Taxi Driver

On every street in every city, there's a nobody who dreams of being a somebody.

Crime Drama
114 min     8.2     1976     USA

Overview

A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feed his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.

Reviews

Ian Beale wrote:
**Social outcast with a mohawk goes nutzoid** Porn obsessed loner, Travis Bickle, is a cabbie in New York. The story tells of his gradual descent into madness brought on by his inability to relate to those around him and a feeling of a lack of worth. Travis is essentially invisible - of no importance. Walton's self imposed isolation preferable to getting along with the scum around him. One day he decides to change all of that and become _a somebody_ by murdering a politician. This _nobody_ with the superiority complex has gone off the rails, for certain and it can only lead to bloodshed. A lot of it will be his own.
David wrote:
Taxi Driver has had many things said about it, and I don't wish to add to all that but it is the yardstick I measure all other films by, it is by far my favourite of all the films I have ever watched. It's brutal honesty and use of themes such as paranoia, mental health issues, and society degradation make it a film that has been imitated, and referenced since its opening in cinemas back in 1976. Robert De Niro puts in a tour-de-force performance as Travis Bickle, a Vietnam War veteran with symptoms of PTSD and paranoia, who becomes a New York City taxi driver because of his inability to sleep. Travis is one who is at odds with society, fed up with pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers, and all the other scum of the earth, he slowly works himself in his sleep deprived and drugged state to become a one man army ready to kill anyone he believes to be part of the problem. His interactions with other cabbies, Betsy (Shepherd) a Presidential Candidate campaign worker, Iris a teenage prostitute (Foster), and her Pimp “Sport” (Keitel) fuels his destructive mission to rid New York City of its problems. His attempt at normalcy with Betsy, by taking her on date to a movie that disagrees with her sensibilities ends in disaster, mostly due to Travis’ supposed naivety about what is considered appropriate and tasteful entertainment. While plying his nightly trade as a NYC cabbie, he has some unusual encounters, including a fare from a fairly psychotically jealous man showing Travis the place where the man’s wife is cheating on him, and then a short encounter with Iris who gets in his cab, and then forced out by Sport, who throws Travis a dirty crumpled up twenty dollar note for the trouble, Travis then makes it his mission to rescue Iris from her situation while also making a menace of himself to the visiting Presidential candidate. This film is still relevant in these times, as social media, and other such technological & society advancements have brought about a new degradation of values, with many wanting their fifteen minutes of fame by any means necessary, which now brings with it many who sell their souls to attain notoriety. I love De Niro's performance as Travis, its one that has many facets to it, in it is a man who is angry, naive, sleep deprived, lonely, a sociopath, and a killer. A scene in the Presidential campaign office where he is rebuffed by Betsy due to the terrible date experience, and ushered, and menaced by the opportunistic & snotty campaign co-worker Tom (Brooks), shows the range of De Niro's performance as he goes from apologetic, and sheepish to angry, and ready to fight. De Niro was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for this role. The presentation on blu-ray is a solid one, PQ is nice, skin tones not waxy, and the AQ allowing the score, and surrounding noise subtleties to really shine through, it's very well handled for a source filmed in the mid 70's

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