Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver
At night, a man stands in front of a bright yellow taxi while looking to the side. Underneath him, the words "Robert De Niro" and "Taxi Driver" appear in red font on a yellow background.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMartin Scorsese
Written byPaul Schrader
Produced by
CinematographyMichael Chapman
Edited by
Music byBernard Herrmann
  • Bill/Phillips Productions[1]
  • Italo-Judeo Productions[1]
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • February 8, 1976 (1976-02-08)
Running time
114 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$1.9 million[3][4]
Box office$28.6 million[5]

Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological 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 and 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 8, 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, it is considered one of the most culturally significant and inspirational of its time and one of the greatest films ever made, garnering cult status.[6] In 2022, Sight & Sound named it the 29th-best film ever in its decennial critics' poll, and the 12th-greatest film of all time on its directors' poll, tied with Barry Lyndon. In 1994, the film was considered "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" significant by the U.S. Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference AFI was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Taxi Driver (18)". British Board of Film Classification. May 5, 2006. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  3. ^ F. Dick, Bernard (1992). Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio. University Press of Kentucky. p. 193. ISBN 9780813149615. Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  4. ^ Grist, Leighton (2000). The Films of Martin Scorsese, 1963–77: Authorship and Context. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 130. ISBN 9780230286146. Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  5. ^ "Taxi Driver". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Archived from the original on February 1, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  6. ^ Suarez, Carla (October 25, 2020). "Cult Series: Taxi Driver - Scorsese's legendary portrayal of a lone wolf's existential angst". STRAND Magazine. Archived from the original on May 14, 2023. Retrieved May 14, 2023.

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