November 13, 2016


Starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks, Leonard Harris, Peter Boyle. Directed by Martin Scorsese. (1976, 114 min).

At this point, what more can be said about Taxi Driver that hasn't been discussed, studied and appreciated by critics, film fans and pop culture historians? 40 years later, the film remains just as cinematically and thematically relevant as it did back in 1976. Its power to disturb and amaze viewers hasn't dissipated one iota.

It made a bonafide star out of Robert De Niro and established director Martin Scorsese as a creative force to be reckoned with. It featured one of Bernard Herrmann’s final (and best) film scores, guaranteed Jodie Foster would not fade into child-star obscurity and made “You talkin’ to me?” part of our vernacular. Not only is Taxi Driver the definitive study of loneliness, alienation and one's descent into madness, Travis Bickle is the arguably the most disturbing anti-hero of all time. And, of course, even with a budget of only a million-and-a-half bucks (a paltry sum even back then), the film is a technical marvel.

The future star of Dirty Grandpa.
Taxi Driver is no stranger to Blu-Ray and the 2011 release was already loaded with extensive and comprehensive extras, not-to-mention a terrific transfer. But this 40th Anniversary Edition, while including most of the same features, throws in a can’t miss, 40 minute Q&A session following Taxi Driver's screening during the most recent Tribeca Film Festival. Scorsese, writer, Paul Schrader and producer Michael Phillips join most of the primary cast in front of an appreciative live audience, all of whom offer interesting stories & entertaining anecdotes. This bonus feature alone makes the disc worth picking up.

At the Tribeca Film Festival, De Niro teases Taxi Driver II: Travis Takes Manhattan. Foster & Scorsese are as surprised as the audience.
All these years later, Taxi Driver remains a textbook lesson in filmmaking, not-to-mention another strong argument that the 1970s were Hollywood's true Golden Age. This is also the definitive Blu-Ray release. Aside from remaining an inarguably great film, even those who may not particularly like it (given its themes and subject matter, that’s certainly understandable) are provided ample reasons to at-least appreciate it.

Q&A from the 40th Anniversary TFF Screening (with Robert DeNiro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese, Harvey Keitel, Paul Schrader, Michael Philips, Cybill Shepherd).
FEATURETTES: "Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver"; "Producing Taxi Driver"; "God's Lonely Man"; ""Travis' New York"; "Travis' New York Locations"; "Taxi Driver Stories".
Audio Commentary by Scorsese & Schrader (from 1986 Criterion release).
Audio Commentary by UoV Professor Robert Kolker.
Audio Commentary by Paul Schrader.
"Making Taxi Driver" (This nearly feature length documentary cover similar ground to some of the other bonuses, but is still the most comprehensive and entertaining).
Storyboard To Film Comparisons.
Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy
(even if you own a previous version on video)

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