Boxcar Bertha (1972)

Martin Scorsese directs Barbara Hershey, David Carradine and Barry Primus in this exploitation adaptation of a Depression-era hobo femme fatale’s “autobiography”.

Very enjoyable. Rarely an edit happens that doesn’t show flashes of Marty’s future verve and mastery. Every interaction and shot seems to have purpose whether it be narrative propulsion, emotional engagement, character subtext or pure titillation. It is scrappy, cheap and sleazy but very few modern films are made with this level of storytelling care. And I like the sleaze. It feels a bit less “art installation” than Bonnie And Clyde. The nudity is a bit more goosebump ridden, the violence is sudden and devastating. Most importantly though, it is fun. Feels like a movie with nothing to lose. Scorsese should do a throwaway bit of nasty like this again before he retires. Sweet, unpredictable Barbara Hershey is probably the finest actress whose best career turns are in utter schlock.


Perfect Double Bill: Bloody Mama (1972)

My wife and I do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.