Movie: Taxi Driver (1976)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel
Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) picks up a fare in Taxi Driver. This particular passenger is played by Martin Scorsese, and he asks to be driven to an apartment building. Bickle wants to stop the meter running, but the fare—as talkative as the famous filmmaker—tells him to let it run. He wants to chat a while. He starts talking about how his wife is up in one of the apartments. She's having an affair. That Scorsese's character calls the man making a cuckold of him a "n****r" sends up the first red flag.
The viewer's now on edge. Making things worse, Scorsese's character talks about his plan to shoot them both with a Magnum. He asks Bickle, "Have you ever seen what a .44 Magnum will do to a woman's pussy?"
Scorsese's quick, cagey delivery suggests that he's just as uncomfortable using the gross slang for a woman's genitalia as the viewer is hearing it. "Now that you should see," he says. Thankfully, the film never shows you anything that appalling. But the words are enough. —RS