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Just click the "Edit page" button at the bottom of the page or learn more in the Synopsis submission guide. "[6], Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars out of four and called it "a weirdly interesting movie [...] Director Martin Scorsese has gone for mood and atmosphere more than for action, and his violence is always blunt and unpleasant — never liberating and exhilarating, as the New Violence is supposed to be. Hence, the battle between Sartoris/the McIvers and the foursome becomes a personal one on both sides. “Boxcar Bertha” is only Scorsese’s second film, and he hadn’t really gotten to take his career into his own hands yet. Boxcar Bertha Thompson Book Author Buzz Feitshans Editor David Nichols Production Designer Don F. Johnson Sound/Sound Designer Gib Guilbeau Composer (Music Score) John M. Stephens Cinematographer John William Corrington Screenwriter Joyce Hooper Corrington Screenwriter Julie Corman Producer Paul Rapp First Assistant Director Roger Corman Producer She falls in love with a certain Big Bill Shelley (David Carradine), who seems loosely modeled on the anarchist organizer Big Bill Haywood. Cast. PLOT SYNOPSIS. ... Union leader Big Bill Shelly and young runaway woman Bertha form a small group who stand up to the oppression towards workers and plot their revenge on the management of a new railroad. Plot. Synopsis / Plot "Boxcar" Bertha Thompson is a Depression-era woman who loses her father in an airplane accident. Although his directorial debut was technically Who’s That Knocking at My Door, which he followed up with Boxcar Bertha, the first Martin Scorsese film that really feels like a Martin Scorsese film is the 1973 crime drama Mean Streets.Set on the streets of New York, Mean Streets is still ranked among the greatest movies ever made. Barbara Hershey and David Carradine star as a pair of doomed lovers in the Depression-era American South, … The locomotive in those scenes was 1920 Baldwin 2-6-2 #108, who later saw service on the Conway Scenic Railroad in the late 1970s. But they also rile a railway owner named Sartoris and the sadistic McIver brothers, who work as henchmen for both the authorities and Sartoris, as Bill's pro-union/pro-striking diatribes are generally against the railroad. While Boxcar Bertha is nowhere near the quality of Scorsese's later efforts, you can tell there was talent there, just waiting to be exploited. | During the Great Depression, Bertha Thompson begins riding the rails and has a series of adventures, some lighthearted and others deadly serious. Hershey stars as the titular character, with her off screen partner at the time David Carradine as her lover and soul mate Shelly. A would-be Roger Corman/AIP exploitation film, Boxcar Bertha (1972) takes on additional layers of meaning thanks to its youthful director, the just-then-emerging Martin Scorsese. Martin Scorsese's Crime Films Ranked, From 'Boxcar Bertha' to 'The Irishman' (Photos) Martin Scorsese has made 25 narrative feature films, and only eight of … What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? "[9], Arthur D. Murphy of Variety gave the film a negative review, writing, "Whatever its intentions, Boxcar Bertha is not much more than an excuse to slaughter a lot of people [...] The final cut has stripped away whatever mood and motivation may have been in the script, leaving little more than fights, shotgun blasts, beatings and aimless movement. In 1976, again under Mr. Corman’s auspices, "Frank Arthur Wilson" was hired to spruce up the earlier film with new footage. Synopsis ... (Torn Curtain and Topaz) but after that, they make some decent movies (Frenzy and the underrated Family Plot). The railroad has its own enforcers however and Bill doesn't meet a just end however. It looks like we don't have a Synopsis for this title yet. Under the auspices of Roger Corman, Oscar Williams directed 1972's The Final Comedown, a rote Blaxploitation thriller starring Billy Dee Williams. The movie is set in a murky Southern territory of sweat and violence, and gives us Bertha as a forthright young girl who a gets involved in violence almost by accident. [1] Made on a low budget, the film is loose adaptation of Sister of the Road, a pseudo-autobiographical account of the fictional character Bertha Thompson. The website's critical consensus says, "Too derivative of other Roger Corman crime pictures to stand out, Boxcar Bertha feels more like a training exercise for a fledgling Martin Scorsese than a fully formed picture in its own right. "Now You See...", "The Screen: 'Boxcar Bertha' Tops Local Double Bill". Plot– Bertha, an 18-year-old orphan girl living in America during the Great Recession, is looking for a way to survive the 1929 crisis. 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.. When Bertha is implicated in the murder of a wealthy gambler, the pair become fugitives. Martin Scorsese's second feature loosely adapts the autobiography of Bertha Thompson, portraying the adventures of the Depression-era criminal following the death of her father. View the TCMDb entry for Boxcar Bertha (1972) By chance, she meets Bic Bill Shelly, a socialist syndicalist, and makes love with him. "[11] Tom Milne of The Monthly Film Bulletin declared: "Abrasively scripted, stunningly shot, and beautifully acted by David Carradine, Barbara Hershey and Barry Primus in particular, Boxcar Bertha is much more than the exploitation picture it has been written off as (by Variety, for instance) and makes a worthy companion piece to both Bloody Mama and Bonnie and Clyde."[12]. Joining up with controversial union leader Big Bill Shelley, Bertha is forced into a life on the run when a group of conservative witch hunters targets Shelley as a Communist. The engine is currently at the Blacklands Railroad yard in Sulphur Springs, Texas, awaiting restoration. Love made her an outlaw. Really, though, Boxcar Bertha is for the completist only: see it once and then you'll probably forget it. Julie Corman researched female gangsters and came across the story of Boxcar Bertha. Barbara Hershey as Boxcar Bertha; David Carradine as Big Bill Shelly I agree with most of what Scoop said, but will bump my score up to a full C. Anyone who generally enjoys the genre should like this one. ‘Boxcar’ Bertha Thompson, a transient woman in Arkansas during the violence-filled Depression of the early ‘30s, meets up with rabble-rousing union man ’Big’ Bill Shelly and the two team up to fight the corrupt railroad establishment. | Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? She regularly crosses paths with union organizer Big Bill Shelley who is out to get a fair shake, by legal means or otherwise, for railway workers. The film tells the story of Boxcar Bertha Thompson and "Big" Bill Shelly, two train robbers and lovers who are caught up in the plight of railroad workers in the American South. Boxcar Bertha follows in the oft-interrupted tradition, begun at Warners in the thirties, of being both a popular film and one which takes seriously the struggles of unions in America. 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. Mr. Wilson was in fact Allan Arkush and he's here to share the story about making Blast. Besides Rake's need to cheat to make a living, none of the four is predisposed to criminal behavior, but they end up living a life of crime out of circumstance, which included a card game gone wrong. 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