Taxi Driver: Classic or dud

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I like it but its way over-rated. Its like a Paul Schrader wank-fantasy with a awful "I told you so" ending. "Falling down" is a lot wittier and heartfelt although I dont think anyone takes it seriously cos Michael Douglas is in it and Joel "Batman and Robin-St Elmos fire" Schumacher directed it.

Michael, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

For what it's worth (though editions since his death carry a rave), the Halliwell Film Guide for years slagged TD: the little two- sentence review ended something like "the last section of the film is violent and incomprehensible..."

So I'm not sure if "I told you so" was at all what it seemed like at the time!

(Best-ever Halliwell capsule review, for The Vikings: "Low-grade hokum for the easily pleased...")

mark s, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Right at the end, after Travis drops Cybil Shephard's character off, there's this odd moment where he catches himself in the mirror, and well, it's just odd. I've always taken it to mean everything from him being dumped up till then is just some bizarre power fantasy, which would explain how he gets off scot-free for the shootings. If this is correct, this would make the second half just a 'dream', and therefore a bit of a GCSE drama project ending - and therefore dud. But I could be wrong...

DG, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

It's as mediocre as any other Scorsese film. I actually like Michael Douglas better than Robert De Niro, and Michael Douglas is the most insufferable actor in the world.

Otis Wheeler, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Saying "mediocre as any Scorcese film" is a total dud. Anyone who disses Goodfellas deserves to be shot in my mind, and if you have any Italian blood in you you deserve to be shot twice. In the trunk of a car. By Joe Pesci.

What do I look like? A clown?

Ally, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

A fucking comedian? Do I make you laugh?

Michael, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Do I amuse you? Am I here for your personal enjoyment?

Ally, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

That movie makes me want to be a gangster but only for the fact that I can smash wine bottles off waiter's heads.

Michael, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

That movie makes me wanna be a gangsta moll, but only if I can be with Ray Liotta. Phhhhwwoooaaar.

It's sincerely the best film ever made, besides Les Enfants. I've seen it 8 TRILLION BILLION times, honest to god.

Ally, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I dare call myself a film buff and I've never seen Les Enfants because NO DAMN VIDEO STORE has it. Everyone knows "Mad Max" is the best movie besides "Goodfellas " anyway. You and yer damn poncey French flicks.

Michael, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Mad Max, pff, it's only cool because Mel Gibson looks way hot all dirty like that, and the girl in the film looks like Baby Spice (so does my roommate, I realized).

Les Enfants is clearly the best movie of all time, don't they have a Blockbuster near you? I know they have it in my Blockbuster but I'm on the Upper West Side, home of PONCEY YUPPIE TWAT HEADS (according to Momus), so we would have that. Obviously I fancy myself as Garance, otherwise it wouldn't be my email address.

How sad am I making myself, one email address is a film character I fancy myself as, the other a song that I feel describes me. I AM A STEREOTYPICAL GIRL.

Ally, Friday, 8 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Yes, there is a Blockbuster but I dont give my pound to filthy American capitalist pig-dogs and anyway its too far away from my house. "The girl in Mad Max looks like babyspice"(??!!)There's a guy in it that looks the spit of FLea from RHCP though and the bad guy looks like Michael Hutchence if he ate all the pies. Actually, Mad Max is even better if you watch it with the dubbed American soundover for some strange reason.

Michael, Saturday, 9 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Mad Max was cool because it's one big chase and because of the funny- looking little guy.

How could you say that about Ray Liotta, Ally? Just, ewww, don't say that. Ray Liotta? Did you see him in Blow playing Johnny Depp's way old dad? Goodfellas left me totally perplexed. Actually, I think I turned it off with five minutes to go. I'm way Italian, but for one thing, my people come from northern Italy (part of the family's from Austria, even), so they're not exactly gangsters, and for another, I just couldn't watch Goodfellas after five years of the Sopranos. If there's some angle I'm missing, I'll watch it again, but as it was, I couldn't get anything out of it.

Otis Wheeler, Saturday, 9 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Greatest movie-violence scenes ever: When Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro kick the living shit out of Dennis Farina with Donovan's "Atlantis" playing on the jukebox. All arguments are futile.

Michael, Saturday, 9 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Ray Liotta himself isn't totally hot. He was totally hot as Henry Hill in Goodfellas though.

For me, the best part of Goodfellas is when they move to the house with the wall that opens up with the entertainment center inside, but the wall looks like a rock. But that's just because whenever we see it, me and Fred and The Cult all go, "Jimmy's house!" because they have this ludicrious friend who buys all this random expensive shit for no reason, like ramote controls to control his remote controls and the internet for his car.

You definitely are not watching Goodfellas properly if you are getting nothing out of it. Just for the scene where they off Joe Pesci alone, for fuck's sake. It's easily the funniest movie ever after Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. And I always watch the end credits cos I totally feel that version of My Way, it's the best thing anyone even tangentially related to the Sex Pistols ever did.

Ally, Saturday, 9 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

WTF WTF...blurghh. i just rented this movie. finished watching it like 10 minutes ago. odd odd odd..

kevin enas, Sunday, 10 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

..i came here right after seeing it...

kevin enas, Wednesday, 13 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Not at all over-rated. The strange ending only adds to it's uniqueness. Robert de Niro, Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel and a sick cameo from Scorcese himself. What more could a boy want?

Not quite as great as 'Raging Bull' though... you fucked my wife?

Johnathan, Sunday, 17 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Totally true fact: me and Stephanie want to eventually buy two pugs (in theory more than in actuality). Hers is to be called "WHAT?" (in caps like that) and mine is to be called "You fucked my wife?" just so that we could reenact that scene in central park one day, and annoy the bejeezus outta peeps.

Ally, Sunday, 17 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

What are pugs? Dogs?

I usually find De Niro hilarious, but in 'Raging Bull' he's as scary as hell. And that scene takes the fucking biscuit. Not many people get away with talking to Joe Pesci like that.

Johnathan, Sunday, 17 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
First of all, Pugs are truly incredible dogs. I had one and when I was with my ex she had one as well. Truly incredible great dogs (no question).

'Falling Down'? Better than 'Taxi Driver'? "Lions and tigers and bears, Oh My!" That is some truly scary stuff being pushed out into the intranetterhighway. Serously, wow. Just Scorsese alone prevents that assumption from happening (I won't even go into the whole Deniro/Douglas matter).

'Taxi Driver': earnest portrayal (basically, based on the writer Schrader himself - is why it is earnest) of a loser/loner type in America. Sure, it goes far overboard at the end with the "cool anarchist mohawk" bullshit and the shoot-em-ups and all that jazz,'s a Hollywood type of thing. It should've been left to a more earnest ending, fitting to the realistic loner/loser portrayal built-up. In reality, that character (a frayed coward at hear) would have just stayed in his crappy little apartment more as he spent the rest of his time driving the taxi. Nothing less/nothing more than that, basically. Until some other little "hottie" turned his eye, then it would all go round and round again.

'Falling Down': trite media driven drivel set-up to make the Hollywooditis folks (the audience) to stand-up and cheer (in their minds) as they related to the lead character (Douglas) and his (and most others) little everyday taxing trials and tribulations of dealing with foreign 7-11 vendors, etc.

michael g. breece, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link


Ally, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Are youlinking pictures of Mike Piazza again?

Dan Perry, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

At least I wouldn't be ashamed to be seen with a pug. Piaza, on the other hand...

Nicole, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Damnit, Mike Piazza does not look like a pug.

Ally, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
REVIVE! I am watching this movie again tonight, and realize that it takes place in my neighborhood. The coffeeshop where Travis and Betsy go on her work-break date has been replaced by a Starbucks. It's really bizarre - I recognize things but NOTHING is the same. Was Giuliani the rain to finally "cleanse the city" as Travis rants in his opening monologue?

Cybill Shepard was always kinda J-Lo, wasn't she?

Ally (mlescaut), Sunday, 22 December 2002 03:29 (seventeen years ago) link

Travis was fooled by the...

naked as sin (naked as sin), Sunday, 22 December 2002 03:41 (seventeen years ago) link

My name is Henry...Krinkle: k-r-i-n-k-l-e.

Joe (Joe), Sunday, 22 December 2002 03:55 (seventeen years ago) link

Actually, one of my favorite little moments in the movie is when the dispatcher asks Travis: "Education?" and Travis responds blankly, " and there...", and then it cuts back to the dispatcher's reaction.

Joe (Joe), Sunday, 22 December 2002 04:10 (seventeen years ago) link

So if the film is mostly meant to be a dream, is that brilliant or horrible?

Ally (mlescaut), Sunday, 22 December 2002 04:54 (seventeen years ago) link

It would be horrible, but fortunately I don't think any of it's a dream, except the very end where he's talking to Betsy again. The last shot before the credits, when he does that sudden double-take in the rearview mirror, always seemed like a strange, disorienting note to end the movie on, since it doesn't appear to mean anything.

They just showed that 'A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies' thing on TCM again. Totally absorbing stuff, especially considering half the films are obscure b-pictures no one's ever heard of.

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Sunday, 22 December 2002 09:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Also: Taxi Driver is hilarious and King of Comedy is harrowing. Discuss.

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Sunday, 22 December 2002 09:14 (seventeen years ago) link

Taxi Driver, King of Comedy & Goodfellas all have weird dreamlike endings, but the point is not that it was all just a dream. The point is that gangster life for Henry, TV comedy fame for Rupert, rescuing hero status for Travis and filmmaking for Martin Scorsese are fantasies come true, fantastic real events distorted by desires and imagination. The lines between reality/realism, fantasy, true identity, stories, dreams & nightmares are all a blur. Taxi Driver is my favourite because the street scenes, the violence and the awesome score seem to evoke total filthy realism and total sleazy romantic fantasy at the same time.

Keith McD (Keith McD), Sunday, 22 December 2002 11:53 (seventeen years ago) link

The last shot before the credits, when he does that sudden double-take in the rearview mirror, always seemed like a strange, disorienting note to end the movie on, since it doesn't appear to mean anything.

Well, it means (or at least was supposed to convey) that Travis has not changed at all and that he is going to do something violent again.

Joe (Joe), Sunday, 22 December 2002 13:57 (seventeen years ago) link

speaking of scorsese, kundun = shit

Vic (Vic), Sunday, 22 December 2002 14:06 (seventeen years ago) link

The last shot before the credits, when he does that sudden double-take in the rearview mirror, always seemed like a strange, disorienting note to end the movie on, since it doesn't appear to mean anything.

OK, this is what I thought until I paid a lot of attention to it last night - if you notice, after he does the double take he's suddenly out of Betsy's uptown quiet neighborhood and back on the same street he was driving in at the point that I would think the "dream" segment would start if it was as such. Either there was a time lapse between the first look and the double take or he's "waking up". So now it's annoying me. I mean I'd certainly explain why Travis didn't freaking DIE from the gushing wound in his neck during the shootout.

Note: I don't necessarily agree with the people who think it was a dream.

And I'm curious as to how the ending of Goodfellas is dreamlike. I don't understand that claim - it's pretty straightforward, and kind of pathetic (his monologue), but not dreamlike...

Ally (mlescaut), Sunday, 22 December 2002 18:49 (seventeen years ago) link

"Do you think I'm sick? Heh heh heh. Do you think I'm sick?"

Sean (Sean), Monday, 23 December 2002 01:53 (seventeen years ago) link

dreamlike = Joe Pesci shooting at the camera
OK maybe not dreamlike, but it represents the romance of gangster life that Henry misses
Also, the way Liotta suddenly leaps down from the witness stand and talks to the camera for the first time in the movie is pretty damn bizarre

Keith McD (Keith McD), Monday, 23 December 2002 03:01 (seventeen years ago) link

that shot of Pesci recalls the earlier one where he shoots Samuel L. Jackson 5 times in slow mo replay.
The first time you see it, he shoots him only twice, suggesting that the replay is how Henry imagines the event

Keith McD (Keith McD), Monday, 23 December 2002 03:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, the leaping down from the stand is pretty bizarre. I forgot that the last bit of the movie is Pesci shooting at the camera. It's not really dreamlike inasmuch as it's just Henry's (and to a lesser extent Karen's) narration style in retelling the story...

Is there a diff is I guess the important question.

Ally (mlescaut), Monday, 23 December 2002 03:20 (seventeen years ago) link

We heart the Gene Krupa-style drummer guy!

Joe (Joe), Monday, 23 December 2002 05:56 (seventeen years ago) link

One thing to remember about Scorsese. The man was influenced by Jean-Luc Godard and Kenneth Anger. So is it really uncommon that he uses Brechtian alienation devices in his films? I think not.

Taxi Driver is his best film. At least my favorite. I still find new things in it and I've seen it at least twenty times.

Ex-Tennis Star, Monday, 23 December 2002 06:17 (seventeen years ago) link

If someone says it's dud -- Fine. But they would be considered assholes in my book.

It's like people who say they don't care for the architect Rem Koolhaas. I mean, shit, Delirious New York and Taxi Driver are two of my favorite homages to the city.

Cybil Sheperd never looked better. They can never touch her. Notice that Marty is on the steps when she walks by in that one sequence. Later, Marty appears in the cab. Remember that part?

Why the fuck is the storekeeper who Travis saved from the armed robber wearing a Tulane ringer t-shirt?

Would a cabbie like the Wizard know anything about Bertrand Russell?

Look at the 70's fonts and graphics on the trucks on the street.

The seedy streets never looked better on film.

The part at the end, the "double-take" sound loop is beautiful.

So many things about that film. Ex-Tennis Star is absolutely correct in his comment above.

Cub, Monday, 23 December 2002 06:33 (seventeen years ago) link

four years pass...

This just got a new DVD release (and it topped ILE top movie of the 70s poll). Let's talk some more about the film..

These are the good parts: the first scene with the dispatcher, most solo activity in the apartment or cab with narration, any scene with harvey keitel, the scene with the senator in the cab, botched hold-up, the bickle/secret service agent conversation, some scenes with jodie foster--others are too proto-Dakota Fanning for me to enjoy.

The rest of the film is mediocre. I think the Cybill Shepherd plot is boring, as are the conversations with the other cabbies. The two worst parts of the film are Scorsese's pussy-magnum speech in the cab--what is the point of the scene except to give Scorsese some freaky film time? there's no character or story development; bickle doesn't even speak-- and the awful, bombastic survey of the showdown aftermath at the end of the film (with overblown music), which almost ruins the movie for me.

i don't think the film is crap. it just bugs me to read (as I did in recent reviews for the DVD) that it's "arguably the greatest film of all time" etc. and i don't see how someone could want to watch it 20 times. the script shows its age the most, i think.

poortheatre, Thursday, 23 August 2007 06:38 (twelve years ago) link

it's "arguably the greatest film of all time" etc. and i don't see how someone could want to watch it 20 times

not that I think it's the greatest film of anything, but what would re-watchability have to do with anything?

kenan, Thursday, 23 August 2007 06:45 (twelve years ago) link

I don't want to watch Raging Bull over and over, either, because it's a painful movie to watch... but it's supposed to be. If you don't recall reflexively, you weren't paying attention.

kenan, Thursday, 23 August 2007 06:47 (twelve years ago) link

recoil, not recall

kenan, Thursday, 23 August 2007 06:47 (twelve years ago) link

this is way subjective, but some movies have more replay potential if there's elements of density (zodiac!) or humor or mastery or eroticism etc, and Taxi Driver doesn't seem like one of those films to me. of course, i can see how someone else wouldn't want to watch Ninja Scroll 15 times.

poortheatre, Thursday, 23 August 2007 07:28 (twelve years ago) link

oh. wait. i didn't mean to suggest a connection between "greatest film of all time" and how many times you'd want to watch something. two separate thoughts.

poortheatre, Thursday, 23 August 2007 07:33 (twelve years ago) link

Great music. I like Peter Boyle in it. A lot. So much so that I watched Raymond once. The other cabbie/Scorsese scenes are, y'know, a quotidien beats kinda thing.

Just saw Harsh Times, which is a Taxi Driver remake with a buddy film thrown in.

Dr. Superman, Thursday, 23 August 2007 07:40 (twelve years ago) link

Apparently that's a real De Niro license that he got while prepping for the role!

☆★☆彡彡 (ENBB), Thursday, 12 January 2012 20:15 (eight years ago) link

four months pass...

i don't really see how anyone can take the coda of the film (after the bloodbath) as anything _but_ some kind of fantasy. not only is the way its shot thoroughly (and clearly intentionally) dreamlike and disorienting (the most obvious example being the way cybill shepard appears in the rear-view mirror, like a disembodied portrait), but it simply doesn't make any literal sense. (one thing i noted was that the voice-over of iris's "dad" has the same awkward, staccato cadence of deniro reading the fabulist letter to _his_ parents.)

it's interesting that neither schrader nor scorsese really seem to have intended for audiences to identify with the lead character, strictly speaking. but by making much of the film in an expressionist mode, in which we are aligned with deniro (and arguably inside his head-space), there's really an encouragement to do so.

i think part of the point of the scene with scorsese as the taxi fare is actually to break some of that possible identification w/ bickle. what the character played by scorsese says is utterly harrowing/horrifying. bickle's initial reaction seems to be discomfort, but by the end he seems to be identifying with the rant and envisioning something similar. in other words i imagine this was designed by the filmmakers to be a moment where our reactions and those of bickle diverge in a very strong sense. i'm not sure if it has that affect on everyone in the audience though.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 11 June 2012 03:22 (eight years ago) link

i kind of see this film as a stunning, virtuoso piece of work that kind of elevates, if not transcends, a really problematic screenplay.

schrader has a way of writing dialogue that is almost revelatory in its awkward detail. but despite that sense of surface authenticity i feel like he often just doesn't _get_ the milieu he's writing about. i feel that way with taxi driver and i feel that way about blue collar.

still think schrader's greatet moment is the first act of rolling thunder.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 11 June 2012 03:25 (eight years ago) link

I'd play devil's advocate on that point with the Peter Boyle-De Niro dialogue scene, which sounds pitch-perfect to me. (Unless it was improvised?)

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Monday, 11 June 2012 03:41 (eight years ago) link

yeah i like that scene--they are talking past one another completely

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 11 June 2012 04:38 (eight years ago) link

But isn't that the exact scene that follows the "44 magnum" scene? Whatever "break" may have happened between the audience and Travis in the silhouette scene is probably made up for by his total vulnerability in the Wiz dialogue. Also, Scorcese also gives us other opportunities later on to re-bond with him, especially in that American Bandstand bit.

Part of this movie's power is that the audience's identification with the hero is always ambiguous. We always partly "root" for him, even when he's about to kill a presidential candidate in cold blood.

Johnny Hotcox, Monday, 11 June 2012 14:11 (eight years ago) link

I really can't post my response to that last bit, surveillance being what it is these days.

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Monday, 11 June 2012 14:22 (eight years ago) link


i think i remember reading around the time peter boyle died that his giving advice scene to travis was mostly improvised

dell (del), Monday, 11 June 2012 14:26 (eight years ago) link

Look, if you're really interested, if you give us your name and address, Morbius, we'll send you all the information on how to apply--how's that?

clemenza, Monday, 11 June 2012 14:28 (eight years ago) link


World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Monday, 11 June 2012 14:30 (eight years ago) link

That bit was my intro to this movie. My Dad called me into the rec room to watch that scene since Fair Lawn wasn't far from where we lived. I think the next scene he blows away the robber? Anyway, I was hooked. Perhaps I'll relate this fond memory on my Father's Day card.

Johnny Hotcox, Monday, 11 June 2012 14:47 (eight years ago) link

schrader has a way of writing dialogue that is almost revelatory in its awkward detail. but despite that sense of surface authenticity i feel like he often just doesn't _get_ the milieu he's writing about.

what milieu does he not get in taxi driver? the cabstand? the campaign office? 70s new york in toto? i guess i dont know enough to challenge the authenticity of it, but schrader at his best (=taxi driver) is so *psychologically* authentic that the rest doesnt matter to me

Hamburger Hitler (Hungry4Ass), Thursday, 14 June 2012 14:08 (eight years ago) link


brony ver (s1ocki), Friday, 15 June 2012 16:36 (eight years ago) link

somehow i am picturing burt lancaster as travis bickle

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Saturday, 16 June 2012 08:41 (eight years ago) link

alas YT doesn't have Joe Flaherty's as Gregory Peck

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 16 June 2012 08:47 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

You know, I had absolutely no idea that Arthur Bremer had been released from prison a couple of years ago; I was checking to see if he was even still alive, which is how I found out. I have to believe there's been no end to people trying to contact him about a documentary.

clemenza, Sunday, 5 August 2012 00:21 (seven years ago) link

eight months pass...

Every time I want out, they pull me back in.

(Screening + Q&A.)

clemenza, Monday, 15 April 2013 12:19 (seven years ago) link


turds (Hungry4Ass), Monday, 15 April 2013 12:21 (seven years ago) link

Taxi Driv

zero dark (s1ocki), Monday, 15 April 2013 13:27 (seven years ago) link

It's been quite a while since I last saw this, but as I look back at it what strikes me today is that its brilliance was in taking an excellent basic stucture, with a strong plot and characters, and then adding a dash of cartoonish overstatement to every single aspect of it, so that one could feel like it was both middlebrow and dramatic as, let's say Ghandi, while at the same time getting plenty of lowbrow thrills and yucks, like for example Dumb and Dumber.

Aimless, Monday, 15 April 2013 18:11 (seven years ago) link

ghandi meets dumb & dumber... yeah that sounds apt

turds (Hungry4Ass), Monday, 15 April 2013 18:22 (seven years ago) link

christmas candy bar (al leong), Monday, 15 April 2013 18:24 (seven years ago) link

gentlemen, I present you with... turds

Aimless, Monday, 15 April 2013 18:26 (seven years ago) link

u present your posts? bazinga!!!!

turds (Hungry4Ass), Monday, 15 April 2013 18:29 (seven years ago) link

ghandi meets dumb & dumber... yeah that sounds apt

― turds (Hungry4Ass), Monday, April 15, 2013 2:22 PM (25 minutes ago) Bookmark


zero dark (s1ocki), Monday, 15 April 2013 18:47 (seven years ago) link

cartoonish, overstated, middlebrow, 'yucks and thrills' -- this is a good list of words that do not apply to taxi driver

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, 15 April 2013 18:58 (seven years ago) link

i agree with aimless here: all those words apply to taxi driver, it is complete, shameless pulp, that doesn't miss an opportunity to luxuriate in its gritty subject matter, sometimes for "yucks and thrills". it's interesting though, because the film manages to both be suprarealistic -- almost frank miller territory -- and at the same time effectively thematize post-vietnam urban alienation. it's not a restrained movie by any means but it still manages to feel honest, not exploitative. that's why it's so great.

i don't like any other films by scorcese though.

Pat Finn, Tuesday, 16 April 2013 02:29 (seven years ago) link

buzza, Tuesday, 16 April 2013 02:39 (seven years ago) link

Schrader was excellent last night. Very generous with his time--spoke and answered questions for around an hour after the film. I thought he might get a little impatient with Taxi Driver questions ("Where would Travis be today?")--that was the film that was showing, but he was really there to promote his new one--but no, he answered them all at length. Went into a long digression on how upside down everything is today: "We don't know what a movie is anymore." (Meaning that the nature of the industry has changed drastically, not that the audience is stupid. His upcoming film cost him, the screenwriter, and another backer $90,000 + some Kickstarter money. Yes, $90,000.) Got my DVD of Affliction and reprint Taxi Driver poster signed. I wanted to post a photo, but my friend didn't have her camera.

clemenza, Monday, 22 April 2013 18:20 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

"Jodie Foster is Delightful"

johnny crunch, Saturday, 30 May 2015 20:56 (five years ago) link

eight months pass...

This is number 2 on my list of "great films" that I feel a little meh about, after Citizen Kane.

on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Monday, 8 February 2016 22:29 (four years ago) link

lol sorry I'm fronting I don't have a list

on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Monday, 8 February 2016 22:30 (four years ago) link

but probably the Big Sleep would be #3 and Chinatown #4, if I did.

on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Monday, 8 February 2016 22:30 (four years ago) link

really, fascinating

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, 8 February 2016 23:37 (four years ago) link

apple pie and *cheese* WTF. vom.

piscesx, Tuesday, 9 February 2016 04:33 (four years ago) link

secretly down with #3 & #4, hysterically furious at #1 & #2

bloat laureate (schlump), Tuesday, 9 February 2016 06:38 (four years ago) link

i'm going to stop reviving these for my own good

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 9 February 2016 07:01 (four years ago) link

karla jay vespers, Tuesday, 9 February 2016 07:06 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

The maxim never look at comments on YouTube goes 100-fold for this movie's clips.

Anne of the Thousand Gays (Eric H.), Monday, 31 July 2017 20:28 (two years ago) link

seven months pass...

Haven't watched the film in a few years, but thought I'd give Geoffrey Macnab's The Making of Taxi Driver a try. Not great by any means--primarily looking for interesting anecdotes, anyway, not analysis. Three I didn't know:

Foster's character is based on Garth Avery, who was hired as a consultant. She has a cameo, too--when Travis almost runs over Iris, Avery is the friend who pulls Iris away.

Keitel based his big monologue with Iris on...Barry White!

The make-up artist, Dick Smith (who did makeup for Hoffman in Little Big Man, Brando in The Godfather, and Blair/Von Sydow in The Exorcist), was distantly related to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

clemenza, Sunday, 25 March 2018 20:30 (two years ago) link

Another one: Scorsese's role (44 Magnum and all that) was supposed to have been played by George Memmoli, Joey Clams in Mean Streets. Memmoli didn't show up the day his scene was supposed to have been shot.

"You know who lives there? A nook lives there."

clemenza, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 13:18 (two years ago) link


(I should only post from a desktop...)

clemenza, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 13:19 (two years ago) link

Love the story that De Niro got the inspiration for the "You talkin' to me?" line from Bruce Springsteen, who used to say it as part of his between-song schtick.

the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 13:56 (two years ago) link

I saw an episode of The Twilight Zone from 1960 the other day that features a shifty guy saying, "you talkin' to me?" twice, into a mirror no less, so I'd say that's a possible unconscious inspiration. The ep is called "Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room"... A+ title

Josefa, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 14:48 (two years ago) link

I figured Sometime Sweet Susan--Travis's inspired movie-date idea--would be famous enough because of Taxi Driver that getting hold of it via Amazon or YouTube would be easy. Not so.

clemenza, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 20:14 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

Fun fact: This, the Lyric Theatre, is where Travis Bickle took Betsy to see the porno. Not much has changed

— Matt Prigge (@mattprigge) November 7, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 7 November 2019 21:39 (eight months ago) link

two months pass...

rewatched it last night in the most recent (i think??) blu-ray release (40th anniversary restoration). looks great, the colors are just beautiful, and that coupled the graininess of the film and the absolute griminess of the atmosphere and Travis' disgusted/dreamy narration just really make this one of the most tactile viewing experiences of any movie. i feel like saying more about it but i tend to think of it as such a complete and immersive experience that it's difficult to pin down certain things thematically and separate them out from the whole.

ok i will say that Travis seems inconsistent but in ways that make complete sense to me, it being the journey of someone who is losing his mind. And everything that happens to him sets him down on his path. Also the film spends a lot of time making sure that while he's a character to have some sympathy for, we see that Travis is never wronged or misunderstood. The other characters react to him in ways that are entirely appropriate, bc he's a creepy fuckin guy. obv of course Scorsese/Schrader/De Niro really nailed him, he's such a great character.

omar little, Tuesday, 28 January 2020 19:27 (five months ago) link

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