From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search This stub does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2010)
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
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date(s) June 14, 1972 US release
Running time 88 min
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 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.
Cast 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.