Monday, May 20, 2013

Boxcar Bertha

Boxcar Bertha
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Boxcar Bertha

Theatrical release poster.

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Produced by Roger Corman

Written by Book:

Ben L. Reitman


Joyce Hooper Corrington

John William Corrington

Starring Barbara Hershey

David Carradine

Barry Primus

Distributed by American International Pictures

Release date(s) June 14, 1972 US release

Running time 88 min

Language English

Budget $600,000

Boxcar Bertha (1972), director Martin Scorsese's second film, is a loose adaptation of Sister of the Road, the fictionalized autobiography of radical and transient Bertha Thompson as written by Ben Reitman. One of producer Roger Corman's famous exploitation films, the movie was made with a modest $600,000 budget and taught Scorsese how to make films quickly and economically.

Plot [edit]Besides the name of the heroine and her freight riding, very little of the film bears any resemblance to the original story written in Sister of the Road. 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 from justice. While this story adheres to certain conventions of exploitation narrative, it also offers a surprisingly frank look at race and gender issues in the 1930s.[citation needed]

Cast [edit]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

David Osterhout as Second McIver

Ann Morell as Tillie Parr

Marianne Dole as Mrs Mailler

Joe Reynolds as Joe Cox

Grahame Pratt as Emeric Pressburger

'Chicken' Holleman as M. Powell

Note: There aren't any characters in the film called Emeric Pressburger or M. Powell, and there are no such actors as Grahame Pratt or "Chicken" Holleman. Scorsese just added them to the cast list as a tribute to Powell and Pressburger.[citation needed]

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