6.1/10
7,078
45 user 40 critic

Boxcar Bertha (1972)

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

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) (as Joyce H. Corrington) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

I Call First (1967)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young man struggles with the fact that his girlfriend was once raped.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Zina Bethune, Anne Collette
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A recently widowed woman is on the road with her precocious young son, determined to make a new life for herself as a singer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Mia Bendixsen
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An egotistical saxophonist and a young singer meet on V-J Day and embark upon a strained and rocky romance, even as their careers begin a long, up-hill climb.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro, Lionel Stander
Kundun (1997)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

From childhood to adulthood, Tibet's fourteenth Dalai Lama deals with Chinese oppression and other problems.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong, Gyurme Tethong, Tulku Jamyang Kunga Tenzin
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Martin Scorsese interviews his mother and father about their life in New York City and the family history back in Sicily. These are two people who have lived together for a long time and ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Catherine Scorsese, Charles Scorsese, Martin Scorsese
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Haunted by the patients he failed to save, an extremely burned-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic fights to maintain his sanity over three fraught and turbulent nights.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman
Mean Streets (1973)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey
After Hours (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho who he met that evening at a coffee shop.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Director Martin Scorsese talks to actor Steven Prince about his past. As the night goes on, Prince reveals some very amusing and moving stories of his experiences with drugs and violence.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Steven Prince, Martin Scorsese, George Memmoli
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin attempts to achieve success in show business by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Boxcar Bertha
... Big Bill Shelly
... 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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 June 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Faust der Rebellen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first time that Victor Argo worked with director Martin Scorsese. See more »

Goofs

When the gang hijacks the locomotive, it is pulling a tank car and box car. Later shots show only the tank car. See more »

Quotes

Rake Brown: [Snickers, reading a newspaper article] Listen to this, "The notorious labor radical and Bolshivek spy, Big Bill Shelly, along with certain of his desperate confederates, broke out of Shelby County Penal Farm, assaulting a guard."
'Big' Bill Shelly: What's so funny about that?
Rake Brown: I was laughing at the spy part. You don't look like no spy to me. I always thought they wear glasses.
See more »

Connections

References The Grapes of Wrath (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata no. 11 in A, K. 331, Mov. 3
(uncredited)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Scorsese's second
27 March 2002 | by 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+


30 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 45 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial