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Thu, 23 Feb 2012 03:15:41 GMT | By Sean Plummer
Oscars’ biggest upsets

Taxi Driver loses to Rocky



Taxi Driver loses to Rocky (© Julian Wasser/TIME & LIFE Images/Getty Images)
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  • Taxi Driver loses to Rocky (© Julian Wasser/TIME & LIFE Images/Getty Images)
  • Raging Bull loses to Ordinary People (© Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)
  • Tom Hanks loses to Roberto Benigni (© HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)
  • James Cameron loses to Kathryn Bigelow (© Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment)
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1976 was a strong year for American cinema, so competition was stiff at the 49th Academy Awards. And while Sylvester Stallone's breakout role in "Rocky" has stood the test of time, as has the film for the most part, it seems outrageous that Sly's self-penned story of up-and-coming pugilist Rocky Balboa would beat Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver," what with Paul Schrader's tough screenplay and Robert De Niro's harrowing performance as mentally unstable cabbie Travis Bickle. But hindsight is 20/20 and the Academy loves a feel-good underdog story. (See "Slumdog Millionaire" for a more recent example.)

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