We scoured the Internet, like we do for at least nine hours a day, for an excuse to embed Scorsese clips into one, organized blog post. Lucky for us, we found that timeliness was applicable: the 35th anniversary edition of Taxi Driver is out on Blu-Ray! We'll probably stick to our used copy that we picked up in Huntsville, but that doesn't mean we can't do a list to celebrate the anniversary.
Scorsese is known for using music to contribute to his storytelling process. He was the executive producer for a seven part series about the birth of blues music and directed his own documentary about the Delta blues artists like John Lee Hooker. He also directed "one of the best concert films of all time", The Last Waltz. So, dude likes movies and music, a lot. Let us mention that while doing the research for this article was fun. We basically sat and rewatched our favorite joints. Finding some of the clips on YouTube was a bit harder. Feel free to let us know what your personal favorite musical moments in Marty's history are.
Robert De Niro as Johnny Boy in Mean Streets (1973) Rolling Stones, "Jumpin Jack Flash" Ok, this is, hands down, one of the best entrances in the history of cinema. Yes, that's a risky statement to make, but what could possibly be cooler than De Niro in a hat, walking into a bar in slow motion with two hippie breezies under his arms? We've only met one person in our lives with that kind of swag.
Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976) Jackson Browne, "Late For The Sky" It's a short clip, but it truly is what the caption reads as: classic. Can you tell that we're huge, unapologetic De Niro fans yet?
Tom Cruise as Vincent Lauria in The Color Of Money (1986) Warren Zevon, "Werewolves of London" THIS SCENE. Although it always pains us to see the aged Cool Hand Luke alongside that douchebag Tom Cruise, you have to hand it to him...he makes you want to be him in that moment. It should be noted, the clip begins with another great song, "It's in the Way That You Use It" by Eric Clapton.
Robert De Niro as Ace Rothstein in Casino (1995) Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart, "I Ain't Superstitious" "They never know what hit them; and if and when they do find out that they just got zapped by a cattle prod, they wish they really did have a heart attack." This song was originally recorded by Howlin' Wolf in 1961, but Jeff Beck's version was number 86 on Rolling Stones' "100 Greatest Guitar Songs Of All Time." Hm. Also, Casino used the word "fuck" a total of 422 times. We think this might be a reason why it's in our top five. We've loved that word since we were sneaking episodes of South Park in elementary school.
Gangs of New York (2002) Linda Thompson, "Paddy's Lamentation" We think it's the lack of music at the climaxes of this movie that makes it so brilliant, but the traditional Irish songs are also placed appropriately. This one is played while the Irish immigrants are coming off the boats and immediately enlisting in the army. As they board the boat, caskets are being carried off of it. This is one of our favorite scenes that surprisingly doesn't feature Daniel Day Lewis as Bill The Butcher. It's at a low volume, so turn it up.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Jack Nicholson as Frank Costigan in The Departed (2006) Rolling Stones, "Gimme Shelter" Scorsese has used this song for Goodfellas, Casino, and The Departed, but you never forget the scene. Personally, we aren't huge fans of Jack in this movie, but "Gimme Shelter" usually evokes our gangster mob boss identification, so it's still effective.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Billy Costigan in The Departed (2006) Dropkick Murphys, "Shipping Out To Boston" This song just fits as the movie's introduction. We've been trying to master our Irish-Boston accent ever since then. Do you remember hearing this song in any brahtomobiles after this movie came out? Brah. The Departed is epic, brah.