Pauline: I am very sorry that there are so many people who have nothing.
Woody Guthrie: Sure. Course you are. Sorry don’t get the hay in. So you ladle ’em up the soup and dish out a little charity?
Pauline: Well, we’re not all as gifted as you are. Some of us just do the best we can.
Woody Guthrie: Pauline, let me tell you somethin’. When I. . .well, when I was on the road, I met a lot of different kinds of people. There was bums and freeloaders. There was families that was torn apart. And poor people that just was achin’ for some kind of work. And men that are just tryin’ to get somewhere. Anywhere. They all got somethin’ in common, that every one of them had somethin’ to give me. Then you meet some man that’s got some money, and he’ll be… tied up and anxious. The human thing is just gone. It’s just gone, cos he’s afraid. Afraid that he’s gonna lose somethin’. He’s afraid to smile, cos somebody’s gonna swipe his teeth out his mouth.
Rynn: This is my house.
Mrs. Hallet: You are an extraordinarily rude little girl, who’s going to do exactly as I say.
Rynn: Last week you took the only good grapes we have and now the crab apples. And you never asked if you might. And today you just walked bang into my house!
Mrs. Hallet: This is not your house!
Rynn: My house!
Mrs. Hallet: Leased. You’re thirteen. Why aren’t you in school?
Rynn: Thirteen means I have no rights, is that it?
Mrs. Hallet: Thirteen means you should be in school.
When I first saw this film, I was in the middle of a marathon of all three versions, William A. Wellman’s 1937 version, George Cukor’s 1954 version and then finally this 1976 version. In comparison, this is probably the least impressive version. Something about it just doesn’t work. But, it is an interesting look at rock music and the machine and like the other two versions, is an interesting time capsule. The performances from both Streisand and Kristofferson are top notch and this new Blu-ray book is a must for fans of Babs.
A lot has been written about this film by people who know it a lot better than I do, so I’m gonna preface this by saying what I want to do with this piece is not a full analysis of the film, but rather snippets of thoughts and ideas that ran through my head when I watched it Thursday last at the Castro Theatre. I first saw Taxi Driver when I was about 15 (I rented it on VHS and I did not tell my parents) and I don’t think I really understood what I was watching. Really, going into the screening on Thursday, all I remembered from the film was the scene where Robert De Niro takes Cybill Shepherd to the porno theater. That was the first time I ever saw porn. Needless to say, it was shocking. Believe it or not, that was the only time I’d seen the film before this last time. So I have only seen it twice now. I’m guessing it’s a movie that gets richer each time you watch it, much like my favorite Scorsese film, 1985’s criminally under-seen After Hours. I would also like to mention that 1976 is a year where I can’t really say I wish one film beat another film. For me, it’s a year where all of the nominees are so important and so different, that choosing just one seems like a disservice. Well, four of them, anyway, as I have not yet seen Bound For Glory. Although Taxi Driver won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes film festival, it received only four Academy Award nominations and failed to win in any of the categories: Best Picture, Best Actor Robert De Niro, Best Supporting Actress Jodie Foster and Best Original Score. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were All The President’s Men, Bound For Glory, Network and winner Rocky.