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Taxi Driver

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Produced by Julia Phillips
Michael Phillips
Written by Paul Schrader
Starring Robert De Niro
Jodie Foster
Cybill Shepherd
Harvey Keitel
Peter Boyle
Albert Brooks
Leonard Harris
Music by Bernard Herrmann
Cinematography Michael Chapman
Editing by Tom Rolf
Melvin Shapiro
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) February 8, 1976 (1976-02-08)
Running time 113 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,300,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue $28,262,574

Taxi Driver is a 1976 film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. The movie is set in New York City, soon after the Vietnam War. The film stars Robert De Niro and features Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Leonard Harris, Peter Boyle, Cybill Shepherd, and a young Jodie Foster. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including "Best Picture", and won the Palme d'Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.

The film gained notoriety once John Hinckley, Jr. confessed that it was his obsession with Foster's role that made him attempt to assassinate Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Contents

Plot

Travis Bickle (De Niro) is a lonely and depressed young man and ex-Marine living in Manhattan. He occasionally corresponds with his parents by mail, deceiving them into believing that he's living a healthy and successful life as a government employee. He refuses to send them his home address by telling them that it would interfere with the secrecy of his fabricated job. He becomes a night time taxi driver in order to cope with his chronic insomnia, working 12-hour shifts nearly every night, carrying passengers around all five boroughs of New York City. His restless days, meanwhile, are spent in seedy porn theaters. He keeps a diary, excerpts from which are occasionally narrated via voice-over during the film. Bickle is an honorably discharged Marine, and it is implied that he is a Vietnam veteran; he keeps a charred Viet Cong flag in his squalid apartment and has a large scar on his back.

Bickle develops romantic feelings for Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), a campaign volunteer for fictional New York Senator Charles Palantine (Leonard Harris). Palantine is running for the presidential nomination on a platform of dramatic social change. After watching her from his taxi through the windows of Palantine's campaign office, Bickle enters the campaign office asking to volunteer as a pretext to talk with Betsy. Bickle convinces her to join him for coffee, and she later agrees to let him take her to a movie. She says he reminds her of a line in a Kris Kristofferson song "The Pilgrim, Chapter 33": "He's a prophet and a pusher, partly truth, partly fiction - a walking contradiction." On their date, Bickle takes her to see Language of Love, a Swedish sex education film. Offended, Betsy leaves the movie theater and takes a taxi home without Bickle. The next day he tries to reconcile with Betsy, phoning her and sending her flowers, but he does not succeed.

Bickle's thoughts begin to turn violent. Disgusted by the petty street crime (especially prostitution) that he witnesses while driving through the city, he now finds a focus for his frustration and begins a program of intense physical training. He buys four pistols, which were a .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver, a .38 Smith & Wesson Model 36 revolver, a .22 Smith & Wesson Escort pistol, & a .380 Astra Constable pistol, from an illegal dealer, Easy Andy (Steven Prince). (Before the purchase, a passenger turned Bickle on to a .44 Magnum handgun). When Bickle fires his guns on the range, his Model 36 becomes a .38 Smith & Wesson Model 10 snubnose revolver, his Smith & Wesson Escort becomes a .25 Sterling Arms pistol, & his Astra Constable becomes a Walther PPK pistol. Bickle then constructs a sliding action holster for his right arm and practices concealing and drawing his weapons. Bickle begins talking to himself as he looks in the mirror and draws his gun (asking repeatedly, "you talkin' to me?"). He develops an interest in Senator Palantine's public appearances. One night, Bickle enters a run-down grocery just moments before a man (Nat Grant) attempts to rob the store. Bickle shoots the man in the neck with the Astra Constable. The grocery owner (Victor Argo) encourages Bickle to flee after Bickle expresses worry for shooting the man with an unlicensed gun. As Bickle leaves, the store owner repeatedly clubs the near-dead man with a steel pole.

During another night, Iris (Jodie Foster), a 12-year-old child prostitute, enters Bickle's cab, attempting to escape her pimp, "Sport" (Harvey Keitel). When Bickle fails to drive away, Sport drags Iris from the cab and throws Bickle a crumpled twenty-dollar bill. Bickle later meets Iris in the street and pays her for her time, not to have sex with her but to try and convince her to quit prostitution. They meet again the next day for breakfast and Bickle becomes obsessed with helping Iris leave Sport and return to a typical childhood life at her parents' home.

Bickle sends Iris several hundred dollars attached to a letter telling her he will soon be dead. He is later seen shaving his head into a Mohawk haircut, and attending a public rally where he attempts to assassinate Senator Palantine with the Smith & Wesson Escort. Secret Service agents notice him approaching and Bickle flees. He returns to his apartment before driving to Alphabet City, where he confronts Sport. The two get into a confrontation in which both Bickle and Sport insult each other and Bickle shoots Sport in the gut with the Model 36 and storms into the brothel and kills the bouncer with the Model 29. After the wounded Sport shoots Bickle in the neck slightly wounding him with a nickel Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver, Bickle shoots him dead with the Model 29 as well as Iris's mafioso customer with the Smith & Wesson Escort. Bickle receives several shots himself. Kneeling on the floor of Iris's room, he attempts several times to fire a bullet into his own head from under his chin, but all his weapons are out of ammunition, so he resigns himself to resting on a sofa until police arrive on the scene.

The film's dénouement reveals Bickle recuperating from the incident. He has received a handwritten letter from Iris's parents who thank him for saving their daughter, and the media hail him as a hero. Bickle returns to his job, and encounters Betsy as a fare. She discusses Bickle's newfound fame, but he denies being a hero. He drops her off without charging her. As he drives away, he hears a small, piercing noise which prompts him to stare at an unseen object in his taxi's rearview mirror.[1]

Cast

Production

According to Scorsese it was Brian De Palma who introduced him to Schrader. In "Scorsese on Scorsese", edited by David Thompson and Ian Christie, the director talks about how much of the film arose from his feeling that movies are like dreams, or like taking dope and that he tried to induce the feeling of being almost awake. He calls Travis an “avenging angel” floating through the streets of New York City, which was meant to represent all cities. Scorsese calls attention to improvisation in Taxi Driver’s many scenes, such as in the scene between De Niro and Cybill Shepherd in the coffee-shop. The director also cites Hitchcock’s The Wrong Man and Jack Hazan’s A Bigger Splash as inspiration for his camerawork in the movie.[2]

In "Scorsese on Scorsese" the director mentions the religious symbology in the story comparing Bickle to a saint who wants to clean up both life and his mind. Bickle attempts suicide at the end of the movie as a way to mimic the Samurai’s “death with honour” principle.[2]

Shot during a New York summer heat wave and garbage strike, Taxi Driver got into trouble with the MPAA for its violence (Scorsese desaturated the color in the final shoot-out and got an R). To achieve the atmospheric scenes in Bickle's cab, the sound men would get in the trunk and Scorsese and his Camera Operator, Michael Chapman, would squish themselves on the floor of the back seat and use available light to shoot.

In writing the script, Paul Schrader was inspired by the diaries of Arthur Bremer (who shot presidential candidate George Wallace in 1972) and Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground. However, the writer also used himself as an inspiration. Prior to writing the screenplay Schrader was in a lonely and alienated position, much like Bickle. Following a divorce and a break-up with a live-in girlfriend, he spent a few weeks living in his car. He wrote the script in under a month while staying in his former girlfriend's apartment while she was away.

Film critic Stephen Hunter's review of the film suggests that the assumption that Bickle is a Vietnam war veteran may not be accurate. Hunter points out how the character's military clothing and reaction to being around firearms seem incongruous for a combat veteran. Hunter's alternate theory is that Bickle may have been a loner who took up the veteran persona as part of his legion of personal/psychological problems. A scene early in the film includes Bickle explaining to the cab company personnel officer that he was honorably discharged from the Marines, though there is no clear paperwork in the scene or any clarification of that point in the screenplay. However, in the initial character description, Schrader writes that Bickle wears "a worn beige Army jacket with a patch reading, "King Kong Company 1968-70", though the dates may have simply given Bickle the information to create his identity.[3]

However, in an interview Schrader confirmed that he decided to make Bickle a Vietnam vet because the national trauma of the war seemed to blend perfectly with Bickle’s paranoid psychosis making his experiences after the war more intense and threatening. Thus, Bickle chooses to drive his taxi anywhere in the city as a way to feed his hate.[4]

While preparing for his role as Bickle, De Niro was filming Bernardo Bertolucci's 1900 in Italy. According to Boyle, he would "finish shooting on a Friday in Rome...get on a plane...[and] fly to New York." De Niro obtained a cab driver's license,[5] and when on break would pick up a cab and drive around New York for a couple of weeks, before returning to Rome to resume filming 1900.[1] De Niro apparently lost 35 pounds and listened repeatedly to a taped reading of the diaries of Arthur Bremer. When he had time off from shooting 1900 in Italy, De Niro visited an army base in Northern Italy and tape recorded soldiers from the Midwestern United States, whose accents he thought might be appropriate for Travis's character.[1]

When Bickle determines to assassinate Senator Palantine, he cuts his hair into a Mohawk. This detail was suggested by actor Victor Magnotta, a friend of Scorsese's who had a small role as a Secret Service agent and who had served in Vietnam. Scorsese later noted, "Magnotta had talked about certain types of soldiers going into the jungle. They cut their hair in a certain way; looked like a Mohawk... and you knew that was a special situation, a commando kind of situation, and people gave them wide berths ... we thought it was a good idea."[1]

Jodie Foster was far from being the first choice to play Iris. Scorsese considered other actresses to play that role, including Melanie Griffith, Linda Blair, Bo Derek, Carrie Fisher and Geena Davis. A newcomer, Mariel Hemingway, auditioned for the role of Iris, but turned it down due to pressure from her family. After the other actresses turned down the role, Foster, a very popular child star, was chosen by Scorsese to play Iris. The actress who played Iris's friend in the film was a working prostitute studied by Foster to help create her role.[1]

In the original draft Schrader had written the role of Sport (Harvey Keitel) as a black man. There were also additions of other negative black roles. Scorsese believed that this would give the film an overly racist subtext so they were changed to white roles,[1] although the film implies that Travis himself is a racist. Among other things, cab drivers in the film refer to black people with various racial aspersions, the black neighborhood of Harlem is referred to as Mau Mau land, and Travis exchanges hostile eye-contact with several black characters. Schrader's original screenplay also set the action in Los Angeles; it was moved to New York City because taxis were much more prevalent there than L.A. during the 1970s.

The cynical cab driver Narasingh (played by Soumitra Chatterjee) in Satyajit Ray's Abhijan is seen as a prototype for the character of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.[6] Scorsese himself has credited Satyajit Ray as a major influence on his work.[7][8]

Travis Bickle in other media

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" movies. Screenwriter Paul Schrader (who directed the other three films) has stated that he considers the central characters of the four films to be one character, who has changed as he has gotten older.[9][10]

The song "Red Angel Dragnet" from the 1982 album "Combat Rock" by The Clash features lines lifted directly from the movie and includes many references to a "Travis" and various events depicted in the film.

The 2006 comedy film Windy City Heat has a minor character named Travis Bickle.

The 2003 punk album Indestructible by Rancid features a song entitled "Travis Bickle." The lyrics of the song are a summation of Bickle's observations throughout the movie, and his resulting experiences: "All the prostitutes who run around midnight/And the junkies and hypes are all trying to get tight/They’re all trying to find some hope for sale/But there’s no way outta this hell."

The song "Gunz 'n' Money" by hip-hop duo The Marginal Prophets includes the line, "I wanna see blood trickle / Started driving a taxi, changed my name to Travis Bickle".

Also, Taxi Driver is referenced in the song 'Just Another Victim' by Helmet and House Of Pain in the lines: "Holy diver, I'm a survivor/Feeling like de Niro in Taxi Driver/With Jodie Foster and Harvey Keitel/Looks like I'm walking through a living hell."

The 2009 Electronic Arts/Paramount video game "The Godfather II" features taxis from the "Bickle Cab Co.". Robert DeNiro played Mafia boss Vito Corleone as a young man in the movie.

The opening line of the song "Botanic Mistress" by the punk rock band Millencolin reads "I felt like Travis Bickle, tyrannical, lonely and blue."

Music

The score by Bernard Herrmann was his last before his death on December 24, 1975. Robert Barnett of MusicWeb International has said that it contrasts deep, sleazy noises representing the "scum" that Travis sees all over the city with the saxophone, a musical counterpart of Travis, creating a mellifluously disenchanted troubadour. Barnett also observes that the opposing noises in the soundtrack - gritty little harp figures - are as hard as shards of steel as well as a jazz drum-kit placing the drama in the city – indicative of loneliness while surrounded by people. Deep brass and woodwind are also evident. Barnett heard in the drumbeat a wild-eyed martial air charting the pressure on Bickle, who is increasingly oppressed by the corruption around him, and that the harp, drum and saxophone play extremely significant roles in all this music.[11]

The soundtrack for the film, released in 1998, includes notes by director Martin Scorsese, as well as full documentation for the tracks linking them in great detail to individual takes.

Track 12, "Diary of a Taxi Driver", features Herrmann's music with Robert de Niro's voiceover taken direct from the soundtrack.

Also featured in the film is Jackson Browne's "Late for the Sky", appearing in a scene where happy and intimate couples are dancing on the program American Bandstand to the song as Travis watches American Bandstand enviously on his small TV.

Track listing

Some of the tracks feature relatively long titles, representative of the fact that similar reprises are heard in many scenes.

  1. Main Title
  2. Thank God for the Rain
  3. Cleaning the Cab
  4. I Still Can't Sleep/They Cannot Touch Her (Betsy's Theme)
  5. Phone Call/I Realise how much She is Like the Others/A Strange Customer/Watching Palantine on TV/You're Gonna Die in Hell/Betsy's Theme/Hitting the Girl
  6. The .44 Magnum is a Monster
  7. Getting into Shape/Listen you Screwheads/Gun Play/Dear Father & Mother/The Card/Soap Opera
  8. Sport and Iris
  9. The $20 Bill/Target Practice
  10. Assassination Attempt/After the Carnage
  11. A Reluctant Hero/Betsy/End Credits
  12. Diary of a Taxi Driver
  13. God's Lonely Man
  14. Theme from Taxi Driver
  15. I Work the Whole City
  16. Betsy in a White Dress
  17. The Days do not End
  18. Theme from Taxi Driver (reprise)

Controversies

Jodie Foster as "Iris"

The climactic shoot-out was intensely graphic.[12] To attain an "R" rating, Scorsese had the colors desaturated, making the brightly colored blood less prominent.[13] In later interviews, Scorsese commented that he was actually pleased by the color change and he considered it an improvement over the originally filmed scene, which has been lost. However, in the special edition DVD, Michael Chapman, the film's cinematographer, regrets the decision and the fact that no print with the unmuted colors exists any more, as the originals had long-since deteriorated.

Some critics expressed concern over 13 year old Jodie Foster's presence during the climactic shoot-out. However, Foster stated that she was present during the setup and staging of the special effects used during the scene; the entire process was explained and demonstrated for her, step by step. Rather than being upset or traumatized, Foster said, she was fascinated and entertained by the behind-the-scenes preparation that went into the scene.[1] In addition, before being given the part, Foster was subjected to psychological testing to ensure that she would not be emotionally scarred by her role, in accordance with California Labor Board requirements.[14]

John Hinckley, Jr.

Taxi Driver formed part of the delusional fantasy of John Hinckley, Jr.[15][16] which triggered his attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981, an act for which he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.[17][18] Hinckley stated that his actions were an attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster, on whom Hinckley was fixated, by mimicking Travis's Mohawked appearance at the Palantine rally. His attorney concluded his defense by playing the movie for the jury.

Interpretations of the ending

Roger Ebert has written of the film's ending:

"There has been much discussion about the ending, in which we see newspaper clippings about Travis's 'heroism' of saving Iris, and then Betsy gets into his cab and seems to give him admiration instead of her earlier disgust. Is this a fantasy scene? Did Travis survive the shoot-out? Are we experiencing his dying thoughts? Can the sequence be accepted as literally true? ... I am not sure there can be an answer to these questions. The end sequence plays like music, not drama: It completes the story on an emotional, not a literal, level. We end not on carnage but on redemption, which is the goal of so many of Scorsese's characters."[19]

James Berardinelli, in his review of the film, argues against the dream or fantasy interpretation, stating:

"Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader append the perfect conclusion to Taxi Driver. Steeped in irony, the five-minute epilogue underscores the vagaries of fate. The media builds Bickle into a hero, when, had he been a little quicker drawing his gun against Senator Palantine, he would have been revealed as an assassin. As the film closes, the misanthrope has been embraced as the model citizen—someone who takes on pimps, drug dealers, and mobsters to save one little girl."[20]

On the Laserdisc audio commentary, Scorsese acknowledged several critics' interpretation on the film's ending being Bickle's dying dream. However, he admitted that the last scene of Bickle glancing at an unseen object implies that he might fall into rage and recklessness in the future, and he is like "a ticking time bomb."[21] Writer Paul Schrader confirms this in his commentary on the 30th anniversary DVD, stating that Travis "is not cured by the movie's end," and that, "he's not going to be a hero next time."[22]

Response

Taxi Driver was a financial success earning $28,262,574 in the United States.[23] and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture (but lost to Rocky) and received the Palme d'Or, at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.[24] It has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.[25]

The film was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 best films of all time.[26]

As of July 2009, Rotten Tomatoes reported that 98% of critics gave positive reviews.[27]

The July/August 2009 issue of Film Comment magazine polled several critics on the best films to ever win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Taxi Driver placed first above films such as Il Gattopardo, Viridiana, Blow-Up, The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, La Dolce Vita.[28]

Sequel

Rumors of a sequel began to circulate in late January 2005 when a sequel was announced by Robert De Niro and director Martin Scorsese.[29] At a New York 25th anniversary screening of Raging Bull, Robert De Niro talked about the story of an older Travis Bickle being in development. Also in 2000 Robert De Niro mentioned some interest in bringing back the character of Travis Bickle in the Actor's Studio with its host James Lipton.[30]

There was also an aborted attempt by Majesco Entertainment and developer Papaya Studio to make a Taxi Driver video game - a sequel of sorts to the movie, which debuted at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo[31] - but it fell flat when the game was canceled in the fall of 2005.[32] At the Berlinale 2010 De Niro, Scorsese and Lars von Trier announced plans to work on the sequel, the shoot is planned for late 2010.[33]

American Film Institute recognition

American Film Institute recognition

Awards

Wins

Nominations

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Making "Taxi Driver" DVD Documentary
  2. ^ a b "Scorsese on Scorsese" edited by David Thompson and Ian Christie. 057114103X: series London; Boston: Faber and Faber, 1989. Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1998.3.S39 A3 1989
  3. ^ Schrader, Paul (1990), Taxi Driver London: Faber and Faber Limited, ISBN 0571144640
  4. ^ "Travis gave punks a hair of aggression." The Toronto Star 12 Feb. 2005: H02
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Shubhajit Lahiri (June 5, 2009). "Satyajit Ray – Auteur Extraordinaire (Part 2)". Culturazzi. http://culturazzi.org/review/people-celebrities-artists/satyajit-ray-part2. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  7. ^ Chris Ingui. "Martin Scorsese hits DC, hangs with the Hachet". Hatchet. http://media.www.gwhatchet.com/media/storage/paper332/news/2002/03/04/Arts/Martin.Scorsese.Hits.Dc.Hangs.With.The.Hachet-195598.shtml. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  8. ^ Jay Antani (2004). "Raging Bull: A film review". Filmcritic.com. http://www.filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/reviews/Raging-Bull. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  9. ^ Interview with Paul Schrader, BBC Radio 4's Film Programme, 10 August 2007
  10. ^ Filmmaker Magazine, Fall 1992
  11. ^ Taxi Driver: Music composed by Bernard Hermann musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 15 March 2009.
  12. ^ "a stupid orgy of violence".David Robinson."Down these mean streets" (The Arts). The Times. Friday, August 20, 1976. Issue 59787, col C, p. 7.
  13. ^ Taxi Driver at Allmovie Accessed 2007-09-16.
  14. ^ Foster interview by Boze Hadleigh (March/June 1992)
  15. ^ Taxi Driver: Its Influence on John Hinckley, Jr.
  16. ^ Taxi Driver by Denise Noe
  17. ^ The John Hinckley Trial & Its Effect on the Insanity Defense by Kimberly Collins, Gabe Hinkebein, and Staci Schorgl
  18. ^ Verdict and Uproar by Denise Noe
  19. ^ Ebert's Review of Taxi Driver Rogerebert.com 1 January 2004. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  20. ^ ReelViews Movie Review
  21. ^ Taxi Driver Laserdisc Commentary
  22. ^ Taxi Driver Audio Commentary with Paul Schrader
  23. ^ Box Office Mojo - Taxi Driver Retrieved 31 March 2007
  24. ^ Cannes Film Festival Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  25. ^ Films Selected to The National Film Registry, Library of Congress, 1989–2005 Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  26. ^ The Complete List - ALL-TIME 100 Movies - TIME Magazine
  27. ^ Taxi Driver, Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 4 October 2008
  28. ^ "List of best films to win Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival". Film Society for Lincoln Center. http://www.filmlinc.com/fcm/ja09/palme.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  29. ^ "DeNiro and Scorsese plan sequel to Taxi Driver". The Guardian. 2005-02-05. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2005/feb/02/news.xanbrooks. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  30. ^ Saravia, Jerry. "Taxi Driver 2: Bringing Out Travis". faustus. http://www.geocities.com/faustus_08520/taxidriver2.html. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  31. ^ "Taxi Driver Preview". IGN. 2005-05-19. http://xbox.ign.com/articles/617/617100p1.html. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  32. ^ "Taxi Driver [XBOX / PS2 - Cancelled"]. 2000-05-24. http://www.unseen64.net/2009/05/24/taxi-driver-xbox-ps2-cancelled/. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  33. ^ Lars Von Trier, Robert DeNiro, and Martin Scorsese Collaborating on New Taxi Driver "Lars Von Trier, Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese collaborate on New Taxi Driver". dreadcentral.com. http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/35923/lars-von-trier-robert-deniro-and-martin-scorsese-collaborating-new-taxi-driver Lars Von Trier, Robert DeNiro, and Martin Scorsese Collaborating on New Taxi Driver. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Taxi Driver is a 1976 film about a mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran who works as nighttime taxi driver in a city whose perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge to violently lash out.

Directed by Martin Scorsese. Written by Paul Schrader.
On every street in every city, there's a nobody who dreams of being a somebody. taglines

Contents

Travis Bickle

  • May 10th. Thank God for the rain which has helped wash away the garbage and trash off the sidewalks. I'm workin' long hours now, six in the afternoon to six in the morning. Sometimes even eight in the morning, six days a week. Sometimes seven days a week. It's a long hustle but it keeps me real busy. I can take in three, three fifty a week. Sometimes even more when I do it off the meter. All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets. I go all over. I take people to the Bronx, Brooklyn, I take 'em to Harlem. I don't care. Don't make no difference to me. It does to some. Some won't even take spooks. Don't make no difference to me.
  • Each night when I return the cab to the garage, I have to clean the cum off the back seat. Some nights, I clean off the blood.
  • Twelve hours of work and I still can't sleep. Damn. Days go on and on. They don't end.
  • All my life needed was a sense of someplace to go. I don't believe that one should devote his life to morbid self-attention. I believe that someone should become a person like other people.
  • I first saw her at Palantine Campaign headquarters at 63rd and Broadway. She was wearing a white dress. She appeared like an angel. Out of this filthy mess, she is alone. They... cannot... touch... her.
  • Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man.
  • May 26th. Four o'clock p.m. I took Betsy to Charles Coffee Shop on Columbus Circle. I had black coffee and apple pie with a slice of melted yellow cheese. I think that was a good selection. Betsy had coffee and a fruit salad dish. She could have had anything she wanted.
  • I called Betsy again at her office and she said maybe we'd go to a movie together after she gets off work tomorrow. That's my day off. At first she hesitated but I called her again and then she agreed. Betsy, Betsy. Oh no, Betsy what? I forgot to ask her last name again. Damn. I got to remember stuff like that.
  • [talking on the phone to Betsy] Hello Betsy. Hi, it's Travis. How ya doin'? Listen, uh, I'm, I'm sorry about the, the other night. I didn't know that was the way you felt about it. Well, I-I didn't know that was the way you felt. I-I-I would have taken ya somewhere else. Uh, are you feeling better or oh you maybe had a virus or somethin', a 24-hour virus you know. It happens. Yeah, umm, you uh, you're workin' hard. Yeah. Uh, would you like to have, uh, some dinner, uh with me in the next, you know, few days or somethin'? Well, how about just a cup of coffee? I'll come by the, uh, headquarters or somethin', we could, uh...Oh, OK, OK. Did you get my flowers in the...? You didn't get them? I sent some flowers, uh...Yeah, well, OK, OK. Can I call you again? Uh, tomorrow or the next day? OK. No, I'm gonna...OK. Yeah, sure, OK. So long.
  • I tried several times to call her, but after the first call, she wouldn't come to the phone any longer. I also sent flowers but with no luck. The smell of the flowers only made me sicker. The headaches got worse. I think I got stomach cancer. I shouldn't complain though. You're only as healthy, you're only as healthy as you feel. You're only as...healthy...as...you...feel.
  • I realize now how much she's just like the others - cold and distant, and many people are like that. Women for sure. They're like a union.
  • Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man. June 8th. My life has taken another turn again. The days can go on with regularity over and over, one day indistinguishable from the next. A long continuous chain. Then suddenly, there is a change.
  • June 29th. I gotta get in shape now. Too much sittin' is ruinin' my body. Too much abuse has gone on for too long. From now on, it will be fifty push-ups each morning, fifty pull-ups. There'll be no more pills, there'll be no more bad food, no more destroyers of my body. From now on, it will be total organization. Every muscle must be tight.
  • The idea had been growing in my brain for some time. True force. All the king's men cannot put it back together again.
  • Yeah. Huh? Huh? Huh? (I'm) faster than you, you fuckin' son of a...I saw you comin', you fuck, shit-heel. I'm standin' here. You make the move. You make the move. It's your move. [He draws his gun from his concealed forearm holster] Don't try it, you fucker. You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? [He turns around to look behind him] Well, 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 talkin' to? Oh yeah? Huh? OK. [He whips out his gun again] Huh?
  • Listen you fuckers, you screwheads. Here's a man who would not take it anymore. Who would not let...Listen you fuckers, you screwheads. Here's a man who would not take it anymore. A man who stood up against the scum, the cunts, the dogs, the filth, the shit, here is someone who stood up. HERE IS --- [He draws his gun] You're dead.
  • [in an anniversary card to his parents] Dear Father and Mother: July is the month I remember which brings not only your wedding anniversary but also Father's Day and Mother's birthday. I'm sorry I can't remember the exact dates, but I hope this card will take care of them all. I'm sorry again I cannot send you my address like I promised to last year. But the sensitive nature of my work for the government demands utmost secrecy. I know you will understand. I am healthy and well and making lots of money. I have been going with a girl for several months and I know you would be proud if you could see her. Her name is Betsy but I can tell you no more than that...I hope this card finds you all well as it does me. I hope no one has died. Don't worry about me. One day, they'll be a knock on the door and it'll be me. Love Travis.
  • [in a note] Dear Iris: This money should be used for your trip. By the time you read this, I will be dead. Travis.
  • Now I see it clearly. My whole life is pointed in one direction. I see that now. There never has been any choice for me.

Senator Charles Palantine

  • When we came up with our slogan, 'We are the People,' when I said let the people rule, I felt that I was being somewhat overly optimistic. I must tell you that I am more optimistic now than ever before. The people are rising to the demands that I have made on them. The people are beginning to rule. I feel it is a groundswell. I know it will continue through the primary. I know it will continue in Miami. And I know it will rise to an unprecedented swell in November.
  • Walt Whitman, that great American poet, spoke for all of us when he said: 'I am the man. I suffered. I was there.' Today, I say to you, We Are The People, we suffered, we were there. We the People suffered in Vietnam. We the People suffered, we still suffer from unemployment, inflation, crime and corruption.
  • We meet at a crossroads in history. No longer will the wrong roads be taken.

Others

  • Passenger: [to Travis] You see the woman in the window? Do you see the woman in the window?...I want you to see that woman, because that's my wife. But that's not my apartment. That's not my apartment. You know who lives there? Huh? I mean, you wouldn't know who lives there - I'm just saying, "But you know who lives there?" Huh? A nigger lives there. How do ya like that? And I'm gonna, I'm gonna kill her. There's nothing else. I'm gonna kill her. What do you think of that? Hmm? I said 'What do you think of that?' Don't answer. You don't have to answer everything. I'm gonna kill her. I'm gonna kill her with a .44 Magnum pistol. I have a .44 Magnum pistol. I'm gonna kill her with that gun. Did you ever see what a .44 Magnum pistol can do to a woman's face? I mean it'll fuckin' destroy it. Just blow her right apart. That's what it can do to her face. Now, did you ever see what it can do to a woman's pussy? That you should see. You should see what a .44 Magnum's gonna do to a woman's pussy you should see. I know, I know you must think that I'm, you know... You must think I'm pretty sick or somethin', you know, you must think I'm pretty sick. Right? You must think I'm pretty sick? Hmm? Right? I'll betcha, I'll betcha you really think I'm sick right? You think I'm sick? You think I'm sick? You don't have to answer that. I'm payin' for the ride. You don't have to answer that.
  • Iris' father: [in a letter to Travis] Dear Mr. Bickle: I can't say how happy Mrs. Steensma and I were to hear that you are well and recuperating. We tried to visit you at the hospital when we were in New York to pick up Iris. But you were still in a coma. There is no way we can repay you for returning our Iris to us. We thought we had lost her, and now our lives are full again. Needless to say, you are something of a hero around this household. I'm sure you want to know about Iris. She's back in school and working hard. The transition has been very hard for her as you can well imagine. But we have taken steps to see she has never cause to run away again. In conclusion, Mrs. Steensma 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 Steensma.

Dialogue

Travis: I can't sleep nights.
Personnel Officer: There's porno theatres for that.
Travis: I know. I tried that.
Personnel Officer: So whaddaya do now?
Travis: I ride around nights mostly. Subways, buses. Figure you know, I'm gonna do that, I might as well get paid for it.
Personnel Officer: Wanna work uptown nights - South Bronx, Harlem?
Travis: I'll work any time, anywhere.
Personnel Officer: Will ya work Jewish holidays?
Travis: Any time, anywhere.
Personnel Officer: All right. Let me see your chauffeur's license. How's your driving record?
Travis: It's clean, it's real clean like my conscience...

Tom: Now look, you have to emphasize the mandatory welfare program. That's the issue that should be pushed.
Betsy: First push the man, then the issue. Senator Palantine is a dynamic man, an intelligent, interesting, fresh, fascinating...
Tom: Forgot sexy.
Betsy: ...man. I did not forget sexy.
Tom: Listen to what you're saying. You sound like you're selling mouthwash.
Betsy: We are selling mouthwash.
Tom: Are we authorized to do that?

Betsy: And why do you feel that you have to volunteer to me?
Travis: [smiling slightly] Because I think that you are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.
Betsy: [pause] Thanks. But what do you think of Palantine? ...Charles Palantine, the man you're volunteering to help elect President.
Travis: Well, I'm sure he'd make a good President. I don't know exactly what his policies are, but I'm sure he'd make a good one.
Betsy: Do you want to canvass?
Travis: Yeah, I'll canvass.

Travis: I'll tell you why. I think you're a lonely person. I drive by this place a lot and I see you here. I see a lot of people around you. And I see all these phones and all this stuff on your desk. It means nothing. Then when I came inside and I met you, I saw in your eyes and I saw the way you carried yourself that you're not a happy person. And I think you need something. And if you want to call it a friend, you can call it a friend.
Betsy: Are you gonna be my friend?
Travis: Yeah. What do ya say? It's a little hard standing here and asking...Five minutes, that's all, just outside. Right around here. I'm there to protect ya. [He quickly flexes both arms, causing her to laugh] Come on, just take a little break.
Betsy: I have a break at four o'clock and if you're here...
Travis: Four o'clock today?
Betsy: Yes.
Travis: I'll be here.
Betsy: I'm sure you will.
Travis: All right, four p.m.
Betsy: Right.
Travis: Outside in front?
Betsy: Yeah.
Travis: OK. Oh my name is Travis. [He extends his hand to her] Betsy?
Betsy: Travis.
Travis: Appreciate this, Betsy.

Travis: I know what you mean. I've got the same problems. I gotta get organized. Oh little things, like my apartment, my possessions. I should get one of those signs that says 'One of these days I'm gonna get organizized.'
Betsy: You mean 'organized'?
Travis: Organiziezed. Organiziezed - it's a joke. O-R-G-A-N-E-Z-I-E-Z-D.
Betsy: Oh, you mean 'Organizized'. Like those little signs they have in offices that say "Thimk".

Travis: [about Tom] I would say he has quite a few problems. His energy seems to go in the wrong places. When I walked in and I saw you two sitting there, I could just tell by the way you were both relating that there was no connection whatsoever. And I felt when I walked in that there was something between us. There was an impulse that we were both following. So that gave me the right to come in and talk to you. Otherwise I never would have felt that I had the right to talk to you or say anything to you. I never would have had the courage to talk to you. And with him I felt there was nothing and I could sense it. When I walked in, I knew I was right. Did you feel that way?
Betsy: I wouldn't be here if I didn't.
Travis: ...That fellow you work with. I don't like him. Not that I don't like him, I just think he's silly. I don't think he respects you.
Betsy: I don't believe I've ever met anyone quite like you.

Betsy: You know what you remind me of?
Travis: What?
Betsy: That song by Kris Kristofferson. [She's referring to the song Pilgrim Chapter 33]
Travis: Who's that?
Betsy: A songwriter. 'He's a prophet...he's a prophet and a pusher, partly truth, partly fiction. A walking contradiction.'
Travis: You sayin' that about me?
Betsy: Who else would I be talkin' about?
Travis: I'm no pusher. I never have pushed.
Betsy: No, no. Just the part about the contradictions. You are that.

Travis: I'm one of your biggest supporters, you know. I tell everybody that comes in this taxi that they have to vote for you.
Palantine: Why thank you - [Pleased, he glances to check Travis' picture, identification and license posted in the rear seat] - Travis.
Travis: I'm sure you're gonna win sir. Everybody I know is gonna vote for ya. You know in fact, I was gonna put one of your stickers in my taxi but you know, the company said it was against their policy. But they don't know anything, you know. They're a bunch of jerks.
Palantine: Let me tell you something. I have learned more about America from riding in taxi cabs than in all the limos in the country...Can I ask you something, Travis?
Travis: Sure.
Palantine: What is the one thing about this country that bugs you the most?
Travis: Well, I don't know. I don't follow political issues that closely, sir. I don't know.
Palantine: Oh but there must be something.
Travis: Well. [He thinks] 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. Whatever-whoever becomes the President should just [Travis honks the horn] 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 never go away you know...It's like...I think that the President should just clean up this whole mess here. You should just flush it right down the fuckin' toilet.
Palantine: Well, uh, I think I know what you mean Travis. But it's not gonna be easy. We're gonna have to make some radical changes.
Travis: Damn straight.
Palantine: Nice talkin' to you, Travis. [They shake hands]
Travis: Nice talking to you sir. You're a good man. I know you're gonna win.

Betsy: You've got to be kidding.
Travis: What?
Betsy: This is a dirty movie.
Travis: No, no, this is, this is a movie that, uh, a lot of couples come to, all kinds of couples go here.
Betsy: Are you sure about that?
Travis: Sure. I've seen 'em all the time.

Travis: Where are you going?
Betsy: Have to leave now.
Travis: Why?
Betsy: I don't know why I came in here. I don't like these movies.
Travis: Well, I mean, I, you know, I didn't know that you, you would feel that way about this movie. I don't know much about movies, but if I...
Betsy: Are these the only kind of movies you go to?
Travis: Well, yeah, I mean I come - this is not so bad.
Betsy: Taking me to a place like this is about as exciting to me as saying: 'Let's fuck.'
Travis: Uh. There are other places I can take you. There are plenty of other movies I can take you to. I don't know much about them but I could take you to other places...

Travis: Why won't you talk to me? Why don't you answer my calls when I call? You think I don't know you're here.
Tom: Let's not have any trouble.
Travis: You think I don't know. You think I don't know.
Tom: Would you please leave?
Travis: Get your hands off. [to Betsy] You're in a hell, and you're gonna die in hell like the rest of 'em. You're like the rest of 'em.

Wizard: Then I picked up these two fags, you know. They're goin' downtown. They're wearing these rhinestone t-shirts. And they start arguin'. They start yellin'. The other says: 'You bitch.'...I say: 'Look, I don't care what you do in the privacy of your own home behind closed doors - this is an American free country, we got a pursuit of happiness thing, you're consenting, you're adult. BUT, you know, uh, you know, in my fucking cab, don't go bustin' heads, you know what I mean? God love you, do what you want.'
Dough Boy: Tell 'em to go to California, 'cause out in California when two fags split up, one's got to pay the other one alimony.
Wizard: Not bad. Ah, they're way ahead out there, you know in California. So I had to tell 'em to get out of the fuckin' cab.

Travis: Well, I know you and I ain't talked too much, you know, but I figured you've been around a lot so you could...
Wizard: Shoot. That's why they call me the Wizard.
Travis: I got, it's just that I got a, I got a...
Wizard: Things uh, things got ya down?
Travis: Yeah.
Wizard: Yeah, it happens to the best of us.
Travis: Yeah, I got me a real down, real...I just wanna go out and, and you know like really, really, really do somethin'.
Wizard: The taxi life you mean?
Travis: Yeah, well. Naw, I don't know. I just wanna go out. I really, you know, I really wanna, I got some bad ideas in my head, I just...
Wizard: Look, look at it this way, you know uh, a man, a man takes a job, you know, and that job, I mean like that, and that it becomes what he is. You know like uh, you do a thing and that's what you are. Like I've been a, I've been a cabbie for seventeen years, ten years at night and I still don't own my own cab. You know why? 'Cause I don't want to. I must be what I, what I want. You know, to be on the night shift drivin' somebody else's cab. Understand? You, you, you become, you get a job, you you become the job. One guy lives in Brooklyn, one guy lives in Sutton Place, you get a lawyer, another guy's a doctor, another guy dies, another guy gets well, and you know, people are born. I envy you your youth. Go out and get laid. Get drunk, you know, do anything. 'Cause you got no choice anyway. I mean we're all fucked, more or less you know.
Travis: Yeah, I don't know. That's about the dumbest thing I ever heard.
Wizard: I'm not Bertrand Russell. Well what do ya want. I'm a cabbie you know. What do I know? I mean, I don't even know what the fuck you're talkin' about.
Travis: Yeah I don't know. Maybe I don't know either.
Wizard: Don't worry so much. Relax Killer, you're gonna be all right. I know I seen a lot of people and uh, I know.
Travis: That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.

Andy: There you go - a supreme high re-sale weapon. Look at that. Look at that. That's a beauty. I could sell those guns to some jungle bunny in Harlem for five hundred bucks. But I just deal high-quality goods to the right people. How about that? This might be a little too big for practical purposes in which case for you, I'd recommend .38 snub nose. Look at this. Look at it. That's a beautiful little gun. It's nickel-plated, snub nose, otherwise the same as the service revolver. That'll stop anything that moves. The Magnum - they use that in Africa for killin' elephants. That .38 - it's a fine gun. Some of these guns are like toys. That .38 - you go out and hammer nails with it all day, come back and it will cut dead center on target every time. It's got a really nice action to it and a heck of a whallop. You interested in a automatic? It's a Colt .25 Automatic. It's a nice little gun. It's a beautiful little gun. It holds six shots in the clip, one shot in the chamber, if you're dumb enough to put a round in the chamber. Here, look at this. 380 Walther, holds eight shots in the clip. That's a nice gun. Now that's a beautiful little gun. Look at that. During World War II, they used this gun to replace the P38. Just given out to officers. Ain't that a little honey?
Travis: How much for everything?
Andy: Only a jack-ass would carry that cannon in the streets like that. Here. Here's a beautiful hand-made holster I had made in Mexico. $400 dollars...How about dope? Grass. Hash. Coke. Mescaline. Downers. Nebutol. Tuonal. Chloral Hydrates? How about any Uppers? Amphetamines.
Travis: No I'm not interested in that stuff.
Andy: Crystal meth. I can get ya crystal meth. Nitrous oxide. How about that? How about a Cadillac? I get ya a brand new Cadillac. With the pink slip for two grand.

Travis: Hey, you're a Secret Service man aren't ya? Huh?
Agent: Just waiting for the Senator.
Travis: You're waiting for the Senator? Oh! That's a very good answer. Shit! I'm waitin' for the sun to shine. Yeah. No, the reason I, I asked if you were a Secret Service man, I won't say anything, because I ...I saw some suspicious looking people over there. [Travis points away]' Yeah, they were over there, right over there. They were just here, uh. They were very, very, uh...
Agent: ...suspicious...
Travis: Yeah. Is it hard to get to be in the Secret Service?
Agent: Why?
Travis: Well, I was just curious, because I think I'd be good at it. Very observant. I was in the Marine Corps you know, I'm good with crowds. I'm noticin' the little pin there. [Looking at the agent's lapel] That's like a signal isn't it?
Agent: Sort of.
Travis: A signal. A secret signal for the Secret Service. Hey, what kind of guns do you guys carry? .38s, .45s, .357 Magnums, somethin' bigger maybe?
Agent: Look, uh, if you're really interested, if you give me your name and address, we'll send you all the information on how to apply. How's that?
Travis: You will?
Agent: Sure. [The agent takes out a notepad]
Travis: OK. Why not? My name is Henry Krinkle. K-R-I-N-K-L-E. 154 Hopper Avenue.
Agent: Hopper?
Travis: Yeah. You know like a rabbit, hip, hop. Ha, ha. Fair Lawn, New Jersey.
Agent: Is there a zip code to that Henry?
Travis: Yeah, 610452. OK?
Agent: That's, uh, six digits.
Travis: Oh, well 61045.
Agent: OK.
Travis: I was thinking of my telephone number.
Agent: Well, I've got it all. Henry, we'll get all the stuff right out to you.
Travis: Thanks a lot. Hey, great. Thanks a lot. Hell, Jesus. Be careful today.
Agent: Right. Will do.
Travis: You have to be careful in and around a place like this. Bye.

Sport: Officer, I swear I'm clean. I'm just waitin' here for a friend. You gonna bust me for nothin' man?
Travis: I'm not a cop.
Sport: So why are you askin' me for action?
Travis: [gesturing at Iris] Because she sent me over.
Sport: I suppose that ain't a .38 you got in your sock.
Travis: A .38? No. I'm clean man.
Sport: [noticing Travis' Western boots] Shit. You're a real cowboy? That's nice, man. That's all right. Fifteen dollars, fifteen minutes, twenty-five dollars, half an hour.
Travis: Shit.
Sport: A cowboy, huh? I once had a horse, on Coney Island. She got hit by a car. Well, take it or leave it. If you want to save yourself some money, don't fuck her. Cause you'll be back here every night for some more. Man, she's twelve and a half years old. You never had no pussy like that. You can do anything you want with her. You can cum on her, fuck her in the mouth, fuck her in the ass, cum on her face, man. She get your cock so hard she'll make it explode. But no rough stuff, all right?

Sport: Catch you later, copper.
Travis: What'd you say?
Sport: See you later, copper.
Travis: I'm no cop, man.
Sport: Well if you are, it's entrapment already.
Travis: I'm hip.
Sport: [laughs] Buddy, you don't look hip.
Travis: [stares]
Sport: Go ahead, have yourself a good time.
Travis: [continues to stare]
Sport: You're a funny guy. But looks aren't everything. Go ahead man, have a good time.

Travis: Are you really twelve and a half?
Iris: Listen mister, it's your time. Fifteen minutes ain't long. When that cigarette burns out, your time is up. [Iris sits on the edge of the sofa and begins undressing]
Travis: How old are you? You won't tell me? What's your name?
Iris: Easy.
Travis: That's not any kind of name.
Iris: That's easy to remember.
Travis: Yeah, but what's your real name?
Iris: I don't like my real name.
Travis: Now what's your real name?
Iris: Iris.
Travis: Well, what's wrong with that? That's a nice name.
Iris: Huh! That's what you think. [Iris begins to remove her top]
Travis: No, don't do that. Don't do that. Don't you remember me? Remember when you got into a taxi, it was a checkered taxi. You got in and that that guy Matthew came by and he said he wanted to take you away. He pulled you away.
Iris: I don't remember that.
Travis: You don't remember any of that?
Iris: No.
Travis: Well. that's all right. I'm gonna get you out of here.
Iris: So we'd better make it or Sport will get mad. So how do you want to make it?
Travis: I don't want to make it. Who's Sport?
Iris: Oh that's Matthew. I call him Sport. [She stands up and begins unbuckling the belt on his pants] You want to make it like this?
Travis: Listen, uh, listen, hey, can I tell you somethin'. But you're the one that came into my cab. You're the one that wanted to get out of here.
Iris: Well, I must have been stoned.
Travis: Why, what do you mean? Do they drug you?
Iris: Oh come off it, man.
Travis: [Iris continues to try to unzip his fly] What are you doin'?
Iris: Don't you want to make it?
Travis: No, I don't want to make it. I want to help you.
Iris: Well, I could help you. [Iris reaches for his pants again, but he pushes her back onto the sofa]
Travis: Damn, man. Goddamn it. Shit, man. What the hell's the matter with you?
Iris: Mister, you don't have to make it mister.
Travis: Goddamn it. Don't you want to get out of here? Can't you understand why I came here?
Iris: I think I understand, uh. I tried to get into your cab one night and you want to come and take me away. Is that it?
Travis: Yeah, but don't you want to go?
Iris: I can leave anytime I want to.
Travis: Well then, what about that one night?
Iris: Look, I was stoned. That's why they stopped me. 'Cause when I'm not stoned, I got no place else to go. So they just, uh, protect me from myself.
Travis: Well, I don't know. I don't know. OK, I tried.
Iris: I understand, and it means somethin', really.
Travis: Oh look, can I see you again?
Iris: Ha, ha, that's not hard to do.
Travis: No, I don't mean like that. I mean, you know, regularly. This is nothing for a person to do.
Iris: All right. How about breakfast tomorrow?
Travis: Tomorrow when?
Iris: I get up at about one o'clock.
Travis: So long, Iris. See you tomorrow. Sweet Iris.

Iris: Why do you want me to go back to my parents? I mean they hate me. Why do you think I split in the first place? There ain't nothin' there.
Travis: Yeah, but you can't live like this. It's hell. Girls should live at home.
Iris: Didn't you ever hear of women's lib?
Travis: What do you mean 'women's lib'? You sure are a young girl. You should be at home now. You should be dressed up. You should be goin' out with boys. You should be goin' to school. You know, that kind of stuff.
Iris: Oh god, are you square.
Travis: Hey I'm not square. You're the one that's square. You're full of shit, man. What are you talkin' about? You walk out with those fuckin' creeps and lowlifes and degenerates out on the street and you sell your, sell your little pussy for nothin' man. For some lowlife pimp - stands in a hall. I'm, I'm square? You're the one that's square, man. I don't go screw and fuck with a bunch of killers and junkies the way you do. You call that bein' hip? What world are you from?
Iris: Who's a 'killer'?
Travis: That guy Sport's a killer. That's who's a killer.
Iris: Sport never killed nobody.
Travis: He killed someone.
Iris: He's a Libra.
Travis: He's a what?
Iris: I'm a Libra too. That's why we get along so well.
Travis: Looks like a killer to me.
Iris: I think that, that Cancers make the best lovers, but god, my whole family are air signs.
Travis: He's also a dope shooter.

Iris: So what makes you so high and mighty. Will you tell me that? Didn't you ever try lookin' in your own eyeballs in the mirror?
Travis: So what are you gonna do about Sport, that ol' bastard?
Iris: When?
Travis: When you leave.
Iris: I don't know. I just leave him, I guess.
Travis: You just gonna leave?
Iris: Yeah, they got plenty of other girls.
Travis: Yeah, but you just can't do that. What are you gonna do?
Iris: What do you want me to do? Call the cops?
Travis: What? The cops don't do nothin'. You know that.
Iris: Hey look. Sport never treated me bad. I mean he didn't beat me up or anything like that once.
Travis: But you can't allow him to do the same to other girls. You can't allow him to do that. He is the lowest kind of person in the world. Somebody's got to do something to him. He's the scum of the earth. He's the worst s-s-sucking scum I have ever, ever seen. You know what he told me about you? He called you names. He called you a little piece of chicken.
Iris: He doesn't, he doesn't mean that. I'll move up to one of them communes in Vermont.
Travis: I never seen a commune before, but I don't know, you know, I saw some pictures once in a magazine - didn't look very clean.
Iris: Well why don't you come to the commune with me?
Travis: Why not cum, come in a commune with you? Oh no.
Iris: Why not?
Travis: I don't, I don't go to places like that.
Iris: Oh come on, why not?
Travis: No, I don't get along with people like that.
Iris: Are you a Scorpion?
Travis: What?
Iris: That's it. You're a Scorpion. I can tell every time.
Travis: Besides, I gotta stay here.
Iris: Come on, why?
Travis: I got somethin' very important to do.
Iris: Oh, so what's so important?
Travis: Doin' somethin' for the government. Cab thing is just part-time.
Iris: Are you a narc?
Travis: Do I look like a narc?
Iris: Yeah. [laughing]
Travis: I am a narc.
Iris: God, I don't know who's weirder, you or me? Sure you don't want to come with me?
Travis: Well, I tell ya what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna give ya the money to go.
Iris: Oh no, look, you don't have to do that.
Travis: No, no. I want you to take it. I don't want ya to take anything from them. And I wanna do it. I don't have anything better to do with my money. I might be goin' away for a while.

Iris: I don't like what I'm doin,' Sport.
Sport: Oh baby, I never wanted you to like what you're doin'. If you ever liked what you're doing, you wouldn't be my woman.
Iris: You never spend any time with me anymore.
Sport: Why I got to attend to business baby. You miss your man, don't ya? I don't like to be away from you either. You know how I feel about you. I depend on you. I'd be lost without you. Don't you ever forget that - how much I need you. Come to me baby. Let me hold you. When I hold you close to me like this, I feel so good. I only wish every man could know what it's like to be loved by you... God, it's good so close. You know at times like this, I know I'm one lucky man. Touchin' a woman who wants me and needs me. That's the way you and I keeps it together.

Travis: How's everything in the pimp business? Huh?
Sport: Don't I know you?
Travis: No, do I know you?
Sport: Get out of here. Come on, get lost.
Travis: Do I know you? How's Iris? You know Iris.
Sport: No, I don't know nobody named Iris. Iris. Come on. Get out of here man.
Travis: You don't know anybody by the name of Iris?
Sport: I don't know nobody named Iris.
Travis: No?
Sport: Hey - go back to your fuckin' tribe before you get hurt, huh man. Do me a favor, I don't want no trouble huh? OK?
Travis: You got a gun?
Sport: [He throws his lit cigarette at Travis' chest, causing sparks to fly, and then kicks him] Get the fuck out of here man! Get out of here.
Travis: Suck on this. [shoots him in the belly]

Betsy: Hello, Travis.
Travis: Hello. [Long pause as they exchange looks in the rear-view mirror] I hear Palantine got the nomination.
Betsy: Yeah. It won't be long now. Seventeen days.
Travis: I hope he wins.
Betsy: I read about you in the papers. How are you?
Travis: Oh, it was nothin' really. I got over that. Papers always blow these things up. Just a little stiffness. That's all. [The cab arrives at her destination and she steps out, speaking to him through the open, driver side window]
Betsy: Travis? How much was it?
Travis: So long...

Taglines

  • On every street in every city, there's a nobody who dreams of being a somebody.
  • He's a lonely forgotten man desperate to prove that he's alive.

Cast

External links

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