I was randomly looking at vids on YouTube the other day when I came across a scene from the outstanding 1976 movie Taxi Driver starring Robert DeNiro. Its the scene where he goes to meet a guy selling handguns from a suitcase in a hotel room so that he can possibly assassinate a presidential candidate whom a former romantic interest who scorned him works for. The film is an American masterpiece and if you haven’t scene it just go do it already. Politically I do not match up with DeNiro at all. Even though his name appears on the list of NYC residents approved for a concealed carry permit, he has consistently championed candidates that push anti-2A legislation. Once again, another liberal elitist who thinks his position as an entertainer gives him permission to access rights he would have denied the common man. However, he still remains a favorite actor of mine..
The movie itself translates fairly well from its original context and themes in 1976 to today and most people can relate to at least something in the film.
Lets take this film and look at some of the things that could conceivably be translated into a film set into 2010…
- The main character, Travis Bickle, played by DeNiro (for which he was nominated for an academy award) is a “burned out” Marine veteran of what is strongly suggested and hinted as the Vietnam War (that conflict had been over for roughly a year when this movie came out). He suffers from what is clearly a series of mental disorders including insomnia and anger issues. Classic PTSD but that term and awareness had scarcely been invented at the time of the films release. You can transfer that character to a Marine suffering from PTSD from any of our current conflicts today.
- New York City is depicted in the original as a cesspool of crime and corruption in the film. Even though we are now supposed to show NYC as this jewel in our country’s crown post-9/11, it would still be a more than adequate background for the story if made today.
- The was a lot of Political activism going on in the 70’s, part left over from the 60’s and part in due to the war in Vietnam and its lingering after affects…there is a lot of political activism now also. Although much of today’s activism is from the “other” side of the spectrum than what was depicted in the film. Whereas the presidential candidate in the film, Senator Palatine, is obviously a liberal progressive, the political activism today centers on The Tea Party Movement and other conservative, grass root organizations from the right side of the political spectrum. This is only natural since in 1975 when this film was made a Republican was in The Oval Office and today a Democrats occupies that desk. You don’t normally see political activism from the party in the power. This would be used, I fear, by a film maker of the normal Hollywierd Liberal mode to portray Travis as a “typical” right wing “gun nut” and used to promote the position of gun ownership abolishment and the like.
All of these are good points for discussion, but what does this have to do with firearms? Other than the gratuitous use of guns in the final shootout and the (at that time) over the top gore (the films color was toned down in the final cut to reduce the appearance of red blood on film…it was deemed to “offensive” at the time) one of the more famous scenes was when Travis purchased his illegal guns from “Easy Andy” in the hotel room, the scene I mentioned above….lets take a look at it…
Well, that was quite an arsenal for him to purchase….in 1975. A lot has changed in 35 years. I wonder what Travis would purchase in today’s market in a film set in 2010…hmmm…
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|Gun in 1976||Gun in 2010||Notes|
|.44 Magnum Revolver (possibly S&W 29) with a extremely long barrel||Desert Eagle .44 Magnum||First gun Travis asks about..“stop a car at 100 yards, put a round right through the engine block”…well not quite, not in the 1970’s when everyone was driving around in a 350 cubic inch powered V-8. While there are much more powerful cartridges available for handguns today (.460 Casull, .500 S&W ect) the .44 magnum still is familiar to the general public and resonates with power in the listeners ear. Keeping with Hollywierd tradition, we shall upgrade this to the (in)famous Desert Eagle…don’t knwo if these are actually used for anything other than range toys and safe queens in real life, but every movie has to have one I think…hell it maybe a law in Hollywierd.|
|Nickel Plated .38 J-Frame Revolver||Glock 19 9mm.||Back in 1975 the Glock was unknown in this country (hell it wasn’t even developed in Austria yet!) and the 9mm round was still a round that most shooters and civilians alike had little exposure too. The .38 on the other hand was a well used round by police out of standard 4” service revolvers. The Glock 19 is the modern equivalent to the .38 revolver for today’s NYPD and carries well for a concealed carry weapon. A logical upgrade in my book. Its not as flashy as the nickel plated snubbie, but unlike the Travis of 1976, the Travis of today would probably be a bit more on the ball than 1976 Travis and shiny metal would probably not be as attractive to him.|
|Colt .25 Automatic||Ruger LCP .380 ACP||Just to show you how ignorant the character of Travis is, he buys this piece of crap. .25 ACP? seriously? Travis goes in there for a .44 Magnum and also buys this. Still a pocket pistol is a pocket pistol. This is the gun that he famously modifies to ride on a rail he cuts from one of his kitchen drawers on his arm to snap out ready to fire. Still by today’s standards (ok, even by 1975 standards) the .25 is severely lacking as a defensive cartridge. I up the ante for our anti-hero a bit by giving him the same basic package in .380 ACP with a polymer frame and lighter carry weight.|
|Walther PPK .380||FN Five-SeveN 5.7x28 mm pistol||I am sure this was picked in the film as an “exotic” choice for Travis to purchase. “Used by German Officers in WW2” seems to be its main selling point…”oooh, a foreign pistol, you know what great craftsmen the Germans are” blah blah blah…well, I already gave him a Austrian gun, which is as good as a German made firearm in my book, and just as exotic. I guess that I could “upgrade” him to a Sig P232, which is basically a PPK anyway, but with a cooler pedigree…but I already used the .380 cartridge…so in keeping with Travis’s original gaffe of carrying 4 pistols without a common caliber to swap ammo if needed I need to select another “exotic” for him to use. The FN Five-SeveN handgun (yes, it is spelled with a capital “N” at the end) fits that bill. Firing the “oddball” 5.7x28mm round from a 20 round magazine this is the pistol that the fuckwad, terrorist traitor Maj. Hasan (just try and sue me for libel you worthless bastard) used at Fort Bliss to murder 13 soldiers last November. Its got everything Hollywierd needs for the part..exotic looks, a foreign manufacturer, and notoriety (Muslim extremist use versus Nazi use)|
|N/A||M4 style “assault rifle”||Not in the original movie, but any liberal retelling of this flick would have to include an “assault rifle” to show how serious and sinister Travis’ intentions truly are. I chose the AR over the ubiquitous AK for the simple reason, Travis is a Marine Veteran and he would be drawn to what he was familiar with.|
|N/A||Short barreled shotgun with a pistol grip||Another weapon not in the original flick…I chose this simply because it could be something they could show him concealing under his field jacket (even though troops today don’t wear those anymore) and what would a Hollywierd movie with guns in it be today if there wasn’t a slide to rack needlessly every 10 seconds.|
|N/A||1911 Pattern .45 ACP pistol||Don’t know why Scorsese and crew didn’t include this in the original movie, it would of been familiar to the Travis of 1976, would of been familiar to the audience at the time and would of made for great publicity stills. There looked to be one on the bed in the suitcase that he doesn’t even look at, but another angle shows what appears to be a double stacked magazine in it…maybe a Browning Hi-Power 9mm? Regardless, I am including it now because it should of been there in the first place.|
Well there it is, my armament remake for the 2010 version of this 1970’s classic. This was kind of fun. Maybe I should start going back over other famous films from the past and updating the weaponry for the 21st century. What do you think? Drop me a comment with your ideas of anything I may have missed in the above list. Also send me your thoughts on who would make a good replacement for DeNiro as the actor to play Travis Bickle in a 2010 remake. Names suggested will be voted on in a poll on this blog in the future.
You stay classy America!