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Boxcar Bertha (1972)

 -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  14 June 1972 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 4,992 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 34 critic

During the depression, a union leader and a young woman become criminals to exact revenge on the management of a railroad.

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(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Boxcar Bertha (1972)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Barry Primus ...
Rake Brown
...
Von Morton
...
H. Buckram Sartoris
...
McIver #1
David Osterhout ...
McIver #2 (as David R. Osterhout)
Grahame Pratt ...
Emeric Pressburger (credit only)
'Chicken' Holleman ...
M. Powell (credit only)
...
Harvey Hall (as Harry Northrup)
Ann Morell ...
Tillie Parr
Marianne Dole ...
Mrs. Mailler
Joe Reynolds ...
Joe Cox
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Storyline

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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

America in the 30's was a Free Country. Bertha was jes' a little bit free'er than most. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 June 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Boxcar Bertha  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Schedule for the movie was 24 days (according to director Martin Scorsese's commentary for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)). See more »

Goofs

The boxcars rolling behind the characters in the 1930s, have dates stenciled on them indicating that they have been tested and repaired in the 1970s. See more »

Quotes

'Big' Bill Shelly: Hey, Bertha!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Making 'Taxi Driver' (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Scorsese's second
27 March 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Martin Scorsese got hired by Roger Corman, I presume, to make this "based on true story" movie of a boxcar thief and robber named Bertha whom with some other robbers stole their way into a small piece in history but got into strife towards the end. It isn't one of his best pictures since he really was just the director and the script and the actors did more work than he needed to do on the picture. Like The Color of Money, it's a film that if he didn't direct it it wouldn't of made much of a difference in the outcome.

Still, give credit where credit is due, and those (very few I might think) that heard what Cassavettes said to Scoresese after the movie got released (he told Marty that it was a piece of s*** and to work on something better- which he did with Mean Streets) should disregard it. Overall, Boxcar Bertha is a watchable and good piece of cinema with some decent performances and an overall feel that works in it's "tradition of Bonnie & Clyde" genre. Hershey and Carradine are also good. Just don't expect anything ground-breaking, unlike the next 5 out of 6 movies Scorsese would make in the next eight years after this. B+


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