Drugstore cowboy

United States, 1989

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Gus Van Sant’s cynical but never moralistic story about a junkie couple whose domestic life centres on the pursuit of drugs. Matt Dillon and Kelly Lynch are outstanding as a couple of drifters who are not afraid to state their love for the pleasurable highs that drugs offer: compared to the existences of other people they meet in small-town America, they don’t think they are doing so badly. Alternating between the comic and the bleak, “Drugstore Cowboy” reveals the excess and pain of drug addiction but its sharp, cool and irreverent tone never condescends to, or patronises the viewer. Features an hilarious cameo by William Burroughs as a smacked-out priest.

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In ACMI's collection



Gus Van Sant


Karen Murphy

Nick Wechsler

production company

Avenue Pictures



Production places
United States
Production dates

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier




Audience classification







VHS; Access Print (Section 1)



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If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/83131--drugstore-cowboy/ |title=Drugstore cowboy |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=13 July 2024 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}