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Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver

Overview
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American drama film directed by Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

 and written by Paul Schrader
Paul Schrader
Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and former film critic. Apart from his credentials as a director, Schrader is most notably known for his screenplays for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull....

. The film is set in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, soon after the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. The film stars Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

 and features Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, film director, producer as well as a former child actress....

, Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel is an American actor. Some of his most notable starring roles were in Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, Ridley Scott's The Duellists and Thelma and Louise, Ettore Scola's That Night in Varennes, Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Jane Campion's The...

, and Cybill Shepherd
Cybill Shepherd
Cybill Lynne Shepherd is an American actress, singer and former model. Her best known roles include starring as Jacy in The Last Picture Show, as Betsy in Taxi Driver, as Madeleine Spencer in Psych, as Maddie Hayes on Moonlighting, as Cybill Sheridan on Cybill, and as Phyllis Kroll on The L...

. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

, and won the Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

 at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival
1976 Cannes Film Festival
The 29th Cannes Film Festival was held on May 13-28, 1976. A new section, 'L'Air du temps', which is non-competitive and focuses on contemporary subjects, is introduced at this festival and discontinued after the next.- Jury :...

. The American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

 ranked Taxi Driver as the 52nd greatest American film
Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...

 on their AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list.

Travis Bickle
Travis Bickle
Travis Bickle is a fictional character from the 1976 film Taxi Driver, played by Robert De Niro. He is widely considered one of the most iconic characters in film history, and De Niro earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of him....

 (Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

) is a lonely and depressed young man and former Marine
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 living in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

.
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Quotations

Each night when I return the cab to the garage, I have to clean the cum off the back seat. Some nights, I clean off the blood.

Twelve hours of work and I still can't sleep. Damn. Days go on and on. They don't end.

All my life needed was a sense of someplace to go. I don't believe that one should devote his life to morbid self-attention. I believe that someone should become a person like other people.

I first saw her at Palantine Campaign headquarters at 63rd and Broadway. She was wearing a white dress. She appeared like an angel. Out of this filthy mess, she is alone. They... cannot... touch... her.

Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man.

May 26th. Four o'clock p.m. I took Betsy to Charles Coffee Shop on Columbus Circle. I had black coffee and apple pie with a slice of melted yellow cheese. I think that was a good selection. Betsy had coffee and a fruit salad dish. She could have had anything she wanted.

I called Betsy again at her office and she said maybe we'd go to a movie together after she gets off work tomorrow. That's my day off. At first she hesitated but I called her again and then she agreed. Betsy, Betsy. Oh no, Betsy what? I forgot to ask her last name again. Damn. I got to remember stuff like that.

I tried several times to call her, but after the first call, she wouldn't come to the phone any longer. I also sent flowers but with no luck. The smell of the flowers only made me sicker. The headaches got worse. I think I got stomach cancer. I shouldn't complain though. You're only as healthy, you're only as healthy as you feel. You're only as...healthy...as...you...feel.

Encyclopedia
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American drama film directed by Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

 and written by Paul Schrader
Paul Schrader
Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and former film critic. Apart from his credentials as a director, Schrader is most notably known for his screenplays for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull....

. The film is set in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, soon after the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. The film stars Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

 and features Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, film director, producer as well as a former child actress....

, Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel is an American actor. Some of his most notable starring roles were in Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, Ridley Scott's The Duellists and Thelma and Louise, Ettore Scola's That Night in Varennes, Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Jane Campion's The...

, and Cybill Shepherd
Cybill Shepherd
Cybill Lynne Shepherd is an American actress, singer and former model. Her best known roles include starring as Jacy in The Last Picture Show, as Betsy in Taxi Driver, as Madeleine Spencer in Psych, as Maddie Hayes on Moonlighting, as Cybill Sheridan on Cybill, and as Phyllis Kroll on The L...

. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

, and won the Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

 at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival
1976 Cannes Film Festival
The 29th Cannes Film Festival was held on May 13-28, 1976. A new section, 'L'Air du temps', which is non-competitive and focuses on contemporary subjects, is introduced at this festival and discontinued after the next.- Jury :...

. The American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

 ranked Taxi Driver as the 52nd greatest American film
Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...

 on their AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list.

Plot


Travis Bickle
Travis Bickle
Travis Bickle is a fictional character from the 1976 film Taxi Driver, played by Robert De Niro. He is widely considered one of the most iconic characters in film history, and De Niro earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of him....

 (Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

) is a lonely and depressed young man and former Marine
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 living in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

. He becomes a night time taxi
Taxicab
A taxicab, also taxi or cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice...

 driver in order to cope with his chronic insomnia
Insomnia
Insomnia is most often defined by an individual's report of sleeping difficulties. While the term is sometimes used in sleep literature to describe a disorder demonstrated by polysomnographic evidence of disturbed sleep, insomnia is often defined as a positive response to either of two questions:...

, working 12-hour shifts nearly every night, carrying passengers around all five boroughs of New York City. His restless days, meanwhile, are spent in seedy porn theaters. He keeps a diary (excerpts from which are occasionally narrated via voice-over
Voice-over
Voice-over is a production technique where a voice which is not part of the narrative is used in a radio, television production, filmmaking, theatre, or other presentations...

 during the film). Bickle is an honorably discharged Marine
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

, and it is implied that he is a Vietnam veteran
Vietnam veteran
Vietnam veteran is a phrase used to describe someone who served in the armed forces of participating countries during the Vietnam War.The term has been used to describe veterans who were in the armed forces of South Vietnam, the United States armed forces, and countries allied to them, whether or...

; he keeps a charred Viet Cong flag in his squalid apartment and has a large scar on his back.

Bickle develops a romantic attachment to Betsy (Cybill Shepherd
Cybill Shepherd
Cybill Lynne Shepherd is an American actress, singer and former model. Her best known roles include starring as Jacy in The Last Picture Show, as Betsy in Taxi Driver, as Madeleine Spencer in Psych, as Maddie Hayes on Moonlighting, as Cybill Sheridan on Cybill, and as Phyllis Kroll on The L...

), a campaign volunteer for New York Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Charles Palantine (Leonard Harris
Leonard Harris (actor)
Leonard Harris was an American critic, author, and actor. He played Senator Charles Palantine in the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver and the mayor in Hero at Large....

). Palantine is running for President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 on a platform of dramatic social change. After watching her from his taxi through the windows of Palantine's campaign office, Bickle enters the office asking to volunteer as a pretext to talk with Betsy. Bickle convinces her to join him for coffee and pie, and she later agrees to let him take her to a movie. She says he reminds her of a line in Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson
Kristoffer "Kris" Kristofferson is an American musician, actor, and writer. He is known for hits such as "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good Times", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", and "Help Me Make It Through the Night"...

's song "The Pilgrim, Chapter 33"
The Silver Tongued Devil and I
The Silver Tongued Devil and I is the second album by Kris Kristofferson, released in 1971 on Monument Records. In the spoken word intro to "The Pilgrim, Chapter 33", Kristofferson says he wrote the song about various celebrities...

: "He's a prophet and a pusher, partly truth, partly fiction–a walking contradiction." On their date, Bickle takes her to see Language of Love, a Swedish sex education
Sex education
Sex education refers to formal programs of instruction on a wide range of issues relating to human sexuality, including human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence, contraception, and...

 film. Offended, she leaves the movie theater and takes a taxi home alone. The next day he tries to reconcile with Betsy, phoning her and sending her flowers, to no avail.

Bickle's thoughts begin to turn violent. The only person in whom he vaguely confides his new views and desires is fellow taxi driver "Wizard" (Peter Boyle
Peter Boyle
Peter Lawrence Boyle, Jr. was an American actor, best known for his role as Frank Barone on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, and as a comical monster in Mel Brooks' film spoof Young Frankenstein ....

), who tells Travis that he's seen all kinds in his time driving cabs, and he believes Travis will be fine. Disgusted by the petty street crime (especially prostitution
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

) that he witnesses while driving through the city, he now finds a focus for his frustration and begins a program of intense physical training. He buys four guns from an illegal dealer, "Easy Andy" (Steven Prince
American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince
American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince is a 1978 documentary directed by Martin Scorsese. Its subject is Scorsese's friend Steven Prince, best known for his small role as Easy Andy, the gun salesman in Taxi Driver. Prince is a raconteur telling stories about his life as an ex-drug addict and a...

). He then constructs a sleeve gun
Sleeve gun
A sleeve gun is a device wrapped around a user's forearm and used to conceal a small firearm under a long-sleeved coat or jacket. A triggering mechanism causes the firearm to extend out of the gadget quickly enough for the user to grab it and fire....

 to attach on his right arm and practices concealing and drawing his weapons. He develops an interest in Senator Palantine's public appearances. One night, Bickle enters a run-down grocery just moments before a man attempts to rob the store. Bickle shoots the man in the neck. The grocery owner (Victor Argo
Victor Argo
Victor Argo was a Puerto Rican - American actor who usually played the part of a tough bad guy in his movies.-Early years:...

) encourages Bickle to flee after he expresses worry for shooting the man with an unlicensed gun. As Bickle leaves, the store owner repeatedly clubs the near-dead man with a steel pole.

On another night, Iris (Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, film director, producer as well as a former child actress....

), a 12-year-old child prostitute, enters Bickle's cab, attempting to escape her pimp
Pimp
A pimp is an agent for prostitutes who collects part of their earnings. The pimp may receive this money in return for advertising services, physical protection, or for providing a location where she may engage clients...

, "Sport" (Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel is an American actor. Some of his most notable starring roles were in Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, Ridley Scott's The Duellists and Thelma and Louise, Ettore Scola's That Night in Varennes, Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Jane Campion's The...

). When Bickle fails to drive away, Sport drags Iris from the cab and throws Bickle a crumpled twenty-dollar bill. Bickle later meets Iris in the street and pays her for her time, not to have sex, but to try to persuade her to quit prostitution. They meet again the next day for breakfast, and Bickle becomes obsessed with helping Iris leave Sport and return to her parents' home.

Bickle sends Iris several hundred dollars attached to a letter telling her he will soon be dead. After shaving his head into a Mohawk
Mohawk hairstyle
The mohawk is a hairstyle in which, in the most common variety, both sides of the head are shaven, leaving a strip of noticeably longer hair...

 haircut, he attends a public rally where he attempts to assassinate
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 Senator Palantine. Secret Service
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 agents notice him approaching and Bickle flees. He returns to his apartment, then drives to the East Village
East Village, Manhattan
The East Village is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, lying east of Greenwich Village, south of Gramercy and Stuyvesant Town, and north of the Lower East Side...

, where he and Sport get into a confrontation in which the two insult each other. Bickle shoots Sport in the gut, then storms into the brothel
Brothel
Brothels are business establishments where patrons can engage in sexual activities with prostitutes. Brothels are known under a variety of names, including bordello, cathouse, knocking shop, whorehouse, strumpet house, sporting house, house of ill repute, house of prostitution, and bawdy house...

 and kills the bouncer
Bouncer (doorman)
A bouncer is an informal term for a type of security guard employed at venues such as bars, nightclubs or concerts to provide security, check legal age, and refuse entry to a venue based on criteria such as intoxication, aggressive behavior, or attractiveness...

. After the wounded Sport shoots Bickle in the neck, slightly wounding him, Bickle shoots him dead, as well as Iris' mafioso
Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

 customer. Bickle is shot several times. Kneeling on the floor of Iris' room, he attempts several times to fire a bullet into his own head, but all his weapons are out of ammunition, so he resigns himself to resting on a sofa until police arrive. When they do arrive, he places his index finger against his temple like a gun and pretends to shoot himself in the head several times.

While recuperating, Bickle receives a handwritten letter from Iris' parents who thank him for saving their daughter, and the media hail him as a hero. Bickle returns to his job, and encounters Betsy as a fare. She discusses his newly found fame, but he denies being a hero. He drops her off without charging her. As he drives away, he glances anxiously at an object in his taxi's rear view mirror.

Cast

  • Robert De Niro
    Robert De Niro
    Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

     as Travis Bickle
    Travis Bickle
    Travis Bickle is a fictional character from the 1976 film Taxi Driver, played by Robert De Niro. He is widely considered one of the most iconic characters in film history, and De Niro earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of him....

  • Jodie Foster
    Jodie Foster
    Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, film director, producer as well as a former child actress....

     as Iris "Easy" Steensma
  • Harvey Keitel
    Harvey Keitel
    Harvey Keitel is an American actor. Some of his most notable starring roles were in Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, Ridley Scott's The Duellists and Thelma and Louise, Ettore Scola's That Night in Varennes, Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Jane Campion's The...

     as Matthew "Sport" Higgins
  • Cybill Shepherd
    Cybill Shepherd
    Cybill Lynne Shepherd is an American actress, singer and former model. Her best known roles include starring as Jacy in The Last Picture Show, as Betsy in Taxi Driver, as Madeleine Spencer in Psych, as Maddie Hayes on Moonlighting, as Cybill Sheridan on Cybill, and as Phyllis Kroll on The L...

     as Betsy
  • Albert Brooks
    Albert Brooks
    Albert Lawrence Brooks is an American actor, voice actor, writer, comedian and director. He received an Academy Award nomination in 1987 for his role in Broadcast News...

     as Tom
  • Leonard Harris
    Leonard Harris (actor)
    Leonard Harris was an American critic, author, and actor. He played Senator Charles Palantine in the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver and the mayor in Hero at Large....

     as Senator Charles Palantine
  • Peter Boyle
    Peter Boyle
    Peter Lawrence Boyle, Jr. was an American actor, best known for his role as Frank Barone on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, and as a comical monster in Mel Brooks' film spoof Young Frankenstein ....

     as "Wizard"
  • Harry Northup
    Harry Northup
    -Life and career:Northup was born in Amarillo, Texas. He lived in seventeen places by the time he was seventeen, but mostly lived in Sidney, Nebraska, where he graduated from high-school in 1958. From 1958 to 1961, he served in the United States Navy, where he attained the rank of Second Class...

     as Doughboy
  • Martin Scorsese
    Martin Scorsese
    Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

     as a passenger in Travis' taxi
  • Victor Argo
    Victor Argo
    Victor Argo was a Puerto Rican - American actor who usually played the part of a tough bad guy in his movies.-Early years:...

     as a grocery store owner
  • Steven Prince
    American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince
    American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince is a 1978 documentary directed by Martin Scorsese. Its subject is Scorsese's friend Steven Prince, best known for his small role as Easy Andy, the gun salesman in Taxi Driver. Prince is a raconteur telling stories about his life as an ex-drug addict and a...

     as "Easy Andy"
  • Joe Spinell
    Joe Spinell
    Joe Spinell was an American character actor, who appeared in numerous films in the 1970s and 1980s.-Biography:...

     as Travis' personnel officer at the taxi depot

Production


According to Scorsese it was Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma
Brian Russell De Palma is an American film director and writer. In a career spanning over 40 years, he is probably best known for his suspense and crime thriller films, including such box office successes as the horror film Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Scarface, The Untouchables, and Mission:...

 who introduced him to Schrader. In Scorsese on Scorsese, edited by David M. Thompson
David M. Thompson
David Marcus Thompson is a British film and television producer.Thompson moved to London in 1978, and worked for the BBC as a film programmer and documentary maker. He was the founding head of BBC Films...

 and Ian Christie
Ian Christie (film scholar)
Ian Christie is a British film scholar. He has written several books including studies of the works of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Martin Scorsese and the development of cinema. He is a regular contributor to Sight & Sound magazine and a frequent broadcaster...

, the director talks about how much of the film arose from his feeling that movies are like dreams, or like taking dope and that he tried to induce the feeling of being almost awake. He calls Travis an “avenging angel” floating through the streets of New York City, which was meant to represent all cities. Scorsese calls attention to improvisation in the film, such as in the scene between De Niro and Cybill Shepherd in the coffee-shop. The director also cites Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...

’s The Wrong Man
The Wrong Man
The Wrong Man is a 1956 film by Alfred Hitchcock which stars Henry Fonda and Vera Miles. The film is based on a true story of an innocent man charged for a crime he did not commit...

and Jack Hazan’s A Bigger Splash as inspiration for his camerawork in the movie.

In Scorsese on Scorsese the director mentions the religious symbology
Iconography
Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", and comes from the Greek "image" and "to write". A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the...

 in the story comparing Bickle to a saint who wants to clean up both life and his mind. Bickle attempts suicide at the end of the movie as a way to mimic the Samurai
Samurai
is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...

’s “death with honour
Seppuku
is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was either used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies , or as a form of capital punishment...

” principle.

Shot during a New York summer heat wave and garbage strike, Taxi Driver came into conflict with the MPAA for its violence (Scorsese desaturated the color in the final shoot-out and got an R). To achieve the atmospheric scenes in Bickle's cab, the sound men would get in the trunk and Scorsese and his cinematographer, Michael Chapman
Michael Chapman (cinematographer)
Michael Chapman, A.S.C. is an American cinematographer whose prominence owes most to his innovative work of the 1970s and 1980s....

, would fit themselves on the back seat floor and use available light to shoot.

In writing the script, Paul Schrader was inspired by the diaries of Arthur Bremer
Arthur Bremer
Arthur Herman Bremer is an American convicted for an assassination attempt on U.S. Democratic presidential candidate George Wallace on May 15, 1972 in Laurel, Maryland, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life...

 (who shot presidential candidate George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

 in 1972) and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground
Notes from Underground
Notes from Underground is an 1864 short novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Notes is considered by many to be the first existentialist novel...

. However, the writer also used himself as an inspiration. Prior to writing the screenplay Schrader was in a lonely and alienated position, much like Bickle. Following a divorce and a break-up with a live-in girlfriend, he spent a few weeks living in his car. He wrote the script in under a month while staying in his former girlfriend's apartment while she was away.

Schrader decided to make Bickle a Vietnam vet because the national trauma of the war seemed to blend perfectly with Bickle’s paranoid psychosis making his experiences after the war more intense and threatening. Thus, Bickle chooses to drive his taxi anywhere in the city as a way to feed his hate.

While preparing for his role as Bickle, De Niro was filming Bernardo Bertolucci's
Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci is an Italian film director and screenwriter, whose films include The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, 1900, The Last Emperor and The Dreamers...

 1900
1900 (film)
1900 is a 1976 Italian epic film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Donald Sutherland, Alida Valli, and Burt Lancaster. Set in Bertolucci's ancestral region of Emilia, the film chronicles the lives of two men during the political turmoils...

in Italy. According to Boyle, he would "finish shooting on a Friday in Rome...get on a plane...[and] fly to New York." De Niro obtained a cab driver's license, and when on break would pick up a cab and drive around New York for a couple of weeks, before returning to Rome to resume filming 1900. De Niro apparently lost 35 pounds and listened repeatedly to a taped reading of the diaries of Arthur Bremer. When he had time off from shooting 1900, De Niro visited an army base in Northern Italy
Northern Italy
Northern Italy is a wide cultural, historical and geographical definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the northern part of the Italian state, also referred as Settentrione or Alta Italia...

 and tape recorded soldiers from the Midwestern United States
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

, whose accents he thought might be appropriate for Travis's character.

When Bickle determines to assassinate Senator Palantine, he cuts his hair into a Mohawk
Mohawk hairstyle
The mohawk is a hairstyle in which, in the most common variety, both sides of the head are shaven, leaving a strip of noticeably longer hair...

. This detail was suggested by actor Victor Magnotta, a friend of Scorsese's who had a small role as a Secret Service
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 agent and who had served in Vietnam. Scorsese later noted, "Magnotta had talked about certain types of soldiers going into the jungle. They cut their hair in a certain way; looked like a Mohawk... and you knew that was a special situation, a commando kind of situation, and people gave them wide berths ... we thought it was a good idea."

Jodie Foster was not the first choice to play Iris. Scorsese considered Melanie Griffith
Melanie Griffith
Melanie Richards Griffith is an American actress. She is an Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner for her performance in the 1988 film Working Girl...

, Linda Blair
Linda Blair
Linda Denise Blair is an American actress. Blair is best known for her role as the possessed child, Regan, in the 1973 film The Exorcist, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes, winning one. She reprised her role in 1977's Exorcist II: The Heretic.-Biography:Blair...

, Bo Derek
Bo Derek
Mary Cathleen Collins , better known as Bo Derek, is an American film and television actress, model, and sex symbol, known for her role as Jenny Hanley in the 1979 comedy film 10. However, Derek's film career soon faltered; her later films, including, Bolero and Ghosts Can't Do It , were poorly...

, and Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher
Carrie Frances Fisher is an American actress, novelist, screenwriter, and lecturer. She is most famous for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, her bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge, for which she wrote the screenplay to the film of the same name, and her...

 for the role. A newcomer, Mariel Hemingway
Mariel Hemingway
- Early life :Hemingway was born in Mill Valley, California, the third daughter of Byra Louise Hemingway and Jack Hemingway, a writer. Her sisters are Joan Hemingway and Margaux Hemingway...

, auditioned for the role, but turned it down due to pressure from her family. After the other actresses turned down the role, Foster - an experienced child actor - was chosen.

In the original draft Schrader had written the role of Sport as a black man. There were also additions of other negative black roles. Scorsese believed that this would give the film an overly racist
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 subtext so they were changed to white roles, although the film implies that Travis himself is a racist. Cab drivers in the film refer to Harlem as Mau Mau land, and Travis exchanges hostile eye contact with several black characters. Schrader's set the film in Los Angeles; it was moved to New York City because taxis were much more prevalent there than in L.A. during the 1970s.

Music



The music by Bernard Herrmann
Bernard Herrmann
Bernard Herrmann was an American composer noted for his work in motion pictures.An Academy Award-winner , Herrmann is particularly known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo...

 was his final score before his death on December 24, 1975, and the film is dedicated to his memory. Robert Barnett of MusicWeb International has said that it contrasts deep, sleazy noises representing the "scum" that Travis sees all over the city with the saxophone, a musical counterpart of Travis, creating a mellifluously disenchanted troubadour. Barnett also observes that the opposing noises in the soundtrack — gritty little harp figures — are as hard as shards of steel as well as a jazz drum-kit placing the drama in the city – indicative of loneliness while surrounded by people. Deep brass and woodwind are also evident. Barnett heard in the drumbeat a wild-eyed martial air charting the pressure on Bickle, who is increasingly oppressed by the corruption around him, and that the harp, drum and saxophone play extremely significant roles in all this music.

The soundtrack for the film, re-released in 1998 on CD, includes an expanded version of the score as well as the re-recorded tracks from the original 1976 LP. It also features album notes by director Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

, as well as full documentation for the tracks linking them in great detail to individual takes.

Track 12, "Diary of a Taxi Driver", features Herrmann's music with Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

's voiceover taken direct from the soundtrack.

Also featured in the film is Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne is an American singer-songwriter and musician who has sold over 17 million albums in the United States alone....

's "Late for the Sky
Late for the Sky
Late for the Sky is the third album by American singer/songwriter Jackson Browne, released in 1974 . It was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1975. It peaked at #14 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart...

", appearing in a scene where couples are dancing on the program American Bandstand
American Bandstand
American Bandstand is an American music-performance show that aired in various versions from 1952 to 1989 and was hosted from 1956 until its final season by Dick Clark, who also served as producer...

to the song as Travis watches on his small TV.

Track listing


Some of the tracks feature relatively long titles, representative of the fact that similar reprises are heard in many scenes.
  1. Main Title
  2. Thank God for the Rain
  3. Cleaning the Cab
  4. I Still Can't Sleep/They Cannot Touch Her (Betsy's Theme)
  5. Phone Call/I Realise how much She is Like the Others/A Strange Customer/Watching Palantine on TV/You're Gonna Die in Hell/Betsy's Theme/Hitting the Girl
  6. The .44 Magnum
    .44 Magnum
    The .44 Remington Magnum, or simply .44 Magnum, is a large-bore cartridge originally designed for revolvers. After introduction, it was quickly adopted for carbines and rifles...

     is a Monster
  7. Getting into Shape/Listen you Screwheads/Gun Play/Dear Father & Mother/The Card/Soap Opera
  8. Sport and Iris
  9. The $20 Bill/Target Practice
  10. Assassination Attempt/After the Carnage
  11. A Reluctant Hero/Betsy/End Credits
  12. Diary of a Taxi Driver
  13. God's Lonely Man
  14. Theme from Taxi Driver
  15. I Work the Whole City
  16. Betsy in a White Dress
  17. The Days do not End
  18. Theme from Taxi Driver (reprise)

Controversies


The climactic shoot-out was considered intensely graphic at the time it was initially released. To attain an "R" rating
MPAA film rating system
The Motion Picture Association of America's film-rating system is used in the U.S. and its territories to rate a film's thematic and content suitability for certain audiences. The MPAA system applies only to motion pictures that are submitted for rating. Other media may be rated by other entities...

, Scorsese had the colors desaturated, making the brightly colored blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 less prominent. In later interviews, Scorsese commented that he was actually pleased by the color change and he considered it an improvement over the originally filmed scene, which has been lost. However, in the special edition DVD, Michael Chapman
Michael Chapman (cinematographer)
Michael Chapman, A.S.C. is an American cinematographer whose prominence owes most to his innovative work of the 1970s and 1980s....

, the film's cinematographer
Cinematographer
A cinematographer is one photographing with a motion picture camera . The title is generally equivalent to director of photography , used to designate a chief over the camera and lighting crews working on a film, responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image...

, regrets the decision and the fact that no print with the unmuted colors exists any more, as the originals had long since deteriorated.

Some critics expressed concern over 13-year-old Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, film director, producer as well as a former child actress....

's presence during the climactic shoot-out. However, Foster stated that she was present during the setup and staging of the special effect
Special effect
The illusions used in the film, television, theatre, or entertainment industries to simulate the imagined events in a story are traditionally called special effects ....

s used during the scene; the entire process was explained and demonstrated for her, step by step. Rather than being upset or traumatized, Foster said, she was fascinated and entertained by the behind-the-scenes preparation that went into the scene. In addition, before being given the part, Foster was subjected to psychological testing
Psychological testing
Psychological testing is a field characterized by the use of samples of behavior in order to assess psychological construct, such as cognitive and emotional functioning, about a given individual. The technical term for the science behind psychological testing is psychometrics...

 to ensure that she would not be emotionally scarred by her role, in accordance with California Labor Board requirements.

Copies of the movie for showing by TV stations had a curious disclaimer added during the closing credits. The reasoning behind adding it is not entirely clear.

The disclaimer read:
"TO OUR TELEVISION AUDIENCE: In the aftermath of violence, the distinction between hero and villain is sometimes a matter of interpretation or misinterpretation of facts. TAXI DRIVER suggests that tragic errors can be made. The Filmmakers".

John Hinckley, Jr.


Taxi Driver formed part of the delusional fantasy of John Hinckley, Jr.
John Hinckley, Jr.
John Warnock Hinckley, Jr., attempted to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1981, as the culmination of an effort to impress teen actress Jodie Foster. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and has remained under institutional psychiatric care since...

 which triggered his attempted assassination
Reagan assassination attempt
The Reagan assassination attempt occurred on Monday, March 30, 1981, just 69 days into the presidency of Ronald Reagan. While leaving a speaking engagement at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., President Reagan and three others were shot and wounded by John Hinckley, Jr...

 of President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 in 1981, an act for which he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Hinckley stated that his actions were an attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, film director, producer as well as a former child actress....

, on whom Hinckley was fixated, by mimicking Travis's mohawk
Mohawk hairstyle
The mohawk is a hairstyle in which, in the most common variety, both sides of the head are shaven, leaving a strip of noticeably longer hair...

ed appearance at the Palantine rally. His attorney concluded his defense by playing the movie for the jury.

Interpretations of the ending


Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 has written of the film's ending:

"There has been much discussion about the ending, in which we see newspaper clippings about Travis's 'heroism' of saving Iris, and then Betsy gets into his cab and seems to give him admiration instead of her earlier disgust. Is this a fantasy scene? Did Travis survive the shoot-out? Are we experiencing his dying thoughts? Can the sequence be accepted as literally true? ... I am not sure there can be an answer to these questions. The end sequence plays like music, not drama: It completes the story on an emotional, not a literal, level. We end not on carnage but on redemption, which is the goal of so many of Scorsese's characters."

James Berardinelli
James Berardinelli
James Berardinelli is an American online film critic.-Personal life:Berardinelli was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and spent his early childhood in Morristown, New Jersey. At the age of nine years, he relocated to the township of Cherry Hill, New Jersey...

, in his review of the film, argues against the dream or fantasy interpretation, stating:
"Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader append the perfect conclusion to Taxi Driver. Steeped in irony, the five-minute epilogue underscores the vagaries of fate. The media builds Bickle into a hero, when, had he been a little quicker drawing his gun against Senator Palantine, he would have been reviled as an assassin. As the film closes, the misanthrope
Misanthropy
Misanthropy is generalized dislike, distrust, disgust, contempt or hatred of the human species or human nature. A misanthrope, or misanthropist is someone who holds such views or feelings...

 has been embraced as the model citizen—someone who takes on pimps, drug dealers, and mobsters to save one little girl."


On the Laserdisc
Laserdisc
LaserDisc was a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium. Initially licensed, sold, and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in North America in 1978, the technology was previously referred to interally as Optical Videodisc System, Reflective Optical Videodisc, Laser Optical...

 audio commentary
Audio commentary
On disc-based video formats, an audio commentary is an additional audio track consisting of a lecture or comments by one or more speakers, that plays in real time with video...

, Scorsese acknowledged several critics
Film criticism
Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films, individually and collectively. In general, this can be divided into journalistic criticism that appears regularly in newspapers, and other popular, mass-media outlets and academic criticism by film scholars that is informed by film theory and...

' interpretation on the film's ending being Bickle's dying dream. However, he admitted that the last scene of Bickle glancing at an unseen object implies that he might fall into rage and recklessness in the future, and he is like "a ticking time bomb." Writer Paul Schrader confirms this in his commentary on the 30th anniversary DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

, stating that Travis "is not cured by the movie's end," and that, "he's not going to be a hero next time."

Reception


Taxi Driver was a financial success earning $28,262,574 in the United States. Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 instantly praised it as one of the greatest films he’d ever seen, claiming:
"Taxi Driver" is a hell, from the opening shot of a cab emerging from stygian clouds of steam to the climactic killing scene in which the camera finally looks straight down. Scorsese wanted to look away from Travis's rejection; we almost want to look away from his life. But he's there, all right, and he's suffering.
It was also nominated for four Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

, including Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

, Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 (De Niro), and received the Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

, at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival
1976 Cannes Film Festival
The 29th Cannes Film Festival was held on May 13-28, 1976. A new section, 'L'Air du temps', which is non-competitive and focuses on contemporary subjects, is introduced at this festival and discontinued after the next.- Jury :...

. It has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry
National Film Registry
The National Film Registry is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. The Board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008...

. The film was chosen by Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

as one of the 100 best films of all time.

As of 2010, Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

 reported that 98% of critics gave positive reviews.

The July/August 2009 issue of Film Comment
Film Comment
Film Comment is an arts and culture magazine published by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, of which it is the official publication. Film Comment features critical reviews and in-depth analysis of mainstream, art-house, and avant-garde filmmaking from around the world...

polled several critics on the best films to win the Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

 at the Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

. Taxi Driver placed first above films such as Il Gattopardo
Il gattopardo
Il gattopardo may refer to:*The Leopard, a novel*The Leopard , a film based on the novel...

, Viridiana
Viridiana
Viridiana is a 1961 Spanish-Mexican motion picture, directed by Luis Buñuel and produced by Mexican Gustavo Alatriste. It is loosely based on Halma, a novel by Benito Pérez Galdós....

, Blowup
Blowup
Blowup is a 1966 film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, his first English-language film.It tells of a British photographer's accidental involvement with a murder, inspired by Julio Cortázar's short story, "Las babas del diablo" or "The Devil's Drool" , translated also as Blow-Up, and by the life...

, The Conversation
The Conversation
The Conversation is a 1974 American psychological thriller film written, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Gene Hackman...

, Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American war film set during the Vietnam War, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The central character is US Army special operations officer Captain Benjamin L. Willard , of MACV-SOG, an assassin sent to kill the renegade and presumed insane Special Forces...

, La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita is a 1960 comedy-drama film written and directed by the critically acclaimed director Federico Fellini. The film is a story of a passive journalist's week in Rome, and his search for both happiness and love that will never come...

and Pulp Fiction
Pulp fiction
Pulp fiction may refer to:* pulp magazines, short stories presented in a magazine format, printed on cheaply made wood-pulp paper* Pulp Fiction, a 1994 film directed by Quentin Tarantino...

.

In the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

's top 50 movie villains of all time
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains is a list of the 100 greatest screen characters chosen by American Film Institute in June 2003. It is part of the AFI 100 Years… series. The series was first presented in a CBS special hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger...

, Bickle was named the 30th greatest film villain
Villain
A villain is an "evil" character in a story, whether a historical narrative or, especially, a work of fiction. The villain usually is the antagonist, the character who tends to have a negative effect on other characters...

. Empire
Empire (magazine)
Empire is a British film magazine published monthly by Bauer Consumer Media. From the first issue in July 1989, the magazine was edited by Barry McIlheney and published by Emap. Bauer purchased Emap Consumer Media in early 2008...

also ranked him 18th in their "The 100 Greatest Movie Characters" poll.

Legacy


Taxi Driver, American Gigolo
American Gigolo
American Gigolo is a 1980 crime drama film, written and directed by Paul Schrader. It is informally considered the second installment in his "lonely man" trilogy, following the Martin Scorsese directed Taxi Driver and preceding Light Sleeper .-Plot:Julian Kaye is a male prostitute in Los Angeles...

, Light Sleeper
Light Sleeper
Light Sleeper is an US-american drama film written and directed by Paul Schrader in 1992. It stars Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, and Dana Delany....

, and The Walker
The Walker
The Walker is a 2007 drama film that was written and directed by Paul Schrader. It is a British-American independent production and is the latest installment in Schrader's "night workers" series of films, starting with Taxi Driver in 1976, and then followed by American Gigolo in 1980 and Light...

make up a series referred to variously as the "Man in a Room" or "Night Worker" movies. Screenwriter Paul Schrader
Paul Schrader
Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and former film critic. Apart from his credentials as a director, Schrader is most notably known for his screenplays for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull....

 (who directed the other three films) has stated that he considers the central characters of the four films to be one character, who has changed as he has aged.

Taxi Driver influenced the Charles Winkler film You Talkin' to Me?

Taxi Driver is referenced in the song "Red Angel Dragnet" on The Clash's 1982 record Combat Rock
Combat Rock
The album received positive reviews from critics, and reached the number two on the UK Albums Chart, the number seven on the Billboard Pop albums, and the top ten on many charts in other countries...

.

Home video releases


The first collector's edition (DVD), released was in 1999 packaged as a single disc edition release. It contained special features such as behind-the-scenes and several trailers including one, for Taxi Driver.

In 2006, a 30th anniversary 2-disc collector's edition was released. The first disc contains the movie itself, two commentaries (one by writer Paul Schrader and the other by Professor Robert Kolker), and trailers. This edition also retains some of the special features from the earlier release on the second disc, as well as some newly-produced documentary material.

A Blu-ray
Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs being the norm for feature-length video discs...

 of the film was released on April 5, 2011, in time to commemorate the film's 35th anniversary. It includes the special features from the previous 2-disc collector's edition, plus an audio commentary released in 1991 by director Martin Scorsese for The Criterion Collection, previously released on Laserdisc
Laserdisc
LaserDisc was a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium. Initially licensed, sold, and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in North America in 1978, the technology was previously referred to interally as Optical Videodisc System, Reflective Optical Videodisc, Laser Optical...

.

As part of the Blu-ray production, Sony gave the film a full 4K
4K resolution
4K is an emerging standard for resolution in digital film and computer graphics. The name comes from its approximately 4,000 pixels of horizontal resolution. The fact that it describes the horizontal resolution is contrary to the standard resolutions 720p and 1080p, which represent the number of...

 digital restoration, which included scanning and cleaning the original negative (removing emulsion dirt and scratches). Colors were matched to director-approved prints under guidance from Scorsese and director of photography Michael Chapman. An all new lossless DTS-HD Master Audio
DTS-HD Master Audio
DTS-HD Master Audio is a lossless audio codec created by Digital Theater System. It was previously known as DTS++. It is an extension of DTS which, when played back on devices which do not support the Master Audio or High Resolution extension, degrades to a "core" track which is lossy. DTS-HD...

 5.1
5.1 surround sound
5.1 is the common name for six channel surround sound multichannel audio systems. 5.1 is now the most commonly used layout in both commercial cinemas and home theaters. It uses five full bandwidth channels and one low frequency enhancement channel . Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS, and...

 soundtrack was also made from the original stereo
Stereophonic sound
The term Stereophonic, commonly called stereo, sound refers to any method of sound reproduction in which an attempt is made to create an illusion of directionality and audible perspective...

 recordings by Scorsese's personal sound team. The restored print premiered in February 2011 at the Berlin Film Festival, and to promote the Blu-ray, Sony also had the print screened at AMC Theaters nationwide on March 19 and 22.

Sequel


In late January 2005 a sequel was announced by Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese. At a 25th anniversary screening of Raging Bull, De Niro talked about the story of an older Travis Bickle being in development. Also in 2000, De Niro mentioned interest in bringing back the character in conversation with Actors Studio
Actors Studio
The Actors Studio is a membership organization for professional actors, theatre directors and playwrights at 432 West 44th Street in the Clinton neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. It was founded October 5, 1947, by Elia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford, Robert Lewis and Anna Sokolow who provided...

 host James Lipton
James Lipton
James Lipton is an American writer, poet, composer, actor and dean emeritus of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University in New York City. He is the executive producer, writer and host of the Bravo cable television series Inside the Actors Studio, which debuted in 1994...

.

At the Berlinale 2010, De Niro, Scorsese, and Lars von Trier
Lars von Trier
Lars von Trier is a Danish film director and screenwriter. He is closely associated with the Dogme 95 collective, although his own films have taken a variety of different approaches, and have frequently received strongly divided critical opinion....

 announced plans to work on a remake of Taxi Driver. The film will be produced in a similar manner to von Trier's The Five Obstructions
The Five Obstructions
The Five Obstructions is a 2003 Danish film by Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth. The film is a documentary, but incorporates lengthy sections of experimental films produced by the filmmakers. The premise is that Lars von Trier has created a challenge for his friend and mentor, Jørgen Leth, another...

.

American Film Institute recognition


American Film Institute recognition
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
    The first of the AFI 100 Years… series of cinematic milestones, AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies is a list of the 100 best American movies, as determined by the American Film Institute from a poll of more than 1,500 artists and leaders in the film industry who chose from a list of 400 nominated movies...

     - #47
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills
    Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years…100 Thrills is a list of the top 100 heart-pounding movies in American cinema. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute on June 12, 2001, during a CBS special hosted by Harrison Ford....

     - #22
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains is a list of the 100 greatest screen characters chosen by American Film Institute in June 2003. It is part of the AFI 100 Years… series. The series was first presented in a CBS special hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger...

    :
    • Travis Bickle, Villain #30
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) - #52
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes
    Part of the AFI 100 Years... series, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes is a list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema. The American Film Institute revealed the list on June 21, 2005, in a three-hour television program on CBS...

     - #10
    • for the line "You talkin' to me?
      You talkin' to me?
      "You talkin' to me?" is a catchphrase delivered by Travis Bickle, a character played by Robert De Niro in the 1976 movie Taxi Driver. The quotation and the scene it was featured in have become a pop culture icon. In 2005, it was chosen as #10 on the American Film Institute list, AFI's 100 Years.....

      "

Awards


Wins
  • BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jodie Foster
    Jodie Foster
    Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, film director, producer as well as a former child actress....

    )
  • BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer (Jodie Foster)
  • BAFTA Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music (Bernard Herrmann
    Bernard Herrmann
    Bernard Herrmann was an American composer noted for his work in motion pictures.An Academy Award-winner , Herrmann is particularly known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo...

    )
  • Cannes Film Festival
    Cannes Film Festival
    The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

     – Palme d'Or
    Palme d'Or
    The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

  • New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
    New York Film Critics Circle Awards
    New York Film Critics' Circle Awards are given annually to honor excellence in cinema worldwide by an organization of film reviewers from New York City-based publications. It is considered one of the most important precursors to the Academy Awards....

     (Robert De Niro
    Robert De Niro
    Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

    )


Nominations
  • Academy Award for Best Picture
    Academy Award for Best Picture
    The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

  • Academy Award for Best Actor
    Academy Award for Best Actor
    Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

     (Robert De Niro
    Robert De Niro
    Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

    )
  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
    Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
    Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

     (Jodie Foster
    Jodie Foster
    Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, film director, producer as well as a former child actress....

    )
  • Academy Award for Original Music Score
    Academy Award for Original Music Score
    The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...

     (Bernard Herrmann
    Bernard Herrmann
    Bernard Herrmann was an American composer noted for his work in motion pictures.An Academy Award-winner , Herrmann is particularly known for his collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock, most famously Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo...

    )
  • BAFTA Award for Best Film
    BAFTA Award for Best Film
    This page lists the winners and nominees for the BAFTA Award for Best Film, BAFTA Award for Best Film not in the English Language and Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film for each year, in addition to the retired earlier versions of those awards...

  • BAFTA Award for Direction (Martin Scorsese
    Martin Scorsese
    Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

    )
  • BAFTA Award for Best Editing (Marcia Lucas
    Marcia Lucas
    Marcia Lucas is an American film editor.In 1974, Lucas and Verna Fields were nominated for the Academy Award for Film Editing for their work on American Graffiti...

    , Tom Rolf, Melvin Shapiro)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
    Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
    The Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture - Drama was first awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as a separate category in 1951...

     (Robert De Niro)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture (Paul Schrader
    Paul Schrader
    Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and former film critic. Apart from his credentials as a director, Schrader is most notably known for his screenplays for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull....

    )
  • DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures
    Directors Guild of America Awards
    The Directors Guild of America Awards are issued annually by the Directors Guild of America. The first DGA Award was an "Honorary Life Member" award issued in 1938 to D.W. Griffith....

     (Martin Scorsese)
  • WGA Award for Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen
    Writers Guild of America, East
    Writers Guild of America, East is a labor union representing writers of television and film and employees of television and radio news. The 2006 membership of the guild was 3,770....

     (Paul Schrader)
  • Grammy Award for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture
    Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
    The Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media has been awarded since 1960. Until 2001 the award was presented to the composer of the music alone. From 2001 to 2006, the producer and engineers shared in this award...

     (Bernard Herrmann)

See also

  • Assassinations in fiction
  • "You talkin' to me?
    You talkin' to me?
    "You talkin' to me?" is a catchphrase delivered by Travis Bickle, a character played by Robert De Niro in the 1976 movie Taxi Driver. The quotation and the scene it was featured in have become a pop culture icon. In 2005, it was chosen as #10 on the American Film Institute list, AFI's 100 Years.....

    "