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Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a 1998 British crime film directed and written by Guy Ritchie. The story is a heist film involving a self-confident young card sharp who loses £500,000 to a powerful crime lord in a rigged game of three card brag. In order to pay off his debts, he and his friends decide to rob a small-time gang who happen to be operating out of the flat next door. The film garnered Guy Ritchie international acclaim, and introduced actors Vinnie Jones, a former Welsh international football player, and Jason Statham, to worldwide audiences.

In 2000, Ritchie won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. In 2004, the magazine Total Film named Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels the 38th greatest British film of all time.

A television series, Lock, Stock..., followed in 2000.

Plot

Long-time friends; Bacon, Soap, Tom and Eddie decide to put together £100,000 to play three card brag against Harry "The Hatchet" Lonsdale, a porn king of notorious disposition, in a high-stakes card game in the hopes of winning easy money. Aided by Barry "the Baptist", Harry's personal bodyguard and trusted counsel, the game is fixed so that Eddie, the card shark representing the group, loses to Harry and is forced to pay a £500,000 debt within one week, citing the loss of fingers and Eddie's father's bar if he fails to pay. To Eddie's fortune, and the dismay of his friends, all four of the group are tasked with honouring this debt, as they were all responsible for fronting the stake money. Harry’s loyal and violent debt collector, Big Chris—who often brings his son and apprentice, Little Chris, to his work—is assigned to collect the payment on the due date.

After several days and no ideas to come up with the money, Eddie returns home and overhears his neighbours, a gang of thieves known for robbing drug dealers, planning a heist on some marijuana growers supposedly loaded with cash and drugs. Eddie relays this information to the group, intending for all of them to rob the neighbours as they come back from their heist, therefore solving the debt. Tom uses his connection with an underground dealer, known as Nick "the Greek", to provide them with guns for the job, and to find someone to help them move the drugs. Nick then manages to acquire a pair of antique shotguns, and arrange a deal with Rory Breaker, a gangster and sociopath, to purchase the stolen weed.

Prior to the card game, a pair of lowlife criminals, Gary and Dean (two scousers used to doing small jobs like stealing cars and robbing post offices), were hired by Barry the Baptist to rob a bankrupt lord for Harry, who wanted a specific pair of antique shotguns from the stolen pile for his personal collection. The two guns that Harry wanted, however, were the ones that Gary and Dean sold prematurely to Nick the greek after the robbery. An enraged Barry the Baptist then threatens the two into getting them back.

The neighbours' heist goes underway; Dog, the leader of the gang, learned of the weed chemists from one of the members, and uses his connections to the group to catch them off guard. Despite having a gang member killed by his own Bren Gun, and an incriminating encounter with a traffic warden, the job is otherwise a success. Unfortunately as they come back to the hideout, the four friends ambush the neighbours and take the loot, who later return that night to stash the goods next door, and then celebrate with a wild night of drinking.

The various characters finally collide when Rory discovers that the weed he was going to purchase was in fact his; the weed chemists that were robbed were under his employ. Rory interrogates Nick into revealing where the four friends live, and uses one of the chemists to identify the robbers. That same morning, Dog has become furious at having been cheated and, during a tirade, he launches one of his men into a wall, who discovers (through the hole he makes as a result) various sound recording equipment; Dog realizes that his neighbours were the ones who robbed him, and has the men prepare to ambush the friends in the flat as he takes the antique shotguns and counts the money. Gary and Dean call Nick, who (in frustration) directs them to the same address in their search for the antique shotguns, while Big Chris and his son depart to collect the debt, and the four friends drive home from the bar.

Rory and his gang assault the flat and enter a shootout with the neighbours, resulting in the deaths of all but Dog and the lone chemist to survive the slaughter, with the latter taking off with the marijuana. Dog is mugged by Big Chris of the shotguns and money during his escape, Gary and Dean hastily follow Big Chris, and the four friends finally return to the flat, shocked by the carnage and the missing loot. Big Chris then gives the guns and cash to Harry, and as he returns to his car he encounters Dog threatening his son, who wants him to get the loot back from Harry. Desperate to get the guns, Gary and Dean attack Harry and Barry at their office, realizing who they were at the last minute before killing each other in another violent shootout. The four friends soon arrive to find another scene of carnage, and take the opportunity to re-steal the debt money, mystified by their strange fortune. Big Chris then crashes into their car to disable Dog. Big Chris then flies into a rage at Dog for threatening his son, and brutally bludgeons him to death with his car door. He takes the debt money back from the unconscious friends, only to find his employer dead, and Tom just about to make off with the antique shotguns, which he'd briefly stayed behind to examine.

The remaining friends were arrested, but were declared innocent after the traffic warden from earlier identified the neighbours’ bodies as the prime suspects. The four reunite at Eddie’s father’s bar, and decide to have Tom get rid of the only evidence linking them to all the bloodshed – the shotguns. After Tom leaves, Big Chris arrives to bid them farewell, and gives them a catalogue on antique guns. Big Chris then leaves, having kept the debt money for himself and his son. A quick perusal of the book reveals that the shotguns the four had bought for the job were each worth a fortune, more than the debt money kept by Big Chris, and so they desperately try to call Tom. The film ends in a cliffhanger when Tom’s cell phone, stuffed in his mouth, starts ringing as he hangs over the side of a bridge, preparing to drop the shotguns into the River Thames.

Cast

U.S. promotional poster for the film


Cast notes

The film originally starred Laura Bailey as Eddie's love interest. This major plotline was only removed after filming had been completed. The role of JD, Eddie's father, is played by the English musician Sting. Sting's wife Trudie Styler was an executive producer on the film, and the two later introduced director Ritchie to Madonna, whom he later married.

The role of Barry "the Baptist" was played by legendary hardman Lenny McLean also known as "The Guv'nor" after becoming the country's top bare-knuckle fighter. McLean became ill during filming, but believed he was only suffering from a lingering case of the flu. McLean died of brain and lung cancer on July 28, 1998, just before the film was released. Producers quickly changed billboards and posters to feature Lenny McLean as a tribute, even though Barry was only a supporting character.

Ross Boatman turned down a starring role in the film, as he did not wish to be typecast following his appearance in Hard Men. The film uses Dexter Fletcher, P.H. Moriarty and Alan Ford in a tribute to the classic London gangster film The Long Good Friday. This is the second film P.H. Moriarty and Sting both appeared in- the other being the film version of Quadrophenia.

Release

The film was released on 28 August 1998 in the UKmarker, and on 5 March 1999 in the U.S.marker in 161 theaters. Its total domestic gross in the U.S. was $3,753,929.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack to the film was released in 1998 in the United Kingdommarker by Island Records. Madonna's Maverick Records label released the soundtrack in the United Statesmarker in 1999 but omitted nine tracks from the UK release.

Track listing

  1. "Hundred Mile High City" by Ocean Colour Scene
  2. "It's a Deal, It's a Steal" by Tom, Nick & Ed*
  3. "The Boss" by James Brown
  4. "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Skanga*
  5. "Hortifuckinculturalist" - Winston
  6. "Police and Thieves" by Junior Murvin
  7. "18 With a Bullet" by Lewis Taylor & Carleen Anderson*
  8. "Spooky" by Dusty Springfield
  9. "The Game" by John Murphy & David Hughes*
  10. "Muppets" by Harry, Barry & Gary
  11. "Man Machine" by Robbie Williams*
  12. "Walk This Land" by E-Z Rollers
  13. "Blaspheming Barry" by Barry
  14. "I Wanna Be Your Dog" by The Stooges
  15. "It's Kosher" by Tom & Nick
  16. "Liar Liar" by The Castaways*
  17. "I've Been Shot" by Plank & Dog
  18. "Why Did You Do It" by Stretch
  19. "Guns 4 show, knives for a pro" by Ed & Soap
  20. "Oh Girl" by Evil Superstars
  21. "If the Milk Turns Sour" by John Murphy & David Hughes (with Rory)*
  22. "Zorba the Greek" by John Murphy & David Hughes
  23. "I'll Kill Ya" by John Murphy & David Hughes (with Rory)*
  24. "The Payback" by James Brown
  25. "Fool's Gold" by The Stone Roses*
  26. "It's Been Emotional" by Big Chris
  27. "18 With a Bullet" by Pete Wingfield
* Track omitted from 1999 U.S. release.

See also

  • Borough Marketmarker
  • Snatch . Not a sequel, as several actors appear in both films as different characters. However, both films do share similar themes, ideas, motifs and style.


References

  1. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1999), Box Office Mojo. Accessed 15 April 2009.


Further reading

  • Ali Catterall and Simon Wells, Your Face Here: British Cult Movies Since The Sixties (Fourth Estate, 2001). ISBN 0-00-714554-3.


External links




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