Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Martin Scorsese|
|Produced by||Roger Corman
Samuel Z. Arkoff (uncredited)
|Screenplay by||Joyce H. Corrington
John William Corrington
Martin Scorsese (uncredited)
|Based on||Sister of the Road
by Ben L. Reitman
|Music by||Gib Guilbeau
|Edited by||Buzz Feitshans|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|June 14, 1972|
Boxcar Bertha is a 1972 American film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a loose adaptation of Sister of the Road, an autobiographical account of Bertha Thompson written by Ben L. Reitman. It was Scorsese's second film.
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.
- Barbara Hershey as Boxcar Bertha
- David Carradine as Big Bill Shelly
- Barry Primus as Rake Brown
- Bernie Casey as Von Morton
- John Carradine as H. Buckram Sartoris
- Harry Northup as Harvey Hall
- Victor Argo as First McIver
- David Osterhout as Second McIver
- Ann Morell as Tillie Parr
- Marianne Dole as Mrs Mailler
- Joe Reynolds as Joe Cox
- Grahame Pratt as Emeric Pressburger
- 'Chicken' Holleman as M. Powell
After the success of Bloody Mama Roger Corman wanted to make another female gangster film. Julie Corman researched female gangsters and came across the true story of Boxcar Bertha. Martin Scorsese was hired to direct on the strength of his first feature. He was given the lead actors, including Barbara Hershey, David Carradine, and Barry Primus, and a shooting schedule of 24 days in Arkansas. The Reader Railroad was used for the train scenes.
Scorsese makes a cameo in the film as one of Bertha's clients during the brothel montage.
- Thompson, Howard (August 18, 1972). "The Screen: 'Boxcar Bertha' Tops Local Double Bill". The New York Times.
- Chris Nashawaty, Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen and Candy Stripe Nurses - Roger Corman: King of the B Movie, Abrams, 2013 p 120
- Gary A. Smith, The American International Pictures Video Guide, McFarland 2009 p 33
- Boxcar Bertha at the Internet Movie Database
- Boxcar Bertha at AllMovie
- Boxcar Bertha at the TCM Movie Database
- Boxcar Bertha at Rotten Tomatoes