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Trainspotting (1996)

aka Trainspotting

"Choose life."

Directed By: 
Details: 94 mins · English, Russian · R (USA)


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No_movie_poster Diane's Father
Small Spud
Small Sick Boy
Small Tommy
Small Diane
Small Swanney
Small Mr. Renton
No_movie_poster Mrs. Renton
No_movie_poster Allison
No_movie_poster Lizzy
Small Gail
No_movie_poster Gavin/US Tourist
No_movie_poster Mikey Forrester
Small Begbie
No_movie_poster Estate Agent
No_movie_poster Man
No_movie_poster Andreas
No_movie_poster Gavin
Small Dealer
Small Mark Renton


No_movie_poster Brian Tufano Director of Photography
Small Danny Boyle Director
No_movie_poster Andrew Macdonald Producer
No_movie_poster Gail Stevens Casting
No_movie_poster Irvine Welsh Author
No_movie_poster John Hodge Screenplay
No_movie_poster Christopher Figg Producer
No_movie_poster Masahiro Hirakubo Editor
No_movie_poster Andy Pryor Casting
No_movie_poster Kave Quinn Production Design
No_movie_poster Tracey Gallacher Art Direction
No_movie_poster Rachael Fleming Costume Design
No_movie_poster Robert McCann Makeup Artist
No_movie_poster Lesley Stewart Production Manager
No_movie_poster David Gilchrist First Assistant Editor
No_movie_poster Irvine Welsh Story Contributor


"Choose life."

"Never let your friends tie you to the tracks."

"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?"


Mark Renton (McGregor) and Spud (Bremner) are running down Princes Street pursued by security guards. Renton's circle of friends are introduced: amoral con artist Sick Boy (Miller), clean-cut athlete Tommy (McKidd), simple-minded, good-natured Spud, and violent sociopath Begbie (Carlyle), who, while not a drug user, picks fights with anybody who gets in his way. Sick Boy, Spud and Renton are all heroin addicts and spend their time shooting up at the flat of their drug dealer "Mother Superior" Swanney (Mullan).

After awaking from a heroin induced state, Renton decides to quit heroin. Realising he needs one last high, he buys opium rectal suppositories from Mikey Forrester (Welsh). After this final hit (and a violent spell of diarrhoea) he locks himself into a cheap hotel room to endure withdrawal. He later goes with his friends to a club, finding that his sex drive has returned, and eventually leaves with a young woman named Diane (MacDonald). In the morning he realises that Diane is a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl and that her "flatmates" are actually her parents. Horrified, Renton tries to shake the incident, but is forced to remain in touch after Diane blackmails him.

Sick Boy, Spud and Renton decide to start using heroin again and Tommy, whose girlfriend dumped him after a chain of events initiated by Renton, begins using as well. One day the group's heroin-induced stupor at Swanney's flat is violently interrupted when Allison, their friend and fellow addict, discovers that her infant daughter Dawn has died from neglect. All are horrified and grief-stricken, especially Sick Boy, who is implied to be Dawn's father.

Renton and Spud are later caught stealing from a book shop and are pursued by security guards and arrested. Due to prior convictions Spud goes to prison, but Renton avoids punishment by entering a Drug Interventions Programme, where he is given methadone. Despite support from his family, Renton is depressed and bored, and escapes to Swanney's flat, where he nearly dies of an overdose. Renton's parents take him home and lock him in his old bedroom so he can beat the addiction. As Renton lies in his bed and goes through severe withdrawal symptoms, he hallucinates Diane singing on the bed, his friends giving him advice and Allison's dead baby crawling on the ceiling. The heroin withdrawal is inter-cut with an imagined TV game show in which host Dale Winton asks Renton's parents questions about HIV. Renton is finally roused from his nightmares and hallucination by his parents, who tell him he needs to get tested. Despite years of sharing syringes with other addicts, Renton tests negative.

Though clean of heroin, Renton is nevertheless bored and depressed. He visits Tommy, who is now a full-on heroin addict and HIV positive. Renton moves to London and starts a job as a property letting agent. He begins to enjoy his new life of sobriety and saves up money on the side while corresponding with Diane. Begbie commits an armed robbery and arrives at Renton's London flat seeking a hiding place. Sick Boy, who is now a pimp and drug pusher, also shows up at Renton's doorstep. They soon learn of Tommy's death from toxoplasmosis and travel back to Edinburgh for his funeral.

Back home, they meet Spud, who has been released from prison. Sick Boy suggests a profitable but dangerous heroin transaction, but needs Renton to supply half of the initial £4,000. After the purchase, Renton shoots up to test the heroin's purity. The four then sell the heroin to a dealer for £16,000. They go to a pub and celebrate. As Begbie and Sick Boy leave to order another round of drinks, Renton suggests to Spud that they steal the money, but Spud is too frightened of Begbie to consider it. Renton finally has enough of Begbie after witnessing him glass and then beat a man who spills beer over him in the pub. Early in the morning as the others sleep, Renton quietly takes the money. Spud sees him leave but does not tell the others. When Begbie awakens he destroys the hotel room in a violent rage which attracts the police whilst Spud and Sickboy flee.

Renton then vows to live a stable, traditional life. Later, Spud finds £2,000 Renton has left for him.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1996-07-19 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2010-11-05 : United States of America

DVD : 1998-03-24

DVD : 1998-03-25