Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

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Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Produced by Matthew Vaughn
Written by Guy Ritchie
Peter Cattaneo
Starring Jason Flemyng
Dexter Fletcher
Nick Moran
Jason Statham
Steven Mackintosh
Vinnie Jones
Narrated by Alan Ford
Music by David A. Hughes
John Murphy
Cinematography Tim Maurice-Jones
Edited by Niven Howie
Distributed by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (UK)
Gramercy Pictures (US)
Release dates
  • 28 August 1998 (1998-08-28) (United Kingdom)
  • 5 March 1999 (1999-03-05) (United States)
Running time 106 minutes[1]
120 minutes (Director's cut)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $1.35 million[2]
Box office $28,356,188[2]

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a 1998 British crime comedy thriller film written and directed 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. 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 brought Guy Ritchie international acclaim and introduced actors Vinnie Jones, a former Wales international footballer, and Jason Statham, a former diver, to worldwide audiences.

A television series, Lock, Stock..., followed in 2000, running for seven episodes including the pilot.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Long-time friends Bacon, Eddy, Tom, and Soap put together £100,000 so that Eddy, a genius card sharp, can buy into one of Harry "The Hatchet" Lonsdale's weekly high-stakes three card brag games. Harry learns about Eddy from his trusted bodyguard Barry "the Baptist", and rigs the game so that Eddy loses not only his £100,000 buy-in, but an additional £150,000 that Harry bullied him into borrowing to play out the biggest pot of the night. Harry demands repayment within a week, and pulls Eddy's father's bar into the deal as an alternative.

After several days with no luck acquiring the funds, Eddy returns home and overhears his neighbours, a gang of thieves led by a man named Dog, planning a heist on some marijuana growers supposedly loaded with cash and drugs. Eddy relays this information to the group, intending for them to rob the neighbours as they come back from their heist. They install taping equipment to monitor the neighbours, and Tom acquires a pair of antique shotguns from a black market dealer, known as Nick "the Greek", who also strikes a deal with Rory Breaker, a sociopathic gangster, to buy the stolen drugs. Nick had purchased the guns from a pair of bungling small-time criminals, Gary and Dean, who had stolen them from a bankrupt lord as part of a job for Harry, not realising that of the entire stolen firearms collection, his only desire was the two antique shotguns. After learning the guns had been sold, an enraged Barry threatens the two into getting them back.

The neighbours' heist gets under way; despite a gang member being killed by his own Bren Gun, and an incriminating encounter with a traffic warden, the job is a success. On returning to their flat, the gang is ambushed by the four friends, who take the loot and return later that night to stash the goods next door, before celebrating with a wild night of drinking. Rory discovers that the drugs he was going to purchase were stolen from him, as the marijuana growers were in his employ. Rory interrogates Nick into revealing where the four friends live, and enlists one of the chemists, Winston, to identify the robbers. Meanwhile, furious about their loss, Dog throws one of his men through the wall of their flat and discovers the taping equipment and eventually the stolen goods. While he counts the money, his men prepare an ambush. Gary and Dean, trying to recover the antique shotguns, call Nick, who directs them to the same address, while Big Chris, Harry's debt collector, departs with his son to the same destination as the four friends drive home from the bar.

Rory and his gang assault the flat and have a shootout with the neighbours, resulting in the deaths of all but Dog and Winston, the latter taking off with the marijuana. Dog is mugged by Big Chris of the shotguns and money during his escape; Gary and Dean spot Big Chris with the guns and hastily follow him, while the four friends return to find their loot missing. Big Chris gives the guns and cash to Harry, but on his return to the car he finds Dog threatening to kill his son if he doesn't retrieve the loot. Desperate to get the guns, Gary and Dean attack Harry and Barry at their office, not knowing what Harry looks like and not noticing Barry until after he retaliates. Within seconds all four men are dead. The four friends arrive, find everyone dead, and take the cash back. Big Chris suddenly crashes into their car to disable Dog, then brutally bludgeons him to death with his car door. He takes the debt money back from the unconscious friends but allows Tom to leave with the antique shotguns.

The friends are arrested, but declared innocent after the traffic warden identified Dog's dead gang as the prime suspects. The four reunite at Eddy's father's bar and decide that Tom should dispose of the shotguns, which are the only remaining evidence linking them to the crimes. After Tom leaves, Big Chris arrives and tells them he is keeping the debt money for himself and his son, but gives them an antique guns catalogue which reveals that the shotguns are each worth a fortune. They quickly call Tom, and the film ends with Tom's mobile phone ringing as he hangs over the side of a bridge, preparing to drop the shotguns into the River Thames.


The film originally starred Laura Bailey as Eddy's love interest.[citation needed] This plotline was removed only after filming had been completed. The role of JD, Eddy's father, is played by the English musician Sting. Sting's wife Trudie Styler was an executive producer on the film.

The role of Barry "the Baptist" was played by 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 28 July 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 and reception[edit]

The film was released on 28 August 1998 in the United Kingdom, and on 5 March 1999 in the United States. Its total gross in the US was $3,753,929.[3]

John Ferguson, writing for the Radio Times, called the film "the best British crime movie since The Long Good Friday".[4] The film has ratings of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes[5] and 66 on Metacritic.[6]

The film was nominated for a British Academy Film Award in 1998 for the outstanding British Film of the Year. In 2000, Ritchie won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. In 2004, Total Film named it the 38th greatest British film of all time.


Soundtrack from the Motion Picture Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Soundtrack album by various artists
Released 1998 (United Kingdom)
23 February 1999 (1999-02-23TUnited States)
Genre Rock
Brit pop
Length 62:54 (UK)
43:32 (US)
Label Island (UK)
Maverick (US)
Guy Ritchie film soundtracks chronology
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Soundtrack reviews
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars Link

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

  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. "Hortifuckinculturist" – 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 A. 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 A. Hughes (with Rory)*
  22. "Zorba the Greek" by John Murphy & David A. Hughes
  23. "I'll Kill Ya" by John Murphy & David A. 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
  1. Also "Ghosttown" by The Specials

* Track omitted from 1999 US release.

Release history
Region Date
United Kingdom 1998
United States 23 February 1999

Use in popular culture[edit]

The Psych first episode of the eighth season, pays homage to the movie, including the episode title, "Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels, and Burton Guster's Goblet of Fire", "Shawn Spencer's (James Roday) imitation of Guy Ritchie, actor Vinnie Jones, and use of James Brown's "The Payback".

The film, and indeed the British gangster movie genre as a whole, was parodied by BBC sketch comedy series The Fast Show as It's A Right Royal Cockney Barrel Of Monkeys.

The film was parodied in a sketch in The Mitchell and Webb Situation titled "Hons, Dons and Two Smoking MA (Oxon)s" in which two gangsters steal degrees from a university vice-chancellor.

See also[edit]


Further reading

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

External links[edit]