Someday a Real Rain Will Come and Wash These ‘Taxi Driver’ Facts Off the Internet

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It’s one of the most famous lines in movie history: “You talkin’ to me?” But did you know that signature dialogue from Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver wasn’t even in Paul Schrader’s original script? Robert De Niro improvised it on set, after hearing Bruce Springsteen say it at a concert a few days before shooting the scene. At the concert during a particularly loud burst of applause, the Boss feigned humility and joked “You talkin’ to me?” De Niro remembered the moment and used it in the film. That’s just one of the facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!

Schrader’s Taxi Driver screenplay was autobiographical in some ways, and heavily inspired by a dark period in his life when he was alone and homeless in Los Angeles and suffered a nervous breakdown and grew interested in guns. The character of Iris, the young prostitute that De Niro’s Travis Bickle befriends and them becomes obsessed with protecting, was based on a real person. Schrader encountered her in a bar one night and convinced her to come to a breakfast with Scorsese the following morning. After lengthy conversations with the real Iris, Scorsese and Schrader reworked the character in the script to incorporate elements from her life. Then they gave the real Iris a role in the film; she plays Jodie Foster’s friend, who’s seen in several scenes, most notably in the moment when Travis Bickle almost runs over Iris with his cab.

‘You Think You Know Movies?’ is a ScreenCrush original series that dives deep into the cinematic worlds of your favorite movies and freeze frames a few tidbits you might not have known. We’ve already tackled Star Wars, The Avengers and Spider-Man, but this time we’re hailing these Taxi Driver facts. Watch more installments of ‘You Think You Know Movies?’ below and let us know in the comments what movies we should cover next.

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