Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver

1976 | Martin Scorsese

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.

Average rating   9.5 out of 10

(1.88) The Irishman | (1.79) Drive | (1.79) The Untouchables | (1.7) Inside Man | (1.62) The Beaver

Sebastian Korgaard     2022-07-17 9 out of 10

Mark Bladt     2020-11-18 10 out of 10

”Taxi Driver” was directed by Martin Scorsese in 1976, and it has become one of the classics of American cinema. I had to review this movie since it is as old, as I am, and it was directed by my favourite director.

A 33-year-old Robert De Niro plays the main character Travis Bickle, and his portrayal of Travis is so intense and effective, that Travis has become an iconic character of modern cinema. In the words of Travis himself. “Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There’s no escape. I’m God’s lonely man.”

From 1973 to 1980 De Niro took the world of cinema by storm. He proved to the world with roles like Johnny Boy in “Mean Streets” 1973, Travis Bickle in “Taxi Driver” 1976 & Jake La Motta in “Raging Bull” 1980 that he was an incredibly special new talent. All 3 movies where directed by Martin Scorsese, and in everyone of those movies De Niro portrays a deeply disturbed and socially dysfunctional character.

Travis Bickle is a Vietnam veteran with PTSD that causes him to suffer from insomnia amongst other things. He takes a job as a taxi driver in New York. New York in 1976 was very different than the New York of today. Travis drives his cap in all the very worst neighborhoods and we see the world through the eyes of Travis. What Travis sees is a dirty, rotten and corrupt world. Travis hates the world he lives in, but he never really tries to leave. After each shift he washes away blood, vomit and semen from the backseat. Because Travis is mentally ill he is incapable of truly connecting with other human beings. Violence, prostitution (one prostitute is a 13 year old Jodie Foster) mental illness and addiction is a constant part of Travis’ life. Nothing in his world is good.

This is until Travis decides to clean up the mess he hates and to save the only person he can safe in the only way he knows how. Violence.

It may not come as a surprise, but “Taxi Driver” is a dark movie, but is masterfully told. Scorsese shows us how he can create intense scenes with very few tools. Be it a taxi cap slowly exiting an ominous fog, a cigarette burning slowly on a night table or a man (played by Scorsese himself) sitting in the backseat talking about how much he hates his wife.

I recommend “Taxi Driver” if you feel like watching a piece of American movie history. See “Taxi Driver” if you want to enjoy a truly magnificent performance by both director and main character. You will never forget your time with Travis, Iris, Sport, Wizard & Betsy.

They are the people.

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