- Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), talking to himself in the mirror.
"No one's safe from the filth; we need to clean the city."
Cannes 1976 -
Los Angeles Times - 02/11/1996
"...De Niro's work retains so much strength and integrity you soon forget who the man is and who he became..."
Premiere - 12/01/2003
"[W]itness a gifted director assume command of the medium."
Entertainment Weekly - 08/17/2007
"TAXI DRIVER may be very much of its time, but if you're listening, it's still talking to you." -- Grade: A
Uncut - 10/01/2007 5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] timeless, noir-inspired study of the pathology of loneliness."
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2007
"[T]his is absolutely bravura-filmmaking....[Made with] intensity and craftsmanship..."
Empire - 09/01/2007 5 stars out of 5 -- "On top of Scorsese's virtuoso filmmaking, Schrader's tight-as-a-drum screenplay and De Niro's compelling commitment and shades, TAXI DRIVER thrives on its refusal to iron out its contradictions."
Ultimate DVD - 10/01/2007 5 stars out of 5 -- "[I]ts continued longevity is rooted in the capturing of a very particular male loneliness and urban alienation, which frighteningly still touches a raw nerve today."
Total Film - 07/01/2011 5 stars out of 5 -- "Scorsese's masterpiece of urban isolation....It's screenwriter Paul Schrader's palpable disgust that resonated (and still does) with disaffected viewers...
Martin Scorsese's intense film, a hallmark of 1970s filmmaking, graphically depicts the tragic consequences of urban alienation when a New York City taxi driver goes on a murderous rampage against the pitiable denizens inhabiting the city's underbelly. For psychotic, pistol-packing Vietnam vet Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), New York City seems like a circle of hell. Driving his cab each night through the bleak Manhattan streets, Bickle observes with fanatical loathing the sleazy lowlifes who comprise most of his fares. By day he haunts the porno theaters of 42nd Street, taking his cues from the violent vision of life portrayed in these movies. As badly as Travis wants to connect with the people around him--including Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), a lovely blonde campaign worker, and Iris (Jodie Foster), a prepubescent prostitute he tries to save--his attempts are thwarted and his pent-up rage grows, turning him into a Mohawk-wearing walking time bomb. Scorcese fills Paul Schrader's screenplay with a tragic realism, brilliantly capturing the muck and grime of New York City. De Niro, playing the fragile hero, steps so deep inside his role that the results are deeply frightening. Bernard Herrmann's haunting score--which turned out to be his last--completes the urban nightmare.
This brutal vision of urban decay and malaise has justifiably become one of Martin Scorsese's most celebrated films. Robert De Niro plays Travis Bickle, a cabdriver and Vietnam vet whose mind slips even further into insanity after being rejected by an attractive campaign worker (Cybill Shepherd). As he plots the assassination of her party's candidate, he finds himself trying to rescue a 13-year-old prostitute (Jodie Foster) from her vicious pimp (Harvey Keitel). Scorsese and De Niro once again team up to bring Paul Schrader's powerful script to life with this classic psychological thriller.
TAXI DRIVER was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1994.
TAXI DRIVER is dedicated to composer Bernard Herrmann, who died on December 24, 1975, the night after finishing the film's score. The final credit reads, "Our gratitude and respect."
The film was inspired by the diaries of Arthur Bremer (who tried to kill George Wallace), Dostoyevsky's NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND, the Harry Chapin song "Taxi," and screenwriter Paul Schrader's own personal experiences.
In order to avoid an X rating, Scorsese was forced to desaturate the color of the brutally violent climax during the printing process.
The film led, indirectly, to John Hinckley Jr.'s assassination attempt on then-president Ronald Reagan. Hinckley claimed he did the act out of a desire to impress Jodie Foster, who played the child prostitute in TAXI DRIVER, a film with which Hinckley was obsessed.
Albert Brooks made his screen acting debut with the film, and Jodie Foster won a British Academy Award for her performance.
For its 20th anniversary, the film was rereleased theatrically in a version restored from the original camera negative with a Dolby stereo soundtrack. It opened in New York City on February 16, 1996.
Look for a cameo by director Martin Scorsese as a passenger in Bickle's taxi.