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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
517 ( 56)
Top Rated Movies #96 | 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:

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

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 shot from Travis' point of view, when he passes the Palantine office and sees that Betsy is not at her desk, the cameraman and dolly grip are clearly reflected in the window. 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

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 Aladdin (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Late For The Sky
By Jackson Browne
Courtesy of Asylum Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Best movie of the Seventies, and one of the greatest of all time.
4 June 2002 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

So much has been written and talked about 'Taxi Driver' that it seems almost redundant to add anything more. But watching it again the other night for the nth time I was, as I have been every single time I've seen it, struck by just how perfect this movie is. It is as powerful and disturbing now as it was twenty-five years ago. It has not only NOT aged, it gets better and more relevant every year. This is without doubt a modern classic, and one of the handful of truly great, timeless movies.

Scorsese and Schrader went on to make other great movies after this, both separately ('The King Of Comedy', 'Light Sleeper') and together ('Raging Bull', 'The Last Temptation Of Christ'), but this is easily the best movie of their careers. And Robert De Niro's too. He has yet to top his stunning performance here as the deeply disturbed and alienated Vietnam veteran Travis Bickle, cabbie and would be assassin. This character has not surprisingly entered movie legend.

Scorsese surrounds De Niro with a first rate supporting cast, including small but effective roles from Harvey Keitel ('Reservoir Dogs'), Peter Boyle ('Hardcore'), the underrated Victor Argo ('The King Of New York') and Joe Spinell ('Maniac'). Albert Brooks and Jodie Foster are also very good, and even Cybil Shepherd, the butt of many jokes, is fine as Bickle's obsession.

When you combine these actors, Schrader's outstanding script, and Scorsese's brilliant direction, with the stunning cinematography (Michael Chapman) and haunting score (Hitchcock fave Bernard Herrmann's final effort), you have yourself a truly unforgettable cinematic experience. If you haven't seen 'Taxi Driver' I urge you to do so immediately. It is a masterpiece, pure and simple.


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