Taxi Driver is a 1976 American film directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Leonard Harris, and Albert Brooks. Set in a decaying and morally bankrupt New York City post Vietnam War, the film follows Travis Bickle, a taxi driver and veteran, and his deteriorating mental state as he works nights in the city.
Filming began in the summer of 1975 in New York City, with actors taking pay cuts to ensure that the project could be completed on a low budget of $1.9 million. Production concluded that same year, with a score being composed by Bernard Herrmann in his final score before his death; the film is dedicated to him.
The film was theatrically released by Columbia Pictures on February 8, 1976, where it was a critical and commercial success, despite generating controversy for its graphic violence at the climactic ending, and casting of then-12-year-old Foster in the role of a child prostitute. Considered one of the greatest films ever made, the film received numerous accolades including the 1976 Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, and four nominations at the 49th Academy Awards, including for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress for Foster.
In 2012, Sight & Sound named Taxi Driver the 31st-best film ever in its decennial critics’ poll, together with The Godfather Part II, and the fifth-greatest film of all time on its directors’ poll. In 1994, the film was considered “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant by the US Library of Congress, and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.