Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver is the definitive cinematic portrait of loneliness and alienation manifested as violence. It is as if director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader had tapped into precisely the same source of psychological inspiration ("I just knew I had to make this film," Scorsese would later say), combined with a perfectly timed post-Watergate expression of personal, political, and societal anxiety. Robert De Niro, as the tortured, ex-Marine cab driver Travis Bickle, made movie history with his chilling performance as one of the most memorably intense and vividly realized characters ever committed to film. Bickle is a self-appointed vigilante who views his urban beat as an intolerable cesspool of blighted humanity. He plays guardian angel for a young prostitute (Jodie Foster), but not without violently devastating consequences. This masterpiece, which is not for all tastes, is sure to horrify some viewers, but few could deny the film's lasting power and importance. --Jeff Shannon

Genre: Crime, Drama
Director(s): Martin Scorsese
Production: Columbia Pictures
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 15 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.3
Metacritic:
94
Rotten Tomatoes:
98%
R (Restricted)
Year:
1976
113
10,318 Views

Travis:
I'm one of your biggest supporters, you know. I tell everybody that comes in this taxi that they have to vote for you.

Palantine:
Why thank you - [Pleased, he glances to check Travis' picture, identification and license posted in the rear seat] - Travis.

Travis:
I'm sure you're gonna win sir. Everybody I know is gonna vote for ya. You know in fact, I was gonna put one of your stickers in my taxi but you know, the company said it was against their policy. But they don't know anything, you know. They're a bunch of jerks.

Palantine:
Let me tell you something. I have learned more about America from riding in taxi cabs than in all the limos in the country...Can I ask you something, Travis?

Travis:
Sure.

Palantine:
What is the one thing about this country that bugs you the most?

Travis:
Well, I don't know. I don't follow political issues that closely, sir. I don't know.

Palantine:
Oh but there must be something.

Travis:
Well. [He thinks] Whatever it is, you should clean up this city here, because this city here is like an open sewer you know. It's full of filth and scum. And sometimes I can hardly take it. Whatever-whoever becomes the President should just [Travis honks the horn] really clean it up. You know what I mean? Sometimes I go out and I smell it, I get headaches it's so bad, you know...They just never go away you know...It's like...I think that the President should just clean up this whole mess here. You should just flush it right down the fuckin' toilet.

Palantine:
Well, uh, I think I know what you mean Travis. But it's not gonna be easy. We're gonna have to make some radical changes.

Travis:
Damn straight.

Palantine:
Nice talkin' to you, Travis. [They shake hands]

Travis:
Nice talking to you sir. You're a good man. I know you're gonna win.

Travis:
Well, I know you and I ain't talked too much, you know, but I figured you've been around a lot so you could...

Wizard:
Shoot. That's why they call me the Wizard.

Travis:
I got, it's just that I got a, I got a...

Wizard:
Things uh, things got ya down?

Travis:
Yeah.

Wizard:
Yeah, it happens to the best of us.

Travis:
Yeah, I got me a real down, real...I just wanna go out and, and you know like really, really, really do somethin'.

Wizard:
The taxi life you mean?

Travis:
Yeah, well. Naw, I don't know. I just wanna go out. I really, you know, I really wanna, I got some bad ideas in my head, I just...

Wizard:
Look, look at it this way, you know uh, a man, a man takes a job, you know, and that job, I mean like that, and that it becomes what he is. You know like uh, you do a thing and that's what you are. Like I've been a, I've been a cabbie for seventeen years, ten years at night and I still don't own my own cab. You know why? 'Cause I don't want to. I must be what I, what I want. You know, to be on the night shift drivin' somebody else's cab. Understand? You, you, you become, you get a job, you you become the job. One guy lives in Brooklyn, one guy lives in Sutton Place, you get a lawyer, another guy's a doctor, another guy dies, another guy gets well, and you know, people are born. I envy you your youth. Go out and get laid. Get drunk, you know, do anything. 'Cause you got no choice anyway. I mean we're all fucked, more or less you know.

Travis:
Yeah, I don't know. That's about the dumbest thing I ever heard.

Wizard:
I'm not Bertrand Russell. Well what do ya want. I'm a cabbie you know. What do I know? I mean, I don't even know what the fuck you're talkin' about.

Travis:
Yeah I don't know. Maybe I don't know either.

Wizard:
Don't worry so much. Relax Killer, you're gonna be all right. I know I seen a lot of people and uh, I know.

Travis:
That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.

Andy:
There you go - a supreme high re-sale weapon. Look at that. Look at that. That's a beauty. I could sell those guns to some jungle bunny in Harlem for five hundred bucks. But I just deal high-quality goods to the right people. How about that? This might be a little too big for practical purposes in which case for you, I'd recommend .38 snub nose. Look at this. Look at it. That's a beautiful little gun. It's nickel-plated, snub nose, otherwise the same as the service revolver. That'll stop anything that moves. The Magnum - they use that in Africa for killin' elephants. That .38 - it's a fine gun. Some of these guns are like toys. That .38 - you go out and hammer nails with it all day, come back and it will cut dead center on target every time. It's got a really nice action to it and a heck of a whallop. You interested in a automatic? It's a Colt .25 Automatic. It's a nice little gun. It's a beautiful little gun. It holds six shots in the clip, one shot in the chamber, if you're dumb enough to put a round in the chamber. Here, look at this. 380 Walther, holds eight shots in the clip. That's a nice gun. Now that's a beautiful little gun. Look at that. During World War II, they used this gun to replace the P38. Just given out to officers. Ain't that a little honey?

Travis:
How much for everything?

Andy:
Only a jack-ass would carry that cannon in the streets like that. Here. Here's a beautiful hand-made holster I had made in Mexico. $40 dollars...How about dope? Grass. Hash. Coke. Mescaline. Downers. Nebutol. Tuinal. Chloral Hydrates? How about any Uppers? Amphetamines.

Travis:
No I'm not interested in that stuff.

Andy:
Crystal meth. I can get ya crystal meth. Nitrous oxide. How about that? How about a Cadillac? I get ya a brand new Cadillac. With the pink slip for two grand.

Travis:
Hey, you're a Secret Service man aren't ya? Huh?

Agent:
Just waiting for the Senator.

Travis:
You're waiting for the Senator? Oh! That's a very good answer. Shit! I'm waitin' for the sun to shine. Yeah. No, the reason I, I asked if you were a Secret Service man, I won't say anything, because I ...I saw some suspicious looking people over there. [Travis points away]' Yeah, they were over there, right over there. They were just here, uh. They were very, very, uh...

Agent:
...suspicious...

Travis:
Yeah. Is it hard to get to be in the Secret Service?

Agent:
Why?

Travis:
Well, I was just curious, because I think I'd be good at it. Very observant. I was in the Marine Corps you know, I'm good with crowds. I'm noticin' the little pin there. [Looking at the agent's lapel] That's like a signal isn't it?

Agent:
Sort of.

Travis:
A signal. A secret signal for the Secret Service. Hey, what kind of guns do you guys carry? .38s, .45s, .357 Magnums, somethin' bigger maybe?

Agent:
Look, uh, if you're really interested, if you give me your name and address, we'll send you all the information on how to apply. How's that?

Travis:
You will?

Agent:
Sure. [The agent takes out a notepad]

Travis:
OK. Why not? My name is Henry Krinkle. K-R-I-N-K-L-E. 154 Hopper Avenue.

Agent:
Hopper?

Travis:
Yeah. You know like a rabbit, hip, hop. Ha, ha. Fair Lawn, New Jersey.

Agent:
Is there a zip code to that Henry?

Travis:
Yeah, 610452. OK?

Agent:
That's, uh, six digits.

Travis:
Oh, well 61045.

Agent:
OK.

Travis:
I was thinking of my telephone number.

Agent:
Well, I've got it all. Henry, we'll get all the stuff right out to you.

Travis:
Thanks a lot. Hey, great. Thanks a lot. Hell, Jesus. Be careful today.

Agent:
Right. Will do.

Travis:
You have to be careful in and around a place like this. Bye.

Travis:
Are you really twelve and a half?

Iris:
Listen mister, it's your time. Fifteen minutes ain't long. When that cigarette burns out, your time is up. [Iris sits on the edge of the sofa and begins undressing]

Travis:
How old are you? You won't tell me? What's your name?

Iris:
Easy.

Travis:
That's not any kind of name.

Iris:
That's easy to remember.

Travis:
Yeah, but what's your real name?

Iris:
I don't like my real name.

Travis:
Now what's your real name?

Iris:
Iris.

Travis:
Well, what's wrong with that? That's a nice name.

Iris:
Huh! That's what you think. [Iris begins to remove her top]

Travis:
No, don't do that. Don't do that. Don't you remember me? Remember when you got into a taxi, it was a checkered taxi. You got in and that that guy Matthew came by and he said he wanted to take you away. He pulled you away.

Iris:
I don't remember that.

Travis:
You don't remember any of that?

Iris:
No.

Travis:
Well. that's all right. I'm gonna get you out of here.

Iris:
So we'd better make it or Sport will get mad. So how do you want to make it?

Travis:
I don't want to make it. Who's Sport?

Iris:
Oh that's Matthew. I call him Sport. [She stands up and begins unbuckling the belt on his pants] You want to make it like this?

Travis:
Listen, uh, listen, hey, can I tell you somethin'. But you're the one that came into my cab. You're the one that wanted to get out of here.

Iris:
Well, I must have been stoned.

Travis:
Why, what do you mean? Do they drug you?

Iris:
Oh come off it, man.

Travis:
[Iris continues to try to unzip his fly] What are you doin'?

Iris:
Don't you want to make it?

Travis:
No, I don't want to make it. I want to help you.

Iris:
Well, I could help you. [Iris reaches for his pants again, but he pushes her back onto the sofa]

Travis:
Damn, man. Goddamn it. Shit, man. What the hell's the matter with you?

Iris:
Mister, you don't have to make it mister.

Travis:
Goddamn it. Don't you want to get out of here? Can't you understand why I came here?

Iris:
I think I understand, uh. I tried to get into your cab one night and you want to come and take me away. Is that it?

Travis:
Yeah, but don't you want to go?

Iris:
I can leave anytime I want to.

Travis:
Well then, what about that one night?

Iris:
Look, I was stoned. That's why they stopped me. 'Cause when I'm not stoned, I got no place else to go. So they just, uh, protect me from myself.

Travis:
Well, I don't know. I don't know. OK, I tried.

Iris:
I understand, and it means somethin', really.

Travis:
Oh look, can I see you again?

Iris:
Ha, ha, that's not hard to do.

Travis:
No, I don't mean like that. I mean, you know, regularly. This is nothing for a person to do.

Iris:
All right. How about breakfast tomorrow?

Travis:
Tomorrow when?

Iris:
I get up at about one o'clock.

Travis:
So long, Iris. See you tomorrow. Sweet Iris.

Iris:
So what makes you so high and mighty. Will you tell me that? Didn't you ever try lookin' in your own eyeballs in the mirror?

Travis:
So what are you gonna do about Sport, that ol' bastard?

Iris:
When?

Travis:
When you leave.

Iris:
I don't know. I just leave him, I guess.

Travis:
You just gonna leave?

Iris:
Yeah, they got plenty of other girls.

Travis:
Yeah, but you just can't do that. What are you gonna do?

Iris:
What do you want me to do? Call the cops?

Travis:
What? The cops don't do nothin'. You know that.

Iris:
Hey look. Sport never treated me bad. I mean he didn't beat me up or anything like that once.

Travis:
But you can't allow him to do the same to other girls. You can't allow him to do that. He is the lowest kind of person in the world. Somebody's got to do something to him. He's the scum of the earth. He's the worst s-s-sucking scum I have ever, ever seen. You know what he told me about you? He called you names. He called you a little piece of chicken.

Iris:
He doesn't, he doesn't mean that. I'll move up to one of them communes in Vermont.

Travis:
I never seen a commune before, but I don't know, you know, I saw some pictures once in a magazine - didn't look very clean.

Iris:
Well why don't you come to the commune with me?

Travis:
Why not cum, come in a commune with you? Oh no.

Iris:
Why not?

Travis:
I don't, I don't go to places like that.

Iris:
Oh come on, why not?

Travis:
No, I don't get along with people like that.

Iris:
Are you a Scorpion?

Travis:
What?

Iris:
That's it. You're a Scorpion. I can tell every time.

Travis:
Besides, I gotta stay here.

Iris:
Come on, why?

Travis:
I got somethin' very important to do.

Iris:
Oh, so what's so important?

Travis:
Doin' somethin' for the government. Cab thing is just part-time.

Iris:
Are you a narc?

Travis:
Do I look like a narc?

Iris:
Yeah. [laughing]

Travis:
I am a narc.

Iris:
God, I don't know who's weirder, you or me? Sure you don't want to come with me?

Travis:
Well, I tell ya what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna give ya the money to go.

Iris:
Oh no, look, you don't have to do that.

Travis:
No, no. I want you to take it. I don't want ya to take anything from them. And I wanna do it. I don't have anything better to do with my money. I might be goin' away for a while.

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