Drugstore Cowboy

1989 film by Gus Van Sant

Drugstore Cowboy is a 1989 film about crew of drug addicts as they travel across the U.S. Pacific Northwest in the early 1970s, supporting their habit by robbing pharmacies and hospitals.

Directed by Gus Van Sant. Written by Gus Van Sant and Daniel Yost, based on an autobiographical novel by James Fogle.

Bob Hughes

  • Diane was my wife. I loved her, and she loved dope. So we made a good couple.
  • After any kind of drug haul, everyone in the crew indulged. I laughed to myself as I pictured blues and Dilaudid in such great amounts on the spoon that it 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. It began in the back of the neck and rose rapidly until I felt such pleasure that the whole world sympathized and took on a soft, 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.
  • Most people don't know how they're gonna feel from one moment to the next. But a dope fiend has a pretty good idea. All you gotta do is look at the labels on the little bottles.
  • We played a game you couldn't win... to the utmost.
  • Man, I love cops. If there were no hot shit cops like Gentry around, the competition would be so heavy there'd be nothing left to steal.
  • All these kids, they're all TV babies. Watching people killing and fucking each other on the boob tube for so long it's all they know. Hell, they think it's legal. They think it's the right thing to do.
  • Well, to begin with, nobody, and I mean nobody, can talk a junkie out of using. You can talk to 'em for years but sooner or later they're gonna get ahold of something. Maybe it's not dope. Maybe it's booze, maybe it's glue, maybe it's gasoline. Maybe it's a gunshot to the head. But something. Something to relieve the pressures of their everyday life, like having to tie their shoes.
  • I knew it in my heart. You can buck the system but you can't buck the dark forces that lie hidden beneath the surface. The ones some people call superstitions.
  • There's nothing more life-affirming than getting the shit kicked out of you.

Mrs. Hughes

  • Lord, it's my dope fiend thief of a son and his crazy little nymphomaniac wife.
  • I truly feel pity for you both. You are grown up now! And yet you still act as children, who want to do nothing but run and play. You cannot run and play all your life, Diane!


Rick: Jesus, Bob, you never told us anything about not mentioning dogs.
Bob: The reason nobody mentioned dogs, Rick, is that to mention the dog would have been a hex in itself.
Rick: All right, well, now we are on the subject, are there any other stupid things we aren't supposed to mention that will affect our future?

Bob: You got a warrant?
Gentry: Yeah, I got a warrant. [draws his gun and points it at Bob] I got it pasted on the end of one of these slugs. Now you give me any more shit, and I give you a good close look at one of 'em.
Bob: Heavy, man. You guys been reading too much Mickey Spillane or something?

David: [while selling drugs, eyes Nadine] How much do you want for that foxy female?
Bob: Hey what do you think I am, some closet pimp? I've never heard such a violation of women's rights in all my life! [pauses] Just out of curiosity, how many bags of speed would you give me for this girl?
David: [Reaches his hand out to touch Nadine] I don't know...
Nadine: [Hits him] You little twerp, you touch me and I'll knock your block off!

Drug Counselor: Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
Bob: Yeah, a few times.
Drug Counselor: What were they? What felonies were you convicted of?
Bob: [pauses] What do you want? You want my life story? [Gets up] I'm a junkie, I like drugs, I like the whole lifestyle. But it just didn't pay off. You know, you don't see my kind of people. Because my kind of people don't beg dope, they go out and get it.

Bob: Father Murphy? Hey Tom.
Tom the Priest: Well well. Bad Bobby Hughes. Imagine seeing you here after all these years.
Bob: You live here too?
Tom the Priest: I have nowhere else to go. There is no demand in the priesthood for elderly drug addicts.


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