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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
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Popularity
339 ( 95)
Top Rated Movies #94 | 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 Policeman
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:

8 February 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Taxi Driver See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$28,262,574
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

Mary Steenburgen auditioned for the role of Betsy, and was Martin Scorsese's preferred choice. See more »

Goofs

Travis says July when reading out loud his message to his parents on the anniversary card. When the card is shown on screen, it appears to read June. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The first Norwegian theatrical release of this movie was cut a few seconds in the final shootout in the brothel but some years later the movie passed uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blue Bloods: Old Wounds (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Masterpiece
13 March 2009 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Taxi Driver (1976)

**** (out of 4)

Scorsese's masterpiece is a raw, powerful and nerve wrecking look at depression and loneliness. The film centers on taxi driver Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), a man clearly with his own demons who finds a purpose in life when he meets a 12-year-old hooker (Jodie Foster) who he plans on saving from her pimp (Harvey Keitel). To me this is one of the richest films ever made and it's one that can easily be overlooked in some circles if you don't really connect to what the film is trying to say. I didn't care too much for the movie the first few times I watched it because I was too young to really understand depression and loneliness. After I understood what those things could do to a person is when I fully became aware of the power in this film and today it remains one of the most powerful films ever made. To me the entire film is pretty much about Travis trying to find someone to fit in with but of course it never really happens until he meets the hooker. He tries fitting in with the Cybill Shepherd character but falls flat on his face. He tries fitting in with his co-workers but that doesn't work out too well. No matter what Travis tries he keeps ending up alone and as he put it, he's God's lonely man. This film works on so many levels but I think the psychological one is where it's best at. Getting us into the mind of Travis works for many reasons but the biggest keys are the direction by Scorsese, the brilliant music score by Bernard Herrmann and DeNiro's groundbreaking performance. Putting those three things together is what makes this a classic but we can also throw in the screenplay by Paul Schrader, which rightfully gives the movie the time and patience to let the Travis character grow right in front of our eyes. DeNiro's performance is certainly one for the ages, although I think he would get even better with Scorsese's RAGING BULL, which would follow in four years. His performance here is nothing short of amazing because you can't help but be terrified by this guy because of the look in DeNiro's eyes. You can't help but feel sorry for him at the same time because there are countless moments where he embarrasses himself because he simply doesn't know how to fit in. The word anti-hero gets used a lot and perhaps that's a good term but I think it's something much deeper than that. DeNiro hits all the right marks without a false note anywhere. Foster is also impressive in her few scenes in the film as is Keitel as the pimp. Shepherd is also good as his Albert Brookes and the underrated Peter Boyle who has one of the best scenes in the movie where he's trying to talk some sense into Travis. The visual look of the film is mighty impressive and Scorsese's directing style is nothing short of amazing. The slimy looking streets and the dark atmosphere are one of a kind and something many films tried to copy but could never get it as perfect as it is here. This here remains one of the greatest American films ever made and I'm really not sure any movie could top it in showing the effects that loneliness can have on a person.


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