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Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

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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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4,101 ( 1,225)
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

Included among the "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Schneider. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Strong Medicine: Drugstore Cowgirl (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Put a Little Love in Your Heart
Written by Jimmy Holiday, Randall Meyers (as Randy Myers) & Jackie DeShannon
Performed by Jackie DeShannon
Used by permission of SBK Unart Catalog, Inc.
Under license from CEMA Special Markets, EMI Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

A poignant but realistic look at the drug subculture
18 May 2002 | by See all my reviews

If you're one of the so-called `art-film' aficionados who was disappointed, as I was, by Requiem for a Dream (and even if you weren't), you'll love Drugstore Cowboy. Directed by the man who gave us such classics as To Die For and Good Will Hunting, Drugstore Cowboy is, without doubt, Van Sant's greatest work. It's a magnificent time capsule from the early seventies, having no reference to the Vietnam War, Kent State, or any other icon of the period. It's purely about the drug subculture.

Set along the affluent north Atlantic seaboard, where pharmacies and drugstores litter the urban landscape, the drama revolves around four friends who support their drug habits by robbing the official dispensaries of addictive substances. An interesting and compelling setup all by itself, in lesser hands, the script and action would be enough to produce a decent flick; but, it goes way beyond that. Matt Dillon gives what I think is his best performance ever, a perfectly charming substance abuser who has created a little cocoon of a world all to himself. Like little moons revolving around his dreamy and sometimes terrifying little world, the drugstores he stalks all promise a one-way trip to a different place. As viewers, we're all sucked in by the gravity of his world, such that we even begin to understand and believe his peculiar little superstitious rituals. In this special existence, they make sense. To transgress against the rules is to court disaster. And like Adam in the garden, he eventually breaks his own rules, and pays the price.

But it's a fortunate fall from grace. Drugstore Cowboy is completely realistic in its portrayal of the full-blown addict's hitting rock bottom, an experience that is foundational in the wisdom of AA. The recovery scenes are moving in their sincerity and simplicity, none of which is sugarcoated or saccharine. And yet, the recovery scenes are both joyous and heartbreakingly poignant. God, what a great movie.


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