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Drugstore Cowboy [DVD]

Matt Dillon , Kelly Lynch , Gus Van Sant    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, James Le Gros, Heather Graham, Eric Hull
  • Directors: Gus Van Sant
  • Writers: Gus Van Sant, Daniel Yost, James Fogle, William S. Burroughs
  • Producers: Cary Brokaw, Karen Murphy, Nick Wechsler
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, English
  • Dubbed: French, German, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Sep 2002
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006FI3S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,588 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Drugstore Cowboy was the breakaway change of pace and success for a number of those involved in its making. Principally, Gus Van Sant became a director of immediate notability winning multiple international Festival awards and acclaim. It also allowed Matt Dillon to stretch his acting abilities well outside of the teen rebel pigeonhole he'd become associated with in the 1980s and provided far meatier roles for Kelly Lynch and Heather Graham.

Adapted from James Fogle's novel, the broad strokes of the plot are simple enough; a junkie foursome led by Dillon's headstrong Bob, move around the Pacific Northwest in the early 70s scoring pharmaceutical drugs in a series of robberies. The finer details, created with the sense of family developing between the principals, and how they are not portrayed as either victims or "bad" criminals. Van Sant occasionally slips into the surreal depicting Bob's drug-addled thinking like a James Bond title sequence, along with a questionable in-joke cameo with Williams S Burroughs, dish out advice and temptation to Bob. In one simple way, it's little more than a road movie. Yet on another level there's a cautionary tale of the life of a junkie that has relevance well beyond the film's timeframe.

On the DVD: A stereo track and a grainy print in 1.85:1 usually does a movie little favours, but here they add to the overall gritty atmosphere surprisingly well. The only extra is unfortunately the original trailer. --Paul Tonks

Product Description

In Seventies America, Bob (Matt Dillon) and his wife Dianne (Kelly Lynch) travel from state to state, ripping off pharmacies to fuel their drug addiction. Gaining a certain amount of notoriety and respect for his streetwise bravado, Bob is forced to reassess his life when gang member Nadine (Heather Graham) dies of an overdose. He attempts to kick the habit and go legit but is hindered by his own lack of willpower and his wife's reluctance to give up life in the fast lane. Directed by Gus van Sant, it also features an appearance by author William Burroughs as a junkie priest.

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Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Say No. 8 Nov 2002
By Tanya
Matt Dillon and girlfriend Kelly Lynch head a working team of drug addicts who are just trying to keep one step ahead of reality. The beauty of this film, apart from the excellent performances, is it's original approach and deeply personal feel. These are people we all know, not just nameless junkies lying in a doorway somewhere and even as things seem to be running along smoothly, the sense of impending doom is palpable. Original direction and an insightful script with no easy answers make this an all round great film. Look out for William S. Burroughs in a class cameo.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic cult film. 30 Mar 2002
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:VHS Tape
...Gus Van Sant's film is fantastic- imagine a fusion of 'Jesus's Son', 'Junky' & 'The Man with the Golden Arm' and you're close...This is wonderfully shot, the hallucinations and effects on-screen are wonderful (much better than the silly 'Trainspotting'). The hypo-injection scenes appear to have found their way into 'Pulp Fiction'!!! Matt Dillon is great- as are the supporting cast: James Remar, Kelly Lynch, Heather Graham, Max Perlich etc...There are lots of funny moments (the hat hex, the dog flashback) and moments when you see the attraction of drugs. And 'The Priest they called him', William S. Burroughs pops up as a junky ex-priest!...1989 was a watermark year in American cinema- giving us 'Goodfellas', 'Heathers' and this...This is probably Van Sant's best film, though I have an affection for 'My Own Private Idaho' and 'Even Cowgirls Get the Blues'...At this price this is a must own film- as great as 'Performance', 'Two Lane Blacktop' & 'Vanishing Point'. A great cult film.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
One gets addicted to drugs, for sure, but that is only a small part of the business. This film tries to show how the addiction is an attitude, a social behavior, an act of belonging to a group, a community, a social class nearly, but not that far away from it. Here the dependence is threefold. First the girlfriend who is determined to stay addicted because her addiction is moderate enough to be controlled. Then the boyfriend and his own girlfriend and this time there is some status question here and to go on is to belong to a certain level of humanity, a certain level of masculinity. And then there is the wider community of the junkies, dealers and other characters in that farcical, yes farcical, melodrama. Then there are various events that make that addiction stick. The solidarity with the girlfriend with whom he was arrested, busted and jailed. He owes her to go on. Then the boyfriend who is the guarantee that he is normal, a normal male, a real male, a male in one word full stop and period. The cops are chasing them, and bad events happen. The boyfriend's girlfriend dies of an overdose one night in total solitude, while a burglary attempt in the pharmacy of a hospital fails pitifully and pathetically, and they have to get rid of the body and bury her in some woods. That makes you stick to your addiction, to your group. And yet, out of boredom and tiredness, and since one of the group has stepped out and down, he decides to do the same and get out of the hassle it has all become. And then you find out very easily how the wider social group is catching upon him. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dillon shows his talent. 25 April 2013
By Mr. P. Johnson VINE VOICE
This 1998 film, directed by the now famous Gus Van Sant, follows a group of drug users, on their road trip around the North-West states of America, during the 1970′s. It stars Matt Dillon, getting his first grown up role, after years spent playing a teenage renegade. He does not disappoint, never overplaying his part, and holding the film together.
There is nothing judgmental about the plot either. Despite robbing shops, breaking into places, and living outside the law, the four leads are not treated as either heroes, or criminals. They are just doing what they do, until their luck runs out. Much is made of Dillon's character being obsessively superstitious, and there is a sense that the four regard themselves as a family, more so than their own real families can offer.

This is not a perfect film, far from it. It is an unusual film though, and it is refreshing to see locations other than the all-too familiar streets of New York, Los Angeles, or Las Vegas, for a change.
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