Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver

4.7 27
Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle

     
 

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"All the animals come out at night" -- and one of them is a cabby about to snap. In Martin Scorsese's classic 1970s drama, insomniac ex-Marine Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) works the nightshift, driving his cab throughout decaying mid-'70s New York City, wishing for a "real rain" to wash the "scum" off the neon-lit streets. Chronically alone, Travis cannot connect… See more details below

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Overview

"All the animals come out at night" -- and one of them is a cabby about to snap. In Martin Scorsese's classic 1970s drama, insomniac ex-Marine Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) works the nightshift, driving his cab throughout decaying mid-'70s New York City, wishing for a "real rain" to wash the "scum" off the neon-lit streets. Chronically alone, Travis cannot connect with anyone, not even with such other cabbies as blowhard Wizard (Peter Boyle). He becomes infatuated with vapid blonde presidential campaign worker Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), who agrees to a date and then spurns Travis when he cluelessly takes her to a porno movie. After an encounter with a malevolent fare (played by Scorsese), the increasingly paranoid Travis begins to condition (and arm) himself for his imagined destiny, a mission that mutates from assassinating Betsy's candidate, Charles Palatine (Leonard Harris), to violently "saving" teen hooker Iris (Jodie Foster) from her pimp, Sport (Harvey Keitel). Travis' bloodbath turns him into a media hero; but has it truly calmed his mind? Written by Paul Schrader, Taxi Driver is an homage to and reworking of cinematic influences, a study of individual psychosis, and an acute diagnosis of the latently violent, media-fixated Vietnam era. Scorsese and Schrader structure Travis' mission to save Iris as a film noir version of John Ford's late Western The Searchers (1956), aligning Travis with a mythology of American heroism while exposing that myth's obsessively violent underpinnings. Yet Travis' military record and assassination attempt, as well as Palatine's political platitudes, also ground Taxi Driver in its historical moment of American in the 1970s. Employing such techniques as Godardian jump cuts and ellipses, expressive camera moves and angles, and garish colors, all punctuated by Bernard Herrmann's eerie final score (finished the day he died), Scorsese presents a Manhattan skewed through Travis' point-of-view, where De Niro's now-famous "You talkin' to me" improv becomes one more sign of Travis' madness. Shot during a New York summer heat wave and garbage strike, Taxi Driver got into trouble with the MPAA for its violence. Scorsese desaturated the color in the final shoot-out and got an R, and Taxi Driver surprised its unenthusiastic studio by becoming a box-office hit. Released in the Bicentennial year, after Vietnam, Watergate, and attention-getting attempts on President Ford's life, Taxi Driver's intense portrait of a man and a society unhinged spoke resonantly to the mid-'70s audience -- too resonantly in the case of attempted Reagan assassin and Foster fan John W. Hinckley. Taxi Driver went on to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, but it lost the Best Picture Oscar to the more comforting Rocky. Anchored by De Niro's disturbing embodiment of "God's lonely man," Taxi Driver remains a striking milestone of both Scorsese's career and 1970s Hollywood.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
"I'm God's lonely man," says Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro in one of his finest and most memorable performances. Travis, the protagonist and focal point of Taxi Driver, is severely out of his element in New York City, though it's hard to imagine where else he would fit in; he goes through life as if the world speaks a dialect unknown to him. He seems incapable of relating to anyone beyond superficial pleasantries or casual violence, and when he does attempt to reach out to others -- to beautiful campaign manager Betsy (Cybil Shepherd), to philosophical cabbie Wizard (Peter Boyle), or to teenage runaway-turned-prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster) -- he runs into a brick wall despite his best intentions, as he can't fully comprehend others and they can't fathom him. Screenwriter Paul Schrader and director Martin Scorsese place this isolated, potentially volatile man in New York City, depicted as a grimly stylized hell on Earth, where noise, filth, directionless rage, and dirty sex (both morally and literally) surround him at all turns. When Travis attempts to transform himself into an avenging angel who will "wash some of the real scum off the street," his murder spree follows a terrible and inevitable logic: he is a bomb built to explode, like the proverbial gun which, when produced in the first act, must go off in the third. While De Niro's masterful performance brings Travis to vivid life, it's Scorsese's dynamic, idiosyncratic visual storytelling (given an invaluable assist by cinematographer Michael Chapman) that provides the perfect narrative context. Capturing New York's underbelly with a palate of reds and yellows that burn with an evil glow, Scorsese fills the story with tiny details and offhand moments that form the fully rounded reality of Travis' fallen world. If De Niro produced one of film's most troubling portraits of a lost soul, Scorsese created a painfully vivid purgatory for him to live in, and, alongside Raging Bull, Taxi Driver marks the finest work of this actor/director team.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/14/2007
UPC:
0043396174047
Original Release:
1976
Rating:
R
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:54:00
Sales rank:
2,945

Special Features

New commentary by writer Paul Schrader; New commentary by professor Robert Kolker; Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver; Producing Taxi Driver; God's Lonely Man: Writer Paul Schrader and professor Robert Kolker discuss the loneliness themes as seen in the film. Schrader also talks about what circumstances led to writing the screenplay; Influence and Appreciation: Robert De Niro, Oliver Stone, Roger Corman and others pay tribute to Scorsese and the film; Taxi Driver stories; Making of documentary; Travis' New York: The changes of New York from 1975 to today; Travis' New York Locations: We visit the famous locations in New York City 2006, and compare them to the same locations in 1975; Storyboard to film comparisons with Martin Scorsese introduction; Animated photo galleries; Original screenplay

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert De Niro Travis Bickle
Cybill Shepherd Betsy
Peter Boyle Wizard
Albert Brooks Tom
Harvey Keitel Sport
Jodie Foster Iris
Murray Moston Iris' Time Keeper
Richard Higgs Secret Service Agent
Leonard Harris Sen. Palantine
Steven Prince Gun Salesman
Martin Scorsese Weird Passenger
Vic Magnotta Secret Service Photographer
Bob Maroff Mafioso
Copper Cunningham Hooker in Cab
Deborah Morgan Girl at Columbus Circle
Diahnne Abbott Concession Girl
Frank Adu Angry Black Man
Victor Argo Melio, Delicatessen Owner
Gino Ardito Policeman at Rally
Harry Cohn Cabby in Bellmore
Brenda Dickson Soap Opera Woman
Norman Matlock Charlie T
Bill Minkin Tom's Assistant
Harry Northrup Doughboy
Carey Poe Campaign Worker
Peter Savage The John
Robert Shields Palantine Aide
Ralph Singleton TV Interviewer
Joe Spinell Personnel Officer
Jason Holt Actor
Jack Hayes Conductor

Technical Credits
Martin Scorsese Director
Keith Addis Songwriter
Richard Alexander Sound/Sound Designer
Dave Blume Musical Direction/Supervision
Jackson Browne Songwriter
Irving Buchman Makeup
Michael Chapman Cinematographer
Dick Smith Makeup Special Effects
Sylvia Fay Casting
Phillip Goldfarb Producer
Bernard Herrmann Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Les Lazarowitz Sound/Sound Designer
Marcia Lucas Editor
Ruth Morley Costumes/Costume Designer
Herb Mulligan Set Decoration/Design
Tony Parmalee Special Effects
Julia Phillips Producer
Michael Phillips Producer
Verne Poore Sound/Sound Designer
Tom Rolf Editor
Charles Rosen Art Director
Paul Schrader Screenwriter
Fred Schuler Camera Operator
Peter R. Scoppa Asst. Director
Melvin Shapiro Editor
Juliet Taylor Casting

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Taxi Driver: Feature Film
1. Start [2:10]
2. Travis Bickle [8:47]
3. Tom & Betsy [4:08]
4. Wizard's Court [4:56]
5. A New Volunteer [8:15]
6. Charles Palantine [2:26]
7. Aborted Fare [2:24]
8. A Date With Betsy [5:47]
9. Confrontation [1:09]
10. Curbside Cuckold [3:53]
11. A Word With Wizard [7:35]
12. Running Into Iris [2:09]
13. Easy Andy [7:21]
14. Henry Krinkle [4:36]
15. You Talkin' to Me? [2:18]
16. Market Robbery [1:42]
17. Late for the Sky [1:37]
18. Dear Father & Mother [2:05]
19. TV Critic [1:16]
20. Looking for Action [3:56]
21. A $10 Room [5:58]
22. Breakfast With Iris [4:56]
23. Dancing With Sport [4:28]
24. The Palantine Rally [3:50]
25. Suck on This [1:40]
26. Shooting Gallery [2:46]
27. Bang, Bang, Bang [3:27]
28. Dear Mr. Bickle [7:48]
1. Jump to This Chapter [2:10]
2. Jump to This Chapter [8:47]
3. Jump to This Chapter [4:08]
4. Jump to This Chapter [4:56]
5. Jump to This Chapter [8:15]
6. Jump to This Chapter [2:26]
7. Jump to This Chapter [2:24]
8. Jump to This Chapter [5:47]
9. Jump to This Chapter [1:09]
10. Jump to This Chapter [3:53]
11. Jump to This Chapter [7:35]
12. Jump to This Chapter [2:09]
13. Jump to This Chapter [7:21]
14. Jump to This Chapter [4:36]
15. Jump to This Chapter [2:18]
16. Jump to This Chapter [1:42]
17. Jump to This Chapter [1:37]
18. Jump to This Chapter [2:05]
19. Jump to This Chapter [1:16]
20. Jump to This Chapter [3:56]
21. Jump to This Chapter [5:58]
22. Jump to This Chapter [4:56]
23. Jump to This Chapter [4:28]
24. Jump to This Chapter [3:50]
25. Jump to This Chapter [1:40]
26. Jump to This Chapter [2:46]
27. Jump to This Chapter [3:27]
28. Jump to This Chapter [7:48]

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