During the Depression, a young farm girl travels by hopping trains. She meets and falls in love with a union organizer. They make their living robbing trains and living on the outskirts of the law. — Genre: Feature Film-Act... more »ion/Adventure
"This is the cut and censoured version of that movie. Wait for the unrated version."
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 05/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Produced by Roger Corman and directed by Martin Scorsese, BOXCAR BERTHA is a romp through the deep south of the great depression. Bertha (Barbara Hershey) is young, beautiful, and not at all afraid of taking her clothes off! This is good, since she's naked a lot in this movie! Plot?? Well, Bertha's dad is killed in an airplane accident, sending Bertha on an adventure of boxcar jumping, bankrobbing, murder, prison escapes, trainrobbing, prostitution, and lots of laughs. Bertha is accompanied by Big Bill Shelly (David Carradine) and two other cohorts played by Barry Primus and Bernie Casey. Did I mention Bertha's lack of clothing? It just keeps flying off for some reason! Anyway, Bertha and her gang decide to take down an evil railroad baron (played nastily by John Carradine), not realizing just how evil he really is. This leads to the gang's downfall. The finale is pure savage mayhem and revenge! Worth a peek. Oh, and Bertha spends a great deal of time in her birthday suit too..."
different drummer 63 | Lawrence, KS, USA | 03/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like many talented young U.S. directors of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, Martin Scorsese got a big break from American International Pictures studios. This was in the days of drive-in movies and so-called "B" pictures, meaning that something like Boxcar Bertha would be secondary to whatever feature attraction was playing. AIP directors worked on a strict schedule, small budget, and were required to goose things along with softcore sex and bright red violence. No surprise, Scorsese delivered, and found ways to punch it up with his trademark kinetic editing style. He also knew how to get solid performances, even back then. Barry Primus, Bernie Casey, and John Carradine shine here; Barbara Hershey and David Carradine aren't so great or convincing. The movie, like Bonnie And Clyde six years earlier, is about contemporary rather than past times, even though it's set in the 30s. Hershey and Carradine are early 70s free lovers and free spirits, not really nice folks but much more moral than their foes in banking and legal institutions. The film is uneven, but just when you find your attention drifting, Scorsese makes his presence felt with imaginative, original, playful images and sequences. For example, pay close attention to the scene in which Carradine goes to his union office with stolen money, and see how much effort Scorsese puts into images that other directors would blow off. The DVD looks great, a huge improvement over cruddy, pan and scan VHS. No extras except for the original trailer, which is a treat: lots of it is shot through bright colored tinted lenses, taking you back to 70s schlock at its finest. Based on a true story, this is pulp NON fiction; takes its place alongside After Hours, King of Comedy, Kundun, Age of Innocence, and Bringing out the Dead as an uneven, underappreciated Scorsese gem--not as consistently great as his big movies, but plenty of interesting moments and a chance to see the master in training before he moved up to self-consciously artful films."
David Bonesteel | Fresno, CA United States | 05/07/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This early effort by Martin Scorsese for low-budget legend Roger Corman manages to sustain interest, but it's only a glimmer of the genius to come. Bertha (Barbara Hershey) hooks up with labor agitator Big Bill Shelley (David Carradine); with their gang (Bernie Casey and Barry Primus) they pull off a number of robberies and find themselves on the run right up until the suitably bloody climax. This will be of interest to Scorsese completists and lovers of exploitative B-movies; others need not bother."
Boxcar Bertha a Great Movie
Rocky M | 01/27/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Boxcar Bertha, based on the true story of "Boxcar" Bertha Thompson, features a dynamic young cast. Set in the Great Depression, this move shows, if somewhat romanticized, life of the southern railroad unionizer and an young orphan girl who fall in love. And how the unionizer and the girl, along with two other cronies turn to petty crime to survive. The climatic ending must be seen to be believed. Also if you are interested in steam era railroading, there are plenty of steam locomotive and train scenes to satisfy you. Not to mention the 24 year old Barbara Hershey is hot."