8.2/10
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Trainspotting (1996)

R | | Drama | 9 August 1996 (USA)
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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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(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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787 ( 34)
Top Rated Movies #156 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Renton
... Spud
... Sick Boy
... Tommy
... Begbie
... Diane
... Swanney
... Mr. Renton
... Mrs. Renton
... Allison
Pauline Lynch ... Lizzy
... Gail
Stuart McQuarrie ... Gavin / US Tourist
... Mikey Forrester
... 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:

Official Facebook | Official site

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Language:

Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ferrovipathes  »

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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, 15 December 1996
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The writing on the wall of the Volcano Nightclub is the same as that in the Moloko bar in A Clockwork Orange (1971). There are also paintings of Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster from Taxi Driver (1976). See more »

Goofs

The suppositories disappear and then reappear in Renton's hands when he is swimming. 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

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

Connections

References Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Hertzlich Tut Mich Verlangan
Performed by Gábor Lehotka
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (as JS Bach)
Courtesy of Laserlight KPM
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A triumphant masterpiece
12 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

Danny Boyle's "Trainspotting" is a film in which everything goes the right way. Few films are fortunate to 'be' at the right time and right place and take the world by storm as "Trainspotting" did, but the ultimate proof of this film's greatness is that if you watched it alone or with a large group of people, in 2008 or in 1996, it has the same effect- absolute power. This film is nothing more- or less- than one of the most effective and perfect artistic works ever committed to celluloid.

The film follows the lives of a group of drug attics in Scotland in the late 1980's but is constructed less as a conventional narrative and more as a series of vignettes connected by characters and set to the film's dazzling soundtrack (the fact that I mention the scenes being 'set' to the soundtrack is proof of its importance in this particular film). Almost every scene is as powerful as the next, with three montages in particular being possibly the definitive examples of how to do a memorable cinematic montage.

Pop culture has been kind to "Trainspotting", remembering it as a unique and great film, especially in Britain. I certainly do not disagree with this consensus, but I feel the film has been hurt by familiarity, with even television series like "Family Guy" parodying the film's well-known scenes (and badly). This doesn't mean that the film's popularity is being hurt, but that it doesn't feel as fresh and original to people now as it did back in 1996. This is hardly the thing the film's reputation suffers most from however, with the significantly large number of people who claim the film supports and promotes drug use. I have to ask, and forgive my rudeness, how stupid can you possibly be? No, drug addicts in this film are not vilified, but they are consistently shown in a brutally realistic and horrifically tragic context, and just because the film doesn't go out of its way to emotionally manipulate you into completely hating its characters doesn't mean that it promotes drug use, it means that it's a knowing film careful enough not to become a sappy, melodramatic Hollywood product.

The acting is phenomenal, the music is terrific, the film is a pitch-perfect example of energizing editing and brilliant use of montage, and its script is one of the best ever written, alternately hilarious, horrifying, tragic, and benefiting from a rare level of depth and resonance. A British classic is what Trainspotting is recognized as, and a British classic is what it is.

10/10


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