8.1/10
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602 user 147 critic

Trainspotting (1996)

R | | Drama | 9 August 1996 (USA)
Trailer
1:55 | Trailer
Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

Director:

Danny Boyle

Writers:

Irvine Welsh (based on the novel by), John Hodge (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
619 ( 40)
Top Rated Movies #159 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ewan McGregor ... Renton
Ewen Bremner ... Spud
Jonny Lee Miller ... Sick Boy
Kevin McKidd ... Tommy
Robert Carlyle ... Begbie
Kelly Macdonald ... Diane
Peter Mullan ... Swanney
James Cosmo ... Mr. Renton
Eileen Nicholas ... Mrs. Renton
Susan Vidler ... Allison
Pauline Lynch Pauline Lynch ... Lizzy
Shirley Henderson ... Gail
Stuart McQuarrie ... Gavin / US Tourist
Irvine Welsh ... Mikey Forrester
Dale Winton ... Game Show Host
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Storyline

A wild, freeform, Rabelaisian trip through the darkest recesses of Edinburgh low-life, focusing on Mark Renton and his attempt to give up his heroin habit, and how the latter affects his relationship with family and friends: Sean Connery wannabe Sick Boy, dimbulb Spud, psycho Begbie, 14-year-old girlfriend Diane, and clean-cut athlete Tommy, who's never touched drugs but can't help being curious about them... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a starter home. Choose dental insurance, leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic heroin use and resulting depravity, strong language, sex, nudity and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Trainspotting See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$262,673, 21 July 1996

Gross USA:

$16,491,080

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,593,356
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to the skimpy budget, most scenes had to be shot in just one take. See more »

Goofs

Length of the ash on the joint that Renton and Dianne share after Renton visits Tommy. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: [narrating] Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The voice-over during the end of the end credits cites the seven movies in which Sean Connery played "James Bond". See more »

Alternate Versions

In some versions, the toilet where Rentboy dives into, has a sign hanging on the door: "worst toilet of Scotland". In other versions it shows a re-shoot without this sign. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Happy Birthday Shakespeare (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Statuesque
Performed by Sleeper
Song and Words by Louise Wener (as Wener)
Music by Louise Wener (as Wener) / Jon Stewart (as Stewart) / Andy Maclure (as Maclure) / Diid Osman (as Osman)
Published by Sony Music Publishing
Courtesy of Indolent Records/BMG Records Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the best films ever - a lot of people missed the point
27 September 2005 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

It's ironic that I'm saying "many people missed the point" because I did, too. My original review on IMDb gave the film a negative rating. I deleted it months ago because I have since purchased the Director's Cut on DVD and fallen in love with it.

The movie is energetic, imaginative and unique. It's taken from Irvine Welsh's novel, which I now really want to read. It's about a group of heroin addicts (led by Ewan McGregor's Renton) in Scotland who can't seem to live past their addiction...everything centers around drugs.

"Trainspotting" was condemned for promoting drug use, but I agree with fellow reviewer Bob the Moo who claims this was a misinterpretation on the media's behalf - yeah, it may show drugs as being "funny" at times (like Renton's wacky hallucination) but it certainly doesn't glamorize them. Some of the sequences are sickeningly realistic and depressing - like the scene with the baby. That's tragic stuff, and totally unexpected. It's also effective because by that point in the film we care about the characters enough for it to affect us on an emotional level.

The movie was really popular in the UK but never got much acclaim overseas. Americans in general will always be less liberal and be quicker to damn films for their messages. "Taxi Driver" was hailed by Europeans in '76...can't really say the same for US critics - it was a huge split in opinion at the time.

Ditto here. Most Americans didn't really "get it" and the only attention it received was the controversy surrounding the appearance of Mr. McGregor's genitalia. Oh, the humanity! If you haven't seen "Trainspotting" yet, I highly recommend it. Don't be turned off at first by its bleak humor and sick content - I won't lie, it IS a rough ride...but by the end, it's worth it.


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