After making Bloody Mama in Arkansas in 1970, Roger Corman returned to The Natural State to shoot Boxcar Bertha in 1972. According to some sources, Boxcar Bertha is said to be Martin Scorsese’s first Hollywood film. Others state it was one of his first major projects.
Corman chose Arkansas because the rural areas could still pass as the Depression-era South. Street scenes and interiors were shot in the Camden area. The now defunct historic Reader Railroad was used in the train scenes.
The cast features Barbara Hershey, along with David Carradine and his father, actor John Carradine.
During the shooting of this movie, leading lady Barbara Hershey handed Scorsese a copy of The Last Temptation of Christ, a book the director would later turn into one of his most controversial films.