10 Unexpected Inspirations Behind Movie Scenes

9. "You Talkin' To Me?" Was Inspired By Bruce Springsteen's Stage Banter - Taxi Driver

The Wolf Of Wall Street Quaaludes
Columbia Pictures

Arguably the single most iconic moment from any Martin Scorsese film is the "You talkin' to me?" scene from Taxi Driver, where embattled cabbie Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) stares in the mirror and utters the phrase while imagining a scenario that would allow him to draw his gun.

Yet the dialogue wasn't included in Paul Schrader's script and was, according to Schrader himself, improvised by De Niro. Hilariously, Schrader said, "It's the best thing in the movie, and I didn't write it."

But in the 2009 memoir of late saxophonist Clarence Clemons, Clemons said that De Niro explained the exact origins of the phrase while they filmed Scorsese's movie New York, New York together in 1977.

According to Clemons, De Niro cribbed the line from none other than Bruce Springsteen, after hearing him say the line onstage to the crowd during a concert.

Bootleg copies of Springsteen's '70s gigs confirm that he did have a habit of saying "You talkin' to me?" while performing the tune "Quarter to Three," so there's not much reason to disbelieve this one.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.