Trainspotting is a 1996 British black comedy crime film directed by Danny Boyle and starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald in her debut. Based on the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh, the film was released in the United Kingdom on 23 February 1996.
UK cinema release poster
|Directed by||Danny Boyle|
|Produced by||Andrew Macdonald|
|Screenplay by||John Hodge|
by Irvine Welsh
|Edited by||Masahiro Hirakubo|
|Distributed by||PolyGram Filmed Entertainment|
|Box office||$72 million|
The Academy Award-nominated screenplay by John Hodge follows a group of heroin addicts in an economically depressed area of Edinburgh and their passage through life. Beyond drug addiction, other themes in the film are exploration of the urban poverty and squalor in Edinburgh.
The film has been ranked 10th by the British Film Institute (BFI) in its list of Top 100 British films of the 20th century. In 2004 the film was voted the best Scottish film of all time in a general public poll. In 2017 a poll of 150 actors, directors, writers, producers and critics for Time Out magazine ranked it the 10th best British film ever. A sequel, T2 Trainspotting, was released in January 2017.
The title of the film comes from a particular scene in the book where the main character, Mark Renton, meets an old drunk in a disused train station, who turns out to be his friend's estranged father. The old man asks Renton and Begbie, who is the man's son, if they are "trainspottin'".
26-year-old Mark Renton is an unemployed, marginalized heroin addict living in the suburbs of Edinburgh, Scotland with his friends: Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson, a treacherous, womanizing James Bond fanatic; Daniel "Spud" Murphy, an outwardly docile confidence trickster; Francis "Franco" Begbie, an aggressive psychopath; and Thomas "Tommy" MacKenzie, an honest footballer. To afford their fix of heroin, the group (excluding Begbie, who prefers alcohol, and Tommy, who is clean) commits petty crimes. Renton attempts to wean himself off heroin with opium suppositories given by dealer Mikey Forrester. At a nightclub, Renton notices that his cessation of heroin use has increased his libido. He woos a girl named Diane Coulston and they have sex in the apartment owned by her parents, but is horrified to learn that she is below the age of consent. Diana uses this as a threat against Renton to continue their relationship.
Renton, Sick Boy and Spud relapse into heroin use, and are joined by Tommy, who has since become depressed having been dumped by his girlfriend, Elizabeth, due to the unknown earlier actions of Renton. Even the negligence-induced death of Dawn, the infant daughter of Allison – a fellow user – does not convince the group to recover. Renton and Spud are arrested for shoplifting, and Spud receives a six-month custodial sentence at HMP Saughton, while Renton escapes on probation due to entering a drug rehabilitation programme. Renton quickly relapses and nearly dies of an overdose at the home of his dealer, Swanney. Upon returning home after revival at a hospital, Renton's parents lock him in his childhood bedroom and force him to go cold turkey. Following a difficult withdrawal (punctuated with horrible hallucinations of his friends and Diane), Renton is released upon condition that he has an HIV/AIDS test. Despite years of sharing syringes with other addicts, Renton tests negative.
Renton is now clean, but bored and devoid of a sense of meaning in his life. He visits Tommy, who has become severely addicted and has tested HIV-positive. On Diane's advice, Renton moves to London and takes a job as a property letting agent. He begins to enjoy his new life of sobriety and corresponds with Diane, who keeps him up to date with developments back home. However, to Renton's exasperation, Begbie tracks him down and takes up refuge with him as Begbie is wanted for armed robbery of a jewellery shop back home. They are soon joined by Sick Boy, now a pimp and drug dealer. The three return to Edinburgh for the funeral of Tommy, who has died of toxoplasmosis, and because Begbie has assaulted two of Renton's potential clients.
Sick Boy offers Renton, Spud (who has recently been released from prison) and Begbie the chance to help him buy two kilograms of heroin for £4,000 from Mikey Forrester, and resell it at a higher price. Renton reluctantly covers the remaining £2,000 of the cost, and the group returns to London to sell the heroin to a major dealer for £16,000. As they celebrate, Renton secretly suggests to Spud that they could both leave with the money, but Spud, motivated by fear of Begbie and loyalty, refuses. However, Sick Boy says he would happily do so, and Begbie violently attacks a man who causes him to spill beer down himself. That night, Renton quietly steals the bag of money and leaves. Spud witnesses him, but does not warn the others. Renton leaves £4,000 in a safe deposit box for Spud, who "never hurt anybody", and walks toward his future. Begbie, seeing Renton and the money are gone, angrily destroys the hotel room where the four stay, prompting the police to arrive and arrest him, while Sick Boy and Spud flee, with the latter claiming his share of the money.
- Ewan McGregor as Mark "Rent Boy" Renton
- Ewen Bremner as Daniel "Spud" Murphy
- Jonny Lee Miller as Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson
- Robert Carlyle as Francis "Franco" Begbie
- Kevin McKidd as Thomas "Tommy" MacKenzie
- Kelly Macdonald as Diane Coulston
- Peter Mullan as Swanney "Mother Superior"
- Susan Vidler as Allison
- Eileen Nicholas as Mrs Renton
- James Cosmo as Mr Renton
- Shirley Henderson as Gail Houston
- Stuart McQuarrie as Gavin Temperley
- Irvine Welsh as Mikey Forresterr
- Kevin Allen as Andreas
- Keith Allen as the Dealer
Producer Andrew Macdonald read Irvine Welsh's book on a plane in December 1993 and felt that it could be made into a film. He turned it on to director Danny Boyle and writer John Hodge in February 1994. Boyle was excited by its potential to be the "most energetic film you've ever seen – about something that ultimately ends up in purgatory or worse". Hodge read it and made it his goal to "produce a screenplay which would seem to have a beginning, a middle and an end, would last 90 minutes and would convey at least some of the spirit and the content of the book". Boyle convinced Welsh to let them option the rights to his book by writing him a letter stating that Hodge and Macdonald were "the two most important Scotsmen since Kenny Dalglish and Alex Ferguson". Welsh remembered that originally the people wanting to option his book "wanted to make a po-faced piece of social realism like Christiane F or The Basketball Diaries". He was impressed that Boyle, Hodge and Macdonald wanted everyone to see the film and "not just the arthouse audience". In October 1994, Hodge, Boyle and Macdonald spent a lot of time discussing which chapters of the book would and would not translate into film. Hodge finished the first draft by December. Macdonald secured financing from Channel 4, a British television station known for funding independent films.
Pre-production began in April 1995. Ewan McGregor was cast after impressing Boyle and Macdonald with his work on their previous film, Shallow Grave. According to Boyle, for the role of Renton, they wanted the quality of Michael Caine's character in Alfie and Malcolm McDowell's character in A Clockwork Orange, "repulsive ... with charm "that makes you feel deeply ambiguous about what he's doing." McGregor shaved his head and lost 2 stone (12.7 kilograms) for the film. Ewen Bremner had played Renton in the stage adaptation of Trainspotting and agreed to play the role of Spud, saying he felt the characters "were part of my heritage." Boyle had heard about Jonny Lee Miller playing an American in the film Hackers and was impressed when he auditioned by doing a Sean Connery accent. For the role of Begbie, Boyle considered casting Christopher Eccleston for his resemblance to how he imagined the character in the novel, but asked Robert Carlyle instead. Carlyle said, "I've met loads of Begbies in my time. Wander round Glasgow on Saturday night and you've a good chance of running into Begbie." For the role of Diane, Boyle wanted an unknown actress so audiences would not realise that a 19-year-old was playing a 15-year-old. The filmmakers sent flyers to nightclubs and boutiques and approached people on the street, eventually hiring Kelly Macdonald. The casting of Keith Allen as "the Dealer" was a reference to Allen's role in Shallow Grave, with the implication that Allen plays the same character in both and that his death instigates the plot of Shallow Grave.
McGregor read books about crack and heroin to prepare for the role. He also went to Glasgow and met people from the Calton Athletic Recovery Group, an organisation of recovering heroin addicts. He was taught how to cook up heroin with a spoon using glucose powder. McGregor considered injecting heroin to better understand the character, but eventually decided against it.
Many of the book's stories and characters were dropped to create a cohesive script of adequate length. Danny Boyle had his actors prepare by making them watch older films about rebellious youths like The Hustler and A Clockwork Orange.
Trainspotting was shot in mid-1995 over seven weeks on a budget of £1.5 million with the cast and crew working out of an abandoned cigarette factory in Glasgow. Due to time constraints and a tight budget, most scenes were done in one take, which contributed to the grungy look of the film. For example, when Renton sinks into the floor after overdosing on heroin, the crew built a platform above a trap door and lowered the actor down. The faeces in the 'Worst Toilet in Scotland' scene was made from chocolate.
Marketing and theatrical releaseEdit
MacDonald worked with Miramax Films to sell the film as a British Pulp Fiction, flooding the market with postcards, posters, books, soundtrack albums and a revamped music video for "Lust for Life" by Iggy Pop directed by Boyle.
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, the company responsible for the distribution of the film launched a publicity campaign of half as much as the film's production costs (£850,000) in the UK alone, making the film stand out more as a Hollywood blockbuster rather than a smaller European production.
Trainspotting was able to portray itself as British and as an 'exotic' element to the international market while also staying relevant to the American public, making it an international success in its marketing.
Locations in the film include:
- The opening scene of Renton and Spud being chased by security for shoplifting is shot in Edinburgh, on Princes Street and Calton Road under Regent Bridge.
- The park where Sick Boy and Renton discuss James Bond, Sean Connery and The Name of the Rose is Rouken Glen Park in Giffnock, near Glasgow. The park was also the site of the grave in Boyle's previous film, Shallow Grave.
- Corrour railway station is the setting for the "great outdoors" scene in the film, where Tommy suggests the group climb Leum Uilleim.
- The scenes where they do their drug deal take place in Paddington. The scene where they parody the cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road takes place as they walk out of Smallbrook Mews across Craven Road to the Royal Eagle, 26–30 Craven Road, Paddington.
- The school attended by Diane is Jordanhill in Glasgow's West End.
The Trainspotting soundtracks were two best-selling albums of music centred around the film. The first is a collection of songs featured in the film, while the second includes those left out from the first soundtrack and extra songs that inspired the filmmakers during production.
The soundtrack for Trainspotting has gone on to become a pop culture phenomenon. Nearly all of the score is pre-recorded music from existing artists. This score is divided into three distinct groups, all representing a different eras and styles: The first being pop music from the 1970s, by artists such as Lou Reed and Iggy Pop; who are all musicians closely associated with drug use and are referred to throughout the original novel. The second group is the music from the Britpop era in the 1990s, with bands Blur and Pulp. Finally, there is the techno-dance music from the 1990s, including Underworld, Bedrock and Ice MC.
Through the years, acclaim for the soundtrack has been sustained. In 2007, Vanity Fair ranked the Trainspotting original soundtrack at number 7 for best motion picture soundtrack in history. Additionally, Entertainment Weekly ranked the Trainspotting soundtrack as 17th on their 100 best movie soundtracks list. In 2013, Rolling Stone listed it as the 13th best soundtrack in their 25 best soundtracks. In 2015, New Musical Express praised it as a "perfect snapshot of 1996 music."
1996 saw a drastic change in British music with the rise of popularity for Britpop although old fashioned pop was still firmly rooted in British culture. With Oasis dominating the singles chart, and the Spice Girls on the rise, the face of pop shifted from guitars to digitised beats. The Trainspotting soundtrack aimed to champion the alternative music legacy of 1996 Britain with a focus on presenting electronic music on equal footing with rock music in a way that had never been done before.
Trainspotting was screened at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival but was shown out of competition, according to the filmmakers, due to its subject. It went on to become the festival's one unqualified critical and popular hit.
By the time it opened in North America, on 19 July 1996, the film had made more than $18 million in Britain. It initially opened in eight theatres in the US and Canada and on its first weekend grossed $33,000 per screen. The film expanded to 357 screens and made $16.4 million in North America, one the biggest grossing films of 1996 in limited release. Trainspotting was the highest-grossing British film of 1996, and at the time it was the fourth highest grossing British film in history. The film made £12 million in the domestic market and $72 million internationally. Based on a cost-to-return ratio, Trainspotting was the most profitable film of the year.
In Britain, Trainspotting was met with widespread acclaim from critics. Trainspotting has a 90% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 83 reviews, with a weighted score of 8.38/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "A brutal, often times funny, other times terrifying portrayal of drug addiction in Edinburgh. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth viewing as a realistic and entertaining reminder of the horrors of drug use". The film has an 83 metascore on Metacritic, denoting "universal acclaim". In his review for The Guardian, Derek Malcolm gave the film credit for tapping into the youth subculture of the time and felt that it was "acted out with a freedom of expression that's often astonishing."  Empire magazine gave the film five out of five stars and described the film as "something Britain can be proud of and Hollywood must be afraid of. If we Brits can make movies this good about subjects this horrific, what chance does Tinseltown have?"
American film critic Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and praised its portrayal of addicts' experiences with each other. In his review for the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan wrote, "in McGregor ... the film has an actor whose magnetism monopolizes our attention no matter what". Entertainment Weekly gave the film an "A" rating and Owen Gleiberman wrote, "Like Scorsese and Tarantino, Boyle uses pop songs as rhapsodic mood enhancers, though in his own ravey-hypnotic style. Whether he's staging a fumbly sex montage to Sleeper's version of Atomic or having Renton go cold turkey to the ominous slow build of Underworld's Dark and Long ... Trainspotting keeps us wired to the pulse of its characters' passions". In her review for The New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote, "Trainspotting doesn't have much narrative holding it together. Nor does it really have the dramatic range to cope with such wild extremes. Most of it sticks to the same moderate pitch, with entertainment value enhanced by Mr. Boyle's savvy use of wide angles, bright colours, attractively clean compositions and a dynamic pop score".
Rolling Stone's Peter Travers wrote, "the film's flash can't disguise the emptiness of these blasted lives. Trainspotting is 90 minutes of raw power that Boyle and a bang-on cast inject right into the vein". In his review for the Washington Post, Desson Howe wrote, "Without a doubt, this is the most provocative, enjoyable pop-cultural experience since Pulp Fiction". Jonathan Rosenbaum, in his review for the Chicago Reader, wrote, "Like Twister and Independence Day, this movie is a theme-park ride – though it's a much better one, basically a series of youthful thrills, spills, chills, and swerves rather than a story intended to say very much".
The film's release sparked controversy in some countries, including Britain, Australia and the United States, as to whether or not it promoted and romanticized drug use. U.S. Senator Bob Dole accused it of moral depravity and glorifying drug use during the 1996 U.S. presidential campaign, although he later admitted that he had not seen the film. Producer of the film Andrew Macdonald responded to these claims in a BBC interview stating "we were determined to show why people took drugs ... you had to show that it was fun and that it was awful" to which Boyle adds "It's the music and humour that makes people feel it's glamorising drugs." Despite the controversy, it was widely praised and received a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay in that year's Academy Awards. Time magazine ranked Trainspotting as the third best film of 1996.
The film had an immediate effect on popular culture. In 1999, Trainspotting was ranked in the 10th spot by the British Film Institute (BFI) in its list of Top 100 British films of all time, while in 2004 the magazine Total Film named it the fourth greatest British film of all time. That same year, Channel 4 named it as the greatest British film of all time. The Observer polled several filmmakers and film critics who voted it the best British film in the last 25 years. In 2004, the film was voted the best Scottish film of all time by the public in a poll for The List magazine. Trainspotting has since developed a cult following. It was recognised as an important film during the 1990s British cultural tour de force known as Cool Britannia. It was also featured in the documentary Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop.
The film title is a reference to a scene where Begbie and Renton meet "an auld drunkard" who turns out to be Begbie's estranged father, in the disused Leith Central railway station, which they are using as a toilet. He asks them if they are "trainspottin'". This scene is later included as a flashback in T2 Trainspotting.
Trainspotting was nominated for two British Academy Film Awards in 1996, Best British Film and John Hodge for Best Adapted Screenplay. Hodge won in his category. Hodge also won Best Screenplay from the Evening Standard British Film Awards. The film won the Golden Space Needle (the award for Best Film) at the 1996 Seattle International Film Festival. Ewan McGregor was named Best Actor from the London Film Critics Circle, BAFTA Scotland Awards, and Empire magazine. Hodge was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay but lost to Billy Bob Thornton's Sling Blade.
Style and themesEdit
Music has great importance in Boyle's films, as evident by the best-selling soundtracks for Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, both of which feature many pop and punk rock artists. In Boyle's view, songs can be “amazing things to use because they obviously bring a lot of baggage with them. They may have painful associations, and so they inter-breathe with the material you’re using”.
The combination of images and music with the setting of the criminal underworld has drawn comparisons to Pulp Fiction and the films of Quentin Tarantino, that had spawned a certain type of "90s indie cinema" which "strove to dazzle the viewer with self-conscious cleverness and empty shock tactics". This impacted the shooting style of the film, which features "wildly imaginative" and "downright hallucinatory" visual imagery, achieved through a mix of "a handheld, hurtling camera", jump cuts, zoom shots, freeze frames and wide angles. This vigorous style contributed to the "breathless" pace that Boyle's films have been associated with.
For the look of the film, Boyle was influenced by the colours of Francis Bacon's paintings, which represented "a sort of in-between land – part reality, part fantasy". The scene where Renton (McGregor) dives in a toilet is a reference to Thomas Pynchon's 1973 novel Gravity's Rainbow.
Boyle had declared his wish to make a sequel to Trainspotting which would take place nine years after the original film, based on Irvine Welsh's sequel, Porno. He was reportedly waiting until the original actors themselves aged visibly enough to portray the same characters, ravaged by time; Boyle joked that the natural vanity of actors would make it a long wait. Ewan McGregor stated in an interview that he would return for a sequel, saying "I'm totally up for it. I'd be so chuffed to be back on set with everybody and I think it would be an extraordinary experience."
In 2013, Boyle said he wanted to make a sequel that would be loosely based on Porno which he has described as "not a great book in the way that Trainspotting, the original novel, is genuinely a masterpiece". Boyle said that if the sequel happens 2016 would be the release date.
On 6 May 2014, during a BBC Radio interview with Richard Bacon, Welsh confirmed that he had spent a week with Boyle, Andrew Macdonald and the creative team behind Trainspotting to discuss the sequel. Welsh stated that the meeting was in order to "explore the story and script ideas. We're not interested in doing something that will trash the legacy of Trainspotting. ... We want to do something that's very fresh and contemporary." Welsh did not however confirm any kind of timeline for the film, unlike Boyle's comments about wanting the film to come out in 2016.
In a newspaper interview with The Scotsman on 17 November 2014, Welsh revealed that McGregor and Boyle had resolved their differences and had held meetings about the film, saying "I know Danny and Ewan are back in touch with each other again. There are others in the cast who've had a rocky road, but now also reconciled. With the Trainspotting sequel the attention is going to be even more intense this time round because the first was such a great movie—and Danny's such a colossus now. We're all protective of the Trainspotting legacy and we want to make a film that adds to that legacy and doesn’t take away from it."
In a 27 September 2015 interview with ComingSoon.net, Boyle revealed that a script for the sequel had been written, and that filming would reportedly take place between May and June 2016, in the hopes of releasing the film within that same year to commemorate Trainspotting's 20th anniversary.
While promoting Steve Jobs in November 2015, Boyle reiterated the hopes of beginning principal photography for the sequel in May and June 2016, and started pre-production in Edinburgh. Boyle also clarified that John Hodge had written an original screenplay for the sequel, which would not be a strict adaptation of Porno. An earlier script was reportedly written about 10 years prior, but was scrapped and redone so that the original cast would agree to return for a film sequel. The working title for the sequel was T2.
In a November 2015 phone interview with NME, Robert Carlyle confirmed he would be returning for the sequel to play Begbie. According to Carlyle, he and other members of the Trainspotting cast had already read John Hodge's script, which would take place 20 years (much like its intended 2016 release) after the original plot. Filming started on 16 May 2016, Carlyle praised Hodge's screenplay and hinted that T2 "is going to be quite emotional for people. Because the film sort of tells you to think about yourself. You are going to be thinking: 'Fuck. What have I done with my life?'"
- "TRAINSPOTTING (18)". PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. British Board of Film Classification. 15 December 1995. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
- Alexander Walker, Icons in the Fire: The Rise and Fall of Practically Everyone in the British Film Industry 1984–2000, Orion Books, 2005 p. 237.
- Murray, Jonathan. "Trainspotting" (PDF). Dundee Contemporary Arts. Edinburgh College of Art. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- Morace, Robert (1 September 2001). Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting: A Reader's Guide. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9780826452375.
- "Genres in transition". British National Cinema, by Sarah Street, Published by Routledge, 1997. ISBN 0-415-06735-9. p. 111.
- "Trainspotting wins best film poll". News.BBC.co.uk. 24 February 2004. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- "The 100 best British films". Time Out. Retrieved 24 October 2017
- Grundy, Gareth (February 1998). "Hey! Hey! We're the Junkies!". Neon. p. 102.
- Gordinier, Jeff (2 August 1996). "Stupor Heroes". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
- "Trainspotting". Empire. June 1999. p. 128.
- Grundy, Gareth (February 1998). "Hey! Hey! We're the Junkies!" Neon. p. 103.
- Browning, Mark (1 May 2012). Danny Boyle - Lust for Life: A Critical Analysis of All the Films from Shallow Grave to 127 Hours. Andrews UK Limited. ISBN 9780957112803.
- Jolly, Mark (August 1996). "Trainspottings Engine That Could". Interview. p. 107. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
- Wood, Michael (23 July 1996). "Live and Let Die". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- Goldstein, Jack (11 February 2015). The Amazing Book of Movie Trivia. Andrews UK Limited. ISBN 9781785381294.
- "Why Trainspotting is the greatest film of all time". Ford On Film. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
- 1962-...., Smith, Murray, (1 January 2008). Trainspotting. BFI Pub. ISBN 9780851708706. OCLC 762340066.
- "Filming Locations for Trainspotting". Movie-Locations.com. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
- O’Callaghan, Paul. "The Trainspotting phenomenon... 20 years on". BFI.
- Smith, Murray (2002). Trainspotting. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 10, 17, 24, 65–68. ISBN 978-0-85170-870-6.
- Jeffers, Jennifer M. (2005). "Rhizome National Identity: "Scatlin's Psychic Defense" in "Trainspotting"". Journal of Narrative Theory. 35: 89.
- "100 Best Movie Soundtracks". filmsite.org. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
- Dolan, Jon; Hermes, Will; Hoard, Christian; Sheffield, Rob (29 August 2013). "The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Welsh, April Clare (1 October 2015). "How The Trainspotting Soundtrack Gave Us A Perfect Snapshot Of 1996 Music". NME. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Glazer, Joshua (25 March 2016). "How 'Trainspotting' Made America Realize that Electronic Music Matters Just as Much as Rock". Thump. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Festival de Cannes: Trainspotting". Festival-Cannes.com. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
- Power, Carla; Thomas, Dana (15 July 1996). "Track Stars". Newsweek. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Ressner, Jeffrey (27 May 1996). "All You Need is Hype". Time. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- "Trainspotting". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- "Top 20 '96 Domestic Limited Releases". Variety. 4 November 1996. p. 20.
- Lash, Scott; Lury Celia (2007) Global Culture Industry: The Mediation of Things, Polity, ISBN 978-0-7456-2482-2, p. 167.
- Petrie, Duncan J (2004). "Contemporary Scottish Fictions—Film, Television, and the Novel: Film, Television and the Novel". Edinburgh University Press. pp. 101–102.
- Klady, Leonard (10 February 1997). "Pix get ratio-active". Variety. p. 1.
- "Trainspotting (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
- "Trainspotting". Metacritic. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
- Malcolm, Derek (22 February 1996). "Trainspotting". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Jeffries, Neil. "Trainspotting". Empire. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Ebert, Roger (26 July 1996). "Trainspotting". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Turan, Kenneth (19 July 1996). "Trainspotting". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 April 2009.[dead link]
- Gleiberman, Owen (19 July 1996). "Trainspotting". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Maslin, Janet (19 July 1996). "Bad Taste in a Vile Story Doesn't Rule Out Fun". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Travers, Peter (8 August 1996). "Trainspotting". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Howe, Desson (26 July 1996). "Trainspotting: A Wild Ride". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Rosenbaum, Jonathan (26 July 1996). "Too High to Die". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- Ross, Andrew (19 September 1996). "The fall and fall of Bob Dole". Salon.com. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- Movie Connections, [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 22:35 26 January 2009, BBC ONE, 40mins. http://bobnational.net/record/215775, (Accessed 16 February 2016).
- "The Best of Cinema 1996". Time. 23 December 1996. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- James, Nick (September 2002). "Nul Britannia". Sight and Sound. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
- "Greatest Brits vote from channel4.com/film". London: Channel 4. 2004. Archived from the original on 11 July 2004. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "The Observer Film Quarterly's best British films of the last 25 years". The Observer. London. 30 August 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
- "Trainspotting wins best film poll". BBC. 24 February 2004. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
- Catterall, Ali; Simon Wells (2002). "Your Face Here: British Cult Movies Since the Sixties". Fourth Estate. p. 233.
- "Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Britpop" (2003). BBC. London: Passion Pictures.
- Welsh, 1997, Trainspotting, p. 309.
- "BAFTA Awards Search (1996)". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
- "Trainspotting". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
- . Danny Boyle: Brits ‘Brilliant With Music’ But ‘Rubbish at Film’, by Paul Hechinger, Published by BBC America, 2013.
- . Danny Boyle: a career in 10 songs, by Paul O’Callaghan, Published by BFI, 2015.
- . Fiction into film, or bringing Welsh to a Boyle, by Bert Cardullo, Published by Literature/Film Quarterly, 1997. Page 158-62.
- Dubravka, Juraga (2002). "Socialist Cultures East and West: A Post-Cold War Reassessment". Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 77. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- Howie, Michael; Schofield, Kevin (13 January 2009). "Junkies reunited as sequel gets go-ahead". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Retrieved 3 April 2009.
- "Danny Boyle Planning for TRAINSPOTTING Sequel in 2016 with Original Cast: 'You Want to Make Sure You Don't Disappoint People'". Collider.com. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- "Irvine Welsh in talks over Trainspotting film sequel". BBC News. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- "Trainspotting sequel looks set to go ahead". The Scotsman. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- Kreps, Daniel (7 September 2015). "Danny Boyle Reveals Next Film Is 'Trainspotting 2'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
- Edward Douglas (27 September 2015). "Danny Boyle Hopes to Shoot His Trainspotting Sequel Next Summer". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- Chris Tilly (16 November 2015). "Why Trainspotting 2 Has Taken 20 Years". IGN. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
- Damon Wise (9 November 2015). "Danny Boyle talks 'Steve Jobs', casting Fassbender and working on a 'Trainspotting' sequel". Time Out. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
- "Danny Boyle nervous about Trainspotting sequel". BBC Newsbeat. 18 October 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
- "Trainspotting original cast return in Danny Boyle's T2 – In cinemas Jan 2017". Sony Pictures Entertainment. 16 May 2016.
- Nick Levine (19 November 2015). "Robert Carlyle On Making 'Trainspotting 2': 'It's One Of The Best Scripts I've Fucking Ever Read'". NME. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
- Trainspotting, by Fredric Dannen, John Hodge, Barry Long, Irvine Welsh. Published by Hyperion, 1997. ISBN 0-7868-8221-2.
- Trainspotting screenplay by John Hodge.
- Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting: A Reader's Guide, by Robert A. Morace. Published by Continuum International Publishing Group, 2001. ISBN 0-8264-5237-X.
- Working-class Fiction: From Chartism to Trainspotting, by Ian Haywood. Published by Northcote House in association with the British Council, 1997. ISBN 0-7463-0780-2.
- Trainspotting: Director, Danny Boyle, by Martin Stollery. Published by Longman, 2001. ISBN 0-582-45258-9.
- "Welsh Warner and Cinematic Adaptation". In Contemporary Scottish Fictions: Film, Television and the Novel, by Duncan J. Petrie. Published by Edinburgh University Press, 2004.ISBN 0-7486-1789-2. pp. 101–102.
- "Trendspotting: Screening Trainspotting". In Irvine Welsh, by Aaron Kelly. Published by Manchester University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-7190-6651-4. pp. 68–78.
- Trainspotting and My Name is Joe Hooked: Drug War Films in Britain, Canada, and the US, by Susan C. Boyd. Published by Routledge, 2008. ISBN 0-415-95706-0. p..