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Trainspotting (1996)

R | | Drama | 9 August 1996 (USA)
1:55 | Trailer

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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.



(novel), (screenplay)
364 ( 81)
Top Rated Movies #155 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pauline Lynch ...
Gavin / US Tourist
Mikey Forrester
Dale Winton ...
Game Show Host


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


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 »



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:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ferrovipathes  »

Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£4,703,433 (UK) (15 March 1996)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Irvine Welsh had been approached by film-makers before about adapting "Trainspotting" for the screen but had resisted their offers. He was won over by Andrew Macdonald and John Hodge's enthusiasm for the project but only on the condition that they didn't adopt a Ken Loach semi-documentary approach to the material. See more »


When Renton is in his bedroom being forced off heroin by his parents and the baby is crawling across the roof towards him after Sickboy has made an appearance, there is a close-up shot of Renton cowering against the pillow. The shadow of the camera is visible against his face and the pillow. See more »


[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 ...
See more »

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 »


Featured in The Nostalgia Chick: Reality Bites (2012) See more »


Performed by Primal Scream
Words and Music by Bobby Gillespie / Andrew Innes / Robert Young / Martin Duffy
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd/Complete Music Ltd
Courtesy of Creation Records Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sublimely excellent
10 December 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

After reading some of the reviews that trash this film I had to speak up.

This film is gritty and dirty. There is content which is not pleasant, swearing and violence amounts other things. What else would you expect a film about drug addiction to be about? Well more than that actually, it about choices and what you Choose! Never at any point did this film make drugs look at all appealing to me in any way, I never did understand why so many people thought that it did. At no point did it ever say "Look at this, its cool." For those who think the level of swearing in this film is too much then they clearly haven't spent any time with working class people in Britain, not just Scotland. I being one of them can say its fairly accurate in that account.

That being said, those things do not take anything away from the film, the quality of plot and story, or the acting which is Stunning! Robert Carlise as Begbe was excellent, and Ewan MacGregor shined. Also the character Spud was worth a mention he really was quite good.

This film is in my Opinion a work of Genius, that represents the book accurately.

294 of 341 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Begbie was a skinny dwarf reckless_life
Diane's parents magickemerald
I can't finish this movie SwansonTacos
Methadone atlanticdr
Why didn't they split the money up? sportsnut23
Spud and the bed sheets. mamba_27
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