Boxcar Bertha (1972)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Romance


Boxcar Bertha (1972) Poster

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

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6.1/10
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  • John Carradine and Bernie Casey in Boxcar Bertha (1972)
  • David Carradine in Boxcar Bertha (1972)
  • David Carradine in Boxcar Bertha (1972)
  • David Carradine and Barry Primus in Boxcar Bertha (1972)
  • David Carradine and Barbara Hershey in Boxcar Bertha (1972)
  • Barbara Hershey and Bernie Casey in Boxcar Bertha (1972)

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24 February 2002 | Infofreak
The worlds of Corman and Scorsese collide, and the results? Pretty damn good!
Roger Corman's indirect influence on the 70s movie renaissance is often overlooked. Many of that decade's key players served their apprenticeships on Corman's quickies. Directors like Coppola, Bogdanovich, Bartel and Demme, and actors like Nicholson, Hopper, Fonda, Dern, Stanton, and even De Niro.

Add Martin Scorsese to that list. 'Boxcar Bertha', his movie directly before the breakthrough 'Mean Streets', may not display his talent in full, but it is a surprisingly well shot and acted, and is an above average b-grade movie with a lot of entertainment value.

Like similar Corman productions from this period ('Bloody Mama', 'Dillinger', 'Big Bad Mama') it is a Depression era look at flamboyant criminals. An exploitation movie for sure, but exploitation with style and class. Barbara Hershey (who would reunite with Scorsese in seriously underrated 'The Last Temptation Of Christ') plays the title role, but the real star of the movie is her then real life partner David Carradine ('Kung Fu', 'Death Race 2000'), who gives a strong, charismatic performance. The supporting cast includes blaxploitation legend Bernie Casey ('Cleopatra Jones',etc.), Carradine's veteran character actor father John, and Scorsese/Ferrara regular Victor Argo ('Taxi Driver', 'King Of New York').

'Boxcar Bertha' is by no means one of Scorsese's greatest achievements, but it is nothing to be embarrassed about either. Check it out sometime. It's much better than you would think.

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