Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New Taxi Driver DVD is edited?

For the life of me I cannot figure it out -- and no one else seems to have written about it so far -- but the new Taxi Driver 2 disc DVD set is edited.

For those of us who have seen this classic a few times, the edit is glaring but possible to miss.

When Travis (Robert De Niro) first takes Iris (Jodie Foster) up to the room, the "timekeeper," played by Scorsese regular Murray Moston, makes some comment like "Cowboy, you can leave your gun here." And Travis checks his gun before taking Iris to her room.

When Travis returns, the timekeeper gives Travis his pistol back, and Travis gives the timekeeper the balled-up $20 he received from Sport (Harvey Keitel) earlier in the film.

Okay, in this new DVD, Travis simply checks in, the line about leaving his gun/cowboy comment is gone although you can still clearly see the timekeeper holding the pistol he recevied from Travis.

At the end of the scene, if you freeze-frame it, you can see the timekeeper carrying the pistol back to Travis but his line is gone and Travis simply says the thing about "this is for you" and he gives the timekeeper the $20.

The edits appear to be intentional and not the result of some kind of film jump or missing frames.

Considering how incendiary and violent the rest of the film is, I do not know why these gun references would be removed -- I cannot envision Scorsese pulling a Spielberg and removing guns a la E.T.'s recent DVD.

Still, it is troubling and confusing.

I can't imagine any plot point it would advance except that, by removing the scene so that the timekeeper is completely unaware that Travis may be carrying a gun, the timekeeper is now seen as being caught completely off-guard in the final rampage scene.

Am I the only film geek to have noticed this perhaps intentional edit?

It's a great DVD set, otherwise, with extras totalling nearly 2 hours along with the Paul Schrader commentary and other goodies.