7.4/10
26,752
86 user 37 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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From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
12 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,729,352 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The roles of Bob and Dianne were offered to Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. See more »

Goofs

When Bob first meets with Father Tom and they're talking while seated, at the end of the conversation, Father Tom is leaning either forwards or resting at the chair's back between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bob: I was once a shameless full-time dope fiend.
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Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Judy in Disguise
Written by Andrew Bernard and John Gourrier (as John Fred)
Performed by John Fred and His Playboy Band
Published by Su-Ma Music
Courtesy of Janus Records
c/o Original Sound Entertainment
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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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