Driving a taxi when you’re losing your mind isn’t much fun. Just ask Robert De Niro, who starred in this 1976 historical epic about a man and his taxi taking on New York. Cybill Shepherd is also in this, plus a young Clarice Starling, but who cares? It’s got De Niro on top form as a guy losing his mind as he drives people to places like McDonald’s.
There’s also one of cinema’s most famous lines here: “You talkin’ to me?”. This is hissed by Travis Bickle, your taxi driver for the evening. He’s the one going crazy. However, it’s not fun to go mental, plus it makes it difficult to remember all your lines. So, let’s have a look at some of the variations of what could have been, but did not get, said.
You talkin’ to me?
Unhinged weirdo Travis Bickle is gradually losing his mind. Not content with talking to himself, he buys some guns so he can also to them, himself, and imaginary people in the mirror.
You talking to me?
There we go, just easing grammar Nazis’ dismay across the world over the last several decades. Feels a lot better, right?
You talkin’ to you?
Wait… what? We do talk to ourselves here at Professional Moron, often to fend off the voices in our heads, but that’s just bloody confusing, De Niro.
Boo! Talkin’ to me?
Getting that “Boo!” in there is an excellent way to add in an extra element of shock factor. Well done, Bickle.
Moo! Talkin’ to me?
Less effective is onomatopoeia – barnyard animals won’t assist you in your violent quest, Travis. Keep that in mind, yeah?
Pew! Talkin’ to me?
This one is much more accurate, but would also give the game away for his intentions. Especially if he did gun hand gestures to accompany his psychotic verbiage. Best avoided is discretion is your thing.
You talkin’ to… hang on, I need to pee
Even mentally unstable sorts have to take regular bathroom breaks, you know? Such is life.
You talkin’ to the sea?
New York is right next to the sea… so why not? Talking to the sea is probably good fun. Soothing, even. Relaxing. Takes one’s mind off driving a taxi. Hint hint.
You invitin’ me to ski?
Had the second half of the film been about Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster going on a skiing trip to Austria… the film would have been less famous.
You invitin’ me for tea?
Pretty sure you’d be indulging in coffee in America, dude, but if any British people turn up in Taxi Driver you’ll be set.
You talkin’ to the fruit of the poisonous tree?
Just to keep this nice and brief so we don’t find out what that is, why you’re thinking about it, and why you’ve asked us that stupid question… yes. Yes, we are.
You borin’ to me?
Is.. what? Is that a question, or are you trying to state something? Stupid bloody taxi driver.
You snorin’ to me?
Travis, darling, take a seat for a learned lesson here: snoring is not a form of human communication. So, no, no one is snoring to you. Capeesh?
You joggin’ to me?
Probably not, Bickle, most people go for a jog to, like, ensure they don’t get morbidly obese. That type of thing. In other words, don’t consider someone who is jogging as a threat to your well-being.
You talkin’ to my goatee?
You don’t have a goatee, Bickle, for God’s sake pay attention to your physical appearance more often, will you? Look, you have a, sort of, mohawk thing and no facial hair. Wake up, dude.
Interview talkin’ with me?
You want to interview yourself? We guess he wants to apply for the role of social outcast. That’s noble of him to want to do it properly, but you really can’t judge it, mate, as you’re still an amateur.
You talkin’ to Kylie?
Who’s Kylie? As in, Minogue? She’s not a famous popstar yet, Bickle, you’ll have to wait until I Should Be So Lucky and all that crap. A solid decade or so to go, busy yourself with Led Zeppelin for now.
You talkin’ to a bumble bee?
Only children and lunatics do that, Bickle… so, we guess, it’ll be a worth a shot on your part, eh? Eh? Just don’t forget bumble bees can sting you. That’s more terrifying than any gun – even a bazooka!