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Travis Bickle, the archetype of the psychotic loner played by Robert De Niro in “Taxi Driver,” was imagined by screenwriter Paul Schrader and brought to life with Martin Scorsese’s gritty, striking direction. The two collaborated on four films, including “Raging Bull”—again, with DeNiro in the starring role, this time as the real-life boxer Jake LaMotta. Both “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” are stylish, visual dramas known as masterpieces of Scorsese’s early career.
The two changed gears with 1988’s controversial “The Last Temptation of Christ” starring Willem Dafoe as a very human Jesus struggling with divinity. Its revisionist take on biblical stories sparked protests and bans from Christian groups. The pair’s latest collaboration was 1999’s “Bringing Out the Dead,” starring Nicolas Cage as a Manhattan paramedic, the film’s philosophical narrator, ruminating on saving lives while answering calls for gunshots and drug overdose victims.
“Bringing Out the Dead,” while far less iconic than Scorsese and Schrader’s other films, received decent reviews. Among its stars include John Goodman, Patricia Arquette, Queen Latifah, Ving Rhames, and Marc Anthony, as a strung-out, suicidal drug addict.