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Trainspotting (1996)

R | | Drama | 9 August 1996 (USA)
Trailer
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.

Director:

Danny Boyle

Writers:

Irvine Welsh (based on the novel by), John Hodge (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
685 ( 4)
Top Rated Movies #160 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ewan McGregor ... Renton
Ewen Bremner ... Spud
Jonny Lee Miller ... Sick Boy
Kevin McKidd ... Tommy
Robert Carlyle ... Begbie
Kelly Macdonald ... Diane
Peter Mullan ... Swanney
James Cosmo ... Mr. Renton
Eileen Nicholas ... Mrs. Renton
Susan Vidler ... Allison
Pauline Lynch Pauline Lynch ... Lizzy
Shirley Henderson ... Gail
Stuart McQuarrie Stuart McQuarrie ... Gavin / US Tourist
Irvine Welsh ... 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:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Trainspotting See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£4,703,433 (United Kingdom), 15 March 1996

Opening Weekend USA:

$262,000, 21 July 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,501,785

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,558,971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To play the skinny heroin-addicted Renton, Ewan McGregor lost 26 pounds. It took him only two months to reach Renton's target size. He achieved this by grilling everything and by drinking wine and gin instead of beer. See more »

Goofs

Length of the ash on the joint that Renton and Dianne share after Renton visits Tommy. 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 ...
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 »

Alternate Versions

The original UK special edition box set video was withdrawn from sale after only two days, after Polygram discovered that they had added more than the nine deleted scenes. In addition to the nine above scenes are:
  • Renton and Sick-boy setting up a rifle in the bushes of the park, whilst listening to the original avengers theme.
  • Renton laying on a stretcher in a hospital corridor, after a few moments someone tries to steal his blanket.
  • Renton's parents wheel him out of hospital.
  • Begbie arriving at Renton's London flat.
  • Begbie in Renton's flat talking about horse racing.
  • More of Spud's job interview.
  • Begbie, Spud, Sick-boy, Tommy and Renton arrive at a friend's, with the things they stole from the American tourist (red jacket, passport etc.). You then see the friend dressed in the jacket, sunglasses and cap trying to draw £500 on the American's credit card.
  • Sick-boy, Renton, Spud and Tommy on the train on their way to the countryside.
  • Renton dancing with his mother to culture club, at the club his parents go to.
  • Begbie, Sick-boy and Spud looting someone's house. Sick-boy is wearing the skull mask from the cover of the book.
  • Renton and Spud steal a TV from an old people's home. This is not edited together, but presented in 4 different takes, from three different camera angles.
  • Renton visits Swanney in hospital. Again this is not edited together, but presented in 11 different takes, from 5 different angles.
  • The deleted scene at the bus station begins with Renton giving a beggar some change; after Renton has moved on the beggar looks up and we see it is Swanney.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hetty Wainthropp Investigates: How Time Flies (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Perfect Day
Performed by Lou Reed
Words and Music by Lou Reed
Published by Screen Gems - EMI Music Ltd
Courtesy of BMG UK Ltd on behalf of BMG Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Take the best orgasm you've ever had multiply it by a thousand and you're still nowhere near "Trainspotting."
30 August 2007 | by Sergeant_TibbsSee all my reviews

In 1996 John Hodge took Irvine Welsh's novel "Trainspotting" and with the help of Danny Boyle's direction created one of the most influential, modern cult classics Britain has to offer. Commonly ranked among the greatest films of the 90s; "Trainspotting" delivers satisfactory viewing every single time. The essential drug film.

The term "trainspotting" in this case, is not the non-drug based hobby, but has two meanings for this film. A) The act of "trainspotting" is UK slang for trying to find a vein to intravenously inject drugs. And B) A joke not featured in the film, but two of the characters go to a disused train station to buy drugs and say they are going "trainspotting".

Ewan McGregor stars as Mark Renton, a performance that put him on the map, a man who spends; or wastes, most of his time taking drugs with his friends in one of their apartments. Until he decides to finally pack it in and go cold turkey. We see the highs and lows of the drugs as Renton attempts to build a new life. He battles the strain and the influences of his mates; including Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller) a man who stops at nothing to take all, Spud (Ewen Bremner) a fast-paced anxious performance and Francis Begbie (Robert Carylye) a frighteningly intense character who is possibly my favourite of all-time; and Renton's sex life.

Vibrant colour is used to exaggerate the actions to intensify the imagery on screen. This also makes it stand out from other films creating a massive impact on the viewer. Unforgettable. The soundtrack consists of the pop culture the characters themselves love and some regularly featured in real life at the time. The film captures the era perfectly.

Danny Boyle's stylish direction is what mainly is so appealing about the film. Delivering an expertly structured adrenalin rush. The daring topic of the film was well perceived by critics and audiences to claim universal praise. But, they were still unsure if it was supporting drugs or an anti-drug film. In a way it is both.

We are guided through the film with Renton's narration, making it an extremely watchable viewing, one irresistible to want to experience several times. A hilarious triumph. This is movie-making at its most exhilarating.

9/10


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