His greatest film is the Mishima one. Biopics might be good for him as it means he doesnt have to struggle with the ending which he often seems to. Esp when hes trying to do the bresson pickpocket ending tribute. Or the big blowout kind of ending. Hes made too many for me to see them all but of his own ones, my faves are mishima, blue collar, American gigolo, auto focus. Got a soft spot for first reformed. I want to see dog eat dog.
Tarantino wrote about Schrader and Scorsese making the pimp white in taxi driver in his new book and how that dampened the racism and white nationalist bent of travis bickle. Not a new finding but i half agree with qt. Hes not the first one to say it.
Tarantino thinks that Martin Scorsese and Columbia Pictures made a “societal compromise” by casting Harvey Keitel in the role.
A journey through the films of an American cinematic icon
'The unceasingly hostile treatment of black people in Taxi Driver
would have made more sense had it retained the ending of Schrader’s original script, in which all the people massacred by Bickle at the brothel (including Iris’s pimp) were black. Instead, viewers are left to process the cognitive dissonance of a film that softens them up for a racially motivated bloodbath, only for the race issue to quietly seep out of the film along with the dead, black stickup kid. “At script stage, we got to the scene where Bickle shoots Sport and we just looked at each other and we knew we couldn’t do it the way it was written,” said Schrader. “We would have had fights in the theatre. It would have been an incitement to riot . . . Marty sent me out to find ‘the great white pimp,’ but I never found him.” This admission from Schrader scotches any idea of Taxi Driver
as a realistic document of the time, and confirms that its intended effects were seriously hedged. Had Schrader’s original ending remained, Taxi Driver
’s treatment of racism would have been simultaneously easier to peg as a more cogent articulation of white supremacist or reactionary rage, and more difficult to swallow because of its total marginalization of black people. It’s nonetheless fascinating to imagine just how perennially incendiary Taxi Driver
might’ve been had Harvey Keitel’s white pedophile Sport—a chewy-accented, walking reference to The Searchers—
been played by, say, Richard Pryor or Louis Gossett Jr.; it would, for one, have afforded even more textual resonance to the chilling speech given by Scorsese’s character in the back of Bickle’s cab.
It’s perhaps apposite to the enduring mythos of this technically virtuosic, queasily absorbing, and endlessly fascinating film that we’ll never know.'