Write descriptive essay about Taxi Driver movie 1976, write an essay of at least 500 words on Taxi Driver, 5 paragraph essay on Taxi Driver, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
Taxi Driver
Year:
1976
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, Thriller
IMDB rating:
8.5
Director:
Martin Scorsese
Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle
Jodie Foster as Iris
Harvey Keitel as Sport
Leonard Harris as Charles Palantine
Peter Boyle as Wizard
Diahnne Abbott as Concession Girl
Frank Adu as Angry Black Man
Gino Ardito as Policeman at Rally
Victor Argo as Melio (as Vic Argo)
Garth Avery as Iris' Friend
Harry Cohn as Cabbie in Bellmore
Copper Cunningham as Hooker in Cab
Brenda Dickson as Soap Opera Woman
Harry Fischler as Dispatcher
Storyline: Travis Bickle is an ex-Marine and Vietnam War veteran living in New York City. As he suffers from insomnia, he spends his time working as a taxi driver at night, watching porn movies at seedy cinemas during the day, or thinking about how the world, New York in particular, has deteriorated into a cesspool. He's a loner who has strong opinions about what is right and wrong with mankind. For him, the one bright spot in New York humanity is Betsy, a worker on the presidential nomination campaign of Senator Charles Palatine. He becomes obsessed with her. After an incident with her, he believes he has to do whatever he needs to to make the world a better place in his opinion. One of his priorities is to be the savior for Iris, a twelve-year-old runaway and prostitute who he believes wants out of the profession and under the thumb of her pimp and lover Matthew.
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Reviews
Scorsese's first masterpiece
Taxi Driver is incredible. Every time I watch it I become more and more engrossed with the story and the acting. One of the rare films that grows more enjoyable after every viewing. The film seems to have been done on a small budget but it's perfect for what the script suggests. Robert De Niro in one of his best roles ever earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, one that he should have won. Martin Scorsese did a fine job not only in directing, but also in selecting the perfect cast. Future stars Jodie Foster and Harvey Keitel are just two of the many in the amazing supporting cast. Everything in this film is just right, watch it if you haven't already, or even if you have!
2000-12-14
Urban Anomi.
A truly disturbing movie. Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro), great name, falls into a mood of brooding, amorphous rage and is frustrated in his attempts to murder a politician. So he wipes out a couple of low-life pimps instead.

The story tracks him through his descent into insanity. Interesting folks are encountered along the way but have less impact than rubber bumpers have on a pinball. Cybill Shepherd and Peter Boyle, for instance. Boyle is one of a handful of taxi drivers, like DeNiro, who gather at a certain café to shoot the breeze on breaks. He's particularly funny in his working-class disinclination to think things through. "Them queers" have to get married and divorced in California, he says wonderingly. I saw this in the Castro Theater in San Francisco and the audience erupted in laughter. When DeNiro asks for advice and gets nonsense in response, Boyle asks, "What do you want, Bertrand Russell?"

The film is unusual for Martin Scorsese. His most successful work has been with solidary groups, like small time hoods and the Mafia, in which there is an agreed-upon set of rules, and everyone knows everyone else. This one digs into urban anomie. "Anomi" is a concept developed by the French sociologist Emile Durkheim and it means, essentially, "without rules." It's the kind of thing you experience when you drive into a vast strip mall parking lot and all the yellow lines guiding traffic have been erased. What do I do NOW, Ma?

Scorsese is examining a social world that, as an Italian Catholic, he really has had little contact with. The film was written by Paul Schrader who, as an ex-Calvinist, is a little more familiar with this sort of ontological anxiety. It crops up in the production design. When DeNiro makes his unfulfilling meeting with Jody Foster, the twelve-year-old whore, it collapses in misunderstanding but in the background there are a multitude of Catholic candles. The climactic scene has a voice reading a letter to DeNiro from Foster's square Midwestern parents, congratulating him for an act that was ancillary to his own agenda, which was evidently to bring the world down around his ears.

A film of the 1970s, it resonates less with audiences today. The racial troubles that were so headline-grabbing at the time show up less often in the news today. Not that the problem of race is solved, but the categorical thinking that divided us into two warring tribes has less relevance. The resentment simmers but has been cut off at the ankles, partly by our recent election of an African-American to the highest office in the nation. At the same time we have to admit that, as a nation, we are pustular with hatred for each other and for other countries that may not behave the way we want them to. Our leading presidential candidate has made it clear that he will go to war with Iran if Iran doesn't give up its nuclear ambitions. These attitudes come from the same place as Travis Bickle's.

Most powerful shot in the movie: the camera slowly moves in on a bubbling glass of Alka Seltzer on the table in front of Robert DeNiro. All that fizzing is but one step removed from the explosion that is to follow.
2009-03-29
A Metaphor For Loneliness
Gritty, grim, and depressing, "Taxi Driver" tells the story of Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), a desperately lonely Vietnam vet who takes a job as a New York City cabby. The job should, in theory, draw him closer to people. Instead, it does just the opposite. Through the endless repetition of impersonal contacts, the ever-present prostitutes and pimps, and all the other reminders of urban indifference and sleaze, Travis' loneliness and alienation deepen into concealed rage.

Both delusional and morally judgmental, Travis counters in the only way he knows how, by taking up arms, literally. In his words: "Here's a man who would not take it anymore". He shaves the sides of his head, he pumps iron to get physically fit, perfects his weapons skills, and sets out to be a one-man vigilante committee.

"Taxi Driver" was, and still is, a relevant cinematic statement on urban alienation. The film's tone seesaws between menacing and dangerous on the one hand, and tawdry and seedy on the other, depending largely on Bernard Herrmann's excellent background music, and the moody neon of nighttime Manhattan. The taxi itself functions as a visual metaphor for loneliness.

The film looks and feels like typical 1970's drama: dark, downbeat, somber. There's almost no humor to offset the weighty subject matter. Dialogue is realistic for NYC street life. My major technical objection is the violence, which is overplayed. I did not much like the film's ending.

"Taxi Driver" has evolved into a cinematic classic, owing to its social message, Scorsese's direction, and Di Niro's flawless performance as the anti-hero at the center of the urban maelstrom. This is one of those films that a viewer can appreciate for its technical quality, but not really enjoy watching. Indeed, I find the film to be somewhat tedious to sit through. It's all just a bit too grungy and sordid for my taste.
2006-08-28
Taxi Driver VS. Chinatown
I just ended to see Taxi Driver, I just say that is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen, is an excellent portraying of that filthy, unsocially, vicious and decreased part of New York, with characters that used to live there and that are creating mean business, that we don't want to see, not only there, but also in my city, in fact, some of the society is identical to the poor parts of Colombia, especially when the black threw thinks to Travis and the taxi. Very psychological and suspenseful, Taxi Driver is not only a film classic, is New York. The second movie I saw form Scorsese (The first only was Gangs of New York, also a classic for me), and the first when De Niro was starting his long-living career, and Jodie Foster as well: Their performances were accurate and also their situations and conflicts. For the other hand Chinatown, directed by Roman Polanski, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, is the representative of film noir, descendant of The Maltese Falcon and Rebecca. Jake Gittes was that detective that is unhappy with the world, anyway, somehow, I saw that the screenplay was perfect: No mistake, creative and hard-boiling. Perhaps Robert Towne could be a writer for a lot of prizes. When I saw Faye Dunaway, I expected no less: She act like that femme fatale, but she doesn't begin as that, but she evolves into becoming a femme fatale, thanks of that father, daughter, sister and husband. The society of 1930s, portraying in Chinatown, was very perfect: It contains tha social life, tha customs and everything. ¡¡I expected less from that part, I deserved my surprise!! Corrupt politicians, infidel wives, lovers, criminals and anti-semitic. Perhaps many people, that already saw the movie, would say "The romantic part was incomplete: It needed to be more influential inside", or something like that, however I think different: The Film Noir contains un-sentimental love and promiscuity, and the part of love was that: It contained everything I read about the genre. Indeed Chinatown is another classic masterpiece, directed by another living legend: Roman Polanski Taxi Driver is film noir too. And is that society the one that expresses each one of the elements of film noir, and historical if we think about Vietnam War, speaking about Travis Bickle. For the other hand, it doesn't need too much for understand his mind: He hates his world, he feels he's better than anyone of them, and he thinks he is some think of hero, trying to save society form itself: He's totally insane. I recognize I'm not very specific with some elements of these two movies, but I prefer to bring you a synopsis about what you are about to find out rather than explain you the details. And i'm not a professional film critic anyway.

But I can say one critic: Academy Award should, at least, nominate this movie for more than just four Academy Award. ¡Screw them, for that and for ignoring Scorsese, especially with Raging Bull and Goodfellas! Remember the words for Mark Caldwell: They involve the AFI, but I would replace them for "Oscars": Thank you Scorsese. De Niro don't worry yourself about the AFI, their just a bunch of pompous elitist f**k's

When you go to videostore, look for these two movies, watch them and ask yourself: ¿Which one can be the Absolute Film Noir of 1970s? ¿Taxi Driver or Chinatown?
2005-01-02
Notes from Above Ground.
Somewhere in the shadows of the night, hidden within the restraints of his taxicab, a lonely man watches with disgust. His eyes survey the streets with all the malice and passion of a burning fire, his large pupils an open doorway leading into his soul. The demons haunt him; voices in his head convince him that the world is closing in and the only way out is through some form of moral redemption; a physical and emotional catharsis.

The stranger's name is Travis Bickle and he is God's Lonely Man: a discharged Vietnam veteran who wanders the streets at night in a permanent state of confusion and self-loathing.

Travis takes a job as a cab driver to keep out of the porn theaters that have been occupying his time – deciding he might as well get paid for roaming since he does it anyway.

But Travis' filtered input and odd output seems to suggest something is dreadfully wrong. The mild insanity of our protagonist begins to escalate. He approaches an attractive political campaign adviser, Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), and asks her out to dinner. She agrees, but the date is cut short when Travis takes her to an X-rated film.

Travis soon meets a young underage prostitute named Iris (a fourteen-year-old Jodie Foster), whom he feels a desire – nay, a need -- to rescue from slavery. Iris' pimp, Sport (Harvey Keitel), becomes another of Travis' demons.

Taxi Driver was released in 1976 to split praise. Some critics hailed it as a masterpiece, whilst others were a great deal more reserved in their accolade. In Newsweek, Jack Kroll wrote "(…) in their eagerness to establish rich and moral ambiguities, the Catholic Scorsese and the Calvinist Schrader have flubbed their ending. It's meant to slay you with irony, but it's simply incredible." Some critics just hated the film in general and felt the entire runtime was a mess of pretentious storytelling and depressing, gritty themes.

Depressing? Yes. Gritty? Yes. Brilliant? Most definitely. Scorsese does not merely address Travis as a character; he puts us inside his head. And even so, there are instances of abnormality in Scorsese's camera work that suggest paranoia and schizophrenia; moments of displaced subjectivity in which we are neither looking quite through the eyes of Travis nor through those around him, but more at length to his side…yet it seems that his body (primarily his hands) are below us, at the side of the frame, indicating an altered version of the traditional P.O.V.

Scorsese's movie is structured using diverse narrative elements – one of the most prominent being dramatic irony rooted in Greek tragedy (in this case, many set-up and pay-off moments). When Travis exits the brothel for the first time, a Mafioso figure says, "Come back any time." Travis responds, "I will." We know he will, too, and when he does, that's the pay-off.

Above all else the film is rooted in the basic existentialism philosophies of Berdyaev, Heidegger and Nietzsche. Scorsese later admitted this his toying of genres and philosophy was entirely incidental ("It just felt right…") but one can't help but imagine Schrader may have been influenced by Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground, in which our narrator begins, "I am a sick man…I am a spiteful man." This brings to mind the scene in which Bickle dictates his journal entries to us and delivers an ultimatum to the "filth" on the streets, preceded by senseless introspective rambling.

Moving on, the ultimate puzzle of the film: Does our hero live or die? After Travis is shot in the climactic battle, he lies on a sofa, presumably dying, and makes a gesture with his fingers, pretending to shoot himself in the head. The camera pulls up, overhead, and exits the brothel. It then pulls back across the street and up into the heavens, surveying the crowd below.

In the next scene, Travis is alive and well, presented to the world as a hero through the media. Yet as Travis pulls away from the curb at the end of the film, Herrman's familiar four notes (the same ones as used for the final shot of Psycho, implemented when Norman Bates' lack of absolute sanity is finally revealed) come into play. A bell rings. Travis looks in his rearview mirror, as if maybe something caught his eye… And then, suddenly, the movie ends.

Taxi Driver's ending cannot be resolved further more than conjecture and opinion. Scorsese himself says on the DVD making-of documentary that he believes the ending is open for analysis. Did Travis live? Did he die? Are the demons on the street still haunting him? Are we meant to sympathize with him and believe he is a hero, or are we meant to refuse him as one? (Or is this our natural reaction against Scorsese's own wishes -- which would explain the negative reviews in '76?)

But it is ultimately the haunting image of Bickle drifting through the endless hordes of nameless people on the streets of Manhattan that lingers with us after the film has ended, and remains the most prescient today. How effortlessly this man can disappear into the multitudes – God's Lonely Man once again alone, alienated and betrayed by the world he has come to loathe. That, above all else, is the most poignant aspect of Taxi Driver.
2005-10-01
Travis Bickle is the definitive Gotham City avenger...
If only bad-ass cartoon characters like Batman and Spawn could muster one-tenth of the psychotic rage Travis Bickle possesses. Bickle's cape is the Vietnam Marine jacket that he wears throughout the film. The way "Bickle" is stenciled on the back it might as well be a giant "S" or the insipid Bat logo that various actors have exhibited though a series of pointless films. The whole film unspools like a dream that a Vietnam grunt could be envisioning while dying in a rice paddy on the other side of the world. (Oh, wait, that was Jacob's Ladder...) Travis is a gratingly rascist and moralistic character and the black pimps and drag queens he regards with such contempt through his cab window could be stand-ins for the Vietcongs he couldn't quite vanquish when he had the chance. His plan to assassinate the Presidential candidate is undertaken with the same ritualistic precision of a military mission. For Bickle the war has not ended and he has simply transposed the conflict onto the streets of New York. His bipolar view of the world--people are either angels like Betsy or "scum sucking scum" like Sport--is eerily prophetic of America's current perception of world events. (You're either with us or you're with the terrorists) When Travis wishes for "a real rain that'll wash the scum off the streets" he sounds chillingly like John Ashcroft or, Dubya, or even Guiliani (who almost accomplished what Travis couldn't) It's sobering to think that an outlook as disturbed and childishly naive as Travis' could morph into the mainstream point of view.

(POSSIBLE SPOILER) Current politics aside, the little coda at the end of the film, when Travis is back at his job, a reluctant hero among his fellow cabbies--albiet with a lingering soreness in his neck --has always mystified me. Could it be that that last ride with Betsy, whom Travis merely glimpses at through the mirror, is in fact his out of body release into death as he sits amidst the bloodbath back in the hotel room? I think Scorsese strongly implies this when De Niro takes one last look at himself in the overhead mirror and suddenly his face disappears from view. Notice the musical sting right when that happens. It's utterly chilling; a depiction of death more unnerving than anything I've ever seen in another film. (Or at least on par with the flash of white leader when a man shoots himself in Mean Streets.) The film is timeless and it reflects meaningfully, like a looking glass, on each era we pass through.

2002-01-12
Taxi Driver (1976)-A Film With A Fatally Flawed Storyline
I watched Taxi Driver (1976) a couple of years ago & thought that it was a film with a fatally flawed storyline that didn't really deserve the big box office response & all the critical accolades it got.

However, now that I've just viewed Taxi Driver a second time, I must report that I STILL feel that it's a film with a storyline SO flawed that there is JUST NO WAY that I can consider it much more than a mediocre film, at best.

True enough, Taxi Driver is a film with some great qualities. The cinematography is exciting & innovative. The acting of the WHOLE cast is really superior.

However, all the great qualities of this film are for nothing, as far as I'm concerned, because, at least for me, if a film has a story line that is fundamentally flawed, then that just makes the rest of the film pointless. True enough, there plenty of fine films out there with improbable characters &/or improbable storyline elements where through good acting, & good direction they were able to pull off at least a semi-plausible, or semi-believable film. However, there are fatal flaws in the storyline of Taxi Driver that no amount of good acting or good direction would ever be able to overcome.

1) That cabbie Travis would take beautiful, educated, impeccably dressed, upscale campaign executive Betsy to a hard core porn movie on their first date is just STUPID. Look, Travis spent time in the Marines & he has a reputation of being the only cabbie who will take fares even to the roughest parts of NYC without getting into trouble, so he has lots of life experience & lots of "street smarts". Moreover, his social boldness in walking in off the street to talk to upscale Betsy, & his smooth, seductive language when he is wooing her in the campaign office & then again in the coffee shop belies a level of social sophistication that is beyond the narrative of this film. So why is a guy like Travis, who apparently has so much "on the ball" STUPIDLY taking an educated, upscale gal like Betsy to a hard core porn movie on their first date?

2) That Travis begins to get deranged & delusional after Betsy blows him off, & that he buys a number of guns, & starts to systematically stalk candidate Palatine & then, after his assassination attempt fails that he goes to rescue adolescent prostitute Iris, killing several guys in the process is pure BS. Having a BA & a MA in Psychology, I can tell you that mental illness just doesn't work that way. If Travis spent such a long time plotting the assassination of Palatine, then no simple foiled assassination attempt would allow him to focus his obsessiveness elsewhere. In reality, a paranoid borderline psychotic like Travis would just regroup for another attempt to kill the object that he has been stalking for so long, not just "turn on a dime" & choose a new object to kill.

3) That Travis is a deranged guy who has been plotting the murder of a Presidential candidate for a long time, & then starts a caring, empathetic relationship with the kid prostitute Iris is just from outer space. A guy who is as twisted as Travis, who spends 24/7 obsessed with killing a prominent person just doesn't take a "mental health vacation" & goes to express concern to a teenage hooker & has a rational conversation with her. SORRY, but the severe mental illness that Travis was exhibiting after Betsy blew him off just can't be switched on & off that way.

4) That Travis is hailed in the newspapers as a "hero" after he murders 4 bad guys while "rescuing" Iris is just STUPID. a) Replete with his Mohawk haircut, & unconscious to boot when the cops arrived after the big shootout, Travis would've been pegged as a bad guy who was in a shootout with other bad guys, & as a lowly NYC cabbie Good Luck talking your way out that corner. b) Even if the cops & the DA did recognize that Travis was not a bad guy but a misguided vigilante ala Bernard Goetz, chances are good that he'd still end up in prison for murder because not even bona fide cops have the legal authority to have the type of self initiated, unprovoked shoot out with the bad guys that Travis had.

5) That elegant, beautiful, educated, upscale, uptown Betsy actually seeks out the lowly cabbie Travis & makes overtures to him at the end of the film is UNREAL enough in itself but that Travis blew her off & just drove away leaving her standing in the street is just FANTASTIC, UNBELIEVABLE, & the stuff of children's FAIRY TALES not of an adult feature film.

For these reasons, & others, I must conclude that Taxi Driver is an otherwise OK film but with an ill conceived, bush league storyline that is not even worthy of a B-movie, much less international film awards. Obviously, writer Paul Schrader did no research on the complex personality that was the centerpiece of his screenplay.
2015-05-21
one of these days i'm gonna get organiz-ized
i can't believe i waited this long to finally watch this classic.this is one brilliant film.De Niro is excellent as the title character AKA Travis Bickel.Martin Scorsese directed this masterpiece.i don't wanna to oversell this film,but it's something else.i'm not gonna give any of the plot away,because i think any way who goes into this should view it without any preconceived notions.DE Niro is brilliant here,that much i'll say.i also loved the look of the film,the style,the colours.it's currently #39 on the top 250 here on this site,but i'd probably even rate it higher than that.if you haven't seen it,i would highly recommend it.for me,Taxi Driver is a 10/10
2010-04-11
We are the Taxi Drivers
We are the taxi drivers. We let people in our hearts and minds. Some turn out to be rotten some inspire us. Either way they affect our thoughts and perceptions.

Robert De Niro's created an unforgettable image of a taxi driver that longs to find the meaning of his life. No matter if it's a well mannered lady, under age prostitute, stranger willing to kill his own wife, or a presidential candidate. All these people come and go to the life of the taxi driver who is willing to change the system no matter what. Although he himself needs a cure he takes a bold step to become the cure for a young innocent child.
2013-08-11
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