7.4/10
27,217
87 user 39 critic

Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

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

Director:

(as Gus Van Sant Jr.)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) (as Gus Van Sant Jr.) | 1 more credit »

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12 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bob
...
...
...
Eric Hull ...
Druggist
...
...
John Kelly ...
Cop
...
...
Trousinski
Janet Baumhover ...
Neighbor Lady
Ted D'Arms ...
Neighbor Man
Neal Thomas ...
Halamer
Stephen Rutledge ...
Motel Manager
...
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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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A gyógyszertári cowboy  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,729,352
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was based on the writings of James Fogle, who was a real-life criminal and drug addict who robbed drugstores. See more »

Goofs

When Nadine puts the hat on the bed and lies down besides it, it's crushed in a regular camera angle, and not crushed when shown from above and it moves around between each shot. 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 »

Connections

Featured in Wanderlust (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

TV Commercial Music
Written and Performed by Will Kaplan
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User Reviews

 
an unregarded masterpiece
20 January 2001 | by 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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