8.2/10
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543 user 146 critic

Trainspotting (1996)

R | | Drama | 9 August 1996 (USA)
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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(screenplay), (novel)
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Top Rated Movies #157 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Pauline Lynch ...
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Gavin / US Tourist
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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:

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a starter home. Choose dental insurance, leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that? 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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Country:

Language:

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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1999, it was ranked #10 on the British Film Institute's 100 Greatest British Films of the 20th Century. See more »

Goofs

After Renton has sex with Diane, he has nothing on his penis, but once he gets kicked out into the hallway, we see him pull a condom off. 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

The voice-over during the end of the end credits cites the seven movies in which Sean Connery played "James Bond". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Salton Sea (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

2:1
Performed by Elastica
Written by Donna Matthews (as Donna Lorraine Matthews)
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd
Courtesy of DGC Records and Deceptive Records Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the best films ever - a lot of people missed the point
27 September 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

It's ironic that I'm saying "many people missed the point" because I did, too. My original review on IMDb gave the film a negative rating. I deleted it months ago because I have since purchased the Director's Cut on DVD and fallen in love with it.

The movie is energetic, imaginative and unique. It's taken from Irvine Welsh's novel, which I now really want to read. It's about a group of heroin addicts (led by Ewan McGregor's Renton) in Scotland who can't seem to live past their addiction...everything centers around drugs.

"Trainspotting" was condemned for promoting drug use, but I agree with fellow reviewer Bob the Moo who claims this was a misinterpretation on the media's behalf - yeah, it may show drugs as being "funny" at times (like Renton's wacky hallucination) but it certainly doesn't glamorize them. Some of the sequences are sickeningly realistic and depressing - like the scene with the baby. That's tragic stuff, and totally unexpected. It's also effective because by that point in the film we care about the characters enough for it to affect us on an emotional level.

The movie was really popular in the UK but never got much acclaim overseas. Americans in general will always be less liberal and be quicker to damn films for their messages. "Taxi Driver" was hailed by Europeans in '76...can't really say the same for US critics - it was a huge split in opinion at the time.

Ditto here. Most Americans didn't really "get it" and the only attention it received was the controversy surrounding the appearance of Mr. McGregor's genitalia. Oh, the humanity! If you haven't seen "Trainspotting" yet, I highly recommend it. Don't be turned off at first by its bleak humor and sick content - I won't lie, it IS a rough ride...but by the end, it's worth it.


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