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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.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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554 ( 40)
Top Rated Movies #157 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Susan Vidler ...
Pauline Lynch ...
Lizzy
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Gail
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Gavin / US Tourist
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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:

Never let your friends tie you to the tracks. 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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ferrovipathes  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£4,703,433 (UK) (15 March 1996)

Gross:

$16,501,785 (USA) (13 December 1996)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was Kelly Macdonald's film debut. See more »

Goofs

When Mark leaves the money for Spud, it is in the middle of the locker and parallel to the locker walls, but when Spud retrieves it the money is crooked and off-center. 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 ...
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Crazy Credits

Profile pictures of the cast are shown during the beginning of the end credits. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Baby Cakes (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Lust for Life
Performed by Iggy Pop
Words and Music by Iggy Pop / David Bowie
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd/EMI Virgin Music Ltd/Tintoretto Music
Administered by RZO Music
Courtesy of Virgin Records America Inc
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Greatest British Movie of All Time
28 February 2004 | by (Scotland) – See all my reviews

This film became almost a cultural phenomenon as soon as it was released in Britain in February 1996.

Adapted from the first (and best) book by Irvine Welsh, the film shows the lives of a group of Edinburgh heroin addicts.

The film is a black comedy, at times hilarious, tragic, surreal, brutal and uplifting. The film is full of memorable moments such as the chase down Edinburgh's Princes Street which opens the film (I happened to be there when they were filming that scene) and Ewan McGregor diving down the "Worst Toilet in Scotland" headfirst.

The film doesn't condemn drug addicts, but it is probably more effective then any amount of preachy moralising as it depicts the devastating consequences that can happen to drug users.

The film is well acted by a cast who have (mostly) become pretty famous since. Especially memorable is Robert Carlyle as the violent Begbie.

I have seen this film many times. It is an instant classic. Go check it out.


216 of 266 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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