A Brief Critic Of Taxi Driver, Directed By Martin Scorsese

[A]                TAXI DRIVER, a film directed by Martin Scorsese, reports the drama of a man, and all his conceptions of life. Loneliness is the main problem. It starts in a foggy night. Then, his face (shot). Lights. He drives. Beautiful photograph and music. People move in slow motion. He observes. He arrives somewhere. He’s applying for a job. South Brons. He has clean license- 26, good health. Education discharged 19 May 1973. Fill out the forms. He runs out of the office, drinking something, his hands in the pockets.

[B]                May 10th.  He’s thanking God that the rain is washing the sidewalks; It’s a kind of diary. He comments what is going on. He works hard. He works for 12 hours. 6 in the morning, 6 in the afternoon. Six days a week. Sometimes until 8 in the morning. Sometimes he works till 7. He gets from 300 to 350 dollars a week.  He has a diary. Night. The yellow cab and his comments. I take people everywhere; it doesn’t make any difference for me. A bitch and a man. Hurry up driver. Rainy day. Medicines. Sometimes blood. Daylight. Films for adults. He talks with a girl. He's Travis. He wants to talk. Try...Asks for Chiclets and jujus. They don’t have it. He buys popcorn, and Royal cola. US$1,85. Porno film. He can’t sleep. Days never end. He needs a place to go. He believes he needs to be with someone else. The first time he saw her was 63rd, with Broadway. White dress, like an angel. She’s alone. They cannot touch her. Palantine campaign. We are the people. That’s the committee. The place where the girl works.

[C]                Night. Loneliness. Lights. NY City. He stops, looks around, and sets the fare. US$135,00 pays for it. Go to a hotel  - Olcott. Puts the money in a box, drives to a cafeteria and finds the friends. They talk about blush. Asks for coffee. Sex experiences, he gave US$200,00and a phone number in Acapulco. They talk. A black man looks at him - medicine. They talk about a gun. Effervescent medicine. Focus on the glass. His friend buys something. Errol Flinn’s bath tub.


 A symbol 405434. There’s one, two three persons. He offers him to sell that. Behind him. Another banner. Goldwin.  Return to center. He asks 50%. I don’t want my car to get buggy.

[D]                It’s night. Betsy. She has something to show. 3 fingers. How would you do it with the matchbox? Then, a car. A conversation. An explanation is being given. Mafia. They shot on the fingers when they do things wrongly. When they kill a pigeon, they let a canary live. It’s symbolic. How don’t they let a pigeon live, so?  Canaries need to be bought, pigeons don’t. It’s to kill, and put it on.

[E]                Travis goes to the committee as volunteer. He said to Betsy: You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.  The common thing between them is now Charles Palentine. He invites her to take some coffee. He tries to convince her that behind all those papers, he could notice that she feels alone, and unhappy. She needs a friend. Do you wanna be my friend? What do you want to say? 5 minutes.  It’s 4 o 'clock Betsy.  He waits outside. Coffee and apple pie. She asks fruit salad. He says: Do you know you have beautiful eyes? Do you like friends? He tries to guess what his connection with her was. She felt the same. He gets jealous of her friend. She confesses – I have never met someone like you. Do you wanna go to the cinema with me?   She has to return to the office. Not today. Yes.  Do you know what you make me remember? That song of Kris Christopherson. He's a prophet, and a pusher. Part truth, part fiction. It’s an eternal contradiction about me. I never push. No contradiction

[F]                 He goes to a shop, and buys a record. He drives his car, invites her to go to the cinema. Someone takes a taxi. A conversation between Travis and a client. My day off. I don't know her last name.  They talk about the convention. Charles Palentine. He confesses he had learned about the city life driving taxis better than any other limousine. The question: If you had to change anything in this city, what would you do? He confesses the city is dirty. The president should clean the city. He said he is a volunteer, but can’t put a sticker on the car. He pays, and asks him to keep the change. He thanks, bye.



You’re a good man. You are going to win. Another client. A scene between a prostitute and a man takes place. They were on the taxi. The man leaves a dollar bill, and takes the girl out of the car. Be cool beach. She asked him to take her far away. Something breaks. It’s not the car. Maybe something the four street boys have thrown. Morning. A ten-dollar bill in his pocket. He turns around and leaves the job.

[G]               Travis walks alone on the streets. Slow motion. He meets Betsy. He bought a present. Music. Gene Krupa. They      walk. Why did you buy it? What else should I do with my money? You should listen to it.  My record player is broken.   I don’t live without music. I’d like to listen to it. So you didn’t listen it. Maybe in your house .Now back to the 40 years of Chick EWBB – The musician. They go to the cinema. The film: “Sometimes sweet Susan” It’s a dirty movie. Travis replies: No, many couples come to see it. He’s almost sleeping and she looks concentrated. Sex scenes.  She gets up and leave the cinema. He gets on her back. I need to go home. Her hair is so beautiful that he feels.... He apologies. He does not understand about movies. That was not so bad.

I can take you to any other movies. We are different. I need to go... I need to go...She takes a taxi...gives the record back... Travis - please, keep it.  Betsy - Ok I have 2 now. Can I call you? He calls her: Sorry about yesterday night. We should have gone to any other place. She’s sick, maybe a virus...invites for dinner. No. Coffee...No. Did you get my flowers ? No. Again? She didn’t get the flowers nor answered the phone calls. Big aisle. Home. So many flowers back to him. You are only as healthy as you feel. Many flowers in his apartment...he feels like getting a cancer.

[H]                He goes to her job. Her friend tried to impede the conversation. He leaves the place, and calls the officer outside. You’re gonna die in the hell with them. He’s just like her, cold and distant... Mc Ann’s Bar. He turned the meter off. Put it down. 275 US$. Writing. Pull it over. Do you see that window?



Second floor. That’s my wife. She’s a bitch. I’m going to kill her with a ...what do you think of that...don’t answer with a Magnum 44 pistol. Do you think I’m a psychopath? Do you think I am?

[I]                 Travis goes to a bar. His friends are there, changing experiences. Travis comes. He seats and asks for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. Once, I saw a cop running and trying to catch a handicapped man. Hey, Travis. Do you have the 5 dollars you owe me? He’s load in. Well, I should be broken if I hadn’t got the run to the airport. That bill stays with him. He pays his friend. Say goodbye... Then, a conversation takes place. He goes home, watches a TV show, and eats.

[J]                 Morning – DRIVING –  Charlie Palantine is the topic everywhere. A bitch.  The same one of that day- he follows the 2 ones. The taxi is following us. Don’t look at him. They get 2 guys, he drives fast, He has followed me everywhere, bars, cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There’s not escape. I’m a God lonely man. June 8th. He’s taking another turn again. The days pass. They’re all the same, like a long and continuing chain, Suddenly the change comes. There’s a pamphlet saying: “One of these days, I’m gonna get – organiz-izzed.  He meets someone. Take a ride... Easy Andy. He's a seller. They go to a room and he shows the guns to him. He doesn’t know which one. He buys a set of them. How about drugs? Grass, haxixe, cocaine, mescaline, depressives, nebutal, Clorox hydrates, exciting substances, amphetamines? Crystal Methadone? How about a Cadillac? Building up his body. Lot’s of exercises. 50 pull-ups. No more bad food. 50 flexion, any more pills, any more destroyers of my body. Total organization. From now my muscles have to be tight. He works the pulling out of the gun in front of the mirror. He goes to 2. Gets one more from the back pocket. Works out on a device. A knife closes to his foot, a cross on a bullet with a knife. Then, Betsy is talking. They need some more papers. Fliers. The man is setting the microphone. Have you done this before? Done this before... I’ve never done this before...Betsy.... Come here. Travis comes closer and closer, wearing jacket hands on his pockets.



In front of the mirror again. I’m standing here. You make the move. It’s your move...don’t try are you talking to me? Again are you talking to me? I am the only one here...who do you think you are talking to? Oh yeah? Shots. Looks Palatine’s poster...2 close to the nightshade. Listen here fuckers crew heads, here is someone who would not take anymore, who would not come anymore, a man who fought against the dogs dirty, sheer, here’s someone who reacted, stood up. Here’s. A gun out. You’re dead.

[K]                 To the streets.  Night. The police. He goes into a store. An assault. He is hid behind the shelves selecting something to drink. He takes his gun, and shot the guy. It’s a black man. He puts his foot on the hand of the thief who is holding the gun. The other takes it out. Gets a bar of iron and hits him everywhere, I’ll take care of it. It’s the 5th that assault me. Sun of a bitch. He writes a letter to his parents (see appendix I)

 [L]               A love story on TV. He goes to a cafeteria and talks with the prostitute.  Why do you want me to come back to my parents?  They hate me. You’re square you’re square...you’re just making Sex with all kinds of people for nothing for a man who stays in the hall. What do you want me to do? Call the cops? Scort never hits me. I’m going to move to a Commune in Vermont... he try to convince her Scort is a bad man. She invites him to be with him. No. She doesn’t go to places like that. He’s in a mission for the government. His work as a taxi driver is only a temporary work. Are you a Nark? You look like. I don’t know who is more weird you or me. I’m gonna give you the money for the trip, do not accept money from those guys no. I want you to take it. She changes her glasses. She has a conversation with Scort. I don’t like what I’m doing. If I didn’t like you I wouldn’t have got married. Ups don’t stay with me anymore. I have to take care of the business baby. Do you miss your man? I depend on you. I would be lost without you. Put some music. How much I need you. Come to me baby. They dance...let me embrace you... I’d like to let everybody knows how to be loved by you is.




            [M]                The streets – the senator is proclaimed on the street. Vote for Palantine –Today we arrived in the moment to turn it  - Applause. A time that we the people can’t suffer for the few. He looks at him a smile; claps I would lie to you if I say the new ways will be easy. They won’t be easy. Nothing that is right is good and easy. We the people know this. Applause – and we the people know the way of good. Today I say to you. We are the people you and I. Travi’s back He looks like a Krishna; the security guard looks at him and it’s time to let the people vote. Thank you. Applause. He leaves the tribune. Bob Open the way, gets the gun and try to kill him. Get that man. He runs to the stairs. He arrives home. Back to the hotel, he counts the money. He wants to know if Iris in the hotel. Yes. Rides the taxi, and parks.  Do I know you? Who is Iris? Back to the hotel, he kills the man gets the fingers of the manager out, Iris look at him, gets a bullet on his neck, shots the husband, kills a man, shots again, shots another man, shots his arm, an old man  - a knife. Iris screams; no bullets. He gets the last one; sits on the bed. The police arrive. He looks at the man; three fictionally shots - himself, and he seems to be dead. Iris cries; camera shoes things over; He leaves the place all spotted of blood – music guns, stairs, blood, guns, bodies, guns, people. Police, cameras, another car is coming, prostitutes and kids. 2 cars, and doctors.

[N]                The final is close – Friends on the corner. Problems with the car. Eddie, who has the closest taxi, said he had flat tires. I told him to give them to his wife. The black man who said: I’m gonna kill you man .She was Miss New Jersey in 1957. He drives his car. Hello Travis. That’s Betsy – Music. I know Travis got the nomination. Yes, so we only have 17 days. I hope he wins. He looks her through the window. I read about you in the papers. How are you? It was nothing. I could get over that. Newspapers always miss things up. I got some thinness. That’s all. He parks. His eyes...Travis. How much was it... smiles? So long...looks through the mirror. Drives... same way it started ...lots of lights. MUSIC... then right side of the screen... Walkers...drivers, people taking taxis. Darkness.


Works Cited



       Bobker, Lee R. Elements of Film. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College

      Publishers. Orlando: FL. USA. 1977. (p. 224-225).

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, New York:

             Modern Language Association, 1988.

       Marienthal, Hal.  Course Guide for Humanities 524, CSU, USA, 1999.



 Taxi Driver. By Paul Schrader; Dir. Martin Scorsese. Perf. Robert DeNiro; Jodie

        Foster; Albert Brooks; Harvey Keitel; Leonard Harris; Peter Boyle; Cybill    

        Shepperd  (Betsy); 1975. Videocassette. USA. Blockbuster, 1995.





Appendix I


A letter to Travis.

We tried to go to the hospital, then we went to NY to pick up Iris but you’ve gone on coma. There’s  no way to refund you for giving Iris back We thought we have lost her, and now, our lives are full again You’re something of a hero around this house. I’m sure you want to know about Iris. She is back to school and working hard. The transmission has been hard to her as you can well imagine We have... taken steps to see she has never had a because to run away again. Mrs. Steensa and I would like to thank you from the button of our hearts. Unhappy we cannot afford to pay another trip to NY again, to thank in person or we surely would. But if you come to Pittsburgh,  you will find yourself the most welcome guest in our home Deepest thanks, Bert and Ivy Steensma. The camera runs to all the news and then to the letter that is being written, it’s Mr. Steensma’s voice every time.


Letters to Travis’parents.

 I’ve been dating with a girl for several months and I’m sure it would let you proud. Her name is Betsy but I can’t tell you any more then this. Cop. You can’t park here. He moves. Then, the speech on TV goes on. We the people will not suffer for the minorities. We are not going to combat in the wars of the elective, which cause suffering for so many ones. I hope this card find everybody wells as me. I hope that you no one has died don’t worry about me. One day you’ll hear a knock on the door. It will be me.




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