Despite the fact that it contains perhaps Hollywood’s most psychotic Vietnam veteran (and that’s saying something), the 1976 Paul Schrader-Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver is widely viewed as one of the best movies of the last half of the 20th century. In 1998, for example, the American Film Institute ranked the one hundred greatest American movies, and Taxi Driver came in at No. 47. (Francis Ford Copolla’s 1979 Apocalpyse Now was ranked No. 28; Michael Cimino’s intense The Deer Hunter (1978) was No. 79, and Oliver Stone’s Platoon (1986) came in at No. 83.)
The film, in which Robert De Niro (above ) gives an unforgettable performance as the unbalanced title character, Travis Bickle, won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. It also was nominated for four Academy Awards, including best picture (it didn’t win; Rocky did).