Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : Taxi Driver

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An insomniac hires out as a cab driver. He can’t sleep so he might as well drive all night and make some cash. He takes the bad fares on the rough side of town that the other cabbies won’t touch. No sleep, popping pills, being exposed to “The scum of the city” pretty well drives him over the edge. Paranoia, depression and isolation all play a part in his state of mind. The one good thing he comes into contact with, he fucks up with his less than social graces. After  it just gets worse for our hero.

What can I say. This is a CB type of movie. Martin Scorsese brings you into our hero’s world. He directs a really good piece of film. Using all his influences and inspirations he tells the story with the camera, environment, soundtrack, performances. You really do feel like you’re along for the ride in Shitsville USA.

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With Robert DeNiro as his lead actor Scorsese ( with Paul Schrader’s screenplay) uses him as his vehicle to get his vision across. DeNiro is subtle, understated and real. Using the character’s narrated diary we really get inside his mindset. He immerses himself in the character and the performance is caught on film.

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I like this film-making. From the driving scenes at night through the streets to the music. It all sets a tone for the ride into this world. I love this motion picture.

“Clean up this city. Flush it down the fucking toilet” What ever you say Travis.

47 comments on “Movie : Taxi Driver

  1. Jim S.
    March 29, 2020

    CB shoots, he scores. One of the unqualified great movies ever. A Scorsese/DeNiro classic. I used to live in NYC and in fact, worked near Times Square back when it was the squalid shithole represented in this movie. Hard to believe when you see how Disneyfied it’s become but it was all X-rated theaters, hookers, and sex shows. “Are you talking to me?” Jodie Foster as a hooker. Crazy. True story – I was working someplace a couple of years ago with a guy who was maybe 30. He never heard of this movie. I recommended it. He watched it with his wife and old man. He didn’t know what to expect. His reaction was priceless. I think it kind of stunned him. He didn’t know what to say. I’d randomly make suggestions to him but half the shit I mentioned was totally lost on him.

    As to why I was up late, well, I was watching another ’70s classic that I don’t believe CB has ever written about. I’ll save it for a little later to bring it up again so I don’t sidetrack the comments on this one. “Are you talkin’ to me? Well, who the hell else are you talkin’ to? Well, I’m the only one here.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 29, 2020

      ‘Well that’s just your opinion man”. But I agree with it. And yeah, what the hell are you doing up? Right, things are a bit out of kilter.
      I think we’ve touched on this one before. It really is a good film. I didnt really do it justice. All I know is I was engaged it from start to finish. It’s scary how good DeNiro was. Travis was a living breathing headcase. How many of those guys are on the loose. And his cab buddies. Peter Boyle and the gang. How was that for perfect casting? Not too many false moves. I watched this film on skid row. Walking out of the movie house it was right into that world, not as populated and intense as NY but the same vibe. Your Rich take reminded me of the Krupa type guy playing the skins onn the street. Just a small snippet, Remember it? I love that stuff.
      Thanks for the first bite Doc.
      (Now come on. You cant throw a nugget like “I just watched a 70’s classic …” And not tell me)

      Like

      • Jim S.
        March 29, 2020

        Was that a quote from The Dude? Anyway, the movie is “Serpico.” Yeah, the one with Al Pacino (and it turns out, Woody Allen’s pal, Tony Roberts) about police corruption in NYC. Kinda dated in its look and feel. Too much time getting to the point, too many scenes establishing Serpico as a partying ladies man-about-town. Audiences wouldn’t sit still for that today. But it picks up and gets good. Good acting, directing (Sidney Lumet). Serpico really went up against The Man.
        I looked for a review over here at CB’s crib but found only the one just before it, ‘Scarecrow,’ which I’ve never seen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 29, 2020

        Earl always says that to me.
        Yeah I like Frank’s story. Not same league as TD but worth a watch. You just nailed it on your mini review. There’s a bunch of those films that used NYC as a location and I like a lot of them.
        Scarecrow is a fave . Al was really good but Gene’s the man in that one. He is easily one of my favorite actors.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        March 29, 2020

        Me too. Pacino said it was “challenging” to work with him. Not in a good way. Actors! They sound like pains in the ass.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 29, 2020

        Yes the pain in the ass applies to some. I heard Al was a pretty good guy but the source is a bit shaky.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        March 29, 2020

        Yeah, I bet Al is a good dude. Such an iconic guy. BTW, 100% agreed on Hackman.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 29, 2020

        Just watched Gene in Unforgiven. He was great. Eastwood was smart casting him.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        March 29, 2020

        Hackman’s beating of English Bob was so merciless it’s hard to watch. How do you say ‘cut’ after something like that, laugh and go have a pizza?

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 29, 2020

        You’re right. Harris (stuntman) took one for the team.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        March 29, 2020

        They don’t pay those guys enough.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. hanspostcard
    March 29, 2020

    One of my favorite movies ever.. “You talkin’ to me?”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. deKE
    March 29, 2020

    Great writeup CB. Such a classic. DeNiro goes to a whole other level in acting in some of his flicks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hotfox63
    March 29, 2020

    A classic for good reasons. “Taxi Driver” is a very effective portrayal of New York in the 1970’s, loneliness, violence. Every single aspect of the film works. The performance by Robert De Niro has become an iconic. The direction by Martin Scorsese is very stylish and gives the movie a unforgettable look.

    Like

  5. Tommy
    March 29, 2020

    I know it’s a great film with great acting, but I never found it entertaining, just disturbing. Maybe it’s too real or hits too close to home for me. It does paint a good picture of the way things were at that time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 29, 2020

      I get that Tommy. Nothing glamorous. Just having Travis in a scene was uncomfortable. Watching someone in the throws of mental illness is not an easy thing to witness. Even in a movie.
      Scorsese caught a slice of the crazy Mardi Gras of what was going on. I get mesmerized by his night shots driving the streets. Tough watch for sure.

      Like

    • Jim S.
      March 29, 2020

      I think the “not entertaining but disturbing” response is what was going on with the guy I recommended it to. I think his old man thought I was a nut for recommending it. Some movies are like that. But then if they get you that way you know some good work is being done.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 29, 2020

        What I try to do with CB is just simply give my take. If folks are inclined they might watch or listen or give me their experience with them. That’s what i really dig. Also hearing back that they dug them also is cool.
        I have lots of funny stories of responses from people who just hate things that I like. Or I owe them the price of the ticket. Some of my buddies are the best.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        March 29, 2020

        Yeah, like I said, my guy wasn’t really expecting what he saw. I think maybe watching it with his old man wasn’t the best play.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 29, 2020

        The old CB used to send people to really nasty bad films just for a few laughs. Real funny huh?

        Like

      • Jim S.
        March 30, 2020

        I saw The Exorcist about a hundred times and I used to like to watch other people’s reactions when they saw it for the first time. I don’t think this makes us bad people. Does it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 30, 2020

        Maybe not bad just a little bent. Nothing like cheap laugh at someones expense.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        March 30, 2020

        And here I thought Canucks were all nice.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 30, 2020

        All bullshit. Handsome and smart though.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        March 30, 2020

        Let us add humble to that and say we share those virtues.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah, Another Blogger
    March 29, 2020

    Man, Scorsese is so great. He can do anything. Tough and gritty. Whimsical and delightful. Anything.

    By the way, have you seen The Irishman? I haven’t. My wife keeps asking me to watch it with her. I guess we’ll have to watch it in two or three sessions, because I can’t sit through a three hour movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 29, 2020

      You’re right about Martin. I especially like his earlier output.
      Yes, my Gal and I caught his latest. Make sure you’re well rested. You know I stick with things I dig on my takes but I’ll give you this, Pesci I thought was great, So much of it didnt work for me. Really good story. Not bad but not up with others of his that I really like.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tommy
        April 2, 2020

        CB, I just watched The Irishman (in one sitting) – I thought the acting was so good that it made up for the length. I thought it was subtle and subdued and a different approach for Scorsese that really worked for me. I wonder if Scorsese enjoyed not having to go over the top with the craziness and violence, because this was the polar opposite of Casino in many ways. If it was shorter, I’m sure it would have had wider appeal, but I was fine with it myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 2, 2020

        I agree on the “subtle and subdued” approach. Good point. I liked that about it also. And the Casino comparison. Glad you liked it Tommy.

        Like

    • Jim S.
      March 29, 2020

      A friend of mine and I went to see ‘Irishman’ during the two-week period it was in the theater. It was a long haul and quite frankly, we both thought it was a good hour too long. Some reviews were calling it a masterpiece but it’s really not. TD is closer to one as is ‘Raging Bull.’ But it’s pretty much territory that’s already been hashed over by Scorsese including using rock songs that Robbie Robertson curates. But all that said maybe not great but good. Pesci is really good. I might even watch it again with my wife, come to think of it. They had to practically beg Pesci to do it and it’s worth it just to see the gang (Scorsese, Pesci, DeNiro, Pacino, Keitel) get together for probably the last rodeo.

      Liked by 2 people

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 29, 2020

        I remember when you and your bud went and caught it. Worth a watch but I’ll leave two times to you. Have to take care of the good part of the team. Wife/Gal.
        Pesci was great. Harv basically a quick pop. I really like his work.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        March 29, 2020

        I might appreciate it more sitting at home, watching it in two parts .

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, Another Blogger
        March 29, 2020

        Hello Jim. All in all, I’m glad he’s still making films.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim S.
        March 29, 2020

        Me too.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. jerseydreaming
    March 29, 2020

    A classic is a classic is a classic. Me likee.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 29, 2020

      I have to answer this one. Where the hell have you been?! Good to hear from you. Doc and I were throwing your name around the other day (in a good way).
      Yes “A classic is a classic” Hope you’re well and going to be gracing us with your input.

      Like

      • jerseydreaming
        March 29, 2020

        Hop over to my latest post, CB, and all your questions will be answered. I’m well and virus free. Like everyone, we’ve had a few tough moments but I’m not complaining. Hope you’re doing OK.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Tony
    March 30, 2020

    CB… CB… MAN: one of the best fucking movies out there. Some names just belong together and Scorsese and DeNiro are two just such. Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Casino, The Irishman… This is the one where that partnership went nuclear though… the game changer. I could talk for hours about how great this film is (I’ve actually given a presentation on the making of it years ago)… there’s so much greatness here from the story, to the directing, the cast and DeNiro just NAILING it. For me the biggest takeaway trivia is that the whole ‘You talkin to me?’ scene was unscripted – the script simply said ‘Travis looks in the mirror’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 30, 2020

      I agree on what you’re saying. This is the one that they trusted each other and had that special creative chemistry. DeNiro dominates the film but Scorsese sets the table with all his film making skills and inspirations coming to the top.
      I would have like to heard your “presentation. Where was that given” University?
      From what I remember reading or hearing from that scene you’re talking about … they were getting kicked out of a location or the work day was over and DeNiro just came up with that under the gun. Something like that. Great film making Tony.
      “Stella!!!”. Different film. Sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tony
        March 31, 2020

        Different film, same great method. Unless of course you’re talking about the Baldwin remake

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 31, 2020

        I’ll let you tell me about the Baldwin take someday.

        Like

  9. BuriedOnMars
    April 20, 2020

    I need to watch this one again with fresh eyes. It has been far too long.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. definitely one of my three favourite movies of all times! And with DeNiro in it, how could it have failed!
    All the best my friend,
    Francisco

    Liked by 1 person

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