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Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  October 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 23,951 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 79 user | 40 critic | 15 from

A pharmacy-robbing dope fiend and his crew pop pills and evade the law.


(as Gus Van Sant Jr.)


(novel), (screenplay) (as Gus Van Sant Jr.) , 2 more credits »
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Title: Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A gyógyszertári cowboy  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)


$4,729,352 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Rx Bandits took their name from this film. They were originally called the Pharmaceutical Bandits but changed their name because people were constantly misspelling pharmaceutical on flyers and posters. See more »


The bus passes a riding arena with blue polyethylene barrels for "barrel riding". In 1971 they would have been steel. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in ER: Mars Attacks (2000) See more »


Judy in Disguise
Written by John Fred & Andrew Bernard
Performed by John Fred and His Playboy Band
Published by Su-Ma Music
Courtesy of Janus Records
c/o Original Sound Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

An all-time favorite, but disturbing
6 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was my introduction to Gus Van Sant, and I still consider it his best movie. The outstanding feature of Drugstore Cowboy is its magically non-judgmental portrayal of people living on the fringe of society. The characters are vividly portrayed, and exceedingly memorable -- yet it feels effortless to watch this movie, and as though it has been effortless to make. The *sound* of the movie is outstanding, giving the action and the story an ethereal sheen.

I have seen the movie three times, but have not watched it in more than four years. And yet, a number of the visual, and auditory, images are still easily retrievable, still vivid. The memories of most movies are simply that for me: memories of movie scenes. In this case, it takes some reasoning to get straight that I was not actually present at the action, and that the memories are not of something from real life.

Remarkable. Highly recommended!

13 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
100 Things I Learned From Drugstore Cowboy... NiKoDay
Was it really that easy to rob drugstores back in the day? sparrowtrece
Drugstore Cowboy vs. My Own Private Idaho LatteBoy13
Ambiguous ending jay-line
Hat on the bed.. stytown
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