|Directed by||Martin Scorsese|
|Written by||Paul Schrader|
|Music by||Bernard Herrmann|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$28.6 million|
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological drama thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Paul Schrader, and starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Leonard Harris, and Albert Brooks. Set in a decaying and morally bankrupt New York City following the Vietnam War, the film follows Travis Bickle (De Niro), a veteran working as a taxi driver, and his deteriorating mental state as he works nights in the city.
With The Wrong Man (1956) and A Bigger Splash (1973) as inspiration, Scorsese wanted the film to feel like a dream to audiences. With cinematographer Michael Chapman, filming began in the summer of 1975 in New York City, with actors taking pay cuts to ensure that the project could be completed on a low budget of $1.9 million. Production concluded that same year. Bernard Herrmann composed the film's music in what would be his final score, finished just several hours before his death; the film is dedicated to him.
The film was theatrically released by Columbia Pictures on February 7, 1976, and was a critical and commercial success despite generating controversy for its graphic violence in the climactic ending and the casting of then 12-year-old Foster in the role of a child prostitute. The film received numerous accolades including the Palme d'Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival and four nominations at the 49th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (for De Niro), and Best Supporting Actress (for Foster).
Although Taxi Driver generated further controversy for its role in John Hinckley Jr.'s motive to attempt to assassinate then-President Ronald Reagan, the film has remained popular and is considered one of the most culturally significant and inspirational of its time and one of the greatest films ever made. In 2012, Sight & Sound named it the 31st-best film ever in its decennial critics' poll, ranked alongside The Godfather Part II, and the fifth-greatest film of all time on its directors' poll. In 1994, the film was considered "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" significant by the US Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
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