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The History of Movie Training Montages

Recapping the best and worst training montages throughout film history.

Taxi Driver

(1976)

A young Robert De Niro stars as taxi driver Travis Bickle in what several critics will always point to as being the best film Martin Scorcese ever directed. Constantly driving around the city during his job, Bickle, a Vietnam veteran, becomes increasingly disgusted with the filthiness of New York City—its drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes, criminals, and corrupt politicians and wealthy businessmen. Vowing to do something about it as a vigilante, Bickle starts working out intensely in his apartment, obtaining a lean, muscular physique and taking target practice to prepare himself to rid the city of some of its sketchiest characters, but, of course, finding time to catch a porno in the local theater. The training montage is brief and to the point—perhaps some ‘80s movies could have followed the lead of Taxi Driver instead of constantly imitating Rocky. NEXT: Ending the Cold War >>

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