Ma Barker's Killer Brood

Ma Barker's Killer Brood is a neo noir crime film, released in 1960. The low-budget film was directed by Bill Karn and starred Lurene Tuttle as the title character, Ma Barker. The film is a highly fictionalized account of the life of Ma Barker and her four sons, whose Barker-Karpis gang terrorized the South and Midwest in the 1930s with a string of kidnappings, robberies, and murders. The gang members are also depicted working with other well-known criminals of the era, including John Dillinger (Eric Sinclair), and Baby Face Nelson (Robert Kendall). To the horror of her husband, Kate Barker, known as "Ma," teaches her four young sons to steal money from the collection plate in church. Her husband tries to convince her to stop using her sons to commit crimes, but is ignored. Ma expresses her contempt for "sissies" and says that "guts" is the only virtue. Her husband leaves her when their sensitive son Herman is arrested after Ma forces him to rob a fun fair. After this, the local sheriff runs Ma Barker and her boys out of town. Years later, she has become a hardened criminal along with her sons. She is known in the underworld for her ruthlessness and efficiency in planning "jobs." At a party she hosts for leading criminals Machine Gun Kelly, encouraged by his brash girlfriend Lou, claims he can work without her. Ma is dismissive. After Kelly's independent attempt at a kidnapping fails, Ma belittles Lou. Lou plans revenge. Meanwhile psychopathic killer Alvin Karpis is introduced to the gang. Ma uses him to get rid of weaklings and threats. Ma's drunken new husband Arthur Dunlop is murdered when he blabs about their activities, as is a corrupt mob-doctor, Dr. Guelffe. More on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_Barker%27s_Killer_Brood

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