Three years of podcasting and 100 core episodes have led to this — a deep dive on Alex’s favorite movie of all time, Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver.” Nick and Alex discuss what Scorsese, Robert De Niro, and Paul Schrader each brought to the film, Travis Bickle’s unreliable backstory, Bernard Herrmann’s score, repurposing plot points from John Ford’s “The Searchers,” and how a simple shot of Travis Bickle talking on a payphone completely changed how Alex and Nick look at movies. HERE IS…
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Hey, everyone. Welcome to. What are you watching? I'm Alex Switzer, and I'm joined by my best man, Nick Dostal. How are you doing there, Henry Crinkle talking to me. You talking to me? Oh, obviously, that was. That was. That was. Yes. Then you. You fuck. No, I am excited to be here. Yes, Very, very. So my very exciting day. First off, 100th episode. We've had more than a hundred like we've done. I've done a few solo parts here and there. Quick reviews, but for the most part, every themed episode, every episode that has a number for the most part, we've done together. And here we are. It's crazy. We started this thing. We recorded our first episode February 2020, when we recorded those first two episodes, we were not living in COVID yet. Nope. That's crazy. We were just in a different world then. We published them in July 2020, and here we are. It's like damn near three years later cruising, right? Does it feel it's been great? Does it feel more like it's more special right now that we've reached 100 rather than when we have like because we'll text each other in like February when we had our first recording and then July we'd be like, Oh, happy anniversary. The pod's been live for two years. But does it feel more special that we've reached 100? It kind of it feels like a sort of a different milestone. Yeah, it's weird because the time thing, you're like, yeah, I mean, three years, we put three years into this thing, but then you hear 100 episodes and I'm like, Is that not a good representation? I feel like we have more than a hundred. Maybe it's like 119 with all the bonus ones. But I go, No, that's just like a hell of a lot of work. Yeah, and a lot of movies mean a lot of words. And we've amassed like just such a great community of loyal fans that we love. Thank you so much. For those of you who reach out. Thank you so much. Those of you. For those of you who don't reach out. But I know we're listening because the amount of people who reach out to us is while it is very heartening. Our numbers just reflect, you know, more. So thank you, everyone, I guess is what I'm saying. Yeah, that's seriously, let's let's just take a little moment right here now, because it is the mad movie bus. We see the numbers and you absolutely listen. If it wasn't for you, we'd be speaking into a vacuum. So, yeah, this really is a testament to to you guys, because you guys have pretty much kept us going. Like, we hear your feedback and we'd love to hear more of you. Anyone who's got anything to say to us, we are very open, so please do. But thank you so much because like 100. Jesus, I know it's awesome. And yeah, please reach out to us. Twitter, Instagram w aiw underscore podcast letterbox as well. You can also email us at What are you watching? Podcast said gmail.com. We answer all those people has given us given us some episode ideas. Sure, if we fully run with an idea, but what we've done is loop some of their ideas into an episode and will like bring that up as a topic and credit them. So yeah, people have good ideas. It's cool. I just can't believe people give a shit about what we say. Yeah, awesome. And, and it is true. Like some of the feedback that we do get, like when we hear what people like will go in that direction, we're like, Oh, well, people really see that. That that is we'll keep doing this. Yeah. So you guys do it. Yeah that's true. On the show in terms of how we direct, how we want to go about doing episodes. Yeah. And you and I spend a lot of our time talking about just interactions we're having with fans, which is like, Look, we do it all the time. Yeah. So we, we hear it and we see it all. We really appreciate it and for our 100th episode, as we alluded to on our previous episode, the Martin Scorsese podcast, you said how obvious it was who comes up with the ideas for most about this? Because my favorite film of all time is Taxi Driver Martin Scorsese, his 1976 American masterpiece. This got a lot of mention in our very first episode because that was on our top ten favorite films of all time. This has been my favorite film of all time. I don't know, since I guess since that first time I ever thought to do that, which was when I was 14 or 15, and it's just never left. And that's crazy. And it's not like I don't hope we're going to get into all of this trust me, I don't hold it to such a degree where I'm like, Nothing's ever going to beat it. I start today. I'm telling you, this is my if forced to choose, this is my favorite movie. But hey, maybe 1020 years from now, something else that's in my top ten will sneak up. I don't know. I'm always open to loving any movie and loving any movie more, but nothing has ever really come close to dethroning this. And that's A-OK with me. I fucking love this movie. Yeah, yeah. Our lists are pretty like. I mean, obviously, like, we're not so, like, dead set and hard nosed, stubborn that it's like, No, though this will never change. But when you do reach that, that one that really does speak to you like this one does for you, it really is like you're almost kind of welcoming the challenge, like, please come write someone, make a movie or let me see a movie that I haven't seen that could even remotely come close to dethroning the greatness of this number one movie. But this is a and this isn't just you either. Like this is Taxi Driver is a movie that the film industry like this is a movie that everyone holds up to that standard. Yeah. This is not just like, you know, blow where I am on your your movie. I do have an island where that is my favorite. But this is regarded this is one of those I feel like this is a movie that's very well-protected in terms of like everyone knowing Fuck with Taxi Driver like this. This is a seminal masterpiece. Yeah, I mean, we can get to I actually didn't even have this in this long outline of mine. I didn't even have it in here. In terms of controversy, how the reputation for this movie, kind of like in the mid 20 tens. That's when online this reputation of like whoever likes this movie is some douchebag film. True Twitter bro just wants to like, cause violence or do this or wants to cause anarchy. And then it kind of got fueled up a lot more when Joker came out in 2019. Like it just mixing it with that. And that is never ever why I have been attracted to this movie. I don't agree with any of those criticisms or sentiments at all. The shortest point because no one's ever like, Hey, what's your favorite movie of all time? I say, Taxi Driver. And then obviously the next question is why? And I've been asked that hundreds upon hundreds of times in my life. So I try to distill it down into like, you know, an elevator pitch. And I just say, simply put, if I had to pick my favorite types of movies are character studies, plotless things where we are just following someone around, why we don't necessarily know why we're following them around. Maybe we have some indication of what they do for a living given by the title, but we're just following them around and this is the best character study I have ever seen, and I still have never seen a character study that tricked me so well. I mean, I'll never I saw Taxi Driver have said that so many times when I was ten years old. And that is true. I saw a lot of movies when I was Ted and I just knew this is one I had to get to. Like I saw clips in Oscar montages. Of course, I, I had heard, like you talking to me. I'd seen all these references and I'm like, I have to see this movie that and, you know, the subsequent, what, like 15 viewings, which probably all happened in the span of two years. I'm just studying the film. I'm studying how it was made. I'm studying these choices. I'm going, Oh my God, how did this guy trick me so much? Because when I was watching it this morning, I was trying to watch it as someone who has never seen it before and I'm like, He's not doing anything bad for a really long time, like he does go to a porno theater. But that that was kind of normal in 19. They shot this in summer 1975. That was kind of normal in 1975. New York, like he's not doing anything too crazy. And then he just kind of tricks you into like, Oh, it's a sad, lonely guy. And there's way, way more going on here. It's just one reason why I like it. The reasons, honestly, are endless. Yeah, just one. Well, I think that is that's true. They are endless because it is a character study. But then there's also so much about the filmmaking itself, the technique, the style. Yes. When you're talking about the cinematography, the writing, the score like this is a very, very, like perfectly put together piece. But in kind of talking about like the backlash that the movie has gotten over the recent years, you know, because the movie does bring up some uncomfortable ideas. Oh, yeah. Like, I don't think anyone's done like, that's not an unjust thing to say about the movie, because that's the point. The point is, is that Yeah. Is bringing up because for this guy, this guy is actually going through this and it's really just being uncomfortably truthful to a very, very unfortunate person in a very unfortunate situation. But just because it's raising these questions and ideas does not mean that it's advocating. Yes. I wonder if people are getting confused today because when movies or art of any kind present an idea of something that immediately because it it because what it does is it opens up your mind to it. Yeah. And do we really wants to keep our minds completely closed off because No no no I don't want to talk about the idea of, of you know, where he goes here because that, that that's just opening up a Pandora's box of things. I don't want to think or feel. Mm hmm. That is also not advocating for going out there. This is not a movie that's saying, hey, if you are going if you're feeling a certain way, go shoot somebody about it. But this is not exactly what that is. But if we lose the ability and the the boldness to tackle these issues through art, then I think we're in trouble. Yeah. Yeah. And I think this is a movie that shows the horror of it, the absolute I mean, there's no celebrating this. There's no like, no, not at all. Because not a even though the movie at the end, you know, there is this whole getting together. Yeah we'll get to know we'll get to the end but yeah this isn't we talked about this on the last episode a little bit about how a lot of Martin Scorsese, his most famous characters, don't really change. You're still they may even be worse than they are when they started. Like I would argue where we meet Howard Hughes in Aviator and where we end up, like there's been no personal growth here, not really just and then we know how his life ended and it's just going to spin out. And that lack of catharsis, as Patrick Bateman would say, you know, there is no catharsis. It's all going back to Travis Bickle when and I think the end is kind of showing its hand a little bit to go just because the world got a hold of this and want to celebrate him. That is not what's going on in this dude's mind. Sorry. And I have we'll get to it. But I had and I've seen this movie, I don't know how many have not as much as you, clearly, but I've seen it definitely. I think I'm in the double digits at this point. But that's a lot. That's a lot to see. Actually, I studied this a lot for There I go. This was a very, very obviously, I think that was a big movie. We talked about that for a long time, but I had a relationship to the very end of this movie that I've never had before. So I'm excited to talk about it because I've always had an opinion about it. But in my viewing of it today, I stood up from my chair and I go, Nope, I have a hard opinion about this now. So it might change because because it's a it's one of those endings that you can kind of do whatever you want with. Yeah, but today I felt this very specific way about it, which is cool to have that after so many viewings. I love that. I love that. All right, let's get into it. Talk a little bit about the history where this thing came from. Not too much, but Paul Schrader is basically walking around, kind of living the life of Travis Bickle. Travis Bickle, early scenes. You know, he was inspired by his own troubled life at the time. He heard this story of this guy, Arthur Bremer, who had shot George Wallace in 1972. So he's interested in like the psychology of someone who will do that. Of course, Squeaky Fromme, who was a member of the Charles Manson family, attempted to assassinate Gerald Ford in 1975. So this is also fueling Schrader. But trader's like he's got a stomach ulcer. He's going through a divorce. He is living out of his car. He is spending his days and nights in porno theaters. He's realizing that literal weeks at a time are going by and he is not communicating to anyone. So, you know, everyone's Pallin around New York in L.A. This is the time of Brian De Palma, who this young guy, Robert De Niro, had had worked with Brian De Palma is also friends with this guy, Marty Scorsese. So we have this emergence of three talents that are really brought together by the by this married producing team, Michael and Julia Phillips. They get Schrader to write the script after they see Mean Streets. They're like, This has to go to Scorsese and De Niro. It's a package. Like De Niro is the taxi driver. Scorsese He's the director. De Niro's filming stuff. Scorsese He's working on Alice doesn't live here anymore. So they have like this summer to go film this thing. And Columbia gives them $1.9 million, not a lot of money. I was stunned to find out only $200,000 of that went to the actors. So no one's making that much money on this. The only person who had a trailer was Robertson. NIRO And that's so they could do is make up changes, makeup and stuff. It's they were just really running and gunning and everyone had another bigger project to get to when the summer was done. So they're just running, gunning and making this movie. That's where it comes from. It comes from Paul Schrader, his life. It also comes from Martin Scorsese in Robert De Niro kind of being in similar phases, like what's going on with our careers? Where are we not really knowing how things are going to turn out? So they were all kind of in that stage and it's this beautiful marriage of three immense talents in the best era of American cinema. So it's yeah, absolutely right place, right time. Got a little money and they go and what ends up happening is just this huge phenomenon of a movie that has stayed around, that has never left the lexicon and is still very respected. And it's just something I've loved since the first time I saw it. I have a few things here to kind of I have a few bullet points. This is in this podcast you're going to hear me say of all time a lot. That's okay. Episode 100 Baby. The main reasons why I love this and want to hear some of yours too. We've talked about the craft of it and how much it taught me about filmmaking. A simple shot of him making a phone call from a payphone and then the camera pans, right? And you're like, Huh, We'll get into that. And how much that taught me all the little bits of like slow motion hand going over the desk, all the stuff I mentioned. It's the best character study I've ever seen because it's tricking me. It's manipulating me like, should I like this guy? Woo! I kind of I kind of do understand this guy because they've manipulated me for an hour. They've made me kind of care about this guy. Now he's doing all this crazy shit that I don't agree with. So now I'm conflicted. I love that the movie has my favorite character reveal of all time. When we're just hanging out, Travis vehicles waste it, grabs an antacid, puts it in his mouth, the camera does voom, moves up so quick and you see that Mohawk and you're like, Oh, who the fuck is this guy? Like, Oh, man, this this movie, this change we're in for it now has my favorite score of all time by the great Bernard Herrmann, who recorded the score in two days. Two days. And at the end of the last day, he went home and he passed away and died. What's that's a very. Yeah, Yeah. But I mean, Bernard Herrmann did the music for Psycho. Bronwyn Herbert is famous. He was pretty much done making movies, you know. But. But right. But he scored Brian De Palma's obsession, which is also written by Paul Schrader. So that was kind of Marty's in cause think about the music that's been in Marty's movies. Think about Mean Streets, all that pop. Yeah, think about the music, even. And Alice doesn't live here anymore. But as Marty has said, that music can be in Mean Streets because that's what those characters are listening to. Travis Bickle does not listen to music. Travis Bickle does not have his pulse on pop music. So we have to bring in the score. And Bernard Herrmann just heard horns. He took some convincing and he was, you know, a bit of a curmudgeon, but it's Bernard Herrmann. And I think that the score, the fact that he did it in two days and it's so iconic, it is so legendary. It's a character in the movie. I mean, I might even call it the second main character in the movie, but. Well, I'll get into more reasons why. But those are just some very high level reasons why I love this film. It's so funny that you talked about the the phone call scene because you and I have talked about this. Oh, yeah. And this is also a scene where not just us, but I've heard Bill Hader talk about this scene. I've heard so many other filmmakers discuss that particular scene. And and I'll just say it now as we just get into it, that that is this is so silly to say, but it's not though that is the scene where I actually understood for the very first time what cinematography actually was. Same here. I didn't get it while it was happening, but I had to put it together. Yeah. Yes, yes. So we're jumping ahead, but we'll just cut this get this scene because we're in it right now. Travis Bickle is talking on the phone. He's making a call to Cybill Shepherd, his character, because he's made a fool of himself and and he's trying to get it back. And it's not it's not going to happen. It's not going well. Do you get the flowers? Do you get the flowers I sent? Did you get my call? You know, it's that's the desperation of sa desperation. Yeah. Yes. Pathetic does deficiency desperation after, you know, really just being sleazy even though you know, he didn't mean it. But nonetheless, here we are. She doesn't want anything to do with it. And the camera, as we're watching him in is still shot, then just pans all the way to the right in. And now it's we're still hearing him. We haven't left his presence. We've left his view. Yep. And now we're just the cameras literally staring down the hallway, an empty hallway, and we're hearing him this phone call. Continue. Now, so many people have their own idea of what this means to me personally in the way that I still like to take it. But I love hearing everyone's take on it is that it was so pathetic and uncomfortable. Yeah. That even I like the camera. Can't look at this. The camera can't do it. The camera can't even observe because the whole time throughout the movie where it is, this is a Travis Bickle point of view movie. Yeah. All through his POV. Sometimes the way the camera stage when we're just like walking behind him, I mean this, the steam from the street and then we go to the office, the cab office and the steam from the street carries over into the office because he can't get the street off of him. The whole thing is from his POV and that scene is the first time you're like, No, it's not like this is a movie right there. He's reminding us you're watching a movie. Yeah, Like I'm telling you, this is a director choice. It's cinematographer choice. It's very, very deliberate, but it's so pathetic. It's so pathetic. And they want us to feel that it's also really crucial that we can't hear Cybill Shepherd as Betsey on the other end of the phone. And I love that choice. Who knows if she was even on it. But yeah, he could even leaving a voice point or a right voice machine back in the day. Yeah. And it's it's a full 65 seconds. I counted this morning of the shot of the still shot, and then it moves over. That's when it just becomes too unbearable. And you're like, Nope, we can't watch it. We can't bear to watch this. It's just so pathetic. And that's what I what I realized that cinematography is not about beautiful shots. Or can construction. It is a part of that. But it's also what is the camera doing to accentuate what this scene is trying to say? Yeah, what can the camera do to communicate a feeling or an idea that's already being presented by the dialog, by the performance? But how can the camera add and in this case, steal the scene? Yeah, this is one of the only few times where outside of just like crazy, like, you know, impressive one wonders and things like that where like but this was a situation where the camera's completely the star of what's happening and it's awesome. And I go, Oh, that's what cinematography is. This is telling the story with the camera. Yeah, it's not as long or flashy as Henry Hill and Karen walking into the Copacabana in Goodfellas. But it's yeah, it's also communicating the point of the character so well. In Goodfellas, you're just supposed to see his ease of access. Yeah, Look how easy it is for him to get in. He's having doors open. As long as he's got those toes, he's having doors being opened for him, a table being put right up front and yeah, that's communicating to us how easy it all is. This is communicating how pathetic it all is. And it's brilliant, brilliant. I let's get to the cast. We've already mentioned some of them, but you're going to hear these names a lot. Obviously, we have Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle. I don't is his best performance. I don't know. That's a tough call. That's hard to say. It is. I mean, yeah, it is as iconic as movie acting gets, I'll tell you that. Certainly with Cybill Shepherd as Betsy, his love interest, that becomes an unrequited love interest. Yeah. We have Betsy's coworker Tom, played by Albert Brooks. Few pieces of trivia about this that I love this part was originally offered to Harvey Keitel. That's Scorsese. He offered it to Keitel. It's like, I think I like that pimp better. So they did it. They did a switch. And Paul Schrader admitted that this Tom character was not well-written, that it wasn't there was really nothing to the part. And Marty very wisely cast the comedian and Albert Brooks improvised all of his dialog. So all that crazy shit, you know, let's not fight at all. It's just that's cool. Well, I think there's a difference. We are the people is not the same as we are the people. That's not fine. Look, we'll make it real simple. We don't pay for the buttons. We throw the buttons away. All right. Leonard Harris, as Senator Charles Powell in time, I just he wasn't in a lot, but I really, really love him. This is that scene in the cab. So good. Yeah. Talking to him gets really good. Course. Jodie Foster as Iris. Oh, a young Jodie Foster completely stealing every scene she's and going toe to toe with Robert De Niro. Harvey Keitel is Iris's pimp sport. Peter Boyle Yes wizard the know it all cab you as a few great scenes. Stephen Prince, who we talked about in our Scorsese episode as Easy Andy the gun salesman and then another the final big person. The name of the cast is Martin Scorsese himself, who is the passenger watching Silhouette in the film. He also has that brief kind of cameo where he's just sitting outside of Palatine headquarters. That's what he was post. He was supposed to have that little cameo, sir, but Cab one was We'll talk about that. That was a I'm talking to last second thing. Yeah. It's like, okay, so I have to put this suit on now and do this because there's no one else to do it. The character whose cast was indisposed, how close to say this to say was fair. To say what not to say. Let's do it. Let's just start talking about the movie. We're going to go in order, but we'll talk about anything that tickles our fancy as we go, anything we want to call out. What you see is what we got opening credits. I mean, God, we just start with them. Don't don't that think building. Yeah, the music. The music and the cab goes by in the clouds in the title reveal. Still, one of my favorite title reveals just the music. Oh, my God, it's so perfect. And of course, we that first shot of Travis so close up. But the music kind of softens. The title itself is so seventies. Oh, God. Like it's perfect. It lets you really know that this is a time capsule too. Like, it really feels like it's not trying to be anything other than note. This is this is the kind of fonts that we did in the seventies and this is what we're doing for this one. It's great. So purposeful, intentional. I love it. The first big scene is at the cabby stand when it's kind of the impromptu job interview and he walks in and like I said, that steam or smoke from the streets is following him in. So I do have a few prompts as we go. And of course, we didn't discuss Taxi Driver in Depth on the Martin Scorsese podcast because we knew this episode was coming. The prompt I left people with. And you was, was Travis Bickle ever really in Vietnam? Was he ever in the military? Was he actually Marine? Is does he actually have Marine veteran status now for you? Answer This is something I had never considered. Yeah, never. Never. And 30 years of loving this movie, 25, 30 years of loving this movie, I never even thought to consider it. And then I read fucking Quentin Tarantino's book, Cinema Speculation and his big speculation of Taxi Driver is, of course, this guy was in the military and he he gives a few signs of that. Number one, Travis Bickle does not seem to understand people of color at all. He seems afraid of them, hence all the slow motion shots of gang members, of pimps. And being in Vietnam, you would have served with people of color. So he wouldn't he wouldn't have this fear. These are Tarantino's points. He doesn't think the jacket looks real. He thinks Travis Bickle just boarded the shop that had his name put on the back of it. All these little things. He doesn't think he's talking with any authority about the time he served. So that's just kind of an interesting way to go down. It doesn't really I don't know if it changes the movie entirely, but it allowed me to view an aspect of the movie very differently and go, I think that kind of tracks. I mean, I don't know if it changes again, I don't know if it changes the whole film, but it is a very interesting way to look at things and a very interesting way to look at him. Well, it is, and I've been thinking about it a lot. It actually informed a lot of when I was watching it. I mean, this is just a cool conversation because there is no answer to it. There is no right or wrong. There is no definitive. Exactly. Was there? He wasn't. But if he wasn't, then it indicates that Travis Bickle is to some degree a liar. And that's never been something that I've associated with that character or no, he's a huge liar. Thinks about think about when he writes his parents. Those are all, Oh, no, that girl from this Betsy, I have I have this new job. No, no. It's like what makes him what makes this narration so good is that we can't really believe a fucking thing. He says, Okay, Yeah. You know, you're a mercenary, I guess. I guess it's because he doesn't really lie to people. Like when he's talking to them. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So in the moment, like he. I guess that's what I was thinking. But no, he does, he does lie in those journal entries in his letters to his parents. He is very, very whenever that military thing is brought up he does like get a little shy. He gets. Yeah, he does not speak with authority about it and he doesn't even speak it when he does respond to that. It's not even like I don't want to talk about it. It's it's there's just no, it's almost like a throw away. Like, yeah, I was in the military and then moving on. Yeah. Because this boss, it kind of endears him to the boss. The guy leans back and he's like, Oh, I was a marine and Bickell doesn't press him on it. Like, Oh, what outfit Where you stationed in? So there's no like, you would think if what Bickle is doing, if he is lying, if he's okay, if he's telling the truth and he really was there, you would think he would use that as more of like a launching point to, you know, start conversations are getting good with people. But to me, if I go with Tarantino speculation he could be making up these lies to curry favor from people like here's a here's a lonely Vietnam veteran who needs a job or who needs a date or something. I don't know whether he's lying or not. It's it's a great theory. It's a great theory. Yeah. I work anytime, anywhere, daytime. And what's moonlighting like? He doesn't. Oh, yeah, I love that. I love that. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, one thing I noticed this time around is, like, in the beginning, like, he is. He's off, but it almost seems like he's got a good thing going in these, like, first, like, beginnings of the movie. Know, he's, he's getting a job, you know, he is. He's a little awkward and everything, but, you know, he's doing his best to smile is doing is that he catches himself in a few things that he shouldn't have said. And he kind of just kind of owns it and takes up for it. I forgot exactly what he says to him because. Oh, gets that because lean like my Conscience book is the guy's like, not going to bust my balls, right, Aria or something like that. Right? He's like, No, no, no. And then, you know, it seems like he's got a good thing and and then we'll get to it. But this is when he, like, you know, meets Betsey and things like that. So, yeah, I mean, yeah, he gets the job things. Even the first few shifts we have on him, on the job, like, he seems like, you know, I'm doing some. I'm out here working. Yeah, I'm out all nights. Anyway, I'm as we get. May as well be getting paid for it. I love when he leaves. That cab's in and we do like that 360 shot around just the whole room. And then he, like, touches the trunk of the cab as he exits. And then one of my favorite just compositions in the film is when he exits that cab sit on 57th Street in the lot. If you look like the line of the cabs are taking us right to his right to Bickle. So like all the lines, all the access lines are perfect. And then way up in the left corner, you can see like a little grass on the hill and some homes on the hill. We don't ever see grass in this movie. It's like there's this whole world out there that he's never going to be exposed to because the city traps him in. Yeah, that's what I read on it anyway. God, I love it. Jesus Christ. That's awesome. Takes a little nip from his liquor. I love it. Okay, But after he leaves there, that's when he goes home for the first time. Yeah, And that's when we're taking in this apartment. I mean, what does the production design alone tell us about Travis? There's filth, there's garbage. All the food is junk food. It's so small, it's a mess. And then, yeah, we cut back. He's working in the rain. I mean, these rain soaked neon streets are like in my dreams. I have visions of these shots. That taxi driver. Oh, it. Everything's. It's like a little hazy. Oh, my God. I love it. And yeah, you're right. Like, he is in a good groove. Cause think about the things that may, like, bother someone like you or I like. I would be very bothered by what was going on in a cab if I was driving. Yeah, but he's just tells in his journal. Each night when I get back I had to clean the come off my back seat sometimes I clean off the blood. It's like no big deal. And it's weird to put to me to put blood second in that. Like the first thing is just. It's like it's a gimme. It was. It was a Wednesday. Yeah. Yeah. You know, Fridays and Fridays. There are a lot. He's just okay with it. Like, nothing really seems to be bothering him, but he also doesn't seem to have much purpose. Like, cool, I have this thing and then, you know, the next thing he goes to the porno theater. So we're still just seeing him alone. And it's like the porno theater. I mean, we got to get into this because there is there's a lot to open up about that. So, yeah, there's one shot that I really loved, and it's only because I've had personal experience is that I used to work overnight shifts. This is where is this going? Where? Oh, my God, this is I went to these porno theaters right after work. All right, man, I just. You get off, you get off. You need a hold you would like. There's one shot of him. It's one of the it's in this in this sequence where he's getting off of work, and I think he's actually on his way to the porno theater,but it feels like 7:
00 in the morning.The sun is right where 7:
00 is. And for most people who are out at that time, they are going somewhere and going to work. Yeah, going to work. And for overnight workers, you're done. And I always felt such a difference when I would do overnight shifts where I would come out at 7 a.m. and I'd be walking to my car. I there was just a feeling that I got that this is just not the way this is supposed to go. And I would always see that lighting of that sun. And it's captured exactly like the feeling I would get of coming out of work at 7 a.m. is that scene, is that shot when he's walking And I go, wow, that's that is exactly it. It's just there. And then that's just me putting that onto it. But that's I love that. That was very, very cool. I agree. And I think that's what is happening. Yeah, I think he's working nights, long nights. Oh, yeah. He's starting maybe like an hour or two before the sun goes down and then he's stopping an hour or two after the sun comes up. So he's working long nights. I used to work in 66, sometimes to eight. Right, exactly. And then, yeah, when he gets out, he can't sleep. So he's going to these theaters. First time we see him go to go to the theater, talk about, like, awkwardness just he doesn't know how to talk to that poor woman, the poor clerk who was who ended up being Robert De Niro's first wife, Diane Abbott, which is hilarious. Oh, wow. There's little vibe. It's just so good. They were dating when they film this. So, you know, what you see is what we got. I love that he's just trying to make small talk with her. Like now I help him. Yeah. What's your name? My name is Travis. That's nice kind of for you. I can know when your name is, when your name. Gimme a break. You tell me what the name is. I'm not going to do anything, you know. You want me to call manager? Oh, you don't have to call Manager Troy. All right. Okay. Okay. Can I have a chuckle? Sense And the only Jujubes are they last long? I like to get some. She says what we got I okay next prompt we actually talked about this A on the there will be blood commentary and it's a great point to bring up because similarly you've made good points about as an actor building a character sometimes talked about with Amy Adams she gets she identifies the face of every character she does, even if that character doesn't have religion. You've talked about identifying the humor. Yeah. And then we've also talked about it can be important, sometimes critical, to identify the sexual predilections of a character. And I'm asking similar to how we asked about Daniel Plainview, has Travis Bickle ever had sex? It's such a great question, and I, I would probably say no. I would agree. I would have this would probably be a situation I don't know this this comment where we're going is also directly tied to that criticism I was talking about from the movie. Like the Incel criticism. Oh, Virgin guy who just wants to go out and shoot people. That's kind of that's where a lot of the criticism was coming from. I do think it's important to bring up because I don't think he knows how to he doesn't really know how to socialize. He gets kind of good with his cab buddies, I mean, kind of really. But that's guys, too. Yeah, but he doesn't know how to socialize with women. The one time he does the first time he meets Betsy seems to me like he's really practiced that. Oh, this is how I'm going to walk in, walk in with my strut. I'm going to say these lines like, if you want to call it a friend, you can call it a friend. It feels like similar to you talking to me. He's practiced that in a mere like I. This is how men talk to women. You have to go try to try my best. And then they invite him to a movie. That's what they do. Dinner in a movie. So she won't go to dinner with me, but she'll go out for coffee and pie and then we'll go to a movie. And he doesn't even consider what the content of the movie should be. It doesn't. Doesn't matter. And this is a separation I'm talking about where like when he's in this first porno theater, it looks like he's watching a fucking nature documentary. Like, he doesn't understand. He's kind of looking at it with this blank face and he has all these snacks like he's there, like, yeah, he's entertained or something. It's not. He doesn't seem to be there for the reason that the other men are there, which is to, you know, be in and out. Yeah. So it's, and then, you know, like that, clean themselves off and then leave perhaps. But that's something I've considered for a while. But again it is not. I don't think it's explicit to the movie. I don't think you have to have that answer as an audience member to enjoy the movie. I just this is a movie we've both seen a lot of times. So we're putting these extra kind of reads on it just to get people thinking, to get us, that's all. And there's something that I that it seems like, you know, the way that he approaches her when he's wearing that suit, it's like the only time like it like, you know, he got this suit just to make this impression. Exactly. There's something like about that innocent romance ence that he's trying to do. Yeah, he feels that way. On one hand, it's creepy because he's just sitting outside the taxicab watching her. But I don't I don't personally think that he has impure thoughts. I think he actually looks at her is like, Wow, that's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. That to even even remotely, even talk to her would be like the, like the best thing of my life. Yeah. They cannot touch her. That's what he's talking. Yeah. Yeah. Like the streets. This. These streets are fucking filthy. Someone just come and flush it down the fucking toilet. But they cannot touch her. She is pure. She is my angel. I don't even know her name yet. Damn, damn I got to ask her last name. It doesn't matter if she is an angel in the street to him, it's to him. And that's the type of feeling that one has in boyhood. Yeah, Like that is like, your exact first crush. You're, you know, this type of thing. So that would lead me to think that this is another reason as to why he probably has never had sex is because he's treating her. He's probably had other crushes before potentially growing up, but they never went anywhere. So he still puts that type of emphasis on this person. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I love that we skipped it because at first, the first time he sees her, like he sees her walking and then he is kind of staring at her outside and she's talking to Albert Brooks and she's like, the cabbie is staring at us, and he's like, Which one? She goes, Put on your glasses. Okay? And you know, he already has them all. I love that. I love She's like, Look over. There he goes, I love you. It's so funny. He just adds it all, these sort of funny bits. And then he goes to the cafeteria. So we get to meet all all of our guys. We get to meet Wizard Doughboy, Charlie T That's a really critical scene because that's the first time we see him observing these people of color, these black pimps sitting in the same cafeteria. He is ordering food, drinking beers, but he's studying them and they're kind of looking at him. And as an audience member, this this took me a long time to figure out what these shots meant because, I mean, I saw this movie way pre-Internet, so I didn't I didn't know how to, like, look this stuff up. And I'd be like, what does this mean? Because it looks like he's afraid. And yeah, this is Travis because far from a perfect man, he's a very, very flawed character. I love flawed characters, but it is important just to kind of note that I think another really critical thing of that cafeteria scene is when when don't I love when Doughboy goes, Hey, Travis, how's it hangin? And DeNiro does that great double take. And he's like, like he's never heard the term How's it hangin? And it's like he's trying to figure out, Oh, this is like slang for How's it going? Okay, okay. You just so is is like, I hope he's kind of like a teenager. Like. Like an infant. He's like, emotionally like an infant. He's just been some emotional stunting that I always attributed to Vietnam. And now that I'm not, that's. That's what makes it salt interesting to me that like. So why is this guy stunted? What is going on? It seems like he has a good relationship with his parents. Are his parents real? I don't fucking know it's. Oh, well, I mean. Well, that's the thing. Well, I love there's one I don't know when this happens in the movie, but I think it's towards the end because he's writing his letter to his parents and, you know, he's basically saying, I hope no one has died. Yeah, I love I hope that. No, I was like, wow. Okay, so you had so little communication. Oh, they are not you back. It's like it's one of your birthdays. I think both of your birthdays happened. It's. Yeah, that's what I like. Is this real? Like, are these people were real? I don't know. Why all this can't find you all. Well, as it does me, I hope no one is dying. Don't worry about me. One day there'll be a knock on the door and it'll be me. Love, Travis. And there's one thing about the script, though, that. That Travis says this throughout. So many times, and it's about to happen in the scene. He has already said it to her, to Betsy, where he goes, Well, I don't know much about politics. And then he says, I don't know much about movies. Yeah, I don't know much about this or that. He he this script is having the character announced to people I don't know about these things. Yeah. That leads you to like if you're De Niro, you're like, well, says this a lot. I mean he must really not know, right. Yeah. So that that to your point like he's like I don't know much about how people hang out. Yeah I don't know. I love that He goes, I don't know the senator's stand on welfare, but I'm sure it's a good stand. Yeah. Just kind of making stuff up as he goes it I, I love that whole it's a there's really good chemistry there between he and Cybill Shepherd and might be my favorite scene of theirs in the movie. Just her kind of being like cause she's no she's she's been around you can tell she's no she's not easy. She knows how to spot a challenging person, how to spot a threat. She's not like wooed off her feet by him. She hasn't an appropriate level of danger. I mean, it's just a literal dude off the street. I don't know who this guy is, but. Okay. Yeah, I'll go. Go out for coffee and pie. And that's. I mean, that's a great scene. I love him. I would say he has quite a few problems. I love that line for DeNiro. Oh, yeah. About Albert Brooks. Yeah. It's like I don't like him very much. I did tell you that that whole entire scene is basically about him. It is almost like he's. He's trying to best Albert Brooks. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Right. He's just degrading him like he's a clown. He has bad energy. I don't think he takes things seriously. And he talked to him for like 7 seconds, but yeah, he's just trying to right now. That's the only other male figure in Jesse's life, so he's trying to diminish him. What's he going to do with the other male figure? And Betty? Betty's life's going to try to fucking kill him. So it shows you where he's at with old Betsy here. But. Yeah, yeah, Great point. You have to pay, Dave. Love that payday. Yeah, I look at it and he's relatively like the he I mean, outside of him kind of going back to the Albert Brooks thing, like he's socially handling himself pretty well. He is this day. It seems like he's handling things well like this. You know, he's gone. He's met Betsy. He's agreed to come back at four. I love that. He's like really honing in like 4 p.m. right out front. I'll be here. Like, it's like he's got he's got every detail, all the bases covered. And then, you know, shortly after he finds out, he may have just volunteered for Senator Clinton's campaign. He gets Senator Powell tight as affair. This is a quick scene. But again, you got to keep in mind, like we're still like 20, 25 minutes into the movie. And if you're watching it for the first time that we don't know that this guy is crazy yet, we haven't really even seen much stuff that's crazy, like you said, Like he's he did just handle himself well socially, kind of twice with Betsy. Now he gets the senator in the car. I love that senator's aide, like kind of leaning forward to get the senator's attention. Like, are you sure we should be in this fucking car and you should be talking to this guy? I love that little look. But then Travis just gets like, you know, he's smiling, he's doing all this, and then this is when you kind of start to see it. You see these, like, depression wheels spinning. Yes. This mania spring, whatever it is that it descends, it's flushable on the fucking toilet and kind of goes a little too far. And that's really one of the first cases. And we see see that? And I love Palin times reaction to it. Well, Travis, it's great. Can I ask you something, Travis? Sure. What is the one thing about this country that bugs you the most? Well, I don't know. You know, I don't follow political issues that closely, sir. I don't know. Oh, well, there must be something. Well, whatever it is, you should clean up this city here, because this city here is like an open sewer. You know, It's full of filth and scum. And sometimes I can hardly take it whenever it comes. The president should just really clean it up. You know what I mean? Sometimes I go out and I smell it. I get headaches. It's so bad, you know, They just like it. Just never go away. You know, it's I think that the president should just clean up this whole mess. You should just flush it right down the fucking toilet. Well, I think I know what you mean, Travis. Well, it's great because the scene works so well. Because you know, De Niro, like, it's like he he he's trying. Like he starts here, like you could see the smile on his face. He's. He's got the courage. I think things are going well with Betsy. And he goes, Oh, my. Look, I've got Senator Palance in my. Exactly, Senator. And wait till I tell her. Wait, wait. Yeah, this is going to be great. Yeah. And then, you know, the security guards are great because, like, as soon as Travis starts talking, there is that bit of like, Whoa, you do like that? And Senator is like, No, no, no, let me talk to the people. Yeah. Travis, what do you think about the world? And then yeah, and then he he goes a little too far. You can tell he's made the situation uncomfortable for everyone. Palin's line is, is I think, adept enough to kind of be like, well, we're going to do what we can, you know? And he's a great politician. Yeah. Yeah. He handled that exactly as like a politician. Should it or will would Travis he he got uncomfortable as he was saying the words and maybe he wouldn't really admit to himself, Oh, I fucked up because he never really talks to himself like that. He he never. No, no. He does not have negative self-talk. No. I mean, one of the ones we get is like Betsy. Betsy? What? Damn, I forgot to ask her last year. I remember these things, but that's, like, as bad as it gets, he's not like you are a weirdo. Yeah. No, he doesn't ever say you need to go kill. It's not. No, listen. No, that would be too obvious for him and for us. Yeah. I think in those moments where. Where, where he like, it's almost like a little bit of deflection where he might realize that he might have crossed the line a little bit, too. Feels kind of bad about it, but. But then kind of finds a new way to go to put that energy into because he shakes his hand. And then when they when Palatine leaves the car, they give Travis that little minute like that now to himself, he's like, all right, all right. That and that went about as well as it could have for me. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I think you know what? Maybe there was like, a little bit there, but, you know. But he shook my hand. He shook my hand. I'm going to tell Betsy now. Exactly. Exactly. And I love that we don't get to see him tell her, because I bet. Yeah, that's something that any other movie would show. They'd show that big moment. And then he got in my cab and he talked to me and he call me by my name. Real quick insert because we're working our way to that. One of the worst first dates in movie history. But real quick, we he meets Iris for the first time. He does not know her name, but she jumps in the back of his cab. Yeah. Get me out of here. Get me out of here. That's important because that starts a new wheel turning in Travis's brain of perhaps being someone's savior. And I also want to point this out, because what is Harvey Keitel say to Jodie Foster? He says, You want to get busted, bitch, Be cool. Think Tarantino likes this movie. Tell that bitch to be cool. Say bitch, be cool. Yes, I love that stealing dialog. Who else is in Pulp Fiction? Harvey Keitel. It's all connected, baby. And then we get that crumpled $20 bill, which is kind of a Hitchcock MacGuffin for this film because it follows Travis around, you know, And that's who he's going to pay back Iris's pimp with toward the end. But let's go. Oh, I never track that. That's cool. Oh, you didn't know. I never really, like, said so. Sport. Yeah, sport. Cartel hands in that very corrupt front. One was like, Hey, cabbie, get out of here. That's a shitload of money. In summer 1975 for when you did not have it fair. Think about when we see the faces in the movies. Oh, yeah. It's like $8, $7 a $20 bill for not having to do anything that's good for him. But he doesn't. He it comes up again because he has to pay Charlie t back the five and he sees a crumpled one. But that's what he gives the pimp. Yes. To visits. Visit Iris for the first time. Yeah. And I always. Yeah, I just I remember even I noticed that because I was like, why did we make such a big deal of that toe right now to that to the pimp. Yeah. Yeah. And I was like, Huh, That now that's cool. There it is. There it is. Yes. He is asked Betsy to a movie. Another prompt. I have not really a prompts, but I'm not I cannot be convinced that Travis Bickle has seen a motion picture. A legitimate motion picture, which I'm not saying sometimes Sweet Susan isn't a legitimate motion picture, but I don't know if the dude is seeing the searchers, for instance, which is what his entire wardrobe is based on. But yeah, I mean, I don't know. I don't know. It's it's really hard to say. I mean, he admits, like I said, like he doesn't know much about movies, but it is something that, like in his apartment, he doesn't have any like he watches TV like But yeah, exactly. But but not even like he's watching like a bad soap opera and then like, like an American Bandstand is like walking around. It's not like, you know, and a lot of Scorsese in movies will see them watching like Double Indemnity or something like that. He's not watching any, like known piece of cinema. And I do think that's all telling as well. The lack of pop music, which Scorsese you mentioned all very telling. So yeah, he has the idea. I go to these movies, so why not take the woman I'm potentially in love with to these movies and it does not go well. If it did go well, I'm not sure if that was her vibe. She's like, It's it's a fun night. Travis Imagining cue credit. I know. Yeah. Travis Bickle Junior. It's like Valentine gets elected president. Poor Jodie Foster. She's not okay. Now, if someone is someone's okay, then someone else has to get hurt. And at least impulse Schrader's world. But yes, it does. It does not go well. And I mean her line delivery on the street tense about is you know Tommy saying let's fuck like and that kind of stunts him and he's like, oh my God, I really made a mistake. And I like Jesus Christ. I got a taxi. Like, it's just he really does not it does not seem like to him that he knows he's making a mistake. Yeah, this is a bad idea. She even says, like, this is a dirty move. And he's like, No, a lot of couples go to these movies. Yeah, What a scene. I remember seeing that for the first time being like, Oh, boy, what are we walking in to here? What's going to happen? And then, yeah, it's like the perfect reaction of her just walking out. It's a very interesting contradiction, which is something that, you know, he gets called out on by Jodie Foster later, but no by Civil Chic. So he's walking contradiction. Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. So the supper says yep and and you know because he's in this job where he sees the filth of sexuality and that's even the whole entire thing, you know, when he's trying to get Jodie Foster, he goes, What are you doing in this? This is, this is, this is this is not a way for people to live. But yet he can go to these theaters and not see anything wrong is almost in Exactly it's and it's it's like I, I even can't really wrap my head around the way that he well in the beginning at least because because you do get later when he goes back to these theaters and he's got like his you know, fingers up against his forehead, he's kind of making like making the gun motions, you know, But but he's watching this movie. But I don't even think he's watching. He's thinking about other things. Yeah, he's But things are turning in his head. He's like, yeah, yeah. But he does manage to go to these theaters to watch this content and is not affected by it the way that he is in the real world. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Interesting. It is. It really lends itself to the walking contradiction thing. And yeah, and that is literally played out in that scene because she calls him that the previous time they seen each other. And then, yeah, here it is. Here is Travis Bickle. Now we get to I mean, we couldn't make it through the introduction of the taxi driver pod without mentioning the phone call because this is we're talking about one influential scene. I think the whole thing is like 2 minutes long, 120 seconds. This is one of the most influential scenes I have ever witnessed. And you are right, we are not pitching original ideas here. This this did not happen to just us having to a lot of people I've heard Bill Hader talk about it with with Extreme Passion and so articulately. It was so amazing to hear that. And you know, there's a number of commentaries on the Blu ray that I have for this, and I listened to them all and yeah, like the reads are the same that it's pathetic. That's why we can't watch. But the fact that this little movement, like it's not a complicated movement. You just maybe have a little track down and you're moving the camera. That's it. Yeah. Fucking brilliant. Like it. God, again, the the point, the POV changing. Not from we don't get a P.O.V.. The camera doesn't cut to Betsy to Cybill Shepherd on the phone in her office or an apartment doesn't do that. It moves away from the point of view you have established. And now we kind of have full rein for real cracks to start showing. And we do, because the first thing we see after that hallway, you know, you're only as healthy as you feel. He's repeat repeats that three times in voiceover and then bam, he's confronting Betsy at her office and he's opening that door and that strutted charming posture that's gone now. Yeah, it goes to like, kind of fight Albert Brooks, like, get your hands off. I mean, he's getting, you know, violent. And yeah, now we're really starting to see cracks emerge and within his psyche because you know, here is stuff coming out but is it military because. I don't think so. That's what I mean. Yeah, No, because that's what I mean Because he he takes that stance. It almost looks like a karate type intelligence. Yeah. It looks like he's seen like maybe this is how a marine or Green Beret would, like, pretend to get someone in a hold. But, yeah, it's more like a karate stance. It doesn't. I have even attributed in my writing about this film that he adopts like a military, like fighting stance, like, because that's what I thought it was, But I don't think it is. I just think he's like, yeah, maybe. Maybe he's seen like some kung fu movies in passing. I don't know. I don't know. But I don't think that's something they necessarily teach you in the military, that stance. Maybe I'm wrong, you know? Yeah. And, and or it just could be like what he physically did in that moment. Yeah, but even if. If you had military training and you were worked up to that level and some is about to fight, something tells me you wouldn't just instinctively just make that pose like your training would come in to some level. Yeah, exactly. It might even be a little clearer headed if you had that training, but yes, yes, yes. Yeah, but okay, so now we're starting to see cracks. So his personal, his romantic life is cracked. He had this terrible date. He that's not going to come back. We have we know now that we've seen the movie a bunch and it can work out and we can feel even for watching it for the first time. He stared this off course. Now he has officially ruined it for himself by going and showing flashes of violence. So these this is his doing. Now the next scene is where we get our director cameo. And this is a really important sequence because this is really the first time the Travis Bickle has felt fear and this is the first time he's like, Yeah, I will drive any time of night. I'll go any time, anywhere. But now I got this little dude talking about killing his wife with a 44 magnum pistol. And it does he have this gun on him? He's sitting behind me like, What's going on? So this is like a very important scene, at least story wise. I think this is what it's you know, it's all tracking to where it's leading to, you know, buying his arsenal guns So that well, story wise for the movie. And then there's just a shitload of fun trivia about this scene. Well and and it goes to show you two like that like because Martin Scorsese says the 44 Magnum when he goes to the gun, it's the first time he asks for it first. Do you have a 44 Magnum? Yes. Yes. Three hand cannon. Yeah. Which I don't think he expected. I don't think he knew that was right. Which again, would lead to the idea that he doesn't even have military training. No military training, no movie experience. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So. Yeah. So Christie's character said any gun and he would have led with that, Right? But going to this scene, I'm sure you know this story, too, that Scorsese, he talks always about how this scene taught him a lot about acting. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Because, you know, you've got the dialog the way it is. And, you know, he's he's basically the whole scene is Scorsese. He just telling De Niro like little things like, don't do this, don't do that. Put the keep the fair, go and keep the fair go and don't put it down. Don't put it down. But he's actually giving him action. It's like, put the put this meter back up. So De Niro, look up here. Yeah, yeah, up there. Yeah. Doing things where De Niro has to do what he says. And De Niro wouldn't do them out of fear or that's where that's where he's playing the thing. And Scorsese was like, What? Like I got to fight harder. And so he's like, So De Niro taught me that, like, you know, it's all about the actor going with what they need. I need this guy to put the fare back up. So I'm just going to keep badgering and badgering and get weirder and weirder in my behavior to get what I need. And, you know, he's already made these choices. He definitely seems like he's on certain drugs. He certainly does. And and and he's definitely is certain he's in a certain state because of his circumstance. So he's living really in his characters behavior and de Niro is just reacting off of it. Yeah. And in the moment, making Scorsese you have to work harder to get. Yeah. He wants. And it's just it's beautiful. It's it's it's one of the most uncomfortable scenes you can watch for so many reasons. But to I think it's because you see Scorsese see in this state and fighting to get that meter up. Look over here. Don't answer this question. No, no, no. Answer it and know I know you must think I'm you know, you must think I'm pretty sick or something. You know, I must think I'm pretty sick, right? You must been a pretty sick. Right? But you really think I'm sick, right? Do you think I'm sick? You think I'm sick? You have to answer. I'm paying for the fare. You don't have to say. Yeah. No, it does. It does. It's all that that you should see. I used to. Yeah. I'm not going. Yes. Some of the. Yeah. A God. What a what a scene. All right, let me start let me start with this. This was this role was cast. If we go back to the mean streets, we know our our milk, our main milk. The guy in the bar, the big, big dude who owns the bar, who calls him a milk, that this was his role and he was supposed to play this part and he was cast. And I don't know, I've heard any number of things of of why he wasn't on the street that day to be in the movie, that he was just, like I said, indisposed, maybe with substances. Maybe I do not know. But Marty was trying to find other people around. Can you do it? Can you do it? And you just can't find the right person. They don't have time to go out and audition. They're filming it. So okay, he has to do it. And you know, Marty was in Mean Streets. He had a small but critical role. Yeah. He at the end of that, he pops up a little bit in it. Yeah he's but this is different because this is like you're saying like Travis Bickle says two words he repeats Yeah, very, very gently and that's it. The rest is. And he said, like Bob had to work a lot with me to get to draw the performance out of me. And we did it and it worked. And of course, some of the language he's using is deplorable and gross And I hate hearing Oh, man. And I think that's the point. I think it's very, very intentionally used. But yeah, what a scene. And he's I mean, he's really good at it. He's very terrifying now because it's Scorsese. I mean, not because he's Mr. Smooth, he's Mr. Charming Hitman, because he's wiry little dude who could have a 44 Magnum pistol in the back of his pants right now, like you. Really? Yeah. It's a great it's a it's great scene. You're right. It's not like Bickle is afraid right away. It's not like De Niro's playing it. Like, Oh, my God, I'm so scared. The wheels are turning. Like I need to protect. Protect myself. Because I've already been asked. I think Doughboy asked him, Do you have a piece? Do you carry a gun? And he's like, No, I don't know. He seems like, again, leading to the nonmilitary thing, he doesn't seem familiar with weaponry at all, really. And his motions are just very slow. He's like, I'm not going to move. He doesn't seem like paralyzed or petrified. It's just he's very aware of what's happening and just yeah, just kind of sitting in it. And because Scorsese is making him, he's like, don't move, don't do this. Almost. Yeah, we get that great shot from behind his head. We're just studying like the back of Travis's head in the car. Oh, the the thing I always like to about with that scene is how Because they cut from it. How long were they sitting there? It's a great question. So Scorsese, he left like how like it clearly I don't think Bickle kicked him out. I think we would have seen a scene like that, but at some point Scorsese's character would have been like, All right, now take me here, or would have been like, All right, I'm going to get out of the car. Yeah, I think I think we all would have known if that that act that Scorsese was talking about was committed. I think we would have found that out. But I think it was mostly just about living in the uncomfortable tension of that scene. And yeah, having it just go nowhere. It's was lived in. And then now he's coming up to one of my favorite scenes of the whole entire movie where he's talking to a wizard. Now the wheels are turning where he's like, okay, that nothing did happen that time, but it might happen again. And it could. It could happen tomorrow. We can have it. It could be my next fair. I could pick up another twitchy psychopath. And I always love movies when the psycho we're watching has to engage with another like Psycho and watching our psycho, who were kind of being a dear to be like, Wow, this guy's fucking crazy, man. It's like, no. Yes to Travis. I love that. Yeah, let's get right to it. He goes back to the cafeteria as wizard Peter Boyle for a chat and Travis tries. He tries to communicate, he to confess. He doesn't. He's not very good at it, Pete. I mean, De Niro and Boyle are so good in the scene. You know, things got you down. Yeah, things got me real down. It's just Peter Boyle was trying to give him, you know, this cabbie street talk, You know, just this influence. I kind of. Kind of pick yourself up, kid. Get out there. It's kind of that type of thing. Like, you do your job, work the job. And as far as, you know, fledging psychopaths go, this is about as close to a confession as you're going to get. And it just doesn't I don't know what Travis wanted to hear in that moment, but, you know. Well, he tried. Well, that's that's what I loved the most about the scene is that Travis is trying he this is a pure cry for help. Yep. And and Peter Boyle can't do it. Like, that's what I love more is that I mean, Peter Boyle is coming from a good his character is coming from a good point. Like he's like yeah he's he's saying like this, like he can't comprehend that Travis Pickles in the situation he's in so he's just given Yeah keep your head up but he knows it's not working. Yeah and I love that both of them fail. Like I love that DeNiro gets the courage up to actually ask the only person he feels in this moment that he can actually talk to about this thing and doesn't get what he needs. And these are my favorite scenes. My favorite scenes ever is are when characters fight for something and this is not fighting, but when I say fighting, it's that they're going after something. They need something and they don't get it. And this is such a good example of it because the person who fails is not De Niro. It's actually Boyle's character. Yeah, Boyle fails in in giving. He tries also. He's trying to give Travis what he needs, but that's not it. And then he walks away and you can even see, like, the way he's like, All right, well, I don't think that really went well, but, you know, keep your head up. I got to go. And he's like, I don't know what the fuck you're talking about anyway. Yeah. Yeah. He's like, I don't know. And that is makes you feel even more like that. Makes Travis Bickle feel even more lonely. Yeah, of course. Because he tried like he's these the streets are getting a little dangerous. They kind of mess things up with my my lady, she never was your lady, but maybe he like to think she was. And yeah, he's just things are down and he doesn't know. He doesn't know how to communicate about anything. So it's like next to you, the next little snippet scene. I want to mention this. It's the I call it the apartment dining scene Is this is this is the scene in the script that convinced Bernard Herrmann to score the because it said Travis sits there eating bread, soaked in peach brandy with sugar on top and milk. What a meal. What a I love that Godard Urban reads that. He's like, All right, I like it. I'll do it. I don't do movies about cabbies, but I'll score. I mean, what's it about? It's about he goes and meets Iris again. It's when he almost hits her with the car and we get that great little sting from the music. Like, Yeah. And then a really important line of voiceover comes into play that has all to do with not getting what he wanted from the wizard in that confession. And he says there is no escape. I am God's Lonely Man. Yeah, which is a Paul Schrader line if I've ever heard one. And right after he goes and buys some guns, lots of gas. Yes. This is a great scene. It's a great scene. It really is A little honey and a little honey in all because of that actor like. Yeah, Steven Brant. Oh, my God. He's essentially, essentially playing a version of himself. He was just a wheeler and dealer around New York. I guess he was like a band manager for, I think, Neil Young for a little bit. I learned that from that American boy documentary that I talked about and then a little honey, how much everything's all together. Well, only a jackass would carry a cannon in the streets like that. Can't. He has a beautiful handmade holster I had made in Mexico. $40, 350 for the Magnum, 250 for the 38 and a quarter for the 25. 153. You take this and wait here. I'll walk down with you. How about dope, grass, ash, coke, mescaline, downers, all tone, all chloral hydrate. How about uppers, amphetamines? No, I'm not interested in this stuff. Crystal meth. I need a crystal meth. Nitrous oxide. How about that? How about a Cadillac? I get you a brand new Cadillac with the pink slip for two grant. That's all hip. And it's Travis. I got along with that. It's like, great. So good. That's my favorite part, because that shows you his character. Because up until that point, he's actually really smooth. Like, this is a salesman. He's. Yeah, But as soon as Travis spends money and he's actually taken home like hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of guns, when he total that whole entire amount up. He's now a guy who smells blood and he's like, because his because he's almost desperate when he starts talking about the drugs. Yeah. He's like, you want this. You want this. Like, now that I know you got money and you bought this, what about this? Because then zero says, no, he blows right past it. He does his heirs more. And, and I was like, Oh, man. Like in a weird way, like that disappointed me. Like, I don't know why. Like, I just was like, man, like, this was a business transaction, but now you're just lowly scum. Well, yeah, of course. That's. I mean, if he was anything else to begin with, but. But even still, like, I was like, Oh, man, like, you're just. You're just. You're just like all the rest of it. He goes, Only a jackass would carry a cannon in the streets like that. So he gets the holster so good. Oh He's got 40 bucks. 40 bucks, though. Yeah, it's already bucks. The the sound design of that scene. Something something Scorsese, he does a lot of have, like, kids playing in the background. You just hear the streets alive. This is during the love scene in Raging Bull, when they're kind of making out in the bed. That's all you can hear outside of the kids. And he does that, and then he just holds that gun an empty, but he holds that gun out and we're like slowly tracking it across the window. Well, gun. And you're like, Oh, fuck, man, where's this going? Well, this is to me, this is actually one of the most disturbing scenes of the whole entire movie, because where he lands, he actually lands on people, the F with the pointing the gun, and it just this element of thinking like, you could just be out on the street and you may not even know it, but someone's pointing a gun at you. Yeah, you know, but this is like if you're going into the headspace of where this guy is going, that's where it's going. And this is what I appreciate about the movie that like this is where I feel like this conversation, the beginning of the podcast starts to go where people get uncomfortable because it is uncomfortable, but like if we're really being honest about where this guy is at, still not advocating, but just showing like, nope, like he's aiming slipping. Yeah he's slipping. He's saying, yeah, he is taking aim. Yep. And yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. So there are a lot of influences that Scorsese used for Taxi Driver, The Searchers by John Ford. There's Diary of a Country Priest. I watched a lot of these The Wrong Man by Alfred Hitchcock. One that I never heard of was a movie made in 1958 called Murder by Contract, directed by Irvin Lerner, starring Vince Edwards. This I mean, I found it on YouTube like it's a short movie. Go put this on, because they're 1 to 1 scene. Comparisons of Vince Edwards like working out in his apartment, doing these little pull ups to watching Bickle work out. And it's just it's so cool. Like as soon as I turn Murder by Contract on, it's a really early scene. And I was like, Oh, this is where he got it from. I love that. I always, always love tracking back those references, but I love that, you know, when he's working out, he's holding his hand above the flame. Every muscle must be tight. I know. What does that do? We both like exercise. What would holding is he just trying to maintain the flex and try? It looks cool, but I'm not sure. What is he trying to harden his skin? Or like, what do we think he's doing there? I that he's trying to handle pain? Sure. Okay. That works. I do. I think that's that's what it is. I don't know what the flexing is. It maybe it's just because you're you're just you're just trying to like, you know, withstand. Right. But yeah, that's what I kind of got from it was like, let's, let's, let's work up this pain tolerance and I love process. So watching build all that shit out, making the guns make it nice and making the thing on his arm. All the sound effects that each gun sounds like. Oh, it's perfect. It's perfect. So now he's ready. We've seen, like, we're an hour into the movie. Switches probably been flipped in his head. He's got all this stuff, so he just goes for a stroll. Well, I just want to Ballantine's speeches and just Moses owned up to his Secret Service agent. One of the funniest scenes like this is Scorsese. He's human to me. So we're like, you know, slowly saunters up to that. Just, you know, I love this scene. I call it the Henry Crinkles. See it like a secret signal for Secret Service. You know, just look at it like smiling with that goofy stuff. It I yeah, I love this. I love it. There's a very quick when he's like, you know, I saw some suspicious some suspicious people in it jump cuts Oh yeah he's out of frame and then he walks into frame and he's in. But like, he's turned in different directions just to great little disorienting tactic. And like the awkwardness, but that he he's also like playing Henry Crinkle, like he's playing a part. He's going out to try to, I don't know, get some info about the Secret Service. Just great zip code like yeah 610452. Okay that's six digits. 610161045. Okay. I was thinking of my telephone number. Well, I've got it at home anyway. We'll get all the stuff right on here. Thanks a lot. Hey, great. Thanks a lot. Help! Jesus. Be careful today. Right. Well, do you have to be careful around a place like this? But right after Henry Crinkle, we're back in the apartment. Streets are gone. We hear a clock ticking. One of the most iconic scenes in of cinema. That's an objective statement. No one. You can hate this movie. You know what you talking to me is you may not know the movie's from, but you've heard of it. One of the most famous scenes in cinema history was fucking improvised by the lead actor. It's astounding. I and you know, Scorsese, he's just literally laying on the floor with the cameraman, Michael Chapman, like they're laying there, and he's just going, do it again, Bob, Do more, do more, do more. They did that. It took them like just a couple of minutes to do, and that was it. It was Travis looks in the mirror. That's what's in the script. I you got to wonder if, you know, on the day you know you got to wonder if it's like we have something. But do you know, like I, I don't know. You can't handle the truth. Like, do you know, like, holy shit, this is one of those here's looking at you, kid. Like, do they know that this is one that's going to last forever? This improv line of dialog is going to be the biggest thing from this movie. This is the thing that people will remember more than anything is this improvised line of dialog. Do they know it? I don't know. It's just amazing. I would, based on the way that De Niro always talks about this scene because he hates when people bring this up. He hates it. Yeah, I would gather that probably didn't, right? Like only because every time he's talked about it he goes, I don't understand. Like we just did that. Like in front of the mirror and said some stuff and now it's become this thing. So that would lead me to believe that on the day I don't think everyone was like, same here. That's what I mean. Same here. Oh, yeah, yeah. That's it's just crazy to go like you didn't even know it just happened on by accident on the day. But to your point earlier about the sound, this is the I don't know how I've never really picked up on it, but it was this time watching it. I was so infatuated with the outside sounds that were going on. Oh, yeah. I was like more. I was like, Oh, wow, this really is like, he's just in his room right now playing pretend. Yeah, well, it's cold outside, playing with his new toys, and I just never really focused on the sound before this last rewatch. And I was like, Oh man, this scene is even I think I was in the actual scene today more than I was in the iconic moment that it's become. Because I think every time I've watched this movie, we get to this scene and I'm like, Oh, here we are, we're at the are you talking to me bit? And I actually took in the scene for what it was today. I think I actually did for the very first time, where I think that's very common. Very common, yeah. Cause something else happens. You're like, All right, this is that scene that I've seen a million times, whether it's Oscar montages anywhere. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But this was the first one where I was like, Man, this guy is. There's a whole world going on outside, and he's just pretending. He's talking to himself, and he's playing with guns like this is. This isn't good, you know? And I think I read I think this is right that they just had, you know, that's not ADR dialog. They didn't re loop that and Scorsese, he was nervous that they could the microphone was going to pick up the street too much. So he's like Bob, talk louder, talk louder, say it again, say it again. And now we're talking about how that accident that, you know, we always try to get street noise out of our shots. We're when they're set apart, it's you. You want to quiet everyone quiet. And they're just letting that in. And it again, it has it makes the city feel like a living, breathing organism. This is one of the best yet. It's not a love letter, but it's one of the best movies about New York that will ever be made. And it's about a very dangerous time it place in New York. But here is all right. You're talking to me. He psyched himself up. He's played the role. I was going to go out. He doesn't go looking for trouble, but he seems to go to his favorite bodega. Oh, he knows the guy. Hey, Travis, how's it going? That guy speaks in Spanish. It's Victor Argo. But it's interesting that he seems to be socialized with him, as I don't know if he's playing a person of color. I'm not sure. But anyway, it just they have a nice rapport going in. You know, They know each other. And a guy comes to Robert, a black man comes to rob the bodega. Travis is he squared up. This is what he's waiting for. This is why he bought all your toys. This is what's going on. And he doesn't really give the guy a warning. He pulls the gun, says, hey, the guy faces him and he shoots him dead, shoots him down. And it's a really interesting scene to me for its callousness and how cold it is and how there's not like heat. Again, he did not go looking for it. This isn't Batman. Don't go out, try to fight justice. But when injustice is upon him, he immediately goes to kill. That's that's what I do. I kill. The fact that it is a person of color is obviously very telling. I don't know if this would have happened if it was a white person. These are all questions we're supposed to have. But then, of course, the way the owner plays it, Victor Argo, like, just give me give me a piece. Come on, get out of here. This is the fucking third time this week. It's like, yeah, Christ. Like, yeah, I mean, a really good scene. And now the violence is no longer thought about. It's no longer suggested or hinted at. It is here. And where are we going to go from here? And this is actually one of my favorite cuts. Ooh. Which cut it is because right from that. Because, like, there's that great moment of little awkwardness, like he's like, you know, I don't have a permit for this, you know, and, you know, so he's just, you know, whether or not this guy is dead or not. Like, it's hard to say that if you've committed murder. But yes, to what you just said is that violence has now become realized and then it cuts to the music. It's one of the few times that we actually hear music. Jackson Brown I think, yeah. And that was very thank you. Yes, because I Shazam did okay. Yeah. Very deliberate. That was like the only quote unquote needle drop because he's watching TV and there seems to be an element now where it is very, very clear that we will Travis has made a big step forward, the progression that he's going in. And it's not good, but it is a step forward in it. And, you know, he's not like happy, he's not anything really, but there is a certain element of victory or like some type of you know, I'm trying to say, well, when he's watching people his age dance together on TV, he watches it like he's watching a National Geographic documentary about a civilization he's never heard of. Yeah, there's contempt anger, rage brewing over within him, but also a notable blankness because it's like, yeah, I don't know, man. If I shoot someone, whether I've them or not, whether it was quote unquote justified or not, I'm flipping the fuck out about it the next day and I'm in my apartment. What did I do? Oh, my God. I maybe just took a life. This is a big deal. No, he's like, watching American Bandstand or whatever it is. Listen to Jackson. Sound like he's listening to music. Listening to music, playing with his hand cannon because that's what people his age would do, right? They just sit here, watch TV music. There's a disassociation that I think we're really starting to see creep in. That's what I mean. Yeah, I guess really for me it is like that is that step forward like yeah, the level of we've we've leveled up here in this madness. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Leveled up in the madness which. We've already mentioned it, but then it's one of our, one of the funniest scenes in the movie to be is I call it the love travesty. Just the letter to his parents. Like, I hope that no one has died. Yeah. You know, we get around his apartment and we see that guy to get organized. He's like, got that stuff. Even though Betsy is long gone, pal, But he's just. And then the card is ridiculous. It's like big. It's a cartoon. It's something that like an eight year old might receive or like, you know, your aunt takes you to Hallmark on the day before your mom's birthday. Like, that's the kind of card you pick out for your mom. Not like if you're a 30 year old man sending a I don't know. I've always even from my first viewing, gone. Is that real? Are these people real? Is he like or I mean, maybe it is maybe there's a he just didn't get didn't get on at home. I don't know there's a whole back story that I love to go through that I've never heard anyone talk about, including any of the creators. But there's this little pockets of back story I like to create for him just on my own that informs that it's not real. It's it's cinema speculation, but it's fun to do, that's all. All right. I have one. It's a little bit further ahead of Veer, but I don't want to forget something to bring it up now, because it's not a huge deal, but it's the vein of what we're talking about. Why does Travis like this is more about when he's right about to do the work, get to the very end. Why does he have all these flowers in his. I think yeah, I because, like, the flowers are killing me. Then he starts to burn them. I think he has tried to send that to Betsy. And they have literally returned to sender. He's sending bouquet after bouquet of roses or flowers to her office. She's not going to accept those. But that's the only place he knows how to send them. He doesn't know where she lives, thank God. Yet I think he's probably sending them and she's telling. She's saying, Get those the fuck out of here. I don't want them. This was a bad dude. Send them back. That's always my read on it. So this one honey brought bought for her. They've been returned to sender. So he burns them as like kind of a almost religious ceremony because that one scene where in the background there's a shit ton of shit on. That's what I think He sent all of those to her. Yeah. And they all came back and he doesn't want to throw them away. And you know this. Yeah, I, I got stomach cancer like this, but. And started giving their stomach cancer. Just. Yeah. So that's always been on it. Yes. Yes. Oh. But now that Betsy is gone, now that violence has been started, he's been spying, he's been observing, not spying, He's been observing this teenage prostitute Iris, played by Jodie Foster, had a few interactions with her, but now he goes and approaches her. It's not that she's getting in his cab. He goes and approaches her. And that leads to a meeting of Scar. Here He. That's what's that leads to a meeting, a sport who is emulated very heavily off the character Scar from the Searchers, as is Travis Bickle. A lot of his wardrobe is modeled after John Wayne. And that film, The Searchers is about John Wayne trying to find his niece after she's been kidnaped. Kind of sounds familiar. He's got to go and rescue her. The language the cartel uses in the scene is just like appalling. It's disgusting. I mean, at first it's kind of amusing, like, hey, copper, like I'm clean, I'm clean, you know? But then when he switches to pimp talk, you're like, wow. And I remember the whole time watching this, the first time going, Where is this going is, Oh my God, because this movie could go like, is he really paying this guy off to go have relations with this young girl? Like, Oh my God, this can't please don't let this happen. I love how he goes. You know, I'm hip. Oh, yeah, you're hip, buddy. Like Travis Bickle ain't hip. And that's just Oh, I like I love this scene. My favorite part of the scene is when he goes into the brothel, because obviously that's foreshadowing. We're going where we're going to end up. But just that whole interaction he has with her, when you're like, Oh, well, we've already seen this dude kill somebody, but now he's showing this like different side where he wants to save her. Like it's again, it's this conflict, it's this contradiction. Like, yeah, it seems like he's trying to do something good here. Like, yeah we're, we're meant to hate sport as Bickle does and I love all that. It's just, you know, here we go. Where he's kind of like plotting together his plan. What's going to happen? Yeah, I think at this point, he just wants to leave her money. I think he just wants to leave Iris money and go kill Ballantine and presumably die by suicide. But the wheels are turning. The wheels are turning. I love when they go out to eat together. You're full of shit, man. So he's talking to Jodie Foster like you're not hip. I love it. All of these things that DeNiro's character Travis Bickle is doing, I daresay there is an innocence to all of it. No, it's like a fatherly stance. He becomes like a father, like a protector. There's no like, Yeah, I agree. I agree throughout, throughout the whole entire movie, all this guy is trying to do is he's trying to do better. He's trying to better himself. He's trying to get himself a girl because that's a healthy for a stable person to do. It does it doesn't go well and he ends up in a bad spot. But then, like, there's almost like these goals, like he's actually like a very goal oriented person and then he sees a purpose and then goes for it. And the purpose is actually good. Like he's trying to get this teenage girl out of harm. And yet all of the methods that he goes about doing it are all wrong and bad. Right? But it's all grounded in some kind of innocent goodness here. It's just so twisted and mutated. And that's, I think, the tragedy of it all. But I just want put that out there. No, I agree. I agree. It it is it's his it's heart is in the right place AS Yeah, he's a good heart. Yeah. I mean he is there are parts of him that he's good again a walking contradiction like Yeah, yeah. This is a good thing that he's doing that he's trying to save this teenage girl from this. He is the worst scum sucking peace. I love that fear. Yeah. Has been talking about sport. I love that. Oh, after Travis and Iris meet and she just paused. That sugar water, bread. It's like, Hey, who. Who else does this buddy with? Yeah, Brandy on top. We get one of two scenes that Travis actually is not present for the first shows, the first meeting of Albert Brooks and several Sheppard. But Travis is like watching them from afar. And in this one we see him. The idea is that he's supposed to be waiting outside of the apartment. So he's like observing the apartment. But then we get that extended scene between Harvey Keitel and Jodie Foster. And it's got it's so gross, such a grimy scene. But it's really, really important because it helps us understand, like she is manipulated perfectly every hour of every day by sport. I Mean he's got that long pinky nail for drugs. Like, it's a great touch, but so, so GROSS But just how gentle he is with her. It's you know, the first time we met him, he was like, do you want to get busted in pretend and not pretending, threatening to beat the shit out of her? Now there's this gentle side. So we're just seeing that manipulation and yeah, this could work assembly on a 12 year old girl living on her own in New York. I wonder if there was a thought in the writing and everything. Because this is the one scene. Because you're even right about even when we see Sybil and Albert Brooks Pickles outside looking at them. Right. So we're still seeing it, even though he can't hear what we're hearing. But the idea that he's right there, we're right there. But this is the one scene where Nicole is not a part of it, Right? Maybe he's outside the building, but he says he can't see he's an honestly they stole that shot and inserted that from somewhere else. That's not even he wasn't Robert was not out there. That shot wasn't filmed right before that. But they added it in. But they talked about the scene a lot because they're like, this is a cheat. This is the only time you try this scene. Their compromise was, okay, We put him in the street outside, so he's at least his presence is there, his presence and cannot hear or see them. But his presence. But yeah, he is not he's not there. He's not present for the scene there. I there must have been such in the writing. There must have been such a conversation about like how do we communicate. Because we need this, we need to see how she stipulated. And also unfortunately, like her love for him, like she really is attached. So we need to see that. But like the question of how do we get this in here without betraying what we have started and we can't veer away from and then just kind of deciding, well, fuck it like, yeah, we'll throw Travis outside in, in research type thing, but still breaking that rule because you feel it. You do like like you feel like this scene for its content, but also in terms of the narrative structure doesn't belong, but we need it. So I love the fact that they went and did it because it's sort of like structure and formula dictate that this scene should be cut. But we need it for certain reasons and we understand that nothing really we can do because we can't have an intimate scene outside. We can't have this, you know, in pickles like thing here. So we just got to cut it. We just got to do it. I love it. I think it's I think it was a it's a good call. It is. It takes a lot of confidence to that, too. After that. This I've already it but we get my favorite character reveal in film history we've already met Travis Bickle met him for like an hour and a half. But when he arrives in tight speech, he gets out of the cab. We're all like it hip level, and we go over and it's just his waist and we go up and reveal that Mohawk I still like every time I see that, I like gasp and I'm like, Oh my. Oh yeah, he looks so scary. It is so fucking effective to see. I mean, and that's not even his real hair. That's what's crazy. No I immediately had to go make another movie. Yeah, they had to put like a cap on him and they, they got it brought in a Dick Smith to do it like this, you know, famous makeup artist. And they were, you know, really trying for it. And they did a test and it worked. And it is so effective. He just looks like a different person. You're like, here finally is Travis Bickle. People are going to know my name. I'm about to go kill this presidential candidate. Here we go. Oh, it's iconic. I can only imagine what it must have been like if you were in the audience in 1976 at a movie theater where you didn't have like a trailer that gave that look away and all of a sudden that camera shoots up and you catch that. I would have been like, Oh, well, I wouldn't gasp. Yeah, I would it out. It would have been, Oh, my God. Oh, wild. That's a great scene. Because he's Oh, yeah, because he's there. He's, you know, this is what he's meant to do. He's meant to go do the he's meant to go assassinate Valentine. And I love that. That has never been stated implicitly. It's not like he's announcing this in his journals, which I appreciate. But then it doesn't go well. Things. He gets spotted by the security guard. He freezes up, he runs away. He's chased a little bit. So that takes him to the brothel. And when when Travis Bickle arrives, the brothel at the end of Taxi Driver, Paul Schrader's ethos for the film finally comes to fruition. Because this is what Trader always says taxi drivers about the girl he desires. He cannot have the one he can have, he cannot desire. When he can't kill the father figure of one, he kills the father figure of the other. It's a very Paul Schrader way to encapsulate his movie. But that's what happens here. He doesn't get to kill Palatine, the father figure of Cybill Shepherd. So he goes and kills scum sucking sport. And I mean, God, as soon as he gets out of the cab on the street, you can already tell the colors different because in order to not be rated. Oh, yeah, they're to take damn near all the color out for all the blood in the end. And that is you can really see that like high contrast, low saturation and then you know, they just go on that they go up on that damned stupid. I love actually if you pay attention right as the scene begins, that guy who goes up and talks sport, sport gives him money. So I guess that guy is actually like sports boss. This is to do that because going to he's going to shoot Nicole in the arm but that guy goes away. But yeah, I mean I love Keitel like go back to your fucking tribe man. He's like, suck on this and boom, just gets it right in the belly. And of of course, Travis, you know, he shoots sport in the belly and of course he doesn't run away. He disclosing has to sit, just goes and sits down for a little break. Like, what do I do? What do I do? And then, oh, my God, walking into the brothel we get I'm not going to do like a play by like it's. Yeah, yeah, something. But it's just I'll never forget the first time I saw it and watching it today I've, I've watched this twice. Like when we were watching all of our Scorsese pass through three weeks. Then I watched it this morning knowing, knowing that we were going to do it today. And it's still it's just as thrilling. My heart pounds all the beats of it, the slow motion going up the stairs. I'll kill you, I'll kill you, I'll kill you. And you know, and I mean this with like, it's so sloppy, like it's so good, like it's every time I've watched this scene, I'm always kind of in awe of the fact of how messy and like, because it's not a put together scene like you would see today. Like if we were to be like, like The Departed, if we're just kind of fast forward and you're kind of looking at the way that, that and scene goes with the violence in the blood and the gunplay and all this and that, it's polished and and it's good for its movie. But this is one where it's like everything it's all off. It's all off in a very, very stylistic way. But it's also like, well, this was the movie making for a low budget type thing. But with all of that, the point that I'm making is, is that it's so damn effective. Yeah. To the point where you watch it over and over and you're like, Fuck, It really feels like how it would go down if it was in real life because there's no like professional headshots going on, like he shoots Harvey Keitel in the belly. But unlike trained military professional, he does not kill him. He walks away from him. Harvey Keitel is going to end up shooting him in the neck because if you take him down, he kills that main guy, the guard. He shoots the main guy, the guard with the hand cannon blows off his hand. So that's what I'm. Yeah, that's what we mean. It's messy. Big will get shot in the neck. The guy comes out and shoots him in his like arm. Like, we don't see that a lot. He shoots the guy in the face a bunch of times and everything. It's just. It's chaos and it's messy. Yeah. And then going in and just seeing Jodie Foster, I mean, I love the slo MO cuts of her, like running around and then her being, don't kill him, don't kill him. And he just boom. I mean, of course he you know, he gets the knife out, adds it to the guy's hand. So we're get to see all the all the tricks, the things he built come out all the all the tools that he needed to be utilized. He's using them. And then right there, I just I thought the movie was going to be done. This Is it? And then he pulls his gun on himself and it's Blake finds another gun and it's blink. Then the cops show up, the music's blaring, and I'm like, This guy's going to die. Like what? And he doesn't. We get and this is I mean, we're leading right up to the ending here, But this is speaking of Alzheimer's. It's my favorite ending to a movie ever. I can't imagine anything else topping it because we take a long time to leave that apartment. We're tracking it through the ceiling. Took them months to build that to, you know, cut out the ceilings that the camera can move up there. Then we're out on the street and we're just going up, up, up. We're ascending, We're ascending. And I, I just would have bet the movie was done. Yeah, I remember, like, almost reaching for the remote, being like, okay, this is going to be done soon. And then we get this like this coda. We go back into his apartment, and now Travis Bickle is fucking glorified as a hero. Yeah, the parents of Iris are writing him. You're somewhat of a hero in our household. You're welcome to our home time. There's clippings on the wall. There's no mention of killing a guy in a bodega. Some mention of almost assassinating a presidential candidate. There's no mention of stalking woman who works for Ballantine. There's no mention of any of this. He's a he's a hero. And I never, ever would have guessed that that this guy I've been watching for an hour, 45 minutes will be glorified as a fucking hero. That's the first part of the ending. So why don't we start with the stuff in the apartment? You know, the clippings on the wall before we go to his final cab ride? It's one of my favorite voiceovers. Whoever that actor is that did this so good, there's there's, like, a certain way that he takes his time with certain words. It's almost like there's even like a little bit of like, not an impediment, but like a stutter. Yeah. And it's one of this the most listenable voiceovers. I love it. In conclusion, Mrs. Stevens and I would like to again thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to come to New York again to thank you in person. Or we surely would. But if you should ever come to Pittsburgh, you would find yourself a most welcome guest in our home, our deepest thanks, Burt and Ivy Stevens. Mom. Yeah. I would have never thought like, I even remember the first time I watched David with the cameras panning out. I literally stood up and I was like, All right, well, is this is about over, right? And all of a sudden I was like, Wait, what? And then, yeah, I love that he's just on the street with his guys. Wizard Doughboy, guys, we're talking about Got his hair back. No one's talking about Travis's ordeal. It's not like he's sharing stories. ALL Yeah, man, it was crazy. Like, his hair's growing out. Time has passed. It's just another night. Someone casually notices that he has affair. He goes in, sits down, and we kind of figure out, you know, she says his name, Hey, Travis. And he doesn't seem that concerned or bothered by this. No. Oh, God. You know, he's lived a little life and he's not going to be fawning over her. It's pretty nice that she's come to see him. She read about what's happened, wishes him well, and he's like, Yeah, see you around. And that's it. You know, she walks away. It's a nice, pleasant thing. And then Scorsese, he goes, We got to add this one thing. We got to add one little of him looking at himself in the mirror and just darting a look. And you got to give me this music. Sting that they played in reverse to make it sound different. You got to do that in Schrader's again, whole ethos is that we started on the streets, we end on the streets, and the movie should play as one giant loop. It's just going to start again. Travis Pickles mania is not better. He is not cured. There is no hope and maybe he's good right now, but he will not be good long term. And that's what I've always walked away with it and I fucking love that. This was this was the realization I had. Well, I also had a different one, too, with Cybill Shepherd, where I was like, I think she might be interested in him. Well, yeah, of course. Because it's like big hero guy now. But I don't think that's anything to do with her. No, he doesn't. And because there's a certain way that when she starts to turn around, it's he starts to drive. She starts walking back to her stairs and she does some Oh yeah, hers where it's just sort of like there goes that. I guess he didn't do anything. I've always understood the ending. I've always exactly what you said, but I've always grappled with myself every time I've watched it in the same way that I kind of do, where I'm like, Oh, I really hope that that that's not what it is. And today was the first one. First time I've ever watched the movie where I was definitive. I go, Oh, hands down. Nope. There a no coming back for him. He is done. He this this whole entire thing has started over. And it was because you get that sting and then it cuts to now we're looking at the mirror. We're not looking at Travis, but we see Travis through the mirror still for a for a brief, brief second. We see Travis's eyes after that sting, like that whole reverse thing. And then the camera just moves. So now, Travis, his eyes are no longer in the rearview mirror. And that was the one to me that I go. Oh, yeah, he's no longer there anymore. Now, this is going to take over again in whatever way it's going to. And I go, That's it. It's Over. He's that. Yeah. So but the today was the first time I've ever actually like solidified myself with that. Oh wow. So you've always had maybe a little bit more like hope for him. Like things on. Yeah, maybe just a flicker. Maybe that was just like because that that could happen. But today was the first time where I was like, now, now, but not happy for you. And that's where our story ends. And I love it for that. I really thought the story would have ended with the craning up out of the brothel, but it doesn't. We get the nice coda for letter. Yeah, the great video. And then here it is. And that's our film. The film is dedicated to Bernard Herrmann, who again passed away shortly after completing the score. What are some names we haven't mentioned? Talked about director Martin Scorsese a lot listeners of our last episode who know this is our favorite Martin Scorsese film written by Paul Schrader, has gone on to have a great career, still doing great stuff. Love First Reformed. The film was shot by Michael Chapman, who also shot Raging Bull. I love the look of this film because of union and Guild regulations. Thelma Schoonmaker did not edit Taxi Driver. She did some supervising thing, I think kind of off the books. The editors of this, we have Tom Roth, Melvin SHAPIRO and George Lucas, his wife, Marcia Lucas. Isn't that kind of cool? I thought that was cool. A few just final high level facts I never realized. I knew that Taxi Driver won the Palme d'Or, the Cannes Film Festival, 1976, which is great. Tennessee Williams was the jury president that year. I had no idea that Columbia, Columbia Pictures released Taxi Driver in February 1906, 1976, February Oh never happened. Now movies have to premiere at Cannes first, but the movie premiered in America, was a hit, and then won Palme d'Or at Con, which is I never thought Taxi Driver would have been released around Valentine's Day. I don't know. I don't know. But it's a perfect valentines. Perfect, perfect, great date movie, great date movie. Better than the date movie. Travis Betsy, too, that's for sure. Now, we've arrived at the end. You're going to go first today for what are you watching? It's our 100th. We're not really are 102. Sometimes we don't do like in the commentaries and stuff. The recommendation is the movie were commentating. Give it to me. I want to hear True. It's true. All right. You're going to love it because this is the movie that you did not A you knew about. But this is this is a long time ago. I watched this on my own and I told you about it. And you watched what? Oh, boy. Okay. Oh, okay. I'm referring to is a Paul Schrader written and directed movie called Hardcore. Oh, my God, I fucking love hardcore. Oh, my God, I fucking. Three years ago. Taxi Driver. Yeah, 1979 was three years after Taxi Driver. I was on Criterion. Oh my God, dude. I got into like a little bit of like a Paul Schrader kick like a few years ago, and, and all of a sudden I'm looking on Criterion Channel and I look at hardcore, I was like, Huh, hardcore. But it's got Wait, who is that actor I'm seeing in the screencap? George C Scott. George C, Scott in a Paul Schrader movie. This was And then I started it and man oh man does like yes. So that movie places the taxi driver doesn't even go to and it's a blast if you're interested in that type of thing. Yeah, just real quick because it's about Paul Schrader was raised in like a Calvinist type of community, so he wasn't even allowed to watch movies until, like, I don't think watch movies till 17, 18. So that's kind of the basis of the George C Scott character. And this living in Michigan, just, you know, strong man of faith. And then his daughter has moved to Los Angeles and gotten wrapped up in the hardcore porno industry, and he goes and discovers that. And it's a yeah, that's a Paul Schrader movie there. That's one that. Paul Schrader That's a Paul George. He's got it's great. It like he's just totally all the greater believe goes to Peter Boyle's great Yeah yeah yeah That's a great call That's a truly great call. But what are you watching? Got a surprise for you. 200th episode. There we go. I have to go. One sec. Now. Here, put this down. I think he can see it. Yeah, it does. It does it. Here, sit down. Take a seat. It doesn't matter. Hello. Hi. It and talk. Talk right into here. Hello. This is my wife, Ashley Alexander's here on the show. She's going to do so. What are you watching right now? This is the first time we touch. She's very nervous. As we've talked. No one can see you. It's. Oh, you're going to do great. Okay, So her and I talked about it about. Oh, you said you were scared. Talked about a few movies she could talk about. Because I've talked about you a lot in the pod. What are you watching? What are you watching recommendation? Why don't you talk? We talked about Taxi Driver. You like that one, right? I loved it. Okay, It's kind of weird, but I loved it. That's very true. All right, What are on. What's one movie we just watched by Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street? What do you think? Which I will tell you, I have been attempting to not watch that because I've heard it so raunchy. And I have a weird thing about raunchy movies. I don't know why, but I loved it. It was long, but I loved it. We did it. I think we did it in two part, two parts, two parts. But I loved it. I was telling Alex, Yeah, obviously, you know, I didn't know that Leonardo DiCaprio was capable of being that crazy. So it's not these. And as she pointed out, like, it never breaks. Like, he's just nuts even when he turns so still, like, crazy the whole time for the whole movie. I just think I Yeah, I look at him as, like, this, like, composed actor. And to see him just go crazy and be this like Wall Street New York wild guy, I was like, This is and I was not expecting to like it, which is crazy because people love that movie and everyone has told me that it's hilarious and then I would like it, but I'm always like, I don't know. I mean, just go cruising. Yeah, It's gotten criticized of being like a Broadway movie, which I think is kind of fair. But it's still a tough sell, though. Yeah, it's so funny. Yeah, but I loved it. Saw it with my dad opening weekend. And the movie theater is great. All right. You like And a few others Loved it. Yeah, a few other ones. I've shown her. You said you loved Goodfellas. Love Goodfellas. I feel like I can. I can. I can point out quotes from that movie, which I obviously give credit to Alex for because I never could have done that any other time in my life. Yeah, She was like, What's the what? What's the funniest part in that? And I was like, Fuck you pay me. She's like, No, another one. I went, Funny how? And she's like, Yeah, that's why we love Joe Pesci, because we watch like Home Alone one two, every Christmas the best. And then she pointed out, You're going to love this. Her number one movie that I've shown her you want to say is true romance. True romance. Yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I loved it. I thought it was fun. I like as, like, problematic as they were. I was like, I kind of want to be them. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, totally. Alabama. Yeah. There's. There's a 100%, like, a type of like. Like, like, like freedom in what they're doing and who they are and their love for each other. It's. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I consider myself kind of like a free spirit and kind of wild and crazy sells. Like, this is fun. I feel like I could have been that in the eighties and nineties, obviously, you know, I don't know. I know it is. It's very fraught as a Tarantino script, so it's very good. She said it looked and felt like an eighties movie and it kind of does even though it's made in 90 years released in 93. It kind of does. But 93 is like venturing into like, you know, late eighties, the fashion and things like that. Those are the things that I notice. I know you do. Yeah. She always points out fashions in hairstyles. Yes. Like the setting one. There's so much to like with Gary Oldman's wearing what like I mean like every character's Yeah and Christopher Walken looks straight up like an eighties gangster. Yeah. Eighties gangster. Yeah. Italian Italian That's it And he she likes heat as well. That was another one. You were like what's the one in the airport hangar? At the end? I was like, What are you talking about? She's like 15 year old that. And you're like, Pacino. And I'm going, Oh, it's heat. Yeah, he heat. Fucking love heat. Anything else you want to? Say now I'm going to be back and I'll be more composed and I will sound longer and Hello, everyone. And hi, Nick. Hello, Ali. Hi. Welcome the show. You just give me a goodbye. You just give me a second, I'll sign off and then we can enjoy our Sunday. Bye. Thank you, sweetie. Oh, that was fantastic. I know. I love that she's just sitting right here while I finish. That was great. I've been wanting to do that for a while. Be fun to have her all talk about true romance, the car show she loved as well. But good stuff. Yeah, that's my my little treat for our 100th episode here. I can't believe we did it 100 episodes. Jesus. Well, now everyone knows the proof that you have a wife, it is said. Now it's proof that you have a wife. All right. That was a lot of fun. This has been great. And again, I think we're going to be right close to the actual length of Taxi Driver, which I love. We're seriously it's like one hour and 57 minutes right now, but it's been so much fun. Where do we go from here? We're going to go nowhere to go but up. We got a lot of fun stuff coming. Christopher Nolan's got a movie coming out. David Fincher's got a movie coming out. You might hear those names for the rest of 2023, but that's it for me. Anything to leave people with as we sign off here. Here's to one more. Here's for the the Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You got a real pain for my sham friends and champagne scenario. Oh, yeah. No champagne for my real friends. Real pain for my sham friends. So you said you got to say it. Well, I said it the right way, but just reverse. I think I said it the right way. Okay. You say champagne? Yeah, because he's holding up the champagne. You do the toast first. Champagne for my real friends. Real champagne for my real friends. Real bad. Okay, W aiw underscore podcast is where you find us. I love you all. Thank you all so much for listening to 100 plus episodes. And as always, happy watching We Love You. Now back to Gene Krupa, Syncopated style. Shortly. Hey, everyone. Thanks again for listening. You can watch my films and read my movie blog. Alex Withrow dot com Nicholas Dose Dotcom is where you can find all of Nick's film work. Send us mailbag questions at What Are You Watching Podcast gmail.com or find us on Twitter at w aiw underscore podcast. Love him or hate him. The man's got a movie coming. We're going to talk about him next time is a full career breakdown of Christopher Nolan. We have a lot to discuss. This is going to be a fun one. Stay tuned.