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Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

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Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

Old 07-10-08, 08:26 PM
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Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

Taxi Driver (1976)

What was Travis' motivations for the date? Did he think it would be a fast, easy way to a lay? Did he genuinely think she would enjoy it?

I always wondered how other people interpreted it.
Old 07-10-08, 08:32 PM
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Social ineptitude.
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Old 07-10-08, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Finisher
Social ineptitude.
yup
Old 07-10-08, 08:43 PM
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It's what he did, so he thought everyone else did

"Besides, a lot of couples go here..."
Old 07-11-08, 11:00 AM
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Yeah, I always got the impression that Travis hadn't had a lot of experience being with adult women.

On a side note, Paul Schrader talked about doing nothing but go see porn movies while he was writing the script, so I think a lot of his sleazy personality oozed into the film.

Edit, I was just now reading the trivia on imdb, and this line felt pertinent to this discussion.

When Paul Schrader was first writing the script, he believed that he was just writing about "loneliness," but as the process went on he realized he was writing about "the pathology of loneliness." His theory being that, for some reason, some "young men" (such as Schrader himself) subconsciously push others away to maintain their isolation, even though the main source of their torment is this very isolation.

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Old 07-11-08, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Bobby Shalom
Edit, I was just now reading the trivia on imdb, and this line felt pertinent to this discussion.

When Paul Schrader was first writing the script, he believed that he was just writing about "loneliness," but as the process went on he realized he was writing about "the pathology of loneliness." His theory being that, for some reason, some "young men" (such as Schrader himself) subconsciously push others away to maintain their isolation, even though the main source of their torment is this very isolation.
I believe Schrader goes into this on his commentary track as well - that Travis was trying to subconsciously sabotage his relationship with Betsy before it even really began, so he would be able to continue his isolated existence.
Old 07-11-08, 05:50 PM
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Well, the area in that time was pretty sleazy and unlike the Disneyland, family friendly face it now has.

Porno theaters were pretty popular at the time as well. So it would be sort of like going to the movies.

And yeah, Social ineptitude is the big answer.
Old 07-11-08, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MrStayPuft
"Besides, a lot of couples go here..."
And then we actually do see a couple sitting in front of Betsy and Travis, both enthralled.
Old 07-11-08, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Finisher
Social ineptitude.
i thought that was obvious.
Old 07-11-08, 05:54 PM
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I think he was testing Betsy to see if she was really as "pure" as he thought she was.

But then after she rejects him, he says she's "cold, like all the others."

That signals to me that her reaction, either way, would have ended the relationship, so it's self-sabotage. On his terms.
Old 07-11-08, 08:42 PM
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Because he didn't know any better.

Travis Bickle FTW!
Old 07-11-08, 11:49 PM
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On the way out he said he'd take her to a different movie if she didn't like porn.
Old 07-12-08, 12:32 AM
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It didn't surprise me that Travis would take a girl on a date to a porn theater. But, why did Betsy even agree to go out on a date with Travis?

Last edited by mike45; 07-12-08 at 12:34 AM.
Old 07-12-08, 10:01 AM
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^^^ Now THAT is a question for the ages.
Old 07-12-08, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mike45
It didn't surprise me that Travis would take a girl on a date to a porn theater. But, why did Betsy even agree to go out on a date with Travis?
Because he looked like Robert DeNiro?
Old 09-21-20, 05:00 AM
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Re: Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

Originally Posted by Jackskeleton View Post
Well, the area in that time was pretty sleazy and unlike the Disneyland, family friendly face it now has.

Porno theaters were pretty popular at the time as well. So it would be sort of like going to the movies.

And yeah, Social ineptitude is the big answer.
Old 09-21-20, 05:34 AM
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Re: Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

No, I lived in NY and worked in porn retail at the time. I had a friend that managed an adult theater and would often hang with him in the lobby until his shift ended. It was absolutely NOT like taking a girl to a regular movie. Yes we sometimes got couples...especially when "Deep Throat" and "Insatiable" became popular, but they were there out of curiosity. They were always noticed and a bit of a pain, as we needed to keep an eye on them to make certain the other customers didn't bother them. I don't remember a single regular couple. And like most "normal" people I would never have taken a first date there...it was a job, and all of us on the inside were aware of the stigma. It was sort of like being a carny in that the men and women in the business tended to socialize together. That's because it was just that to us, a business, and we absolutely were not customers. We were there because it paid the bills and nothing more. Most of the customers were indeed lonely, but more than that they were porn addicts, and couldn't get enough of the product. I remember returning for a brief visit about three years after I had moved on to a legitimate company and was surprised to see the same faces. Today, with internet porn the cost to businesses alone is estimated at 16.9 billion annually. Googling "porn by the numbers" will give a picture of just how huge it's modern day impact is just financially. More importantly Porn Kills Love! It creates false expectations of human sexuality and takes one of the greatest human experiences and transforms it into a two dimensional product. Travis was crazy for taking her there. And crazy he was, pathologically so. Had he only chosen to kill a twelve year olds pimp perhaps his actions could be justified, but he also wanted to assassinate the presidential candidate for no obvious reason.

Old 09-21-20, 01:47 PM
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Re: Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

Informative thread bump for the ages...
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Old 09-21-20, 01:52 PM
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Re: Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

I don't know why Travis took Betsy to a porn theater, but I wonder if they ran into Uncle Phil there when he should have been picking Will up at the airport.
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Old 09-21-20, 02:01 PM
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Re: Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
Informative thread bump for the ages...
Dude took a really roundabout way to humblebrag about being an extra in The Deuce.
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Old 09-21-20, 02:35 PM
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Re: Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Dude took a really roundabout way to humblebrag about being an extra in The Deuce.
To be fair, he does know the manager.
Old 09-21-20, 06:33 PM
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Re: Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

It would have been nice if Bickle and Betsey acted out a scene after watching that movie.

Cybil Sheperd was a smokeshow in that movie.
Old 09-21-20, 11:12 PM
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Re: Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

Aaaand...The actual movie that Travis and Betsy end up watching is Sexual Freedom in Denmark. Not Sometime Sweet Susan (With Harry Reems) as advertised in the marquee. There! My contribution to the thread.
Old 09-22-20, 01:06 AM
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Re: Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

Originally Posted by robertbruner93 View Post
And crazy he was, pathologically so. Had he only chosen to kill a twelve year olds pimp perhaps his actions could be justified, but he also wanted to assassinate the presidential candidate for no obvious reason.
I brought this up in a film discussion class I took a long time ago. To Travis, killing Harvey Keitel's pimp character was the same as his attempts to kill Palantine; they were what was standing in the way between him and his love objects (Iris and Betsy respectively). Betsy couldn't spend time with Travis because of her involvement in the Palantine campaign (of course we all knew she was just using that as an excuse to dump his psycho ass, but he didn't).

It was a little unsettling for me the first time I saw the movie, to see Travis basically hailed as a hero, but then I saw it as a comparison. Had he been successful in his first assassination attempt, he'd be vilified as a nutjob, but in his second he's seen as a liberator. Schrader and Scorcese ask some really hard questions of the audience.
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Old 09-22-20, 02:46 PM
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Re: Why did Travis take Betsy to the porno theater?

Good bump.

Is that 93 like Aleister Crowley?

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