2015 Blind Spot Series: Taxi Driver


What I knew going in: I had seen the first 15 minutes or so of this movie a long time ago, so I figured it was time to finish it.

Travis (Robert De Niro) is an insomniac who drives a cab at night to keep himself busy. He becomes infatuated with a woman named Betsy (Cybill Shepard) who works on a political campaign. He becomes consumed with the idea that the scum must be cleaned from New York City. On his personal quest of becoming the moral police, he focuses on Iris (Jodie Foster) a 12 year old hooker he wants to free from the life she lives.

I remember thinking the film was a bit slow when I started it so long ago, but I didn't get that feeling this time around. I actually loved how quiet was. How everything felt so meticulous. De Niro was just excellent here. Probably the best I've seen him. 

That shoot out at the end was pretty ridiculous. No one knows how to properly aim a gun apparently, but damn that shot of De Niro putting his own fingers to his head was haunting. I'm glad I finally got around to finishing this.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "You're so square." - Iris (Jodie Foster)

21 comments:

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  2. I've only seen this film the once, a few years ago now, but I was really impressed by it and please it lived up to the hype. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  3. I remember this film. Taxi Driver was a great movie, perhaps one of Scorsese's best (it would probably be either this, Goodfellas, or Hugo). Robert De Niro made for a really interesting protagonist and I recall there being really great atmosphere to the whole movie. It's been a few years since I last saw it in full, I really got to get on seeing it again.

    If you liked Taxi Driver, it might be worthwhile to look at some other films of the same era that had similar themes. Basically, in the 1970's there was a cycle of "urban westerns" or vigilante films (Taxi Driver being one of the most famous) that centered around an everyman protagonist getting fed up with how bureaucratic the authorities can get and taking the law into their own hands. The other big film from that cycle is of course Dirty Harry, but there are plenty of others. There is also the Death Wish series, but I've been told those aren't very good. Ms. 45 is a more obscure one that might be worth checking out if you get the chance, and it is also notable for being one of the few movies of the cycle to feature a female vigilante (and a pretty psychotic one at that).

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    1. The Death Wish series always sounded terrible to me, so I skipped it. Dirty Harry I've seen parts of, but it might be worth checking out. Thanks for the recs!

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  4. So happy you enjoyed Taxi Driver. It's one of my all time faves. DeNiro is flat out amazing here, as is Scorsese, Foster, and the overlooked Cybil Shepard. And yeah, Harvey Keitel in the tank top, tight pants, stacked shoes and the hat topping it off...just wow.

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    1. lol Keitel always wows me in everything he does. The cast here is excellent.

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  5. One of my favorite films by Scorsese and it has de Niro at his best.

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    1. This is easily my favorite De Niro film now. He was perfect.

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  6. Like, one of the best films ever...for real!

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  7. Love this movie! I had to laugh at your comment about nobody knowing how to aim a gun. That seems to be ubiquitous in movies. Seriously, how hard would be be to teach actors to do it right?

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    1. It was really obviously bad in this film. Maybe the entire industry learned from it? lol

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  8. My favorite film of all time. So glad you were able to finish it, and THRILLED that you enjoyed it!

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  9. I actually still haven't seen this but maybe one day I'll give it a shot. I hope I end up liking it as much as you did Brittani!

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    1. I hope you do too. It was on Instant Netflix, but I think it may have been taken off now.

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  10. So glad you loved this one. Masterful filmmaking by Scorsese and a brilliant performance by De Niro, for sure.

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    1. I am too. Glad I finally finished it after all these years. I don't know what took me so long.

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  11. This is a great movie, driven by a totally quiet, creepy De Niro performance. It's always been a tough watch for me. I've only seen it maybe twice. It layers discomfort to an amazing degree. I love Scorsese's quieter, non-gangster masterpieces. I say masterpieces because I put this one on the level with Bringing Out the Dead, also written by Paul Schrader. I actually love it more.

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    1. I love what Scorsese does, but I'm a little embarrassed to admit I haven't seen a lot of his earlier works. I need to get on that.

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