When Taxi Driver was first brought to the MPAA to be rated, it was slapped with a big X. Worried that the X rating would create a financial bomb, Columbia Pictures told Martin Scorsese to edit the film for an R rating. As the legend goes, Scorsese being a consummate artist, stayed up all night drinking and decided that he would kill the Columbia executive who told him to edit the film. No one was going to force him to change his masterpiece. Throughout the night, friends stopped by trying to convince Scorsese not to murder the executive to no avail. As night became dawn, the drunken director sat with a gun in his hands contemplating his options. Suddenly he was struck with the brilliant Idea to desaturate the color of the final shootout. The film received an R rating and Scorcese barely had to alter a frame. This legend may never have actually taken place, but Taxi Driver still stands as one of the great movies in cinematic history.
Film critic Garen Daly joined Boston Public Radio for another edition of our classic cinema challenge. This time, we discussed Taxi Driver and took your calls to find out if you think the film still holds up. While the film may not be worth killing someone over, the consensus was that the movie is still as relevant as ever.
Listen to our conversation on Taxi Driver with film critic Garen Daly above.