Crazy Mama

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For the song by the same name, see JJ Cale.
Crazy Mama
Crazy Mama.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jonathan Demme
Produced by Julie Corman
Screenplay by Robert Thom
Story by Frances Doel
Starring Cloris Leachman
Music by Snotty Scotty and The Hankies
Cinematography Bruce Logan
Edited by Allan Holzman
Lewis Teague
Distributed by New World Pictures
Release dates
June 1975
Running time
83 mins.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.3 million[1]

Crazy Mama is a 1975 American action/comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme and produced by Julie Corman. The film stars Cloris Leachman. Dennis Quaid and Bill Paxton are also seen briefly in two of their earliest roles.


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[2]) 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]


  • "Transfusion" - Performed by Nervous Norvus
  • "Sleepwalk" - Written by Johnny Farina, Santo Farina & Ann Farina, Performed by Santo & Johnny
  • "Money (That's What I Want)" - Written by Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford, Performed by Barrett Strong
  • "Devoted To You" - Written by Boudleaux Bryant, Performed by The Everly Brothers
  • "Black Slacks" - Written by Joe Bennett and Jimmy Denton, Performed by Joe Bennett and The Sparkletones
  • "Running Bear" - Written by The Big Bopper (as J.P. Richardson), Performed by Johnny Preston
  • "All I Have To Do Is Dream" - Written by Boudleaux Bryant, Performed by The Everly Brothers
  • "I've Had It" - Performed by The Bell Notes
  • "Western Movies" - Written by Cliff Goldsmith and Fred Smith, Performed by The Olympics
  • "Lollipop" - Written by Beverly Ross and Julius Dixon, Performed by The Chordettes

Home media[edit]

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.[3]

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]