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TAXI DRIVER

by

Paul Schrader

PROPERTY OF:

"The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief
that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious
phenomenon, is the central and inevitable fact of human
existence."

--Thomas Wolfe,
"God's Lonely Man"

TRAVIS BICKLE, age26, lean, hard, the consummate loner. On
the surface he appears good-looking, even handsome; he has a
quiet steady look and a disarming smile which flashes from
nowhere, lighting up his whole face. But behind that smile,
around his dark eyes, in his gaunt cheeks, one can see the
ominous stains caused by a life of private fear, emptiness
and loneliness. He seems to have wandered in from a landwhere it is always cold, a country where the inhabitants
seldom speak. The head moves, the expression changes, but
the eyes remain ever-fixed, unblinking, piercing empty space.

Travis is now drifting in and out of the New York City night
life, a dark shadow among darker shadows. Not noticed, no
reason to be noticed, Travis is one with his surroundings.
He wears rider jeans, cowboy boots,a plaid western shirt
and a worn beige Army jacket with a patch reading, "King
Kong Company 1968-70".

He has the smell of sex about him: Sick sex, repressed sex,
lonely sex, but sex nonetheless. He is a raw male force,
driving forward; toward what, one cannot tell. Then one
looks closer and sees the evitable. The clock sprig cannot
be wound continually tighter. As the earth moves towardthe
sun, Travis Bickle moves toward violence.

FILM OPENS on EXT. of MANHATTAN CAB GARAGE. Weather-beaten
sign above driveway reads, "Taxi Enter Here". Yellow cabs
scuttle in and out. It is WINTER, snow is piled on the
curbs, the wind is howling.

INSIDE GARAGE are parked row upon row of multi-colored taxis.
Echoing SOUNDS of cabs idling, cabbies talking. Steamy
breath and exhaust fillthe air.

INT. CORRIDOR of cab company offices. Lettering on ajar door
reads:

PERSONAL OFFICE

Marvis Cab Company
Blue and White Cab Co.
Acme Taxi
Dependable Taxi Services
JRB Cab Company
Speedo Taxi Service2.

SOUND of office busywork: shuffling, typing, arguing.

PERSONAL OFFICE is a cluttered disarray. Sheets with heading
"Marvis, B&W, Acme" and so forth are tacked to crumbling
plaster wall: It is March. Desk is cluttered with forms,
reports and an old upright Royal typewriter.

Dishelved middle-aged New Yorker looks up from the desk. We
CUT IN toongoing conversation between the middle-aged
PERSONNEL OFFICER and a YOUNG MAN standing in front on his
desk.

The young man is TRAVIS BICKLE. He wears his jeans, boots
and Army jacket. He takes a drag off his unfiltered cigarette.

The PERSONNEL OFFICER is beat and exhausted: he arrives at
work exhausted. TRAVIS is something else again. His intense
steely gaze is enough to jar even thePERSONNEL OFFICER out
of his workaday boredom.

PERSONNEL OFFICER (O.S.)
No trouble with the Hack Bureau?

TRAVIS (O.S.)
No Sir.

PERSONNEL OFFICER (O.S.)
Got your license?

TRAVIS (O.S.)
Yes.

PERSONNEL OFFICERSo why do you want to be a taxi
driver?

TRAVIS
I can't sleep nights.

PERSONNEL OFFICER
There's porno theatres for that.

TRAVIS
I know. I tried that.

The PERSONNEL OFFICER, though officious, is mildly probing
and curious. TRAVIS is a cipher, cold and...
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