A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.
A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.
Travis Bickle is an ex-Marine and Vietnam War veteran living in New York City. As he suffers from insomnia, he spends his time working as a taxi driver at night, watching porn movies at seedy cinemas during the day, or thinking about how the world, New York in particular, has deteriorated into a cesspool. He's a loner who has strong opinions about what is right and wrong with mankind. For him, the one bright spot in New York humanity is Betsy, a worker on the presidential nomination campaign of Senator Charles Palantine. He becomes obsessed with her. After an incident with her, he believes he has to do whatever he needs to make the world a better place in his opinion. One of his priorities is to be the savior for Iris, a twelve-year-old runaway and prostitute who he believes wants out of the profession and under the thumb of her pimp and lover Matthew.Written by
The story was partially autobiographical for Paul Schrader, who suffered a nervous breakdown while living in Los Angeles. He was fired from the AFI, basically friendless, in the midst of a divorce, and was rejected by a girlfriend. Squatting in his ex-girlfriend's apartment while she was away for a couple of months, Schrader literally didn't talk to anyone for many weeks, went to porno theaters, and developed an obsession with guns. Schrader was working at the time as a delivery man for a chain of chicken restaurants. Spending long days alone in his car, he felt, I might as well be a taxi driver. He also shared with Bickle the sense of isolation from being a mid-Westerner in an urban center. Schrader decided to switch the action to New York City only because taxi drivers are far more common there. Schrader's script clicked with Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro when they read it. See more »
In the scene where Travis is watching the music programme on TV, the 44 Magnum goes from resting on the right side of his head to pointed up at the ceiling. See more »
The original television version of the film featured the following disclaimer before the closing credits: "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." See more »
When shown on AMC as the 30th Anniversary Restored edition, it was cut noticeably (but not as heavily as before), and had an extended scene added at the end. This version had the same running length as the original. See more »
You'll love the mood.. but is the ending worth 2 hours of build up?
A nicely made dark and majestic experience, see the world through the eyes of a weird taxi driver, as his character progresses from a total embarrassment to a mad dog. The movie sends a clear message about society and human ego, and how a man's pride can drift him into insanity.
The mood is nice, a prime example on a classic Noir movie, it builds up and prepares you mentally for the big ending.. an ending that failed to live up to the hype that the movie has built in you.. though it had a short yet exciting action scene the ending is pretty simple and is more about delivering a simple message rather than leaving you amazed or satisfied.
The dark comedy in the movie is pretty clear, it shows you how messed up society really is, the movie was executed flawlessly when it comes to cinematic and production, but it will disappoint you at the very end, the ending was just too "MEH" to bear, especially after an excellent build of events preceding it, such a pity.
I'm sure the movie was a big hit at the time of its release (after the Vietnam war), but I'm not sure it would be enjoyed the same at our current time, so let me put it this way: - If you enjoy a dark Noir mood with nice character development then watch it now. - If you enjoy movies with subliminal messages then add this one to your "watch when I have nothing else to watch" list. - If you're looking for a great story with a nice twist to it, I wouldn't recommend Taxi Driver.
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