Paul Schrader

Once called the best screenwriter never to be nominated for an Oscar, writer-director Paul Schrader emerged in the 1970s as one of American cinema's most compelling contributors, thanks in large part to his collaborations with director Martin Scorsese on some of the best movies ever made. After marking his writing debut with the underrated thriller "The Yakuza" (1975), Schrader wrote the dense and gritty "Taxi Driver" (1976) for Scorsese, creating arguably one of cinema's most memorable lead characters in Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro). He went on to write "Obsession" (1977) for Brian De Palma before making an auspicious directorial debut with "Blue Collar" (1978). But Schrader saved his best for his second collaboration with Scorsese and De Niro, "Raging Bull" (1980), an unrelenting portrait of a man, Jake La Motta, gripped by unceasing violence. He also directed Richard Gere in "American Gigolo" (1980), and collaborated with Scorsese again on "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988).