Recently re-released into cinemas around the world in a stunning new digital restoration, Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver remains one of the most important films of the 1970s.
With Taxi Driver due to be screened in locations as diverse as New Zealand, Poland, Australia, Germany and the UK, we’ve pulled together five facts about the film which saw Robert De Niro star as anti-hero, Travis Bickle, as he wages his one-man war in the streets of New York.
1. Robert De Niro may have made the part of Travis Bickle his own, but it wasn’t always guaranteed. Screenwriter Paul Schrader envisioned actor Jeff Bridges in the role, while James Caan was turned down for the part. Film executives suggested singer Neil Diamond could be the perfect Travis.
2. Taxi Driver director, Martin Scorsese, makes cameo appearance as one of Travis Bickle’s customers (he’s “Man Watching Silhouette” in the end titles) and in a crowd scene, but he also appears in at least eight more of his own films: Mean Streets, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, After Hours, The Last Temptation of Christ, Casino, The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York
3. While 13-year-old actress, Jodie Foster, was old enough to portray the street-wise prostitute, Iris, due to the film’s R certificate, she wasn’t allowed to attend the premiere unless taken by a parent or guardian. Foster’s older sister, Connie, doubled for her in some scenes.
4. De Niro worked 12 hour shifts as a cab driver for a month in preparation for the role.
5. Both Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese have indicated that they’d like to make a sequel to Taxi Driver, with Scorsese noting as recently as 2010 that he’s considering co-directing the film with Danish director, Lars von Trier. It’s still not clear whether this would be a direct follow-up to the original or a remake.
Share your Taxi Driver trivia and memories in the comments section.Visit www.backincinemas.com to find out if Taxi Driver is playing at a cinema near you.