Trainspotting (1996)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 31 mins

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With splashes of humour, this dark and disturbing British drama explores themes of drug addiction, urban poverty and squalor in "culturally rich" Edinburgh, and other contemporary subjects of social relevance. Raw and brutally real, this socially relevant tale revolves around a group of disaffected Scottish youth, who turn to heroin in the hopes of escaping the banalities of modern-day existence. Then, they begin to suffer the consequences and discover that there are no easy solutions to the inherent loneliness and pain of life.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller

Crew: Danny Boyle (Director), Brian Tufano (Director of Photography)

Rating: A (India)

Genres: Crime, Drama

Release Dates: 19 Jul 1996 (India)

Tagline: Never let your friends tie you to the tracks.

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Did you know? Kelly Macdonald, although supposedly 14 in the film, was 19 when making it. It was released on her 20th birthday. Read More
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as Renton
as Spud
as Sick Boy
as Gail's Father
as Mrs. Renton
as Sheriff
as Diane's Mother
as Mikey Forrester
as Mr. Renton
as Dealer
as Diane
as Andreas
as Tommy
as Swanney
as Begbie
as Diane's Father


First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director


Production Manager

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Production Designer
Art Director


Casting Director

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist
Film Type:
Colour Info:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
Never let your friends tie you to the tracks.
Character Error
When Renton lists the chemicals he took apart from heroin, he mentions diamorphine, which is actually heroin.

After Renton has sex with Diane, he has nothing on his penis, but once he gets kicked out into the hallway, we see him pull a condom off.

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

The Doctor slapping Renton's face has no rings on her hand initially, then she has rings on both hands.

When Renton and Spud are in the restaurant to share a soda with 2 straws, once they finish there's one straw sticking out towards Renton, but as the camera moves between shots of them the straw is either pointed at Spud or is gone altogether.

After Renton's court arraignment when he gets high and is enveloped by the red carpet, he has no belt. But once Mother Superior drags him to the street he's now wearing a belt.

When Mark leaves the money for Spud, it is in the middle of the locker and parallel to the locker walls, but when Spud retrieves it the money is crooked and off-center.

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

The amount of beer on Begbie's shirt after making the heroin deal.

Crew/Equipment Visible
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.

Crew/Equipment Visible
When Renton is in bed screaming covering his ears, the shadow of the camera is visible.

Crew/Equipment Visible
After Spud and Renton have emptied the shake, either a crew member or equipment is partially visible on the right edge of the frame

Errors in Geography
When Diane meets Spud lying comatose on the street, a bus passes by in the background. The bus is orange, which is the colour of Glasgow City buses, but the movie is set in Edinburgh where the buses are maroon and cream.

Errors in Geography
Although the film is set in Edinburgh, you can clearly see the Campsie Fells that are situated to the north of Glasgow, 50 miles away.

Revealing Mistakes
When Begbie strikes the seated man with the pool cue, he clearly hits the seat. The back of the chair is covered by the man's jacket and the cue hits the chair underneath the jacket.

Revealing Mistakes
During the pub brawl seen from above, some guys clearly just do pretend to hit each other.

Revealing Mistakes
When Tommy wants to try heroin and presents the folded banknote to Renton (seen from both Renton's and Tommy's point of view), the imagery partly visible on one side of the folded note is not consistent with that on the other side.
Ewan McGregor was open to injecting himself with heroin, to better understand Renton's character. He later decided against it.

Although it looks thoroughly offputting, the faeces in the Worst Toilet in Scotland scene was actually made from chocolate and smelled quite pleasant.

To play the skinny heroin-addicted Renton, Ewan McGregor was placed on a simple diet consisting of no alcohol or dairy products in order to lose weight. It only took him two months to reach Renton's desired size.

The whole film was shot in just seven and a half weeks.

Ewen Bremner (Spud) had previously played Renton in a stage adaptation of the novel.

Kelly Macdonald, although supposedly 14 in the film, was 19 when making it. It was released on her 20th birthday.

Danny Boyle credits the Spike Jonze-directed music video for "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys as a major influence on the opening sequence of the film.

The football team pictured in the opening credits is the Calton Athletic Club, who are actually drug addiction counselors and were the primary consultants for the film.

From the minute the film went into pre-production, Ewan McGregor was always first choice for the part of Renton.

In one scene in London, while Renton is "visited" by Begbie, he's reading a book about actor Montgomery Clift who had lots of experiences with drugs and medication of all kinds.

For its American release, the first 20 minutes had to be re-dubbed to make the Scottish accents more intelligible.

Before he took up screenwriting, John Hodge was a doctor and had to frequently deal with heroin addicts. Some of his experiences have been worked into the script. One such example is the junkies stealing a television set from an old folk's home.

The shot of Sick Boy's finger ringing the Renton's doorbell in London is almost identical to a shot in Shoot the Pianist (1960).

The last scene with Spud getting the money in the locker is almost identical to a scene in Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Even the circumstances behind the scenes are very similar.

Although set in Edinburgh, most interiors, and some of the exteriors, were shot in Glasgow. A notable exception is the chase down Princes Street.

For its American release, the first 20 minutes of this movie had to be re-dubbed to make the Scottish accents more intelligible.

The poop shown in the movie was made from chocolate.