The film ‘Taxi Driver’ has become prophetic and mirrors the violence of contemporary news headlines. Notoriously, the film is linked to and may have triggered the political assassination attempt by inconspicuous John Hinckley on President Ronald Reagan in 1981, illuminating his dangerous fixation on actress Jodie Foster, and resulting in the assassin’s infamous media-hero status. Other misfits have emerged as lonely and disturbed individuals who act out their killer impulses on high school campuses or in terrorist acts. This film has also influenced other future filmmakers, including Quentin Tarantino and David Fincher.
Taxi Driver re-established the tremendous acting ability of Robert De Niro to totally immerse himself into his characters. This movie was seen combining elements of film noir, the western, horror and urban melodrama film genres.
Historically, the film appeared after a decade of war in Vietnam, and after the disgraceful Watergate crisis and President Nixon’s resignation.