Taxi Driver

February 8th, 1976







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Still of Jodie Foster in Taxi DriverStill of Robert De Niro in Taxi DriverStill of Robert De Niro in Taxi DriverStill of Robert De Niro in Taxi DriverStill of Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster in Taxi DriverStill of Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver

Plot
A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge to violently lash out, attempting to save a teenage prostitute in the process.

Release Year: 1976

Rating: 8.5/10 (222,939 voted)

Critic's Score: 93/100

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd

Storyline
Travis Bickle is an ex-Marine and Vietnam War veteran living in New York City. As he suffers from insomnia, he spends his time working as a taxi driver at night, watching porn movies at seedy cinemas during the day, or thinking about how the world, New York in particular, has deteriorated into a cesspool. He's a loner who has strong opinions about what is right and wrong with mankind. For him, the one bright spot in New York humanity is Betsy, a worker on the presidential nomination campaign of Senator Charles Palatine. He becomes obsessed with her. After an incident with her, he believes he has to do whatever he needs to to make the world a better place in his opinion. One of his priorities is to be the savior for Iris, a twelve-year-old runaway and prostitute who he believes wants out of the profession and under the thumb of her pimp and lover Matthew.

Cast:
Diahnne Abbott - Concession Girl (as Diahnne Abbot)
Frank Adu - Angry Black Man
Victor Argo - Melio (as Vic Argo)
Gino Ardito - Policeman at Rally
Garth Avery - Iris' Friend
Peter Boyle - Wizard
Albert Brooks - Tom
Harry Cohn - Cabbie in Bellmore
Copper Cunningham - Hooker in Cab
Robert De Niro - Travis Bickle (as Robert DeNiro)
Brenda Dickson - Soap Opera Woman
Harry Fischler - Dispatcher
Jodie Foster - Iris
Nat Grant - Stick-Up Man
Leonard Harris - Charles Palantine

Taglines: He's a lonely forgotten man desperate to prove that he's alive.

Release Date: 8 February 1976

Filming Locations: 13 St between 2nd & 3rd Avenues, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $1,300,000 (estimated)

Gross: $28,262,574 (USA) (31 December 1996)



Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Spain: (cut version)



Did You Know?

Trivia:
Jennifer Jason Leigh did an audition for the role of Iris, but came close to Jodie Foster on the final day of auditions.

Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: While Travis is checking the .44 Magnum revolver offered by the gun dealer, the cylinder emits a clicking sound while he spins it. In fact, the cylinder of a double action revolver such as this one does not click when it is rotated.

Quotes:
[first lines]
[a telephone rings loudly]
Personnel Officer: [to the dispatcher] Harry, answer that.
[to Travis]
Personnel Officer: So whaddya want to hack for, Bickle?
Travis Bickle: I can't sleep nights.
Personnel Officer: There's porno theaters for that.
Travis Bickle: Yeah, I know. I tried that.
Personnel Officer: So what do you do now?
Travis Bickle: Well, I ride around nights mostly... subways, buses... I figure, you know, if I'm gonna do that I might as well get paid for it.



User Review

Disturbing, powerful, relevant, important

Rating: 10/10

A towering classic of American cinematic power. Martin Scorsese teams up with one of the most intense actors of that time to create a masterpiece of urban alienation. Paul Schrader's magnificent script paints a portrait of loneliness in the largest city of the world. Travis never once enters into a meaningful relationship with any character anywhere in the film. He is the most hopelessly alone person I've ever encountered on film.

He is alone with his thoughts, and his thoughts are dark ones. The film fools you on a first viewing. Is Travis an endearing eccentric? Sure, he's odd, but he's so polite, and he's got a quirky sense of humor. His affection for Betsy is actually rather endearing. But on a second view, you see it for what it is. The audience comes to see Travis's psychosis gradually, but there's actually far less development than one might think. When he talks about cleaning up the city, the repeat viewer knows he doesn't mean some sort of Giuliani-facelift. This is less a film about a character in development as it is a kind of snapshot. To be sure, it takes the stimulus to provoke the response, but does that imply some kind of central change in the character?

Tremendous supporting roles are brought to life through vivid performances by Keitel and Foster especially. Shepard's character, Betsy, is little more than a foil to highlight Travis's utter alienation from society, but she is still impeccably portrayed. With only two scenes that don't center on Travis, it is unavoidably De Niro's show. The life with which the supporting cast imbues their characters is a credit to themselves, and to the director's willingness to let the film develop from the intersection of diverse ideas and approaches. What would the plot lose by eliminating the Albert Brooks character (Tom)? Nothing at all. He makes almost no impact on Travis's life, which is where the plot lives. But his inclusion makes the film as a whole much richer and fuller.

As a piece of American cinema history, this film will live forever. But far more important than that, this film will survive as a universal, ever-relevant examination of the workings of the alienated mind. The story doesn't end when the credits roll. We know Travis will snap again. But the story doesn't end with Travis either. It continues today in the cities and in the schools. The film is about the brutal power of the disaffected mind.

This film didn't cause the incidents in Colombine, or Hawaii, or Seattle, or wherever you care to look, even with all of its disturbing images of violence. It didn't cause those things. It predicted them.









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