This is our second installment in our month long look back at the NYC films of Martin Scorsese. This week, we look into the locations for one Marty’s masterpieces: the depressing and violent crime film Taxi Driver. Winner of the coveted Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976 and nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. This film was somewhat responsible for the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. After viewing the film, John Hinckley Jr began fantasizing about killing Reagan to impress Jodie Foster. Hopefully none of you try anything so drastic as we go through 10 NYC locations used in Scorsese’s classic.
1. West Side Elevated Highway
In the film’s opening, Travis Bickle, a Vietnam War veteran, gets a job driving a taxi; as he walks out we see part of the West Side Elevated Highway, also known as Miller Highway. The elevated highway was one of the first urban freeways in the world. It was plagued with problems; in 1973, a truck actually fell through the highway on 14th Street, leading to discussions about dismantling it. The only remaining sections consist of a rehabilitated path between 59th and 72nd Streets and an untouched portion of the highway, which can be found on an abandoned exit ramp on 70th Street.