Absolute classic of American cinema carried high by a fabulous Robert de Niro, “Taxi Driver” hits Netflix. Did you also know the little story behind the cult replica “You’re talkin ‘to me?” pronounced by the actor?
This December 30, the Netflix catalog is enriched with an absolute classic of American cinema: Taxi Driver, by Martin Scorsese. Admittedly, the film may well have been dissected and analyzed by moviegoers around the world for 45 years, the fact remains: we always like to dive back into it to admire again the composition of Robert de Niro, memorable figure of vigilante.
Insomniac Vietnam War veteran Travis Bickle is a taxi driver in New York City. His nocturnal encounters and the daily violence he witnesses gradually make him lose his mind. He then takes it into his head to purge the streets of New York of his shady fauna, and to snatch a minor prostitute from the clutches of her pimps …
Among the memorable scenes of the film is a cult sequence, that of the famous replica “You’re talkin’ to me ? ‘Cause I’m the only one here !”, swung by de Niro in front of the camera.
In this sequence, Paul Schrader’s script only mentioned that the character “was talking to himself in front of the mirror”, without specifying what the actor had to say. Robert De Niro thus invented his lines of dialogue in this scene. He is said to have been inspired by Bruce Springsteen, whom he saw in 1975 at a concert at the Roxy in Los Angeles, addressing the cheering crowd from behind with a “You talkin’ to me ?”
Loan or not, the fact remains that this replica was ranked 10th in a selection of the 100 best replicas of American cinema by the American Film Institute, in a ranking drawn up in 2005.