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Taxi Driver Ending Explained: Who Is Travis Bickle? Is He Actually a Hero?

Taxi Driver is a 1976 American film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader, starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Leonard Harris, and Albert Brooks, and starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, Leonard Harris, and Albert Brooks.

The film depicts Travis Bickle (De Niro), a taxi driver and Vietnam veteran, and his worsening mental state as he works nights in the city in a decaying and morally bankrupt New York City following the Vietnam War.

Scorsese intended the film to feel like a dream to moviegoers, drawing inspiration from The Wrong Man (1956) and A Bigger Splash (1973).

Filming began in the summer of 1975 in New York City with cinematographer Michael Chapman, with performers taking salary concessions to guarantee that the production could be finished on a modest budget of $1.9 million.

The picture was completed the same year, with a score composed by Bernard Herrmann in his final score, which he completed just hours before his death; it is dedicated to him.


  • Travis Bickle is played by Robert De Niro.
  • Iris Steensma is played by Jodie Foster.
  • Betsy is played by Cybill Shepherd.
  • Matthew “Sport” Higgins is played by Harvey Keitel.
  • Tom is played by Albert Brooks.
  • Senator Charles Palantine is played by Leonard Harris.
  • “Wizard” is played by Peter Boyle.
  • The Gun Salesman, played by Steven Prince, is known as “Easy Andy.”
  • As the Deranged Passenger, Martin Scorsese
  • “Doughboy” is played by Harry Northup.
  • Melio, the Bodega Clerk, is played by Victor Argo.
  • As Personnel Officer, Joe Spinell

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Explanation of The ‘Taxi Driver’ Ending

taxi driver ending explained

Travis Bickle’s story is told in Taxi Driver. He’s a Vietnam war veteran with severe PTSD, and his poisonous lifestyle is wreaking havoc on his mind.

He becomes infatuated with a young hooker who works for a politician and with bringing justice to the terrible world. All of this causes him to alter his lifestyle, including training for vengeance, purchasing illegal weaponry, and arranging the assassination of a politician.

When that fails, Bickle doubles down, assassinating a pimp and his friends and saving a young hooker in the process. However, when the cops arrive, he asks them to inflict the fatal blow.

The following step is when the dispute begins.

Summary of The Film Taxi Driver

Let’s go over the film’s description and some key Taxi Driver characters before we get too far into the Taxi Driver interpretations. Who was the author of Taxi Driver? Paul Schrader is a writer and director. Martin Scorsese directed the film.

They told the story of a Vietnam veteran who was having trouble sleeping. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) is a deranged loner who works as a cab driver in New York City. He works the night shift, which is the most dangerous and dreadful period of the day. While out in the world, he feels compelled to clean it up after witnessing the pollution firsthand.

There is still beauty in the earth. Travis meets Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), a campaign worker, and becomes concerned with saving her and the world. When things with Betsy go bad and he has no idea how to get even, he plots to assassinate the presidential candidate for whom she works.

However, after recognizing the limitations in this strategy, Travis resolves to heal himself and the city by focusing his efforts on freeing 12-year-old prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster) from her pimp (Harvey Keitel).

Travis goes out and buys some weapons, then launches an assault to save Iris, injuring himself in the process. The film fades to dark, with newspaper headlines claiming that he saved the girl and returned her to her family.

We also hear a voiceover from the girl’s father, who expresses his gratitude to Travis for saving his daughter’s life. He gets back in his cab and patrols New York, picking up Betsy and restoring his relationship with her.

But what occurs at the conclusion of Taxi Driver?

What Can I Take Away from The Finale of Taxi Driver?

taxi driver ending explained

Consider how important the ending is when you’re making your movie. You want the audience to be invested in the characters and what happens to them. An unclear ending can often lead to contemplation on the part of the audience.

What you should take away from this is the importance of having a well-thought-out conclusion.

Taxi Driver ended in this manner on purpose. It gets you thinking. We don’t just fade out on a line or an event at random. We’re going to leave these characters now because it’s time for you to figure out what the movie means to you.

Is that something your tale accomplishes? How can you make your tale work for you in this way?

Travis Bickle, Who Is He? Is He, in Fact, a Hero?

What if society is so broken that these final minutes are a punishment for us? We place a higher priority on blood and violence than admitting to mental suffering and trauma.

Travis Bickle believes that society is sick, and he is accurate. He becomes more in sync with the types of heroes the media likes by returning to the most fundamental parts of human nature, fight or flight. We have a thing for bad guys (see Joker) and their ideologies.

That not only makes him popular with the girl, but it also gives him the courage to pursue other fish in the sea. After all, he’s now well-known. Pauline Kail, one of the most recognised reviewers of all time, had this to say about the ending of Taxi Driver:

“When we see Travis looking pacified in the end, it’s a great slap in the face. He’s gotten his fury out – for the time being, anyway — and is back at work, picking up passengers in front of the St. Regis. It’s not that he’s cured; it’s just that the city is insane.”

Perhaps we’re all sicker than Travis is.

The film’s creators believe so.

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