After a decade long war in Vietnam and the office of the President had been disgraced by Watergate and the resignation of President Nixon, the films of the 70’s metaphorically examined those ideas and feelings. Taxi Driver examined the alienation in urban society in a very disturbing almost nightmarish way. Director Martin Scorsese had directed what would become a classic.
Robert De Niro, as the tortured, ex-Marine cab driver Travis Bickle, made movie history with his chilling performance as one of the most memorably intense and vividly realized characters ever committed to film. Bickle is a self-appointed vigilante who views his urban beat as an intolerable cesspool of blighted humanity. He plays guardian angel for a young prostitute (Jodie Foster), but not without violently devastating consequences.
The film which was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Robert De Niro), Best Supporting Actress (Jodie Foster), and Best Original Score (Bernard Herrmann) – all were unrewarded.
Notoriously, the film is linked to and may have triggered the political assassination (copy-cat) attempt by inconspicuous John Hinckley on President Ronald Reagan in 1981, illuminating his dangerous fixation on actress Jodie Foster, and resulting in the assassin’s infamous media-hero status.