Taxi Driver

( 27 )

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
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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: 5/4/1999
  • UPC: 043396034792
  • Original Release: 1976
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Presentation: Spanish / Collector's Edition
  • Language: EspaƱol
  • Format: VHS

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
Diahnne Abbott Concession Girl
Frank Adu Angry Black Man
Gino Ardito Policeman at Rally
Victor Argo Melio, Delicatessen Owner
Harry Cohn Cabby in Bellmore
Copper Cunningham Hooker in Cab
Brenda Dickson Soap Opera Woman
Jason Holt
Vic Magnotta Secret Service Photographer
Bob Maroff Mafioso
Norman Matlock Charlie T
Bill Minkin Tom's Assistant
Deborah Morgan Girl at Columbus Circle
Harry Northrup Doughboy
Carey Poe Campaign Worker
Peter Savage The John
Robert Shields Palantine Aide
Ralph Singleton TV Interviewer
Joe Spinell Personnel Officer
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
Michael Phillips Producer
Julia 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    alienation and urban

    Saw "Taxi Driver" once when it first came out. Remembered "gory". Little else.

    Lately, with a renewed interest in photography, noted the two included commentaries, decided on the purchase. Probably because it was the first time I saw De Niro and Scorsese. And because, the commentaries, done years later, interested me. A commentary separated in time and history has often led to more enjoyment of a film.

    After three times, w/out and with each commentary, I admire "Taxi Driver" much more. Yes, I also appreciate the integration of cinematography and music.

    Returning to my subject line 'alienation and urban', to me, "Taxi Driver" is an artful depiction.

    The editorial review mentioned "Godardian jump cuts", I had to look it up. I found the following enlightening -
    http://pov.imv.au.dk/Issue_06/section_1/artc10.html

    I suppose many viewers have felt differently after viewing "Taxi Driver". I remember my unease after first seeing it. Same now. But, the impressions and art remain valid. And after the commentaries, easier to handle because of the insights and articulation.

    I have a niece who loved "Pulp Fiction". I told her it made me uncomfortable, "It seemed too real." I don't think she accepted that. Well, I think "Taxi Driver" is parallel, but simpler and cleaner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Don't forget how young Mrs. Foster was. She was only 11 or 13. She had to actually get analyzed before she could do this movie, because they did not wasn't her becoming paranoid.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    "You Talkin' To Me"

    That would be the catch phrase for the paranoia and the disturbing portrayal of Travis Bickel, the angry Vietnam Vet who is hell bent on his own psychosis. Perhaps the best character acting job ever done, de Niro's performance is so jarring, so absolutely despicable that you it is unforgettable because it really started the film noir movement in this nation and showed the post-Vietnam American society unhinged as Travis feels like everything he sees is bad and corrupt and "he's going to do something about it." Like the Wild Bunch before it, the cinemotegraphy and violence of this movie will outlast that generation and this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Gem

    By no means am I a movie critic or have large expertise in cinematography but not too many pictures have struck me as much as "Taxi Driver". Thanks to great artists like De Niro, Foster, Shepherd, Boyle and Keitel and professionals like Scorcese and Schradder, people in the 21st century can see from a closer point of view life in 1970s America.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    My Second Favorite Movie Of All Time!!

    This is my second favorite movie of all time, my favorite is the Godfather. This is probably the best movie that I have seen Robert De Nero in. The story is great, man verses society. The acting is awesome, and the directing is great. I recommend it to anybody who is a movie lover.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Number 1 Robert De Niro Film

    Just a brilliant movie on how some can go psycho over a chick. I have to say its the best psychological film ever made. The Best Martin Scorsese film next to Gangs of New York and Goodfellas. When I first watched it by the end of the film I could not beleve how this movie was so related to my life. Such as De Niro character and I both went psycho over a women and just didnt care about life anymore. We both just wanted vengence so bad and by one point we both feel hope in our lives. For those of you that love Robert De Niro should love this so I sugest to BUY IT NOW

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Lack Luster DVD Transfer of a Thoroughly Disturbing Film

    Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) has a big problem - and not just one. He's a seemingly ordinary New York cabbie who¿s stalking one woman, Betsy (Cybil Shepard) while playing savior to another, Iris (Jodie Foster). But ol' Trav' is just a few coins short of a full meter, a neurotic oversight that will allow him to turn vigilante, threaten the political reelection campaign of Senator Charles Palantine (Leonard Harris) and blow away Iris¿s pimp/drug dealer (Harvey Keitel). Suffice it to say, 'Taxi Driver' is not your feel good movie of the summer. It is a cinematic snapshot of 70s pop culture gone horribly awry, with its crack and whore infested streets, its unstable social setting for easy scores and cheap sex, and a seething underbelly of corruption and dismal isolation as its acrid palette for moral decay. Travis¿ slow spiral into becoming the loner with a purpose is predicated upon warping the old adage and precedent that one man can make a difference. But when that one man is touched by his own sexual and financial inadequacies, his psychotic inability to bond with another human being and his self delusion - that he is on par with a deity, above the rest of humanity and the law ¿ then the difference he can make is between destroying himself and bringing about the next apocalypse. Martin Scorsese directs adeptly enough, drawing the viewer into this dark world of unsettling realities. The irony of the ending seems somewhat strained and rather a bit like the happy ending tack on associated with conventional Hollywood wisdom, but there is the frightening prospect that with a return to normalcy, Travis¿ alter ego is, like many a volcano, merely dormant, not dead, and destined to erupt in the future. The transfer from Columbia is a rather disappointing remastering effort. There are moments when the color is bold, if dated, and moments when fine detail is generally realized to good effect. But the bulk of this video presentation is riddled with excessive grain ¿ both film and digital, a barrage of compression artifacts, a lot of aliasing, some tiling, and a considerable amount of edge enhancement. Night scenes break apart with pixelization and exhibit a very muddy color scheme. There's plenty of age related dirt and grit to further detract from your viewing experience. The audio has been remastered - but just barely - with low to no bass and a really screechy high end that betrays the original mono elements. Extras include a 70 minute making of documentary with interviews featuring the director and principle cast, a photo montage, still gallery, theatrical trailer and storyboard sequences.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    U Can Relate

    This movie is one of the greatest films of all time because you can relate to Travis in one way or another. He's a lonely, confused, disgusted, and a wannabe do-gooder, which makes him likeable even when he's killing people. That's the other thing. People complained that this film set a bad example, but it does the exact opposite. It shows that no one's perfect, whether you're a taxi driver, a campaign worker, or a 12 year old. This is probably the greatest film he's ever starred in which is saying a lot, considering he's been in so many classics. The main point is this film is very good and Travis is a good guy most of the time; a confused person who just wants to be heard and accepted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Different Movie

    I'm giving it 5 stars because like everybody else said it is totally different from anything i've ever seen in my life. DeNiro should have won the oscar for this. The way he portrays this character is amazing. This is one of Scorese's best along with Raging Bull.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A realistic look into a psycho

    This film is one of the greatest films ever made. Scorsese provides flawless direction and Robert De niro is so realistic, there's no comparable talent to him. This film is so different from anything I've ever watched. Everything from the visual style to the acting is so unique. Scorsese does a terrific job and it's great to see a director that makes films on a artistic level rather then selling out to use films as a product for money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Could you help me?

    Excuse me. I am a senior student in university, and I am going to write an essay on Taxi Driver. I want to discuss whether Travis Bickle is a hero or not. Could anybody give me some suggestion? Or tell me some information about the movie. Thank you very much. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A DEMENTED,GRITTY MOVIE.5 STARS!

    Martin Scorsese is the best director ever.No other director can capture the streets like Scorsese did in this excellent piece of cinematic perfection.Wait to see what happens about 3/4 of the way through the movie.This is one of Scorsese's first pictures,and when are we going to see more Martin?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Pure Genius

    Between Taxi Driver and Last Temptation of Christ, Scorsese has shown himself to be one of the most important artists in American history. He isn't afraid to show the world what most find uncomfortable and therefore unacceptable. His work is what film should be about, not the mind-numbing feel-good movies that Hollywood produces, like a factory that makes cars with no engines.

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    Posted July 9, 2010

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    Posted September 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted July 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted December 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted July 24, 2010

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    Posted March 13, 2009

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews