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'Taxi Driver' Vs. 'Boogie Nights': Watch The Influence Of Martin Scorsese On Paul Thomas Anderson In Two Scenes

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by Kevin Jagernauth
February 12, 2014 4:03 PM
10 Comments
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Taxi Driver Boogie Nights

Even with a relatively slim filmography, it's interesting to see just how much the style of Paul Thomas Anderson has changed since his breakout film "Boogie Nights" and more recent efforts like "There Will Be Blood" and "The Master." Indeed, it's safe to say the filmmaker felt the influence of Martin Scorsese early on, before heading into his own territory. But just how pronounced was it?

Well, Ali Shirazi has taken to some video editing software to showcase two scenes from "Boogie Nights" and compared them to similar sequences in "Taxi Driver." It's pretty fascinating stuff, with the DNA of Scorsese's movie clearly showing up in Anderson's porno world drama. Take a look below and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section. [Cinephilia & Beyond]

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10 Comments

  • Peter Kovic | March 21, 2014 7:04 PMReply

    It's a stretch to consider this scene from Taxi Driver as influencing Boogie Nights. I mean, sure, they take place during a convenience store robbery...but aside from that? They both end differently, and the two protagonists take different actions. You're pushing it, IMHO.

  • Daniel | February 13, 2014 4:24 AMReply

    Yes PTA openly admits to ripping off Scorsese and he does it in the most obvious and at the same time honouring way possible. He always make it feel authentic and original. The ultimate homage.

    Just watch the respective ending scenes in Boogie nights and Raging Bull. Now that must be one of the most obvious ripoffs you have ever seen wouldnt you agree? Amazingly, he makes it one of the most memorable scenes in the film, and adding the extra element to it.

  • Tanner | February 12, 2014 8:22 PMReply

    Idk, I see way more of Taxi Driver in Punch-Drunk Love and The Master. The shot in PDL with the camera randomly panning to nothing while Barry is on the phone is taken directly from the Taxi Driver scene with Travis on the pay phone. Also Freddie Quell and Travis have a few striking similarities.

  • Charles | February 12, 2014 6:50 PMReply

    PTA takes a lot of techniques from Casino as well. For instance, freezing the frame and then zooming in on the bag of cocaine.

  • hank | February 12, 2014 6:43 PMReply

    um.. yea ok I guess they are sort of the same.....

  • cattt | February 12, 2014 6:33 PMReply

    Boogie Nights is also exactly like Goodfellas.
    Young, naive kid shows some talent and he's 'adopted' by a surrogate family of certain subculture (porn crew/mafia). The second act shows how glamorous 'the business' can be and it's all just one big party. The second act ends with a reminder of the dark side of this business (William H Macy shoots his wife for screwing around / Joe Pesci shoots Spider for no reason).
    The Third act is just one big coke fueled spiral to the rock bottom. Of course Boogie Nights' end is more positive, but both of the films have basically the same story structure.

  • cattt | February 13, 2014 12:53 AM

    The similarities between Goodfellas and Boogie Nights don't really bother me, though. PTA was 20-something when he made that film, even older directors steal from Scorsese. For a young director, he created great characters and got amazing performances out of his actors.
    Boogie Nights is still a great film, some of the other Goodfellas-rip-offs aren't (like Blow for example).

  • RP | February 12, 2014 7:35 PM

    Yep. I'm over it not being original now, but at the time, in theaters, man, I was really not impressed.

  • Carver | February 12, 2014 6:31 PMReply

    Little bit of a stretch there. I think there are far more influences from Goodfellas evident in Boogie Nights rather than Taxi Driver.

  • fitzcarraldont | February 12, 2014 6:20 PMReply

    I imagine it would be frustrating to be Paul Schrader. It's not like that scene from Taxi Driver is particularly representative of Scorsese's directorial style, aside from the casting of De Niro. Who wouldn't block and shoot this scenario that way? It's a basic scene. Schrader, however, deserves the credit for having written that moment. It's the lines and scenario that match up. Now if you were comparing the two films altogether you could justify a PTA vs MS comparison on the basis of their similarly successful indulgent styles.

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