Original Release: February 23, 1996 (UK)
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Written by: John Hodge, Irvine Welsh
Produced by: Andrew Macdonald
Running Time: 93 minutes
Box Office: £48 million (UK)
Heroin addict Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) stumbles through bad ideas and sobriety attempts with his unreliable friends -- Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Begbie (Robert Carlyle), Spud (Ewen Bremner) and Tommy (Kevin McKidd). He also has an underage girlfriend, Diane (Kelly Macdonald), along for the ride. After cleaning up and moving from Edinburgh to London, Mark finds he can't escape the life he left behind when Begbie shows up at his front door on the lam, and a scheming Sick Boy follows.
Ewan McGregor (Mark "Rent Boy" Renton), Ewen Bremner (Daniel "Spud" Murphy), Jonny Lee Miller (Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson), Kevin McKidd (Thomas "Tommy" MacKenzie), Kelly Macdonald (Diane Coulston), Peter Mullan (Swanney "Mother Superior"), Eileen Nicholas (Mrs Renton), James Cosmo (Mr Renton), Susan Vidler (Allison), Pauline Lynch (Lizzy), Shirley Henderson (Gail Houston), Stuart McQuarrie (Gav Temperley), Irvine Welsh (Mikey Forrester), Kevin Allen (Andreas), Keith Allen (the Dealer)
- Corrour Station, Highland, Scotland, UK
- Calton Road, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
- Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland, UK
- In 2009, Robert Carlyle, who played Begbie, told a BAFTA interviewer that he played Begbie as a closeted gay man whose outbursts of violence were due to his "fear of being outed". Irvine Welsh, who wrote the movie's source novel, confirmed that he wrote the Begbie of the book to have an ambiguous sexuality, and agreed with Carlyle's interpretation of the film's version of the character.
- Robert Carlyle said that he was very amused by the appeal of his Begbie character, with videos popping up on the internet of people reenacting entire scenes, especially the bar fight. By his own admission, some people performed the scene better than he himself had done.
- Begbie's moustache was based on Liverpool striker Ian Rush.
- Although it looks thoroughly off putting, the feces in the Worst Toilet in Scotland scene was actually made from chocolate and smelled quite pleasant.
- Jonny Lee Miller retained the Scottish accent he used for Sick Boy throughout principal photography, even when he wasn't filming. It wasn't until after the wrap party that he reverted to his native English accent, much to the surprise of his co-stars.
- For its American release, the first 20 minutes had to be re-dubbed to make the Scottish accents more intelligible.
- 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.
- Many of the book's stories and characters were dropped in order to create a cohesive movie script of adequate length.
- Christopher Eccleston was offered the role of Begbie.
- Was ranked number 10 on the British Film Institute's all time best British films.
- Danny Boyle had his actors prepare by making them watch older movies about rebellious youths like The Hustler (1961), The Exorcist (1973) and A Clockwork Orange (1971).
- The whole film was shot in just seven and a half weeks.
Francis "Franco" Begbie: That lassie got glassed, and no cunt leaves here till we find out what cunt did it.
Francis "Franco" Begbie: Did you bring the cards?
Sick Boy: What?
Francis "Franco" Begbie: The cards, the last thing I told you was to mind the cards!
Sick Boy: Well, I've not brought them.
Francis "Franco" Begbie: It's fucking boring after a while without the cards.
Sick Boy: I'm sorry.
Francis "Franco" Begbie: Bit fucking late, like.
Sick Boy: Why didn't *you* bring them?
Francis "Franco" Begbie: 'CAUSE I FUCKING TOLD YOU TO BRING THEM, YOU DOSS CUNT!
Sick Boy: ...Christ.
Francis "Franco" Begbie: It was fuckin' obvious that that cunt was gonnae fuck some cunt.
Francis "Franco" Begbie: Armed robbery. With a replica. I mean, how the fuck can it be armed robbery with a fucking replica?
Francis "Franco" Begbie: No sorry enough for being a fat cunt.
Pub Heavy: Fuck you. If you can't hold a pint you shouldn't be in a pub. Fuck off.
Francis "Franco" Begbie: Well, this is a good fucking laugh, ain't it? You sweat that shite out of your system. 'Cause if I come back and it's still here... I'll fucking kick it out. Okay?
Francis "Franco" Begbie: Look, I'm not a fucking buftie, and that's the end of it!
Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: Well, let's face it, it could've been wonderful.
BAFTA Award as Best Screenplay
BAFTA Award Scotland as Best Feature Film
BAFTA Award Scotland as Best Actor - Ewan McGregor
20/20 Award as Best Screenplay
20/20 Award as Best Song
20/20 Award as Best Editing
Awards Circuit Community Award as Best Adapted Screenplay
Bodil Award as Best Non-American Film
Boston Society of Film Critics Award as Best Film
Brit Award as Best Soundtrack
Czech Lion Award as Best Foreign Language Film
Empire Award as Best Debut - Ewen Bremner
Empire Award as Best British Film
Empire Award as Best British Director
Empire Award as Best British Actor - Ewan McGregor
Evening Standard British Film Award as Best Screenplay
London Critics Circle Film Award as British Actor of the Year - Ewan McGregor
London Critics Circle Film Award as British Producer of the Year
National Board of Review as Top Ten Films
Prism Award as Best Theatrical Feature Film
Seattle International Film Festival Award as Best Film
Seattle International Film Festival Award as Best Director
Warsaw International Film Festival Audience Award - Danny Boyle
Academy Award as Best Writing/Screenplay
BAFTA Award as Best British Film
20/20 Award as Best Picture
20/20 Award as Best Director
20/20 Award as Best Actor - Ewan McGregor
20/20 Award as Best Supporting Actor - Robert Carlyle
20/20 Award as Best Art Direction
20/20 Award as Best Costume Design
Australian Film Institute as Best Foreign Film Award
Awards Circuit Community Award as Best Film Editing
Awards Circuit Community Award as Best Motion Picture
Awards Circuit Community Award as Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Robert Carlyle
Awards Circuit Community Award as Best Director
Awards Circuit Community Award as Best Cinematography
BAFTA Awards Scotland as Best Actor - Robert Carlyle
BAFTA Awards Scotland as Best Actress - Kelly Macdonald
BAFTA Awards Scotland as Best Writer
Boston Society of Film Critics Award as Best Screenplay
Chicago Film Critics Association Award as Most Promising Actor - Ewan McGregor
Chicago Film Critics Association Award as Best Screenplay
Chlotrudis Award as Best Director
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award as Best Picture
Film Independent Spirit Award as Best Foreign Film
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Award as Best Film
London Critics Circle Film Award as British Film of the Year
London Critics Circle Film Award as British Director of the Year
MTV Movie + TV Award as Best Breakthrough Performance - Ewan McGregor
MTV Video Music Award as Best Video From a Film
Online Film & Television Association Award as Best Drama Picture
Online Film & Television Association Award as Best Writing/Screenplay
Satellite Award as Best Motion Picture
Satellite Award as Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Robert Carlyle
Satellite Award as Best Screenplay
Writers Guild of America Award as Best Screenplay