April 5, 2011
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- Runtime: 114 minutes
- NTSC (Canada and USA)
- Originally in English
This urban nightmare has justifiably become one of Martin Scorsese's most celebrated films. For psychotic, pistol-packing Vietnam vet Travis Bickle, New York City seems like a circle of hell. Driving his cab each night through Times Square, 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 Bickle's attempts to connect with the people around him -- the lovely blonde campaign worker he wants to date, a prepubescent prostitute he tries to save -- are thwarted, his pent-up rage grows, and this social outcast turns into a walking time-bomb.
An intense film graphically depicting the tragic consequences of urban alienation, and a hallmark of 1970's filmmaking, in which a New York City taxi driver goes on a murderous rampage against the pitiable denizens inhabiting the city's underbelly. The excellent film score by Bernard Hermann was his last. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Picture, Best Actor--Robert De Niro.
Filmed on location in New York City. Color by Metrocolor.
Released theatrically in the USA February 1976.
For its 20th anniversary, the film was re-released theatrically in a version restored from the original camera negative with its soundtrack in Dolby stereo for the first time. It opened in New York City February 16, 1996.
Jodie Foster won a British Academy Award.
Dedicated to composer Bernard Herrmann who died December 24, 1975, the night after finishing the score for "Taxi Driver." 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 experiences.
In order to avoid an X rating, Scorsese was forced, during the printing process, to desaturate the color of the brutally violent climax.
The film led, indirectly, to John Hinckley, Jr.'s assassination attempt on then-US 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 movie with which Hinckley was obsessed.
Albert Brooks made his screen acting debut with "Taxi Driver."
The Voyager CAV laserdisc includes: audio commentary by Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader, complete storyboards for the film, production and publicity photos, an early draft of the screenplay, and an essay about the creation of Bernard Herrmann's score.