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WGN Channel 9 - WGN Thursday Night Movie - "Taxi Driver TV Disclaimer Ending" (1982)

On WGN Channel 9, the Thursday Night Movie one particular evening was Martin Scorsese' Taxi Driver - what you might call a "difficult" film to air on regular broadcast television. Besides making some comical expletive overdubs, they added this curious disclaimer to the end of the film, which was not present in the theatrical or DVD releases, as seen here:

"TO OUR TELEVISION AUDIENCE - In the aftermath of violence, the distinction between hero and villain is sometimes a matter of interpretation or misinterpretation of facts. TAXI DRIVER suggests that tragic errors can be made. - The Filmmakers"

This aired on local Chicago TV on Thursday, November 18th 1982.

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This clip aired on Thursday, November 18th 1982, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Thanks for posting this. I remember seeing this at the end of a presentation by KOMO in Seattle. The film was sponsored by Craftmatic Beds, as a sort of infomercial for the bed company. I had assumed that Craftmatic placed that disclaimer at the end of the movie to distance themselves from the controversy..
Comment posted by visaman on Thursday, May 14th 2009 at 12:44am.

That would had been great for a special feature on a DVD. This is one of the best movies that was released in 1976 besides "Carrie", "Network" and the Oscar winner "Rocky".
Comment posted by betamax75 on Thursday, May 14th 2009 at 7:27am.

What an awesome year for movies, eh?
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, May 14th 2009 at 7:41am.

If it's the certain Chicago station that I'm thinking of, I'm surprised that they even attempted it (I lived in Chicago at the time but really didn't pay much attention to that station). Interesting that what was difficult to show on broadcast TV in 1982 is no big deal today.
Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Thursday, May 14th 2009 at 8:34am.

I'd bet the story of this is out there somewhere. Just who exactly are "The Filmmakers" and why/how were they compelled to stick this awkward frame before the credits?
Comment posted by AbeFroman on Thursday, May 14th 2009 at 9:56am.

This certain station between 8 and 10 aired Pulp Fiction one night in the 90s. It was overnight on a Saturday, major scenes were deleted, and entire sections of dialogue (lasting as long as a minute) were deleted.

You almost had to ask why they bothered airing it.

Comment posted by SuperCFL on Thursday, May 14th 2009 at 4:43pm.

Couldn't they have waited until AFTER the closing credits to stick that in there? Instead, it's just pasted randomly into the movie as if something onscreen was being censored.

Imagine watching the movie in your dark living room, when suddenly it jump cuts to this "warning" frame from out of nowhere. That would've startled me considerably.

Comment posted by Studio76Art on Thursday, May 14th 2009 at 9:32pm.

Or, here's a better idea - treat television viewers like adults and not have *any* disclaimer. Seriously, are TV viewers supposed to need more looking after than theater patrons?
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, May 14th 2009 at 10:21pm.

TV executives don't insert stupid notices like this, marketing managers who are worried about upsetting their sponsors do.
Comment posted by Officedrone1 on Thursday, May 14th 2009 at 11:44pm.

Sorry, Rick, that'd make too much sense. Considering that Taxi Driver is hardly a kids' movie, you'd think the network would know better than to insult the intelligence of its audience and expect them to believe that the filmmakers actually conceived this empty disclaimer. Guess not.

However, the difference is that theaters weren't under such pressure to placate sponsors and moviegoers consequently weren't bombarded with 20 minutes of commercials like they are now.

Comment posted by Studio76Art on Friday, May 15th 2009 at 8:58pm.

Staring: Frank Adu as Angry Black Man! :'P
Comment posted by BabyBear on Saturday, May 16th 2009 at 1:44am.

It adds a sort of porno vibe to the movie, especailly with that music bed. Oohh, we just saw a dirty movie!
Comment posted by visaman on Saturday, May 16th 2009 at 4:21am.

I hate to break a few bubbles but that disclaimer was obviously not added by the station. That was added to the film print they bought. The TV version that the film studio sold. Watch it again and you will notice the softness of the graphic's lettering. If it had been added by the station it would have been a lot sharper. Wouldn't surprise me if it came edited for TV right from the film studio.

As for the assumption that TV viewers are sophisticated. Well sorry but this is America. Don't confuse it with the rest of the world where language, body parts and sexuality are the norm on TV. We don't like any of that nasty stuff. Just ask our politicians who make up all the FCC rules.

Comment posted by telefrank on Tuesday, May 19th 2009 at 10:21am.

Yeah, I instinctively knew it was on the film print too - but the more important question is, who *insisted* the film studio put it on there? Probably the marketing managers, as someone else said.

We're used to them cutting out nudity and profanity, but this was something all together different. They're placing a note at the end of a film in an effort to prevent us from making some "wrong" interpretation of the movie. Maybe they did this after Reagan was shot and the whole Jodie Foster-connection was revealed?

Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, May 19th 2009 at 1:47pm.

Fuzzy, I think you just nailed it right on the head.
Comment posted by kietdoke on Tuesday, May 19th 2009 at 2:59pm.

The ending looks suspiciously like the opening of "Nightbeat"...I'm surprised WGN didn't try to sue them.
Comment posted by yarsdad on Wednesday, May 20th 2009 at 7:44pm.

yarsdad - LoL :-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, May 20th 2009 at 8:42pm.

"Taxi Driver" is now available on Blu-ray for the first time.
Comment posted by Betamax75 on Tuesday, April 5th 2011 at 10:04am.

Found an article about a 1979 showing of the movie in a NY newspaper, that has the full disclaimer as well, which would mean that they didn't put it in there specifically for the Hinkley Assassination... but, it does appear it was part of whatever "TV version" was floating around being used by stations.

It is the only mention in newspapers/magazines I could find online about the disclaimer.

Comment posted by afdave on Friday, November 18th 2011 at 7:59am.

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This clip has been viewed 4353 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, May 13th 2009.
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Comment posted in McDonald's - "We Do It All For You" (Commercial, 197?) by Pete on Thursday, April 16th, 2015 at 8:21pm CT

Now that I'm now a local Las Vegan, I see Anderson Dairy trucks all the time. I wonder if they still supply the Mac & Dons out here...


Comment posted in McDonald's - "Nobody Can Do It Like McDonald's Can" (Commercial, 197?) by Pete on Thursday, April 16th, 2015 at 7:48pm CT

I'd swear that 3rd guy with the tie was none other than a certain Gunnery Sargeant from "Full Metal Jacket". The one & only Mr. R. Lee Ermey


Comment posted in Woolworth - "Dollar Days" (Commercial, 1989) by Dth1971 on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 6:58pm CT

In the opening of the commercial is the store front of a Woolworth store in some shopping mall with 1970's-1983 Woolworth logo signage.


Comment posted in McDonald's - "We Do It All For You" (Commercial, 197?) by Dth1971 on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 6:57pm CT

1975 is my guess.


Comment posted in McDonald's - "Nobody Can Do It Like McDonald's Can" (Commercial, 197?) by Dth1971 on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 6:56pm CT

This is really from 1979, I know it.


Comment posted in K-Tel - Night Moves with Deney Terrio (Commercial, 1979) by OldTVNut on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 12:54pm CT

I can tell you that my father, my first stepfather, & my last stepfather all had something in common(other than my mom): They all would have preferred the Bob Seger "Night Moves" LP. LOL.


Comment posted in WMAQ Channel 5 - Sorting It Out - "Buffalo Farm" (Excerpt, 1975?) by Smctopia on Monday, April 13th, 2015 at 7:49pm CT

What an interesting piece. I wonder if they still raise buffalo. I looked on Google and there is a listing for a tree nursery business owned by Lynn. I couldn't find anything when I looked up the Reeds.

There used to be a buffalo farm on Route 60 near Mundelein. I remember seeing it when my family would drive to Hawthorn mall.


Comment posted in McDonald's - "We Do It All For You" (Commercial, 197?) by Detroit4Chicago on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 at 10:11pm CT

Man, the McD uniforms were much better looking in the mid 1970's, especially on the females.

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Comment posted in McDonald's - "Nobody Can Do It Like McDonald's Can" (Commercial, 197?) by Detroit4Chicago on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 at 10:02pm CT

My guess is that this was probably produced around 1979, and it was played around the 1979-1980 period.

I remember on a field trip to a cider mill. While riding on our school bus going there, some of the kids on our bus, young as 7 years old (I didn't join in, but I did enjoy it) were singing the chorus of this jingle over and over, for approx. 10 minutes. And this was in the fall of 1979.

We never went to McDonald's on the trip, however.

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Comment posted in McDonald's - "Nobody Can Do It Like McDonald's Can" (Commercial, 197?) by OldTime on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 at 1:48pm CT

1976-1978, no earlier or later than that (just a guess).


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