Martin Scorsese Taxi Driver

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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Director: Martin Scorsese "Taxi Driver"� (1976) as American social comment Scorsese was born on November 17th, 1942, in New York City. He grew up an asthmatic youngster in Little Italy, and spent a great deal of time in movie theatres. Believing he was destined for priesthood, he went to study at Cathedral College, but dropped out after a year and entered the prestigious film school at New York University, where he obtained his masters degree in film. Many of his movies throughout his career reflect his Italian-American Catholic upbringing.

Here I will discuss the movie for which Scorsese gained most acclaim, his 1976 film Taxi Driver starring Robert DeNiro. When he first read Paul Schrader's gritty screenplay about the disintegration of a troubled New York cab driver, it is likely that he had a clear vision for his film Taxi Driver. The film ushered in a new era of film as social criticism depicting the gritty realism of New Yorks mean streets.

The film's delicate structure of contentment followed by disaster is directed in a fresh way through an old style. Robert DeNiro masterfully plays Vietnam vet and cab driver Travis Bickle, his performance stands out among a stellar cast including Harvey Keitel and Jodie Foster, personalising the ever deepening alienation of Travis, but it is clearly Scorsese's direction that drives the film. It is the work of a man happy with the fervent claustrophobia of film noir, shown by the virtuosity of the camera, the power of the music, and of course, a tortured and morally ambiguous hero.

Scorsese is an admitted film fanatic and the influence of the gangster films of the 40's and 50's are apparent. One might also make a case for the influence of films like The Wild Bunch, citing that these films...