Bernard Herrmann – The .44 Magnum Is a Monster

Bernard HerrmannThe .44 Magnum Is a Monster (Taxi Driver: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

“It wasn’t easy getting Bernard Herrmann to compose the music for Taxi Driver. He was a marvelous, but crotchety old man. I remember the first time I called him to do the picture. He said it was impossible, he was very busy, and then asked what it was called. I told him and he said, ‘Oh, no, that’s not my kind of picture title. No, no, no.’

I said, ‘Well, maybe we can meet and talk about it.’ He said, ‘No, I can’t. What’s it about?’ So I described it and he said, ‘No, no, no. I can’t. Who’s in it?’ So I told him and he said, ‘No, no, no. Well, I guess we can have a quick talk.’

Working with him was so satisfying that when he died, the night he had finished the score, on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles, I said there was no one who could come near him. You get to know what you like if you see enough films, and I thought his music would create the perfect atmosphere for Taxi Driver.”

-Martin Scorsese, Scorsese on Scorsese (1989)