go on a Depression-era crime spree, taking Tom Skerritt and William Shatner along for the ride. Their capers are not just the typical bank heists, and are actually quite clever. And the film does such a nice job with recreating period details that you may take this for granted, amidst all the flashy sex and violence. Dickinson has a few nude scenes, and shows an amazing body for a 42-year-old (heck, even 22-year-olds would envy it). Her less curvy daughters also peel, as does Joan Prather (which may be kind of a shock to modern viewers, considering that she's probably best known as David Bradford's clean-cut wife on the TV series "Eight Is Enough").

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

A knock off of Bonnie and Clyde? Not exactly. This movie has the same machine gun bank robbing action, but the relationships are messier and more scandalous, and there's a good amount of nudity. This movie has something to say about femininity,family, and survival in America during the depression. I liked it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

The trick to enjoying Big Bad Mama lies in paying strict attention during the opening credits and looking for a specific name during the credits -- namely Roger Corman. Once you realize that you're in for more of an entertaining movie than a good one and absolving Big Bad Mama of any great expectations, only then are you in for a good time. All the movie really consists of is a series of random and uncased robberies and excuses to see Angie Dickinson and her daughters naked and taking turns with Tom Skerritt against a backdrop of Depression-era backwoods silliness with a pretty abrupt ending. This isn't to say Big Bad Mama is all bad, said silliness is the movie's most endearing quality (Dickinson being a close second) and William Shatner in a hysterically horrible acting job is also worth the time. And yes, Big Bad Mama is pretty much a Bonnie and Clyde knockoff, but realizing that is the trick to enjoying it.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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