Now middle-aged, mobster Murray looks back at his humble beginnings as a bootlegger and his rise to becoming wealthy and highly influential. Through it he talks about how much of his ... See full summary »
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. Written by
The Reader Railroad was the actual name of the railroad where the train scenes were filmed. It opened in 1889 and is still in business, used at various times for freight, tourism, and movie service. At the time of filming, it was still regularly using vintage equipment, most notably steam locomotives. See more »
Shortly after the film begins, a very modern trackside railroad signal and control box are shown. These are almost certainly from around 1960 or later. See more »
Corman gangster mama movie done by Scorcese in a different mode
Early, solid film from Scorcese with Hershey as the heroine, who along with Carradine leads a pack of hoods who begin as communists and progress to bigger and bigger crimes -- something of a variation on Corman's "Machine Gun Kelly." Carradine and Hershey give good, but not outstanding, performances. The direction is somewhat showy and involves a lot of movement, typical of Scorcese's more evolved style as well. Roughly follows the mold set by previous AIP gangster mama flicks, with the step up on the violence meter each succeeding film seemed to demand.
Interesting also that this is the only Corman/AIP collaboration I can remember seeing from this period of time (72) when Corman's independent operations were becoming more successful all the time (w/ the nurse movies and stewardess epics cleaning up at the box office). I can only think that they saw it as a continuation of such a successful collaboration that it was impossible to resist getting together again one more time (though Corman claims to have been so absolutely disgusted by their treatment of his epic "Gasssssss" that he would no longer work with them after 1970). Anyone with information on how this collaboration took place will make me very grateful by forwarding this information to me.
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