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 »
In the late Spring of 1970, nationwide protests against the war in Vietnam focused in the Wall Street area of New York City and ultimately in a major anti-war demonstration in Washington, ... See full summary »
A writer named Algernon (but called Harry by his friends) buys a picture of a boat on a lake, and his obsession with it renders normal life impossible. He attempts to function again by ... 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 rumor that Roger Corman's wife Julie obtained the film rights to the story from Bertha Thompson herself who she tracked down in a San Francisco hotel room but never actually met since she wouldn't open the door turns out to be untrue (but possibly a pre-release publicity stunt or maybe even a trick played on the Cormans by the true owner of the story, the author Ben Reitman), as the afterward in the fourth re-issue of the book Boxcar Bertha explained that the book is a work of fiction, and that the character Bertha Thompson was an amalgam of at least three women that the author (Ben Reitman) knew, but was mostly modeled on a woman named Retta Toble. See more »
The caboose the gang robs is of a distinctive design used only by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, which did not run through Arkansas. See more »
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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