[ratethatcommentary.com]
Login | Register

Taxi Driver (1976)

(Laserdisc)

This information is for the Laserdisc release, not a DVD release.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader Rating:8.3/10 (30 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by scroll2b on December 7th, 2004:Find all reviews by scroll2b
This is the commentary that made me get a laserdisc player, and it was worth every penny. This commentary by Scorsese and Schrader digs down to the bone about how this film was first conceived, and how it was perfectly executed. If you can manage to listen to this great commentary by one of the masters of cinema, you won't be disappointed. TEN.
Reviewed by Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr on January 3rd, 2008:Find all reviews by Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr
Like the above reviewer, I bought this laser disc and a player just so I could hear Scorsese's commentary track, and it was worth every penny!
This is a film-making masterclass from a master film-maker, so much so that Schrader's additional comments, interesting as they are, almost seem like interruptions and you wish the track had been left solely to Scorsese (even moreso now that Schrader has done his own commentary on the latest let's-milk-that-cash-cow-dry DVD release).
Commentaries don't come any better than this. 10 again.
Reviewed by JWINGS on May 20th, 2011:Find all reviews by JWINGS
(this track came from the Blu-Ray edition of Taxi Driver, which is the same as the original). I agree with everyone above; this track is excellent in every sense of the word. The director and writer have lots to say, and dive deep into the theories of filmmaking with this entertaining track. There is even a lady (unsure of her name) that includes various tidbits which I also found interesting. Even though I am not a huge fan of commentaries that are not screen specific, they did a great job (as well as could be expected) with linking up the topics to the on screen action. Worth your time, 100%!
Reviewed by grimjack on December 26th, 2019:Find all reviews by grimjack
Like the above reviewers, this was my first commentary track, and the reason I bought a laserdisc player, back in 1992. (And who exactly is not voting 10 for this disc?)

Hearing it again, I am reminded of the film knowledge depth of Scorsese. But also Paul Schrader speaks for about 10 minutes on the track, and his first couple of minutes alone are worth the cost of the disc to hear him explain some of the larger psychological points of the film.

Scorsese is great, like you would expect, but at least twice he goes on a long 10 minute sidetrack on Bernard Hermann and the colorizing process. It is not a bad sidetrack other than there is stuff happening on the screen I want to know more about.

Schrader also talks about the irony of the most famous line being improvised. And all the blatant racism that is in the script. He points out that it would be fine in a novel, but in a film it is socially irresponsible. (This is really a fascinating concept that speaks of how the movies reach the masses in a different way than other movies.) And the story of failing to find a white pimp for Keitel to emulate is amusing.

Also of interest is the reason for the mohawk. Why they put Albert Brooks in, and Jodie Fosters maturity. And the fact that Scorsese says several times that he had not seen the film in the 15 years since it was released, and states a few times how certain things look fine that in his mind had not felt right when he was making it. And things about the 70s he was glad to have captured.

If someone you know does not think they would like listening to a commentary track, play them this one, and there will probably be a new person posting on this site.