A card-carrying member of the Directors Guild of American is likely to tell you emphatically that he loves music and that music is an important part in his movies, but there are only a handful of directors who have a keen sense of the unique relationship between music and film, and Scorsese is one of them. In "Taxi Driver", Bernard Herrmann's music -- the sultry saxophone, the ominous orchestral refrains, and the urban-tribe snare drumbeats -- is crucial in enhancing this already emotionally explosive piece. When we go to Scorsese's movies, we're certain to be treated with the most hypnotic and perfectly-fit film music.
"Taxi Driver" is one of those rare films in which the entire cast fire on all pistons (pardon the automobile cliche). Not just Robert De Niro, indeed, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle, Harvey Keitel, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, and all the supporting actors perhaps reached the zenith of their acting careers in this picture. Scorsese deserves much of the credit for bringing those magical performances out of them, because he is one of the few directors who are capable of taking film acting to a new plateau.
Watching "Taxi Driver" arouses multiple sentiments in me because it was filmed in a neighborhood where I lived for five years. I'll never forget the experience of sitting in a theater in Manhattan Lower Eastside for a midnight showing of this very movie, and halfway through, when De Niro's character is about to go postal, a guy with a Mohawk plopped down on the seat right in front of me. It was one of the most surreal and unforgettable moments of my life in the City of Insomniacs.