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Boxcar Bertha

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Director  Martin Scorsese
Initial DVD release  March 19, 2002
Language  English
6.1/10 IMDb

Genre  Crime, Drama, Romance
Budget  600,000 USD
Country  United States
Boxcar Bertha movie poster

Release date  June 14, 1972
Based on  Sister of the Road  by Ben L. Reitman
Writer  Ben L. Reitman (book), Joyce Hooper Corrington (screenplay), John William Corrington (screenplay)
Cast  Barbara Hershey (Boxcar Bertha), David Carradine (Big Bill Shelly), Barry Primus (Rake Brown), Bernie Casey (Von Morton), John Carradine (H. Buckram Sartoris), Victor Argo (McIver #1)
Similar movies  Silver Linings Playbook, Lolita, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Under the Tuscan Sun, Sissi: The Fateful Years of an Empress, Snow Angels
Tagline  Life made her an outcast. Love made her an outlaw.

Boxcar bertha official trailer 1 john carradine movie 1972 hd

Boxcar Bertha is a 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.


Boxcar Bertha movie scenes


Boxcar Bertha movie scenes

The film tells 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.


Boxcar Bertha movie scenes

  • Barbara Hershey as Boxcar Bertha
  • David Carradine as Big Bill Shelly
  • Barry Primus as Rake Brown
  • Bernie Casey as Von Morton
  • John Carradine as H. Buckram Sartoris
  • Harry Northup as Harvey Hall
  • Victor Argo as First McIver
  • Production

    Boxcar Bertha movie scenes

    After the success of Bloody Mama, Roger Corman wanted to make another female gangster film. Julie Corman researched female gangsters and came across the story of Boxcar Bertha. Martin Scorsese was hired to direct on the strength of his first feature. He was given the lead actors, including Barbara Hershey, David Carradine, and Barry Primus, and a shooting schedule of 24 days in Arkansas. The Reader Railroad was used for the train scenes.

    Boxcar Bertha movie scenes

    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. It's currently at the Blacklands Railroad awaiting restoration. Locomotive #1702, a USATC S160 2-8-0 built by Baldwin in 1942, was also seen in the film as well. The locomotive is now operational at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

    Scorsese makes a cameo in the film as one of Bertha's clients during the brothel montage.

    Hershey later called the film "a lot of fun even though it's terribly crippled by Roger Corman and the violence and sex. But between the actors and Marty Scorsese the director, we had a lot of fun. We really had characters down but one tends to not see all that, because you end up seeing all the blood and sex."


    Boxcar Bertha received mixed reviews from critics. It holds a rating of 48% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 reviews.


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