They get back together, but the movie ends with railroad goons hanging Big Bill on the side of a boxcar in a symbolic crucifixion scene. Wanna quit, we’ll quit. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008. 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. Rather than direct the film himself, Corman served as producer and hired a relatively unknown young director, Martin Scorsese, who had impressed Corman with his first feature film, Who’s That Knocking on My Door (1967), also titled I Call First. And how the unionizer and the girl, along with two other cronies turn to petty crime to survive. Boxcar Bertha, Martin Scorsese’s first studio film for Hollywood, shot on the limited budget of $600,000, is slightly better than its formulaic offering. Philip David Ochs (December 19, 1940 – April 9, 1976) was an American protest singer (or, as he preferred, a topical singer) and songwriter who was known for his sharp wit, sardonic humour, earnest humanism, political activism, insightful and alliterative lyrics, and distinctive voice. Big Bill spends time in prison while Bertha works as a prostitute. Boxcar Bertha is a solid B-movie, and a decidedly strange, dirty, and fun one at that. Boxcar Bertha (1972) Boxcar Bertha (1972), directed by Martin Scorsese. There are also some breezy characters who are easy to handle and add a certain corny charm. Still, Scorsese has told the story a million times about how John Cassavetes approached him after a screening of Boxcar Bertha and said “You just spent a year of of your life making a piece of shit. This is not one of Scorsese’s stronger films. For additional information: Robert Aldrich promised no-holds barred rough-tough dramas, and his first two Associates & Aldrich productions certainly hit hard. Leave your legacy with a planned gift that can help ensure quality materials, programming, and services for our libraries. Spreading your gift out through monthly contributions is a great solution for your budget and ours. This play adaptation shows its director's strength (no-flinching full shock impact) and weakness (theatrical overplaying) in full measure, but the unrestrained performances of Jack Palance and Eddie Albert are unforgettable. Major support provided through a partnership with the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism. Corman chose Arkansas because many rural areas in the state could still pass for the Depression-era South. Interiors and street scenes for Bertha were shot around Camden (Ouachita County). The first was Bloody Mama (1970), and both were set in the 1930s. At his home, Jesus, a carpenter, works on a cross, commissioned by the Romans for a public crucifixion. Your monthly donation provides ongoing and predictable support we can count on to fund educational and cultural programming for the patrons, communities, and neighborhoods being served by CALS. Crucifixion was featured in the comedy film Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979). A poor young woman falls in with gamblers, labor organizers and bandits. Honor or memorial gifts are an everlasting way to pay tribute to someone who has touched your life. I mean, a few people have – there was an exhibition at the Cinémathèque Francais where it pointed out how many images there are in Scorsese films that are reminiscent of the crucifixion from Boxcar Bertha onwards – but I don’t think spirituality comes up that much really in Scorsese’s work. Special thanks to the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Train sequences and other exteriors were shot on the Possum Trot Line of the Reader Railroad in Nevada and Ouachita counties. Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”. 25. David Carradine’s father, famous character actor John Carradine, has a bit part as the owner of the railroad. Creating an account gives you access to all these features. Boxcar Bertha (1970) “I’d do anything you want. For more information, contact 501-918-3025 or calsfoundation@cals.org. It gets away with its mix of hayseed comedy antics and some bloodshed, as it all appears as harmless fun until the murders start coming– culminating in, of all things, a crucifixion. This duo gets into a card game with a bigoted southern lawyer and when he accuses Rake of cheating and is about to do him in, she grabs the cowardly Rake’s gun and plugs the lawyer. Jesus of Nazareth writhes on the ground in pain, and speaks of a “feeling” that he has been experiencing, and voices that have been speaking to him. The first was Bloody Mama (1970), and both were set in the 1930s. The film is set during the Depression, in the early 1930s. 72201. Boxcar Bertha (1972) ... crucifixion and “what ifs” about the life of Jesus later, it’s hard to feel anything but drained. After robbing the railroad, Big Bill who considers himself a union man and not a thief, gives his share of the loot to the union cause. Boxcar Bertha (1972) was the second exploitation film shot in Arkansas by B-movie director Roger Corman. Additional support provided by the Charles M. and Joan R. Taylor Foundation Inc. The CALS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. © 2019 Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Review. Boxcar Bertha (125) IMDb 6.0 1 h 28 ... intelligence, potential for danger and latent self-destructiveness; a crucifixion scene hints at the religious passions instilled in the director by his upbringing. Little Rock, AR. On the road, the free-spirited young lady with the great bod falls in love with the protective Big Bill, but separates from him temporarily after the powerful railroads bust up a union demonstration. Boxcar Bertha, the second feature film directed by Scorsese, is an exploitative movie through and through almost completely free of the Scorsese creative touch. Scorsese had wanted to make a film version of Jesus' life since childhood. Or, sign up for Kroger Rewards and a portion of your purchases at Kroger will be donated to the CALS Foundation. 100 Rock Street Boxcar Bertha, based on the true story of "Boxcar" Bertha Thompson, features a dynamic young cast. Rate and review titles you borrow and share your opinions on them. Originally paired at the drive-in with 1,000 Convicts and a Woman, director Martin Scorsese scored a significant victory for producer Roger Corman with Boxcar Bertha, his take on the Great Depression’s many ravages upon the downtrodden.Yes, even the great Martin Scorsese owes a debt of gratitude to the beloved team of Roger and Julie Corman. Additional support provided by the Arkansas General Assembly. Read our Privacy Policy. Boxcar Bertha (1972) was the second exploitation film shot in Arkansas by B-movie director Roger Corman. But it gets by on the charms of its stars, Barbara Hershey and David Carradine, and it’s filled with the latest cinematic tricks such as quick fades and dreamy soft-focuses. Small-town Arkansas farm girl Bertha (Hershey) rides the railroad boxcars and hooks up with trade union activist Big Bill Shelly (David Carradine), after the accidental death of her father while piloting his crop duster. There are set comedy and almost hard-core sex pieces, that seemed more commercially intended than artistic. Carnehan in The Man Who Would Be King and Joe Harmon in A Town Like Alice both survive crucifixion. Corman chose Arkansas because many rural areas in the state could still pass for the Depression-era South. University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Boxcar Bertha (1972) the crucifixion scene where nails pierce a man's hands and are seen protruding from the wood, smeared with blood Escape from New York (1981) Harry Dean Stanton kills another character by stabbing him in the stomach with a dagger, in both films. Corman, Roger, with Jim Jerome. Ben Fry Boxcar Bertha is brisk and entertaining, even if some of its fight scenes are on the clumsy side. Additional support provided by the Arkansas Community Foundation. Encyclopedia of Arkansas He was given a copy of Nikos Kazantzakis’ book, “The Last Temptation Of Christ” by the film’s star, Barbara Hershey, under the condition that she would be cast as Mary Magdalene if he ever made the film one day. The two fight the railroad and become criminals. 100 Rock Street “Boxcar Bertha.” Internet Movie Database. The movie has light and whimsical bits, but also brutal scenes, culminating in a rail-car crucifixion and bloody shotgun revenge. From 1967's Who's That Knocking at My Door to 2019's The Irishman, here is a complete ranking of all 25 features in Martin Scorsese's iconic catalogue. Several Arkansans appeared as extras in the film, including Michael G. Fitzgerald, a native of El Dorado (Union County), who later wrote books about the movie industry, including a history of Universal Pictures and Westerns Women: Interviews with 50 Leading Ladies of Movie and Television Westerns from the 1930s to the 1960s (1999). "Boxcar Bertha" is a weirdly interesting movie and not really the sleazy exploitation film the ads promise. If you would like to make a donation by check, print this donation form, fill it out and mail it with your check to: Central Arkansas Library System When Bertha engineers a jail break from the chain gang of Big Bill, Von, and Rake by enticing the guard, Deputy Sheriff Harvey, the escapees form a loose criminal gang. Interiors and street scenes for Bertha were shot around Camden (Ouachita County). “Remembering Arkansas Movie Mayhem.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 21, 2013, p. 3H. Give a donation in someone’s name to mark a special occasion, honor a friend or colleague or remember a beloved family member. Warning: I'm not trying to prove a concrete assumption. Not a great movie but very interesting if you're a student of film-maker careers - which I am. –Blake Goble. 72201. Advertisement. Corman gave Scorsese a $600,000 budget, a twenty-four-day shooting schedule, and the opportunity to rewrite the script, as long as he kept in the nudity, violence, explosions, and car chases that Corman required for his exploitation formula. Barbara Hershey stars as the train-hopping title character, and David Carradine stars as her lover, “Big Bill” Shelley, a railroad worker and union organizer. His first exposure to the original novel by Nikos Kazantzakis was on the set of Boxcar Bertha when actress Hershey handed him a copy of the book and suggested he make it into a movie. Boxcar Bertha (1972) [Big Bill Shelly]: Crucified when some railroad … Additional support provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council. This impersonal Scorsese project, based on the memoirs of the real Boxcar Bertha Thompson, shuns anything heavy or smacking of politics, and instead concentrates on the farcical nature of the work. The film is set during the Depression, in the early 1930s. Boxcar Bertha, Martin Scorsese’s first studio film for Hollywood, shot on the limited budget of $600,000, is slightly better than its formulaic offering. We’ll go away.” A very Bonnie and Clyde-esque film, it focuses on the story of Boxcar Bertha Thompson and ‘Big’ Bill Shelly, a pair of lovers and robbers, who are forced to be on the run as fugitives after Bertha is suspected to have murdered an affluent gambler. Little Rock, AR. "Big Bill Shelley" (played by David Carradine) in the movie Boxcar Bertha, was crucified on the side of a train freight car near the end of the movie. Martin Scorsese: A Biography. In her indispensable liner notes for this Twilight Time Blu-ray release, film historian Julie Kirgo deems Martin Scorsese’s Boxcar Bertha (1972) the best movie to come out of the “Roger Corman Film School” – high praise considering that other Corman “graduates” include Jonathan Demme, Francis Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, James Cameron, and Monte Hellman. The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1969) [Waco]: Shot to death in a shoot-out with George Kennedy. Major funding provided by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. All Rights Reserved. When Big Bill is busted by the railroad detectives and jailed in the local southern jail, he reunites in his cell with his harmonica playing black friend Von (Casey) who has also been arrested. She runs into a Yankee small-time conman and card hustler named Rake Brown (Primus) in a hobo camp, who is comically inept and is beaten by her in craps. Different as they are, both films prominently feature 1) a crucifixion and 2) Barbara Hershey naked. Simply go to krogercommunityrewards.com, click “Create an Account” to sign in, and select CALS Foundation as your organization to support. The first time you log in to our catalog you will need to create an account. Gatewood, Margaret Jane. Production [edit | edit source]. Though Jesus has tried fasting and whipping himself, the pain and voices persist. The idea existed as a vague, remote notion until the production of Scorsese’s second feature film, BOXCAR BERTHA (1972). Years later, Scorsese would recall this scene as he shot The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). In fact, Scorsese first got the idea to shoot the later controversial film while in Arkansas. Film buffs might want to keep an eye out for two bit players who play British directors Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell, as their characterization is used by Scorsese as an homage. The gang after slipping into crime in various small Dixie towns, can’t stop–which becomes their downfall. The train starts rolling and Bertha runs after him crying at his feet, anticipating an identical scene Barbara Hershey will play in The Last Temptation of Christ. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068309/ (accessed July 7, 2009). David Carradine (1936 - 2009) 1 Deaths in Film 2 Deaths in Television 3 Deaths in Video Game 4 Noteworthy Connections 5 Gallery Heaven with a Gun (1969)[Coke Beck]: Stabbed in the neck with scissors by Ed Bakey for revenge. Crucifixion postures in Martin Scorsese pictures. 23. LoBrutto, Vincent. And the movie ends with a crucifixion. It finds its inspiration in the exploits of Boxcar Bertha Thompson, an outlaw folk hero who operated in Arkansas during the Depression. For more information, contact 501-918-3025 or calsfoundation@cals.org. Director Martin Scorsese first read Nikos Kazantzakis's novel "The Last Temptation of Christ", after being given a copy by Barbara Hershey, while he was directing her in Boxcar Bertha … How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime. When a tribute gift is given the honoree will receive a letter acknowledging your generosity and a bookplate will be placed in a book. You might not agree with this, and that's all right. ... a crucifixion. While directing Barbara Hershey in the 1972 film Boxcar Bertha, she gave him a copy of the Kazantzakis novel.Scorsese optioned the novel in the late 1970s, and he gave it to Paul Schrader to adapt. Download Christ Killers books, Traces the evolution of the image of the Jews as the murderers of the messiah, from its origins to the most recent expressions, drawing on sources that range from the gospel accounts of the crucifixion to film versions of the life of Christ, and assesses the influence of that myth on every aspect of Western culture. Well, that may be a coincidence. It comes off as a fair imitation of the recent box office smash Bonnie and Clyde. In Boxcar Bertha, David Carradine’s character is nailed by the hands on a train car and bleeds to death. Donations made to the CALS Foundation are tax-deductible for United States federal income tax purposes. All filmed in a 24-day shoot window. 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