I couldn't find a dedicated thread on this film, so here goes.... I first saw Taxi Driver in 1995. I was already aware of its reputation and had seen other landmark seventies films by that point this T.D. is generally seen as watershed in what could be permitted in mainstream filmmaking. Watching it again recently, I was struck by a couple of things: the first third of the film is basically a comedy (although it's certainly not played for laughs), pivoting around Travis' clueless pursuit of the unattainable (but somewhat interested in him) Betsy. I think the scenes between De Niro and Cybill Shepherd are pitched perfectly but just as good are the scenes between Albert Brooks (who gives a brilliant comic performance as a man who doesn't realise he's funny) and Shepherd. You can tell that Betsy has zero interest in her colleague, despite his keenness but it's very subtly put across. The film darkens when Travis is rejected: but his encounter with Senator Palatine (the kind of dubiously sincere politico we were over-familiar with even back then) is also very funny, with the Senator's 'people' looking at Travis like he's a species of pond-life. The last part of the film is very violent, even by today's standards, but the ending is intriguing: I suppose it's a good ending in that it can mean different things to different people My own interpretation is that Travis ends ups a 'hero' purely by happenstance - when his plot to assassinate Palatine failed, he ended up as the man of the moment in delivering Iris from Speed. But had his original plan worked, he would have been a villain; and these simple twists of fate determine how we are perceived. The documentary on the DVD is essential for anyone who likes this film: I was interested to hear that Harvey Keitel wanted the part of Speed, despite the fact that Speed had only five lines of dialogue in the original script. Speed was originally meant to be an Afro-American until Keitel lobbied for the part.