[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/21701762_taxi2_s2.jpg]]
->''"On every street in every city, there's a nobody who dreams of being a somebody."''
-->--'''{{Tagline}}'''

->''"Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I am God's lonely man."''
-->-- '''Travis Bickle'''

Do we really need to repeat this movie's most famous line (which enters into several top [[strike:#100]] #10 lists on the subject)?

...In case we do. It's the famous "You talkin' to me?" scene. [[DontExplainTheJoke There, happy?]]

One of Creator/MartinScorsese's most famous movies, made in 1976, it's the story of an insomniac and depressed New York City [[TheTaxi cab driver]] (Travis Bickle, played by RobertDeNiro) who becomes obsessed with [[TheScourgeOfGod cleansing the city of human "trash"]] and goes [[AxeCrazy insane]].

The film was written by Creator/PaulSchrader and was inspired by a HeroicBSOD he had gotten into in the mid-70s and which he hoped to get out of by "exorcism through art"(his words). The project was originally going to be directed by Brian De Palma and languished for years until it attracted the attention of Scorsese and Creator/RobertDeNiro and is notable for being one of De Niro's first massive roles and for Creator/JodieFoster's breakout role, as a child prostitute (she was twelve years old at the time). Cybill Shepherd, Creator/HarveyKeitel, Creator/AlbertBrooks, and Peter Boyle also appear in the film, and Music/BernardHerrmann composed the music score (his last). Both De Niro and Foster received Oscar nominations.)

Made on a low-budget but with heart and passion, the film was shot extensively on location in New York in the 70s and remains the defining glimpse of TheBigRottenApple pre-Giuliani era of the city, its shots of Times Square's seedy porn district, the Alphabet City area where the movie ends and the fairly accurate chart of geography of the city(rare for its time) made it a defining portrait of an American city. It won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for several Oscars and was a success in its time.

While controversial in its release, it became positively notorious when [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hinckley_Jr John Hinckley Jr.]] cited it as the source of his obsession with star Jodie Foster and indirect influence on his failed assassination of President Reagan. Knowing this, makes several scenes, including [[spoiler: where Bickle appears to be about to shoot Senator Palantine]], [[HarsherInHindsight a different experience to watch]].) [[note]]It also paints ''Film/BugsyMalone'' in a whole new light.[[/note]]

Not to be confused with ''Adventures of a Taxi Driver'', an AwfulBritishSexComedy that came out at about the same time.

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!!Provides Examples Of:

* {{Adorkable}}: In a kinder environment, Travis would definitely be this. In this universe, his failed attempts at flirting and shy nature just make watching him try to fit in deeply uncomfortable.
* AffablyEvil: Sport may be a pimp and make his living prostituting young girls but that doesn't mean that he doesn't treat Them respectfully and show Them affection. Best exemplified in his first scene with Travis where he gives a series of vile descriptions about the things Iris would do for him with all the charm of a second-hand car salesman and ends it a large, sincere grin.
* TheAlcoholic: Travis has shades of this if the flask he's seen taking a swig from before meeting Andy is any indication.
* AntiHero: Travis Bickle practically ''invented'' the modern anti-hero. Travis is a UnscrupulousHero. The guy's a nut, but hardly a malicious one..
** AntiVillain: Travis is a [[WellIntentionedExtremist Type III]]
** He turns out to be an [[spoiler: AccidentalHero since he initially planned to assassinate a Politician. Had he done that he would have been a hated villain, but because he became VigilanteMan he's become a folk hero. There's no difference or change in his mentality and he could just as easily be one or the other.]]
* AssholeVictim: We're not supposed to cheer the carnage but Travis' victims (Robbers and pimps) do fall under this category.
* AuthorAvatar: Travis for Paul Schrader, though Schrader obviously never went on a shooting spree (that we know of anyway).
* AxCrazy:
** Travis by the end of the movie.
** The creepy passenger played by MartinScorsese is possibly one as well, he even claims to be one. "You must think I'm pretty sick, right?" (and laughs).
* BaldOfEvil: Travis is perhaps the only man in cinematic history to pull off a mohawk.
* BasementDweller: Of the gun-idolizing, hero-complexing variety.
* BeardOfEvil: Martin Scorsese in his cameo as the passenger.
* BewareTheQuietOnes: You'd better not provoke him.
* BigAppleSauce: A fictional -- dark and rotten -- version of UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity. Supposedly somewhat of a TruthInTelevision, at least at the time.
* BigDamnHeroes: Travis fantasizes about being one for months leading up to his eventual rampage. It's one reason [[spoiler:people think the ending is entirely in his imagination as he's dying (though WordOfGod says no).]]
* TheBigRottenApple: Travis, as a night cab driver sees the worst side of New York. "All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets."
** The real mid-1970s New York wasn't much better than Travis saw it. This is an EnforcedTrope since Travis has JadeColoredGlasses, being a racist and a homophobe and his dislike for the city's poverty is related to his opposition to its racial and sexual diversity and as noted by both Scorsese and Schrader he is drawn to the city's lower depths because [[YouAreWhatYouHate he secretly wants to be part of it]].
* BlackBlood: [[MoralGuardians In order to attain an R rating]], Scorsese had to desaturate the shootout scene, making the blood a dull pink rather than bright red. (General consensus is that the muted colors work in the scene's favor.)
* BookEnds
* BoomHeadshot: A certain [[DirtyCop sleazy Detective]] gets one of these.
* ByronicHero: Travis.
* ChekhovsGun: Travis uses every single weapon he buys.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Travis has a ''major'' (read: delusional) case of this.
* CityNoir: Most examples of CityNoir in film draw inspiration from this one.
* CombatPragmatist: Travis. For all the guns he buys, he runs out of ammo while his most indefatigable opponent, the Old Man, is wrestling with him. [[spoiler: He grabs the Detective's gun and uses that.]]
* CoolShades: Travis' famous Aviator Ray ban's.
* CountryMouse: Travis, being from the Midwest is an outsider in the big city and his view of New York is pretty much the rest of the country's view of the city at the time.
* CrapsackWorld: This is the worst New York has looked outside of apocalyptic science fiction. [[TruthInTelevision Truth In Movie]] as the city was in a genuinely bad state at the time of shooting, due to the decline in traditional industries and the fact that Wall Street hadn't yet clawed its way back to being a major financial centre.
* CrazyPrepared: Travis spends much of the movie becoming this -- a big part of the film's dramatic interest has to do with what he's actually doing it for. He works out intensively, and buys four guns: a .38 revolver, a .44 Magnum, a .25 automatic and a .380 Walther PPK, more than he can possibly carry in his hands. He then builds an arm-mounted slide to conceal the .25 up his sleeve so it can be delivered right into his hand, and also tapes a knife to his boot. [[spoiler: It all pays off in the final shootout; he shoots Sport with the .38, blows half the Old Man's hand off with the .44 Magnum but is then shot in the neck by Sport. Travis takes Sport down with the .38 in his other hand, dropping the Magnum. Holding his left hand over his neck wound, he finishes Sport off with the .38 and also wounds the Old Man with it, and goes upstairs, the Old Man pursuing him. The Detective, who's been in the room with Iris the whole time, comes out and shoots Travis in the arm, making him drop the .38. Travis sinks to the floor, slides the .25 into his hand and shoots the Detective with it, several times. He then goes into the room and the Old Man jumps on him, but Travis uses his boot-mounted knife to skewer the Old Man's other hand, and then borrows the Detective's gun to blow the Old Man's brains out.]]
* CreatorCameo: Scorsese plays a passenger who watches his wife through a window from the street while detailing how he'd like to shoot her.
** He also appears in the slow-motion introduction shot of Betsy in the background, sitting on a stoop. Whether or not this is the same character is unclear, but they are dressed differently.
* CreepyMonotone: Travis.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Averted. We learn almost nothing of Travis' past and, based on the anniversary card, he keeps in contact with his parents and cares about their opinion to lie to them about his life. It makes the film more interesting as you really wonder what happened to Travis to make him the way he is. (See Vietnam below)
* DeathSeeker: Travis, by the end.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of the {{Vigilante Man}}. Technically, on his first [[spoiler: and only]] outing as a vigilante, he [[spoiler: may or may not have died (though WordOfGod says no)]]. This is what happens when an ordinary man takes up arms and goes against common thugs. And a physically fit ordinary man who supposedly had military training at that.
** The main point is that [[spoiler: he initially wanted to assassinate Senator Palantine but couldn't because the Secret Service caught him out. Had he succeeded in that, he would have been a villain. There's no real difference between either action, only in choice of victims that makes one action more palatable than the other. Rich, smarmy politician versus evil child-sex trafficking pimps.]]
** Screenwriter Paul Schrader noted the film was meant as an American exploration of the existentialist hero in European literature, showing that in a tougher, harder and less intellectual landscape, such a figure comes of as a far less eloquent and interesting, and that his problems would be more petty and prosaic.
* DiscretionShot: Travis's awkward phone call to Betsy, where the camera pans away from him to look down an empty hallway as though feeling his embarrassment, is an unusual example.
* DontTellMama: Travis lies to his parents about what is really going on with him to reassure them.
* TheDulcineaEffect: Bickle is a weird SociopathicHero version. Taking pity on a random prostitute who was in his cab for a little over ''30 seconds''.
** Its implied that he is in fact [[spoiler: attracted to Iris, but is too ashamed to admit it, even to himself.]]
* DyingDream: A common theory about the ending, since [[spoiler:Travis is let off for brutally murdering multiple people in front of a 12-year old girl, reunites said 12-year-old girl with her parents, gets his brief girlfriend back, and ''keeps his job with the cab company''.]] WordOfGod says no, however.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Iris hates her first name and prefers to be called "Easy." Travis insists upon calling her by her proper name.
* FingerGun: Done a few times by Travis in the seedy porn theatres. Also, [[spoiler: after his rampage, Travis tries to shoot himself, but he's out of ammunition. When the police arrives, he places his index finger against his temple like a gun and pretends to shoot himself in the head several times.]]
* FiringOneHanded: Travis Bickle would die before holding a gun in both hands.
* FollowTheLeader: Paul Schrader's remake of ''TheSearchers'' [[RecycledInSpace in 1970's New York City.]]
* FourIsDeath: Travis buys four guns from Easy Andy.
* GainaxEnding
* GunsAkimbo: Parodied in one shot where Travis draws his .44 Magnum in his right hand and his snubnose revolver in his left. The barrel of the former is longer than the entirety of the latter.
* HandCannon: The .44 Magnum. The smaller guns turn out to be more useful, however.
* HarpoDoesSomethingFunny: Famously, the "You talkin' to me?" scene was only scripted as Travis looking at himself in the mirror and perhaps talking to himself.
* HiddenWeapons: Travis has a gun up his sleeve.
* HollywoodPersonalityDisorders: this movie is often used to show the schizotypal one.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Travis. He's not slow to talk to complete strangers about his disgust at the scum and filth on the streets, but he himself is a borderline racist; he's shown as viewing black characters with extreme suspicion, but with no justification. He also shoots the black stick-up guy in the store without giving him a chance to drop his gun.
* IconicItem: Travis' army jacket and of course the .44 Magnum.
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Travis desperately wishes he was someone of importance and could be a part of the world Betsy inhabits. It's his wish to escape his existence that leads him to go on his rampage. Best summed up by the movie's tagline on the top of the page.
* ImportantHaircut: Travis has two. For most of the film, he has relatively short hair for the 1970s, slightly untidy but in no way hip. Around about the scene where he starts stalking Palantine, he has it cut shorter to something like a military crew-cut. When he's finally ready to go on the rampage, he gets the famous mohawk. After the final showdown and his convalescence we see him return to his first hair-style.
* InMemoriam: The end credits finish with one of these to Bernard Herrmann, who died just days after completing the score.
* TheInsomniac: Travis.
* JobTitle
* {{Joisey}}: Travis gives a fake name and address in New Jersey to a Secret Service agent after being promised "forms" to join the Secret Service.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Travis. He goes on a murderous rampage but not only doesn't go to prison, he even keeps his job.]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch: A store clerk fed up of being robbed viciously beats a thief with a crowbar after Travis has killed him.
* ListingTheFormsOfDegenerates: Travis Bickle does this a lot during the movie, but the example most famous is:
-->"All the animals come out at night whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets."
* LoonyFan: Travis claims to be a fan of Senator Palantine. [[spoiler: The very same Senator Palantine he attempted to kill]].
** The ''very'' loony John Hinckley Jr.
* LonersAreFreaks
* MadonnaWhoreComplex: The film is a drastic {{Deconstruction}} of this kind of mentality. Travis puts Betsy on a pedestal and feels she's above him, so he tries to bring her down to his level, [[spoiler: by taking her to a porn theatre on a first date.]]
** Likewise with Iris, [[spoiler: he wants to be her savior and redeemer and rescue her.]]
* MoralDissonance: Thanks for shooting up that den of prostitutes, you heroic rogue. Screenwriter Schrader said on DVD commentary that the fact that Bickle was worshipped as a hero was meant to be ironic, and that he would ''not'' be a hero when he snapped again (the cymbal crash and the look in his eyes in the rearview mirror at the end implied that he was as unstable as ever.).
* MurderSuicide: [[spoiler: Travis was planning that, but he didn't have any bullets left]].
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Travis, while mostly an Avatar for Paul Schrader, has more than a few similarities with Arthur Bremer who shot and paralyzed Governor George Wallace three years earlier.
** Creator/OliverStone, meanwhile, claims the film to be based on his life after returning from Vietnam and driving a cab in New York.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: Subverted at the film's climax. [[spoiler:Travis shoots Iris's pimp once in the stomach, and assumes that he's dead (as do, in all likelihood, the audience). Minutes later, the pimp reappears behind Travis and shoots him, failing to kill Travis but wounding him quite badly]].
* NoPartyGiven: Senator Palantine, although his comments suggest that he is a Democrat.
* NoSocialSkills: Everyone Travis interacts with seems to sense that there's something off about him.
* NothingUpMySleeve: One of Travis's guns is hidden up his sleeve, and drawn using a speed-rig he made himself.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Robert De Niro worked hard on Travis' midwestern accent, but his real accent can be heard on occasion.
* PetTheDog: Travis's love for his parents and concern for Iris.
* PlatonicProstitution: Travis does this to convince Iris to give it up. She is resistant to the idea.
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: Averted in the final shootout.
* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: Travis, natch. [[AssholeVictim Not that the]] [[KarmaHoudini other characters mind.]]
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "They... can not... touch...... her..."
* QuickNip:
** Travis takes one right around when he purchases his guns.
** Another shows up right before the [[spoiler: first, failed manifestation]] of his rampage.
* ShellshockedVeteran: Travis, possibly.
* ShoutOut:
** The famous statement about "God's Lonely Man" is a citation of the essay of the same name by author Thomas Wolfe.
** Travis Bickle is named after Mick Travis, Creator/MalcolmMcDowell's character in Lindsay Anderson's films ''Film/{{If}}'' and ''O Lucky Man'' (and later ''Britannia Hospital''). Also, in one scene in ''O Lucky Man'', [=McDowell=] wears suspenders with no shirt, as [=DeNiro=] does in one scene here.
** During her coffee-shop date with Travis, Betsy quotes from Kris Kristofferson's song "The Pilgrim, Chapter 33", and Travis later buys her the album on which it appears (''The Silver Tongued Devil and I'').
** Movie billboards are seen for ''[[Creator/ClintEastwood The Eiger Sanction]]'', ''Film/DrNo'', and possibly ''TheWindAndTheLion'' (The billboard advertised SeanConnery).
** Looking closely at one of the newspaper clippings at end of the film mentions Harry Kilmer as President of the Manhattan Cab Company. Harry Kilmer was the name of Robert Mitchum's private detective character in ''TheYakuza'', which was writer Paul Schrader's first screenplay.
** While it would be dumb to suggest that the .44 Magnum's inclusion is in itself a reference to ''Film/DirtyHarry'', the reason the gun is so popular and thus is included in the film is [[TheRedStapler due to that movie]].
** Easy Andy (the gun salesman) mentions that someone would have to be a jackass to carry a Model 29 with an 8 3/4 inch barrel in the street, making it something of a TakeThat since Harry's Model 29 has an 8 3/4 inch barrel (though it changes to a 6 1/2 inch barrel in some scenes).
** Travis also buys a [[Film/JamesBond Walther PPK]], although he's forced to surrender it.
** In the scene where Betsy leaves her office in slow-motion and Martin Scorsese can be glimpsed sitting on the stoop behind her, he's wearing an inside-out Columbia Studios t-shirt. ''Taxi Driver'' was a Columbia picture.
* SirSwearsALot: Travis himself.
* SlasherSmile: Travis during the attempted assassination of Palantine.
* SociopathicHero: Travis Bickle is a nice, quiet variant.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Rough city, smooth jazz.
* SuicideByCop: [[spoiler:Travis seemingly attempts this at the film's climax. When the cops burst in, he puts his hands in his pocket and appears to be about to withdraw a gun. The cops aren't trigger happy enough for this to work however, and Travis instead pulls out an imaginary gun and pretends to shoot himself in the head]].
* TheTaxi
* TranquilFury: A lot of repressed passion beneath that quiet, cold surface.
%% This used to be a "lolicon" wick.
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehaviour: Jodie Foster as a 12-year-old underage prostitute.
* UnbuiltTrope: The final shootout looks like a brutal deconstruction of every action film shootout ever made: There are no flashy edits or jump cuts, no musical cues, no improbably cool weapons or marksmanship and it barely lasts two minutes. There is nothing but barbaric violence shown in all its brutality. Yet it was made long before many films that used all those techniques.
* UnreliableNarrator: The way Travis describes his life is, let's say, somewhat at odds to what we see of his life, especially how he describes it to other people; his diary, on the other hand, is pretty accurate.
** Practically everything Travis says or narrates cannot be taken at face value. For example, midway through the film Travis says that 'There will be no more pills, no more bad food, no more destroyers of my body', and yet later in the film we see him eating mayonnaise out of the jar, we see him take pills and then we see him not only drink, but gargle beer.
* TheVietnamWar: Bickle is a Vietnam vet - or so he claims.
** His green jacket with "Bickle, T." emblazoned on the back would certainly back up that claim, as would the charred North Vietnam Army flag in his apartment.
** The PTSD also backs up this claim; many war vets come back with major trauma.
** Travis is also proficient in the use of guns and combat knives and in hand-to-hand combat, although that doesn't necessarily make him a war vet.
* VigilanteMan: Travis.
* VillainProtagonist: Despite some of his more heroic actions, Travis does intend to assassinate a senator.
* YouAreWhatYouHate: Screenwriter Paul Schrader and director Scorsese notes that Travis, for all his hatred of New York's low-life environment, actually likes it and wants to be a part of it but is too full of self-hatred to actually let go. Specifically he hates child-trafficking pimps while he himself fights his obvious attraction to Iris, backing away under much protest when [[spoiler: she tries to initiate oral sex on him.]]
* YouTalkinToMe: TropeNamer and TropeMaker.
** Leading people to WatchItForTheMeme.
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