Cult Classics : 2. Taxi Driver
Cult movie label can mean many things: from being an underappreciated gem to an out-and-out Commercial Blockbuster, which set the box office on fire. Fortunately, Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver falls under the second category. Even after 41 years of its release, the film is still in the list of all-time best crime thrillers. Let us revisit once again to know about the origin and achievements of the movie.
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film, written by Paul Schrader, and directed by Martin Scorsese. The movie is set in the New York City and showcases the conditions after the Vietnam War. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro at his best after Godfather II) drives cabs all night. He can't sleep. But what he was a witness to many incidents, whilst cruising the NY city streets he finds so sickening that it drives him to a climactic moment of violence, which was equally drastic and disgusting.
A Blonde woman (Shepherd) and a teen hooker ( an excellent Jodie Foster), were also share a pivotal part of his journey. These characters became immortal due to the actor's effort and hard work aided by stellar direction from Scorsese.
The climax Shootout sequence, where Robert sports a Mohawk hairstyle, creates a shock value, which is still irreplaceable. Only a few films like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Series (Both from Quentin Tarantino), were tried to match the Taxi Driver's grim and dark themes.
Though the movie was a crime thriller, there was another layer about human feelings. Probably it was one of the very few movies in 70's where it discussed wide range of issues like Loneliness, Insomnia, Child Prostitution, and separation from the family. The undercurrent political theme which reflects the scenario in 1976 where Senator Charles Palatine (Leonard Harris) a candidate in the presidential primaries who was at risk of assassination.
Let us have a look on it's Achievements and Awards :
Budget : $1.3 million Box office : $28.3 million.
The film earned Nominations in Academy Awards for 4 Categories, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Music, Original Score Best Picture.
Martin Scorsese received the Palme d'Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.
The impact that was created by the film has been an inspiration for many prominent filmmakers and writers, which makes the movie a Cult Classic forever.