There are a handful of films that literally changed the nature of modern cinema. The Film Frontier series examines the inspiration, creation, and influence of movies that often shocked audiences and critics in their time but in retrospect have become regarded as genuine classics. Martin Scorsese created one such film in Taxi Driver, its main protagonist Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) being seen as a cipher for much that troubled America in the traumatic post-Vietnam years of the early 1970s. Tracing Scorsese's many influences that led to Taxi Driver, from John Ford's westerns to fil noir thrillers, and the film's impact on the work of countless other directors, The making of Taxi Driver explores how this modern classic came together. And, 30 years on, describes how the film has achieved genuine cult status with subsequent generations of movie audiences.
In Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), the Vietnam vet turned New York taxi driver, Scorsese created a character who summed up perfectly the seething discontents of an American still traumatised by Vietnam and Watergate. In the context of director Martin Scorsese's many influences that led to "Taxi Driver", from Dostoevsky novels to John Ford westerns and film noir thrillers, and the film's subsequent impact on the work of countless later directors, "The Making Of Taxi Driver" explores how this modern classic came together. And, looking at some of the myths surrounding the movie, asks why, 30 years on it still has such resonance with contemporary audiences.