A Script That Was (Too) Close to Home
Paul Schrader, the screenwriter, had a series of things falling apart in his life when he was writing the movie. He was experiencing a breakdown in his marriage, a dispute with the AFI, and he lost his reviewing job. “I didn’t have any money, and I took to drifting, more or less living in my car, drinking a lot, fantasizing.”
Schrader described how the Pussycat Theater in Los Angeles would be open all night, and he would go there to sleep. He eventually found himself in the emergency room with a bleeding ulcer. He was 27 in the hospital, and he realized that he hadn’t spoken to anyone in almost a month. It was then and there that the idea of Taxi Driver was born.