Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Taxi Driver

Let's face it, Taxi Driver is a dark, dark movie. When my runner-up shot is only because of the aesthetics of the teenage prostitute character, it's clearly not a terribly happy film.

My runner-up shot
What makes the darkness of this film work is that it gives us a glimpse of hope at the beginning, with Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) making her entrance to the film "like an angel" by Travis Bickle's own account. Her white dress makes the symbolism is so blatant that they might as well have given her wings, but that's why I love it.

It's not until after Travis has gone after, gotten, and lost Betsy that the film begins to darken to the point that he is shooting up a brothel and murdering three people. 

After recovering from the serious injuries of that encounter, Travis is wrongfully labeled a hero and returns to his taxi driving, leading to my best shot: Betsy, reappearing, almost like a beacon of light in the darkness, as if offering him a way back toward the light.

My Best Shot
The movie ends immediately after he drives away from her, so it's unlikely he takes it.


  1. interesting choice. i tend to think of everything after the murders as Travis's fantasy BUT either way. the ending is great. from this shot of Cybill to the weird jarring cut to Travis seeing himself with that flash of red light.

  2. Haunting shot which makes for a haunting climax, regardless of how you interpret it.

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