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Six seminal films about taxis

Six seminal films about taxis

It could be said that you can find all aspects of life in a taxi, from the mundane business trip to the mad dash to the maternity ward and even the odd getaway. We’ve all taken a taxi in our time, and have relied on one to get us where we need to be – often at short notice. So it is hardly surprising that there have been so many films made and scenes set around taxis and their drivers. Here, we celebrate six great films that would be nothing without their scenes set in a taxi.

Taxi Driver

The film’s eponymous taxi is driven by Travis Bickle, an insomniac New Yorker, who becomes a taxi driver after obsessing about his lonely existence and the corruption of life around him. Bickle drives a number of passengers with their own, fascinating stories to tell and gets involved with several of them along the way.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

In an unusual plot twist, the taxi becomes a main character in this popular cartoon/action hybrid. Benny the Cab arrives just in time to save the main protagonists from almost inevitable doom, taking his passengers for several exciting car chases during his dashes for freedom.

On the Waterfront

This 1954 film contains one of cinema’s most classic lines, “I could have been a contender”, spoken in a scene set in the back of a taxi. Marlon Brando’s beleaguered boxer, Terry, is reflecting on how differently his life could have turned out if he hadn’t been persuaded to throw a boxing match and subsequently sabotage his career. Wonder what the driver thought of that seminal speech.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

This is another classic film with a famous taxi scene, this time at the very end. Feisty socialite, Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, makes a life-changing decision and escapes the prospect of a solitary life in a taxi with the man she loves. Although she soon jumps out of it again, in the pouring rain, in order to chase after him and convince him of her true feelings. What a romantic ending to this 1961 favourite!

Pulp Fiction

We weren’t joking when we said that cabbies really do see and hear it all. As a total contrast to the romantic atmosphere above, Bruce Willis’s tough-talking character gives a spine-tingling confession to his taxi driver about what it feels like to kill a man. Gripping stuff.

Fifth Element

Talking about Bruce Willis, he switches seats to star as the taxi driver in this sci-fi classic set in the 23rd century. A genetically developed ‘perfect being’ escapes from her creators and takes flight in his taxi. Inevitably, perhaps, Willis’s character is charmed by his passenger and helps her recover four mystical stones that become central to the survival of the planet.

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