“Taxi Driver” was released in February of 1976.
America was a country with a deeply wounded psyche at the time. The President was Gerald Ford, who had been Richard Nixon’s Vice President throughout the Watergate scandal. The sentencings of Nixon’s White House aides, along with John Mitchell, the former Attorney General of the United States, were not even 12 months removed. The summer prior, America had lost a war for the first time. The country watched as Saigon fell, and people scrambled to abandon the US Embassy.
America needed a hero.
Instead, Martin Scorsese gave us Travis Bickle…