Vietnam vet Travis Bickle (Robert de Niro) is a New York City taxi driver who willing works the nightshift in the roughest sections of town. But as he drives, he becomes disgusted with the sickness and corruption he sees around him on the streets of New York City. He is a psychological misfit, but someone who wants this degradation cleaned up.
Travis befriends Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) and asks her out. Unfortunately, the socially-inept Travis chooses a porn film for their first date. Betsy dumps him, accelerating Travis' descent into isolation. An even more frustrated Travis then meets Iris (Jodie Foster), a 12-year-old runaway turned prostitute. Sickened by the perversion he sees all around him, he prepares for a bloody crusade which he believes will put the world to rights.
Best Actor (Leading) -> Robert De Niro
Best Actress (Supporting) -> Jodie Foster
Best Music -> Bernard Herrmann
Release date: February 8, 1976
The famous Are you talking to me scene wasn’t in the script. Scorsese: “I just said, Do something” Source / More (Book)
John Hinckley watched Taxi driver over fifteen times. He identified with Bickle and began stalking Foster to save her. In 1981 he tried to murder Ronald Reagan to show his love for her. Source / More (Book)
Jodie Foster was 13 years of age.
Hitchcock composer Bernard Hermann finished recording the last note of music on 23th December 1975, went back to his hotel and died in his sleep that night.
The script is based on the twisted diaries of Arthur Bremer (1950), a 21 year old restaurant busboy. Because he was dumped by a 15 year old girl, Arthur wanted to kill the governor of Alabama, George Wallace. He’s serving a 63-year stretch for attempted murder.
Paul Schrader wrote the script. He had a very hard time selling it to a studio. Schrader: “Every studio said, This is a great script, and somebody should make it - but not us”. Source / More (Book)
This week 22 years ago Backdraft premiered (May 24, 1991)
August 17, 1943
Robert De Niro was born and grew up in New York City (USA). He was trained for the stage by Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg. In the sixties De Niro appeared in several low-budget Brian de Palma movies but first gained fame for his role in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973).
His incisive performance as a simple minded hood in Scorsese's Mean streets started an ongoing working relationship between the actor and the director. De Niro’s breakthrough role was that of the young Vito Corleone in the flashback sequences of The Godfather II (1974). In 1980, De Niro gained 50 pounds to play boxer Jake LaMotta in Scorsese's Raging Bull.
For the next 10 years, he branched out into a number of different types of films. Robert made his directional debut in 1993 with A Bronx Tale. In 2006 he directed the historic epic The Good Shepherd starring Matt Damon. De Niro will work again with Michael Mann. Mann is likely to direct Robert in Frankie Machine, a new mob flick that Martin Scorsese was to direct before dropping out.
1992 Nominated Leading Role for: Cape Fear (1991)
1991 Nominated Leading Role for: Awakenings (1990)
1981 Won Oscar Leading Role for: Raging Bull (1980)
1979 Nominated Leading Role for: The Deer Hunter (1978)
1977 Nominated Leading Role for: Taxi Driver (1976)
1975 Won Oscar Supporting Role for: The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Douglas Brode -> The Films of Robert De Niro (1996)
John Parker -> De Niro (1995)