Scorsese & Schrader Talkin to You on the TAXI DRIVER Blu-ray

We don’t usually cover “hey, movie X is gonna be on Blu-ray” press releases so as to not clog your RSS feeds. A notable exception occurs when a studio licenses 25-year-old commentary tracks from Criterion that include Martin Scorsese.

So, a press release hit my inbox this morning while I was writing up today’s Criterion announcements. I just opened it and my eyes immediately homed-in on the fact that this disc includes the long-unavailable Martin Scorsese/Paul Schrader commentary from a Criterion laserdisc that was released in 1986. More after all the bullet points:

  • Interactive “Script to Screen” feature, exclusive to Blu-ray. Explore the Taxi Driver script like never before in this interactive experience. The script will automatically scroll as the film plays so you can read along and discover the stage direction notes along with differences from the original script to the finished film.
  • Original 1986 Commentary with Director Martin Scorsese and Writer Paul Schrader recored by The Criterion Collection
  • “Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver” featurette
  • “Producing Taxi Driver,” a behind-the-scenes featurette
  • “Influence and Appreciation” – Robert De Niro, Oliver Stone, Roger Corman and others pay tribute to Scorsese and the film in this video homage
  • “God’s Lonely Man” – a documentary featuring screenwriter Paul Schrader and Professor Robert Kolker discussing the loneliness themes as seen in the film.  Schrader also talks about what circumstances lead to writing the screenplay
  • “Travis’ New York Locations” – a contemporary, video visit to the film’s famous locations in New York City, comparing them to the same locations used in 1975
  • Video bonus:  “Storyboard to Film Comparisons,” with a Martin Scorsese Introduction
  • Commentaries by writer Paul Schrader and professor Robert Kolker, discussing the film scene-by-scene
  • “Taxi Driver Stories” featurette—taxi tales as told by real life New York city cab drivers
  • “Making Of  Taxi Driver” Documentary
  • Animated Photo Galleries that include photo montages featuring the film’s music score, location shots taken during filming and Martin Scorsese at work
  • The Taxi Driver 35th anniversary edition also features movieIQ+sync, which gives you the full movieIQ experience on your computer or iPhone by linking to your Blu-ray Disc. Once connected, movieIQ+sync will display all of the great information movieIQ offers on your computer screen or iPhone instead of onscreen, all while staying synchronized to the movie!
  • Trailers

Most of the ultra-high collector’s value in out of print Criterion DVDs and laserdiscs titles like Taxi Driver comes from the commentary tracks that aren’t consumable in newer editions. This is the case on titles like Robocop (a different track than the one on MGM’s Special Edition), This Is Spinal Tap (two tracks not available elsewhere), and, until the recent BBS Story set, The Last Picture Show (perhaps the precursor to this Driver track), among many, many others.