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Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  October 1989 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 21,660 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 78 user | 39 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A realistic road movie about a drug addict, his 'family', and their inevitable decline into crime.

Director:

(as Gus Van Sant Jr.)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

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Director: Gus Van Sant
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bob
...
Dianne
...
...
Eric Hull ...
Druggist
...
David
...
John Kelly ...
Cop
...
Bob's Mother
George Catalano ...
Trousinski
Janet Baumhover ...
Neighbor Lady
Ted D'Arms ...
Neighbor Man
Neal Thomas ...
Halamer
Stephen Rutledge ...
Motel Manager
...
Drug Counselor
Edit

Storyline

A group of drug users in the 1970's help finance their habit by robbing drug stores. Matt Dillon's character is very superstitious and eventually his luck runs out. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drug | motel | drugstore | drug addict | 1970s | See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A gyógyszertári cowboy  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,729,352 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dianne (Kelly Lynch) can be seen in the first drugstore robbery scene stealing a copy of Erich Segal's "Love Story". Other books in the shelf are "Dialogues with the Devil" and "Great Lion of God" both by Taylor Caldwell, "Goodbye, Columbus" by Philip Roth, "Thirteen Days" by Robert F. Kennedy, "Search" by Diane Kennedy Pike, "The Angel Inside Went Soar", "Heart of the High Country" by Elizabeth Gowans and "The Psychic Reader" by Martin Ebon. See more »

Goofs

When Bob returns to his apartment, having given Father Tom the drugs Dianne brought him, it is clear that, as he walks the corridor, his apartment's door is open and light comes from inside. In the next shot, he opens the door to a dark apartment. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bob: I was once a shameless full-time dope fiend.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Home-video-style footage of the characters plays during almost the entire end credits. See more »


Soundtracks

I Am
Music & Lyrics by Roky Erickson
Produced by Craig Luckin & Karl Derfler
Performed by Roky Erickson & Jack Johnson
Courtesy of Restless/Pink Dust Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
an unregarded masterpiece
20 January 2001 | by (detroit) – See all my reviews

This is a period picture that takes place in 1971, but there are no references to Vietnam, the flower power movement, Kent State or any other issues or events of the day. This is because the characters have nothing to do with that world. Bob's thoughts revolve around drugstores like planets around the sun. His family of dope thieves lives in almost total isolation. Even junkies who come to do business are admitted to their home with reluctance and then rudely sent on their way. Their only contact with the "other" world is its drugstores and its cops. They live in a world not ruled by the authorities, but by "the dark forces that lie hidden beneath the surface, the ones that some people call superstitions: howling banshees, black cats, hats on beds, dogs, the evil eye..." In his world, Bob's lunatic logic makes perfect sense and serves him as a guide for living better than any "sane" worldview.

When the crew goes "crossroading" to the tune of "the Israelites" we realize that they, too, are like children of a different god; wanderers whose only contact with others is hostile confrontation. They are either "attacking" drug stores or being attacked by ball-breaking cops.

Kelly Lynch, who plays Diane, said in an interview that, "The first take was terrible and Matt (Dillon) said he wouldn't support the film." It is not surprising that a film this ambitious should run into some snags. A great film like "DC" is a tightrope act. The best scenes in the film are also the riskiest; they would have fallen apart in the hands of lesser actors.

If you like the film you might get a kick out of the autobiographical novel on which it is based, by James Fogle, the original drugstore cowboy. At the time of the film's release (1989) Fogle had spent "thirty-five of his fifty-three years in prison on drug-related charges." I wonder what ever became of him.


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