Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Trainspotting (1996)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Trainspotting (1996, UK)

In Danny Boyle's independent film - an urban drama about slum-dwelling Edinburgh, Scotland junkies with thick accents, adapted from Irvine Welsh's 1993 cult novel:

  • in the film's opening, nihilistic heroin addict Mark 'Rent-Boy' Renton's (Ewan McGregor) "choose life" voice-over diatribe as he raced away from pursuing security guards: "Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a f--kin' 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 leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchased in a range of f--kin' fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f--k you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sittin' on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f--kin' junk food into your mouth. Choose rottin' away at the end of it all, pissin' your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarassment to the selfish, f--ked-up brats that you've spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life...But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?"
  • the disgusting scene of Renton's toilet-diving scene (and voice-over) in a grungy and grimy public bathroom, when he had to dive head-first into the toilet bowl searching for his precious opium suppositories just deposited there after his heroin-induced constipation had worn off - and swimming through the sewage water to find the opium: "Heroin makes you constipated. The heroin from my last hit is fading away, and the suppositories have yet to melt. I'm no longer constipated. (He ran into a pub's dirty bathroom) I fantasize about a massive, pristine convenience, brilliant gold taps, virginal white marble, a seat carved from ebony, a cistern full of Chanel No. 5, and a flunky handing me pieces of raw silk toilet roll. But under the circumstances, I'll settle for anywhere" (He pooped, then realized he'd have to retrieve what he had just excreted); after finding what he was looking for, he exclaimed underwater (garbled): "F--k! Yes, a f--king godsend"


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