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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 Palantine. He becomes obsessed with her. After an incident with her, he believes he has to do whatever he needs 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. Written by
A lonely Vietnam veteran who has insomnia spends his nights as a taxi driver in the dirty streets of New York, where he encounters a young prostitute who he tries to help make a difference.
This is a very good film and one of Martin Scorsese best (Goodfellas being my fave). An excellent portrayal from Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle the cabbie and good performances from Jodie Foster as the child prostitute Iris Steensman, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle and Harvey Keitel as a pimp called Sport.
You actually get drawn into the isolation and anger that Travis is feeling towards these lowlifes and because of that you really feel sympathy for him. Though after a while the loneliness and the city really starts to haunt Travis's mind, causing violent instincts and paranoia.
This film is filled with such memorable lines e.g.Travis Bickle 'You talking to me? Well I'm the only one here.' and the many powerful scenes that stay in your head after it's finished. The hypnotic cinematography is a standout, as if your seeing the harsh & gritty New York streets and twisted people through the eyes of Travis when he is driving his cab. A great screenplay, a stunning score by Bernard Herrmann and a superb atmosphere created.
This is a brutally compelling and bleak look at a decaying and corrupt society of the 70's. An unsettling gem of a film.
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