Taxi Driver: Looking at 1970s New York City in Martin Scorsese’s gritty thriller classic

Welcome to the Bowery Boys Movie Club, a new podcast exclusively for our Patreon supporters where Tom and Greg discuss classic New York City films from an historical perspective. As we are currently prepare the newest episode for our patrons, we thought we’d give our all our listeners a taste of the very first episode (which was released back in September).

In the Bowery Boys Movie Club, we’ll be revisiting some true cinematic classics and sprinkling our recaps with trivia, local details and personal insight — and lots of spoilers of course.

In this inaugural episode, the Bowery Boys take a trip to Times Square in the 1970s (not to mention Columbus Circle, the East Village and even Cadman Plaza in Downtown Brooklyn) in Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece Taxi Driver.

How does the director use New York’s unique geography to tell his story and categorize his three main characters? What does this film have to say about New York City in the 1970s? And how much has the city changed since Robert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd, and Jodie Foster starred in this grim, noir-ish thriller?

FEATURING: Diners, cafeterias, porn theaters and old elevated highways!

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Some New York City locations featured in Taxi Driver and mentioned on our show:

One Times Square

Terminal Bar, Eighth Avenue

East Village (13th Street)

From the film:

 

Columbus Circle (in front of the Maine Monument)

From the film:

Cadman Plaza West, Downtown Brooklyn

From the film:

Belmore Cafeteria (28th Street/Park Avenue South)

All images and video clips are the property of Columbia Pictures

 

FURTHER LISTENING:

You might like to take a deeper dive into some of the aspects of 1970s New York City life featured in the film —