This movie shows what will happen when a Taxi Driver goes nuts
It explores the psychological madness within an obsessed, twisted, inarticulate, lonely, anti-hero cab driver and war vet (De Niro), who misdirectedly lashes out with frustrated anger and power like an exploding time bomb at the world that has alienated him. His assaultive unhinging is first paired with a longing to connect with a blonde goddess office worker (Shepherd), and then with an attempt to rescue/liberate a young 12-year old prostitute named Iris (Foster) from her predatory pimp "Sport" (Keitel) and her tawdry, streetwalking life. [The young Foster, who had previously acted for Scorsese in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), was required to undergo psychological tests to see if she would bear up during filming.]
Taxi Driver has been acknowledged as consciously influenced by John Ford's The Searchers (1956) - the story of another angry war veteran and social outcast who becomes obsessed during a search and rescue of his young niece from a long-haired Comanche chief named Scar. Ford's film was about his fanatical quest to liberate the young girl, restore her virtue, and return her to society, in order to purify his own soul, although he remains an outsider.
Taxi Driver re-established the tremendous acting ability of Robert De Niro to totally immerse himself into his characters. (This was his second film for Scorsese following Mean Streets (1973), in which both De Niro and Harvey Keitel gained fame as young New York hoods. It led to their further collaboration in Raging Bull (1980)). De Niro's performance is utterly compelling and fascinating to watch - as the unlikely knight redemptively prepares to "wash all this sc*m off the streets" after a failed and misguided date with a blonde political worker and his stalking of political candidate Charles Palantine. His target-practice 'You talkin' to me?' monologue before a mirror remains one of the best known sequences in film history. The film also propelled its director, screenwriter, and others of its stars into future careers - Jodie Foster (as actress and director) and Cybill Shepherd (as popular TV star).
Although the film was nominated for four Academy Awards nominations (without recognition for director Scorsese, screenwriter Paul Schrader, or cinematographer Michael Chapman): Best Picture, Best Actor (Robert De Niro), Best Supporting Actress (Jodie Foster), and Best Original Score (Bernard Herrmann, nominated posthumously -- Herrmann passed away shortly after completing his work in this film) - all were unrewarded. A memorable lamenting saxophone score by Bernard Herrmann (his last) accompanies the film. [He provided some of cinema's best-known musical accompaniments, for such films as Alfred Hitchc*ck's well-known Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), and Psycho (1960), and for Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942).]
In many ways, the film has become prophetic and mirrors the violence of contemporary news headlines. Notoriously, the film is linked to and may have triggered the political assassination (copy-cat) attempt by inconsp*cuous John Hinckley on President Ronald Reagan in 1981, illuminating his dangerous fixation on actress Jodie Foster, and resulting in the assassin's infamous media-hero status. Other misfits have emerged as lonely and disturbed individuals who act out their killer impulses on high school campuses or in terrorist acts. This film has also influenced other future filmmakers, including Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs (1992)), and David Fincher (Se7en (1995).
Taxi Driver is one of the best films I have ever seen I hope you enjoy this review
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