I agree with most of what Scoop said, but will bump my score up to a full C. Anyone who generally enjoys the genre should like this one. Based on "Sister of the Road," the fictionalized autobiography of radical and transient Bertha Thompson as written by physician Dr. Ben L. Reitman, 'Boxcar' Bertha Thompson, a woman labor organizer in Arkansas during the violence-filled Depression of the early '30's meets up with rabble-rousing union man 'Big' Bill Shelly and they team up to fight the corrupt railroad establishment and she is eventually … Later still, they get separated and Bertha meets a Yankee dandy at a card game who refuses to speak to hide his accent. Thomas, Kevin (June 21, 1972). View the TCMDb entry for Boxcar Bertha (1972) Plot Keywords It merely depresses. "Film Reviews: Boxcar Bertha". Ultimately, she ends up traveling with three others: "Big" Bill Shelly, a laborer who now speaks on behalf of workers' rights and unions; Rake Brown, a gambler not averse to cheating and who carries a gun but is too scared to ever use it; and Von Morton, a harmonica playing black man who worked as her father's mechanic. Boxcar Bertha Thompson Book Author Buzz Feitshans Editor David Nichols Production Designer Don F. Johnson Sound/Sound Designer Gib Guilbeau Composer (Music Score) John M. Stephens Cinematographer John William Corrington Screenwriter Joyce Hooper Corrington Screenwriter Julie Corman Producer Paul Rapp First Assistant Director Roger Corman Producer Parents Guide. The website's critical consensus says, "Too derivative of other Roger Corman crime pictures to stand out, Boxcar Bertha feels more like a training exercise for a fledgling Martin Scorsese than a fully formed picture in its own right. Just click the "Edit page" button at the bottom of the page or learn more in the Synopsis submission guide. Hence, the battle between Sartoris/the McIvers and the foursome becomes a personal one on both sides. She grows up quickly from the experiences she has with various people she meets while riding the rails. “Boxcar Bertha” is only Scorsese’s second film, and he hadn’t really gotten to take his career into his own hands yet. Mr. Wilson was in fact Allan Arkush and he's here to share the story about making Blast. | We get the feeling we're inhabiting the dark night of a soul. [3] The Reader Railroad was used for the train scenes. PLOT SYNOPSIS. ‘Boxcar’ Bertha Thompson, a transient woman in Arkansas during the violence-filled Depression of the early ‘30s, meets up with rabble-rousing union man ’Big’ Bill Shelly and the two team up to fight the corrupt railroad establishment. Boxcar Bertha - (Original Trailer) A union leader during the Depression enlists his girlfriend in a plot to get back at the railroad's evil management in Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha(1972). The prologue from Martin Scorsese's Roger Corman quickie, Barbara Hershey (title character) gazing skyward at her crop-dusting dad, with mechanic Von (Bernie Casey), Big Bill (David Carradine) working nearby, opening Boxcar Bertha, 1972. During the depression era, a teenager, a syndicalist, a gambler and an harmonica player form a gang specializing in train robberies. Barbara Hershey as Boxcar Bertha; David Carradine as Big Bill Shelly When Bertha is implicated in the murder of a wealthy gambler, the pair become fugitives. [4], Hershey later called the film "a lot of fun even though it's terribly crippled by Roger Corman and the violence and sex. Boxcar Bertha is a 1972 American romantic crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and produced by Roger Corman, from a screenplay by Joyce H. Corrington and John William Corrington. Martin Scorsese was hired to direct on the strength of his first feature. Boxcar Bertha (1972). She also has a stint working in a bordello. Boxcar Bertha Boxcar Bertha is a low budget 1972 American romantic crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese.It is a loose adaptation of Sister of the Road, a pseudo-autobiographical account of the fictional character Bertha Thompson, written by Ben L. Reitman.It was Scorsese's second feature film. Hershey stars as the titular character, with her off screen partner at the time David Carradine as her lover and soul mate Shelly. Joining up with controversial union leader Big Bill Shelley, Bertha is forced into a life on the run when a group of conservative witch hunters targets Shelley as a Communist. [2] It was Scorsese's second feature film. Boxcar Bertha - Movie Review. Change your configuration. The film is a low-budget exploitation film produced by Roger Corman. She gets involved with a less than honest gambler, Rake Brown, having to shoot her way out of a game when Rake is caught cheating. A would-be Roger Corman/AIP exploitation film, Boxcar Bertha (1972) takes on additional layers of meaning thanks to its youthful director, the just-then-emerging Martin Scorsese. Cast. During the Great Depression, a union leader and a young woman become criminals to exact revenge on the management of a railroad. "[9], Arthur D. Murphy of Variety gave the film a negative review, writing, "Whatever its intentions, Boxcar Bertha is not much more than an excuse to slaughter a lot of people [...] The final cut has stripped away whatever mood and motivation may have been in the script, leaving little more than fights, shotgun blasts, beatings and aimless movement. Based on "Sister of the Road," the fictionalized autobiography of radical and transient Bertha Thompson as written by physician Dr. Ben L. Reitman, 'Boxcar' Bertha Thompson, a woman labor organizer in Arkansas during the violence-filled Depression of the early '30's meets up with rabble-rousing union man 'Big' Bill Shelly and they team up to fight the corrupt railroad establishment and she is eventually sucked into a life of crime with him. "[11] Tom Milne of The Monthly Film Bulletin declared: "Abrasively scripted, stunningly shot, and beautifully acted by David Carradine, Barbara Hershey and Barry Primus in particular, Boxcar Bertha is much more than the exploitation picture it has been written off as (by Variety, for instance) and makes a worthy companion piece to both Bloody Mama and Bonnie and Clyde."[12]. Scorsese makes a cameo in the film as one of Bertha's clients during the brothel montage. He was given the lead actors, including Barbara Hershey, David Carradine, and Barry Primus, and a shooting schedule of 24 days in Arkansas. Martin Scorsese's Crime Films Ranked, From 'Boxcar Bertha' to 'The Irishman' (Photos) Martin Scorsese has made 25 narrative feature films, and only eight of … Boxcar Bertha Imdb; Boxcar Bertha Movie Plot; Download Torrent Movie Boxcar Bertha 1972 For Sale; Boxcar Bertha is a low budget 1972 American romantic crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. Transfer Quality Video The video transfer for Boxcar Bertha is very nice, with little at all to complain about. The story of Bertha Thompson (played by Barbara Hershey) and "Big" Bill Shelly (played by David Carradine), two train robbers and lovers who are caught up in the plight of railroad workers in the American South.When Bertha is implicated in the murder of a wealthy gambler, the pair become fugitives.. In 1976, again under Mr. Corman’s auspices, "Frank Arthur Wilson" was hired to spruce up the earlier film with new footage. Boxcar Bertha is a 1972 crime drama produced by Roger Corman and directed by Martin Scorsese. Instead, Scorsese directed Corman's Boxcar Bertha, a 1972 gangster film similar to Bonnie and Clyde. Boxcar Bertha takes on additional layers of meaning thanks to its youthful director, the just-then-emerging Martin Scorsese. Siskel, Gene (July 20, 1972). Murphy, Arthur D. (May 31, 1972). Taglines The engine is currently at the Blacklands Railroad yard in Sulphur Springs, Texas, awaiting restoration. Synopsis [2] [3] It was Scorsese's second … Locomotive #1702, a USATC S160 2-8-0 built by Baldwin in 1942, was also seen in the film as well. The movie is set in a murky Southern territory of sweat and violence, and gives us Bertha as a forthright young girl who a gets involved in violence almost by accident. The lover Boxcar Bertha is going to meet is a Union man named Big Bill (they have so much in common! They become lovers and take to robbing the payroll and when necessary, Bertha even breaks him out of jail. Barbara Hershey and David Carradine star as a pair of doomed lovers in the Depression-era American South, turning to train robbery and life on the run. After the success of Bloody Mama, Roger Corman wanted to make another female gangster film. A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent, Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Boxcar_Bertha&oldid=1000228148, Biographical films about Depression-era gangsters, Industrial Workers of the World in fiction, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 14 January 2021, at 05:53. While Boxcar Bertha is nowhere near the quality of Scorsese's later efforts, you can tell there was talent there, just waiting to be exploited. Based on "Sister of the Road," the fictionalized autobiography of radical and transient Bertha Thompson as written by physician Dr. Ben L. Reitman, 'Boxcar' Bertha Thompson, a woman labor organizer in Arkansas during the violence-filled Depression of the early '30's meets up with rabble-rousing union man 'Big' Bill Shelly and they team up to fight the corrupt railroad establishment and she … In the 1930's American south, Bertha Thompson decides to live the life of a transient after her crop duster father dies in a crash leaving her alone in the world. Plot– Bertha, an 18-year-old orphan girl living in America during the Great Recession, is looking for a way to survive the 1929 crisis. Bertha (Barbara Hershey) joins union organizer "Big" Bill Shelly (David Carradine) in fighting anti-union forces after an unexpected murder drives them to a life of robbing trains. Its Depression "types" are historically revealing but not stereotypical, thanks to the stunts required by the plot. But they also rile a railway owner named Sartoris and the sadistic McIver brothers, who work as henchmen for both the authorities and Sartoris, as Bill's pro-union/pro-striking diatribes are generally against the railroad. Julie Corman researched female gangsters and came across the story of Boxcar Bertha. Despite their different motivations in life, the four become fiercely loyal to each other, especially Bertha and Bill, both who consider the other to be the love of their life. The locomotive in those scenes was 1920 Baldwin 2-6-2 #108, who later saw service on the Conway Scenic Railroad in the late 1970s. She regularly crosses paths with union organizer Big Bill Shelley who is out to get a fair shake, by legal means or otherwise, for railway workers. "The Screen: 'Boxcar Bertha' Tops Local Double Bill". Synopsis Martin Scorsese's second feature loosely adapts the autobiography of Bertha Thompson, portraying the adventures of the Depression-era criminal following the death of her father. The film tells the story of Boxcar Bertha Thompson and "Big" Bill Shelly, two train robbers and lovers who are caught up in the plight of railroad workers in the American South. | 1930s set crime/love story/bio~pic of 'Boxcar' Bertha Thompson, directed by Martin Scorsese, and produced by Roger Corman. Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Boxcar Bertha ; Produced by Roger Corman, BOXCAR BERTHA is a film directed by Martin Scorsese in 1972. [1] Made on a low budget, the film is loose adaptation of Sister of the Road, a pseudo-autobiographical account of the fictional character Bertha Thompson. The film tells the story of Boxcar Bertha Thompson and "Big" Bill Shelly, two train robbers and lovers who are caught up in the plight of railroad workers in the American South. In Arkansas, during The Great Depression, Bertha Thompson (Barbara Hershey), just barely into adulthood, is forced to leave home after her father dies in a tragic accident. "[7] The New York Times' Howard Thompson found the film to be an "interesting surprise," praising Carradine's "excellent" performance and the "beautiful" direction by Scorsese, "who really comes into his own here. mpouk Marty always has been more comfortable creating moods than following a plot and this, one of his lesser works, is no exception. Even before their overtly criminal activities, they riled the police, who harassed them for riding the rails and for Bill's "Bolshevik" talk. | Martin Scorsese's second feature loosely adapts the autobiography of Bertha Thompson, portraying the adventures of the Depression-era criminal following the death of her father. Later, they bone. Tuna says: Boxcar Bertha is one of the better Corman films, in that is has nudity from a future star, interesting characters, great pace, decent plot, and some point. She then meets Rake Brown, a cardsharper, and becomes his partner. ... Union leader Big Bill Shelly and young runaway woman Bertha form a small group who stand up to the oppression towards workers and plot their revenge on the management of a new railroad. "Now You See...", "The Screen: 'Boxcar Bertha' Tops Local Double Bill". We really had characters down but one tends to not see all that, because you end up seeing all the blood and sex. Plot. Besides Rake's need to cheat to make a living, none of the four is predisposed to criminal behavior, but they end up living a life of crime out of circumstance, which included a card game gone wrong. "'Bertha' Battles Red-Necks". Really, though, Boxcar Bertha is for the completist only: see it once and then you'll probably forget it. Boxcar Bertha isn't amazing but I'm letting that slide since it was his first feature and he made it for Corman so he had no money. Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? like alliterative nicknames!). Barbara Hershey and David Carradine star as a pair of doomed lovers in the Depression-era American South, … "[10] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film one star out of four and called it a "trashy movie" with violence that "does not shock. "[5], Boxcar Bertha received mixed reviews from critics. "[6], Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars out of four and called it "a weirdly interesting movie [...] Director Martin Scorsese has gone for mood and atmosphere more than for action, and his violence is always blunt and unpleasant — never liberating and exhilarating, as the New Violence is supposed to be. During the Great Depression, Bertha Thompson begins riding the rails and has a series of adventures, some lighthearted and others deadly serious. ... (Torn Curtain and Topaz) but after that, they make some decent movies (Frenzy and the underrated Family Plot). Based on “Sister of the Road,” the 1937 pseudo-autobiography of fictional character Bertha Thompson, written by anarchist physician Dr. Ben L. Reitman. Click here to see the rest of this review. But between the actors and Marty Scorsese the director, we had a lot of fun. "[8] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "What is most impressive about Boxcar Bertha [...] is how 28-year old director Martin Scorsese, in his first Hollywood venture, has managed to shape such familiar material into a viable film. [1] It is a loose adaptation of Sister of the Road, a pseudo-autobiographical account of the fictional character Bertha Thompson, written by Ben L. Reitman. Under the auspices of Roger Corman, Oscar Williams directed 1972's The Final Comedown, a rote Blaxploitation thriller starring Billy Dee Williams. According to Ephraim Katz in The Film Encyclopedia, Boxcar Bertha "gave the young director the opportunity to work within the Hollywood system and paved the way to his phenomenal [extraordinary] rise in the coming years." Synopsis / Plot "Boxcar" Bertha Thompson is a Depression-era woman who loses her father in an airplane accident. 'Boxcar' Bertha Thompson, a transient woman in Arkansas during the violence-filled Depression of the early '30s, meets up with rabble-rousing union man 'Big' Bill Shelly and the two team up to fight the corrupt railroad establishment. What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? By chance, she meets Bic Bill Shelly, a socialist syndicalist, and makes love with him. Love made her an outlaw. The locomotive is now operational at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Bill in particular feels uncomfortable with the criminal behavior in and of itself, except for the good he can do for the working class in the crimes. 199 views. When Bertha is implicated in the murder of a wealthy gambler, the pair become fugitives. Although his directorial debut was technically Who’s That Knocking at My Door, which he followed up with Boxcar Bertha, the first Martin Scorsese film that really feels like a Martin Scorsese film is the 1973 crime drama Mean Streets.Set on the streets of New York, Mean Streets is still ranked among the greatest movies ever made. She falls in love with a certain Big Bill Shelley (David Carradine), who seems loosely modeled on the anarchist organizer Big Bill Haywood. The railroad has its own enforcers however and Bill doesn't meet a just end however. Boxcar Bertha follows in the oft-interrupted tradition, begun at Warners in the thirties, of being both a popular film and one which takes seriously the struggles of unions in America. Be the first to contribute! I guess hindsight is the only way to know when someone should have gracefully retired. It holds an approval rating of 52% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 23 reviews, with an average rating of 5/10. 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