Drugstore Cowboy

Synopsis: A group of drug users in the 1970's help finance their habit by robbing drug stores. Matt Dillon's character is very superstitious and eventually his luck runs out.
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director(s): Gus Van Sant
Production: Live Home Video
  12 wins & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
102 min

I was once a shameless,

full-time dope fiend.

Yeah, me

- Bob. The sweet mother's son.

Me and my crew robbed drugstores.

I had done 'em all,

up and down the Pacific Northwest,

with pharmacies open or closed.

It didn't matter.

Except for technique.

But don't get the idea it was easy.

It's hard being a dope fiend. And

it's even harder running a crew.

Dianne was my wife.

I loved her. Man, did she love dope.

So we made a good couple.

Whenever I got out of the joint

I always ended up with Dianne.

Rick was my sidekick. My muscle.

He was no novice to

the life of crime.

His record showed a steady climb from

juvenile offender to small-time thief.

He was gonna do just fine.

Nadine was Rick's old lady.

A counter girl he picked up during one of our jobs.

She was a piece of work.

She had no record. Just a smile

that caught us all a little off guard.

I was the undisputed leader then.

I carried the whole goddamn outfit on

my back like it was my own newborn son.

But I guess, deep down,

I knew we could never win.

We played a game we couldn't win...

to the utmost.

Good morning. I like your hat.

- Do you have wintergreen gum?

- I don't think we carry that.


Hey! Come out here!

This lady's having a fit! Hey!

Come on, she's bouncing

all over the place!

Come on!

I think she might swallow her tongue.

Look at that. She's turning blue!

Excuse me. Are you too busy to

take some money for cough syrup?

Just a minute, ma'am.

Wait a minute, man.

She's foaming here.

I need an ambulance. A woman

is having an epileptic seizure.

- So how'd we do?

- So-so.

Are you sure you're OK?

Hey! Let's go. Come on.

Hurry up.

- I told you to walk, not crawl.

- You said walk and that's what we did.

Yeah, I said walk, but I didn't

mean to go window-shopping.

Goddamnit, Bob.

Why do you gotta fix in the car?

Can't you wait till we get home?

Shut up and watch your drivin'.

Christ. Look at

this traffic up here. Sh*t.

We gotta get home. Idiot, move over!

After any kind of drug haul,

everyone in the crew indulged.

I laughed to myself as I pictured blues

or Dilaudid in such great amounts

that the spoon would

literally be overflowing.

Upon entering my vein

the drug would start a warm itch

that would surge along until the brain

consumed it in a gentle explosion

that began in the back of

the neck and rose rapidly

until I felt such pleasure

that the world sympathised

and took on a soft and lofty appeal.

Everything was grand then.

Your worst enemy, he wasn't so bad.

The ants in the grass, they were

just, you know, doin' their thing.

Everything took on the rosy

hue of unlimited success.

You could do no wrong. And as long

as it lasted, life... was beautiful.


Oh, screw you, buddy. Move over.

Where'd you get your goddamn licence?


All right, now, everybody just act cool.

Like we just got back from church.

Has anybody seen my lighter?

So, I was working for

this guy out in Valdez.

And I had this great idea to...

You just put sh*t on it, and water.

- Nadine?

- Give me the same as Rick, I guess.

I don't think so.

- Why not?

- You can't shoot no goddamn blue.

Give her half of one, Bob. That'll

keep her in the crapper all afternoon.

Goddamnit. I was in there just like you.

I ought to get the same as everyone else,

even if I can't shoot it all right now.

That ain't the way things work around

here, Nadine. I mean, you don't do sh*t.

It's me that's taking the big risk.

What about Dianne?

She didn't do anything either.


That what you think? Don't

give her a goddamn thing, Bob.

Kick her out in the street

where we found her.

No, no. Fair is fair.

You want your fourth. You got it, Nadine.

But I ain't takin' on no apprentices

and givin' 'em a full end of my thing.

You take it...

and you get out.

Nadine, just take your half of blue,

shoot it, and go puke awhile.


Everybody just act cool. Nadine,

pick up... Come on! Pick up the drugs.

Rick, get your gun.

Get in the bedroom. Back me up.

It's David. It's just David.

David, what do you want?

I just want to see you

for a minute. Let me in.

- You alone?

- Yes.

Did you think I brought my rat-faced

granny along to hold my hand?

David, you're an a**hole.

What the hell, pard? Have you finally

gone completely crazy or something?

What the f*** do you want?

- What are you holdin'?

- I ain't holdin' diddly, small fry.

I was just thinking about going by

your place to see if you had any speed.

Yeah, well, I got some speed.

Really? Come on inside. You little f***er.

Aw, come on, Rick.

All right, you say you got speed?

What kind of speed?

I got crystal Methedrine.

This sh*t is good, man.

I've been up all night on the stuff.

Here, man. Try one on the house.

How much of this sh*t

you got on you right now?

I got 10 grams.

Let me talk to Dianne. Why don't you

sit back and watch a little TV?

All right.

Baby? This kid out here

says he's got speed.

What do you want speed for?

You know how ringy it makes you.

I know. But listen. What night is it

tonight? It's Saturday night, right?

Let's get some speed. We'll fix up,

then we'll go hit that big fat pharmacy.

You know the one. Right next

to the unemployment office.

Baby, you know how these things go.

It's like a crap game.

When you're hot, you shoot the works.

When you're cold, you lay off a bit.

Rate this script:3.5 / 2 votes

Gus Van Sant

Gus Green Van Sant, Jr. is an American film director, screenwriter, painter, photographer, musician and author who has earned acclaim as both an independent and more mainstream filmmaker. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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