Taxi Driver

Legacy

Taxi Driver, American Gigolo, Light Sleeper, and The Walker make up a series referred to variously as the "Man in a Room" or "Night Worker" films. Screenwriter Paul Schrader (who directed the latter three films) has said that he considers the central characters of the four films to be one character, who has changed as he has aged.[40][41] The film also influenced the Charles Winkler film You Talkin' to Me?[42]

In the 2012 film Seven Psychopaths, psychotic Los Angeles actor Billy Bickle (Sam Rockwell) believes himself to be the illegitimate son of Travis Bickle.[43]

Travis also appears as a minor supporting character in the 2012 graphic novel Before Watchmen: Rorshach.

In the Canadian television series Trailer Park Boys, a man dressed as Travis makes an appearance in the episode "Jim Lahey is a Drunk Bastard", during the trailer park supervisor election.

"You talkin' to me?"

The catchphrase "You talkin' to me?" has become a pop culture mainstay. In 2005, it was ranked number 10 on the American Film Institute's AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes.[44]

In the corresponding scene, Bickle is looking into a mirror at himself, imagining a confrontation that would give him a chance to draw his gun. He says:

You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you're talking to?

Roger Ebert called it "the truest line in the film.... Travis Bickle's desperate need to make some kind of contact somehow—to share or mimic the effortless social interaction he sees all around him, but does not participate in."[45]

Schrader does not take credit for the line, saying that his script only read "Travis speaks to himself in the mirror", and that De Niro improvised the dialogue. However, Schrader went on to say that De Niro's performance was inspired by a routine by "an underground New York comedian" whom he had once seen, possibly including his signature line.[46]

In his 2009 memoir, saxophonist Clarence Clemons said that De Niro explained the line's origins when Clemons coached De Niro to play the saxophone for the 1977 film New York City.[47] Clemons said that De Niro had seen Bruce Springsteen say the line onstage at a concert as fans were screaming his name, and decided to make the line his own.[48]


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