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Taxi Driver (1976)

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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.

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writer:

Paul Schrader
Popularity
215 ( 25)
Top Rated Movies #104 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Travis Bickle is an ex-Marine and Vietnam War veteran living in New York City. As he suffers from insomnia, he spends his time working as a taxi driver at night, watching porn movies at seedy cinemas during the day, or thinking about how the world, New York in particular, has deteriorated into a cesspool. He's a loner who has strong opinions about what is right and wrong with mankind. For him, the one bright spot in New York humanity is Betsy, a worker on the presidential nomination campaign of Senator Charles 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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On every street in every city, there's a nobody who dreams of being a somebody. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

9 February 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Taxi Driver See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$116,458, 19 February 1996

Gross USA:

$28,262,574

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$28,441,292
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (re-release)| Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In the panning shot where Travis runs away from Palantine's bodyguards his chaser can be seen intentionally bumping into two bystanders. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

Some TV prints mute all the profanity and severely edit the final shootout in the brothel. Also removed is a point-of-view shot as Travis aims an unloaded gun out an upper story window when he meets the gun dealer in the hotel room. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sushi Girl: A Documentary (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Pilgrim, Chapter 33
(uncredited)
Written by Kris Kristofferson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A story about a lonely man
16 May 2004 | by david_viguesSee all my reviews

Taxi Driver is one of the best films ever made. This is one of those films that you do not get tired of seeing and every time you watch it you realize a little detail that you have not seen before. Excellent actors, a good director, an impressive soundtrack and a real story are the main appeals of this film.

This film is about loneliness, about the isolation of a man in a society full of scum. His objective is to finish with the scum of the streets. The story uses a taxi driver as a metaphor of loneliness and it has some kind of irony because we can see that a city which is full of people can be the most lonely place for a man. The long nights in the city, the night environment full of whores, junkies, pimps and thieves are the main elements of the world in which Travis Bickle lives. Travis is an misunderstood guy who is seeking desperately for some kind of company because as he says 'loneliness has followed me all my life, everywhere' but at the same time he seems not to do anything to avoid his situation and it is seen when he goes with Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) to a porn cinema. At the end of the film the character makes real his most violent fantasies, with a look of certain soldiers from Vietnam, and he behaves like this because of his loneliness, his alienation and because he does not find any sense to his life. The violent behaviour becomes Travis into a hero, although he had killed many people and he could do it again. Although he acts with an extreme violence the spectator understand him and the reasons why he acts that way. The soundtrack of the film, which is composed by Bernard Herrmann, inspires some kind of loneliness and sometimes it is absolutely terrifying like in a horror film. This music and the slow camera showing the streets help to introduce the spectator into the world of Travis, to know what he is thinking about.

In general I cannot say any negative aspect of this film because I have not found anything bad. Although it is a film of the 70s it is not an old-fashioned movie because the essence of the story, the reality that is shown on it, can be perfectly referred to the current society. This film has the privilege of having made famous the sentence ‘You talking' to me? You talking' to me?' which will remain in the history of cinema. This is an authentic masterpiece.


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