Taxi Driver is Released

Taxi Driver is a 1976 film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader.

The movie is set in New York City, soon after the Vietnam War. The film stars Robert De Niro and features Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Leonard Harris, Peter Boyle, Cybill Shepherd, and a young Jodie Foster. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including "Best Picture", and won the Palme d'Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.

Travis Bickle (De Niro) is a lonely and depressed young man of 26. His origins are unknown. He occasionally sends his parents cards, lying about his life and saying he works for the government on a secret project. He settles in Manhattan, where he becomes a night time taxi driver due to chronic insomnia. Bickle spends his restless days in seedy porn theaters and works 12 or 14 hour shifts during the evening and night time hours carrying passengers among all five boroughs of New York City. He keeps a diary which is used as narration throughout the film. An honorably discharged Marine, it is strongly implied that he is a Vietnam veteran; he keeps a charred flag of South Vietnam in his squalid apartment and has a large scar on his back.

The film can be seen as a series of his failed attempts to connect, every one of them hopelessly wrong. Bickle (Robert De Niro) asks a girl out on a date and takes her to a porno movie. He sucks up to a political candidate and ends by alarming him. He tries to make small talk with a Secret Service agent. He wants to befriend a child prostitute, but scares her away. He is so lonely that when he asks, "Who you talkin' to?" he is addressing himself in a mirror.