Crazy Mama (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes

Crazy Mama1975

Crazy Mama (1975)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Crazy Mama Photos

Movie Info

Cloris Leachman stars as Melba, a woman with whom violence is a way of life, in Jonathan Demme's high-pitched "B"-movie Crazy Mama. The film spans three decades in the violent life of Melba, beginning in Jerusalem, Arkansas in 1932, when law enforcers kill her father (Clint Kimbrough), turning her mother Sheba (Ann Sothern) into a bitter widow. Mother and daughter take off to Long Beach, California, and the time jumps to 1958, when the two are thrown out of their beauty salon for non-payment of back rent. Melba now has an attractive (and pregnant) teenage daughter Cheryl (Linda Purl). The three generations take to the road, stealing cars and creating general mayhem across the United States, robbing a motorcycle racetrack box office and a bank. But in 1959, Melba and Cheryl are picked up again, running a Miami Beach snack bar, their lives wasted in free-living terror.

Watch it now


Jim Backus
as Mr. Albertson
Don Most
as Shawn
Linda Purl
as Cheryl
Dick Miller
as Wilbur Janeway
Carmen Argenziano
as Supermarket Manager
Ralph James
as Sheriff in 1932
Dinah Englund
as Melba in 1932
Mickey Fox
as Mrs. Morgan
John Aprea
as Marvin
Hal Marshall
as Bartender
Bill McLean
as Bank Manager
Warren Miller
as Justice of the Peace
Barbara Walters
as Lady Teller
Saul J. Krugman
as Col. Snodgrass
Tisha Sterling
as Sheba in 1932
View All

Critic Reviews for Crazy Mama

All Critics (9)

It's a chaotic endeavor, but this Demme's happy place, working to generate as much commotion as possible before viewers catch on to the thinness of the material.

July 10, 2021 | Rating: B | Full Review…

If Demme's career wasn't exactly helped by this somewhat endearing mess, he had much greener pastures ahead.

August 28, 2018 | Full Review…

Pure exhilaration

March 1, 2012 | Full Review…

Opening nine months after the R-rated 'Big Bad Mama,' the PG 'Crazy Mama' substituted comedy for sex and a 1950s Mad magazine/rock-and-roll vibe for 1930s rusticity.

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

... relies more on momentum and personality than narrative but that's just fine for this misfit crime spree road comedy.

December 7, 2010 | Full Review…

The film wonderfully tears down the conventions of '50s womanhood, while providing loads of quirky fun along the way.

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

Audience Reviews for Crazy Mama

This movie has a lot of action, mostly gun fights and car chases, but the acting is average and the story is like Big Bad Mama, just with more characters. I was expecting a dark comedy, as the summary says, but there are very few laughs, and it's not very dark either. It's not a horrendous movie, though, it just needed more work.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Crazy Mama Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features