Crazy Mama

Crazy Mama is a 1975 American action/comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme, produced by Julie Corman and stars Cloris Leachman. It marked Bill Paxton's film debut.

Crazy Mama
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJonathan Demme
Produced byJulie Corman
Screenplay byRobert Thom
Story byFrances Doel
StarringCloris Leachman
Music bySnotty Scotty and The Hankies
CinematographyBruce Logan
Edited byAllan Holzman
Lewis Teague
Distributed byNew World Pictures
Release date
June 1975
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2.3 million[1]
Box office$2.3 million (United States and Canada rental)[2]


In 1958, a Long Beach, California beauty parlor run by Melba Stokes (Leachman), her mother Sheba (Ann Sothern) and daughter Cheryl (Linda Purl), is repossessed. They flee when landlord Mr. Albertson comes to demand the back rent.

On the road, heading back to Arkansas to reclaim the family farm, the Stokes women begin a crime spree. They rob a gas station first, then head for Las Vegas next. In pursuit of pregnant Cheryl is her boyfriend, Shawn, while Melba gets reacquainted with an old lover, Jim Bob. Further battles with the law along the way eventually lead to a shootout in which Jim Bob and others are killed. Melba is left alone, on the lam, but begins life again in a new town with a new look.



The film is a follow up to Big Bad Mama (1974). The original director was Shirley Clarke but she was fired ten days prior to filming and Demme (who had been preparing Fighting Mad for Corman[3]) took over. Among the changes Demme made was to the ending, which was originally have all the leading characters die. Producer Julie Corman gave birth to her first child during production.[1]


Home media

On December 17, 2010, Shout! Factory released the title on DVD, packaged as a double feature with The Lady In Red, as part of the Roger Corman Cult Classics collection.[4]

See also


  1. Christopher T Koetting, Mind Warp!: The Fantastic True Story of Roger Corman's New World Pictures, Hemlock Books. 2009 p 86-87
  2. "Big Rental Films of 1976". Variety. January 5, 1977. p. 14.
  3. Chris Nashawaty, Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen and Candy Stripe Nurses - Roger Corman: King of the B Movie, Abrams, 2013 p 147
  4. "Roger Corman's Cult Classics". Retrieved December 31, 2012.
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