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
Starring Jason Flemyng
Dexter Fletcher
Nick Moran
Jason Statham
Steven Mackintosh
Vinnie Jones
Sting
Narrated by Alan Ford
Music by David A. Hughes
John Murphy
Cinematography Tim Maurice-Jones
Edited by Niven Howie
Production
company
Distributed by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (UK)
Release dates
  • 28 August 1998 (1998-08-28) (United Kingdom)
Running time
106 minutes[1]
120 minutes (Director's cut)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £ 860,000
Box office £18,000,000[2]

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a 1998 British crime comedy 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. Based on a $1.35 million budget, the film had a box office gross of $28.3 million, making it a commercial success.

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

Plot[edit]

Long-time friends and small-time criminals Eddy, Tom, Soap and Bacon put together £100,000 so that Eddy, a genius card shark, can buy into one of "Hatchet" Harry Lonsdale's weekly high-stakes three card brag games. The game is rigged however, and the friends end up massively indebted to Harry, who fully expects them not to be able to come up with the money before the deadline he gives them. He has his sights set on Eddy's father's bar as repayment, and sets his debt collector Big Chris (who is often accompanied by his beloved son, Little Chris) to work in order to ensure that some form of payment is coming up.

Harry also has his sights set on a couple of antique shotguns up for auction, and gets his enforcer Barry "the Baptist" to hire a couple of thieves, Gary and Dean, to steal them from a private home. The two turn out to be highly incompetent and unwittingly sell the shotguns to Nick "the Greek", a local fence. After learning this, an enraged Barry threatens the two into getting the guns back.

Eddy returns home and overhears his neighbours, a gang of robbers led by a brutal man called 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. In preparation for the robbery, Tom buys the antique shotguns from Nick the Greek.

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 and they return home with a duffel bag filled with money and a car trunk filled with bags of marijuana. The success is short-lived however, as they get robbed by Eddy and friends before they've even unloaded their cargo. Eddy's group decide to keep the money and, with the help of Nick the Greek, sell the drugs to Rory Breaker, a drug dealer with a reputation for violence. Rory agrees to the deal, but later learns that the drugs were stolen from people in his employ and were in fact his all along. Thinking that Eddy and his friends knowingly concocted a scheme to rob him and sell his own drugs back to him, an enraged Rory threatens Nick the Greek into giving him Eddy's address.

Eddy and his friends go out to celebrate their successful heist, and spend the night at Eddy's father's bar. Meanwhile, Dog's crew accidentally learns that their neighbors are the ones that robbed them, and set up an ambush at Eddy's flat. When Rory and his gang also arrive to exact vengeance they have a shootout with Dog's crew, resulting in the deaths of all but Dog and Winston, one of the robbed drug manufacturers. Winston leaves with the drugs; Dog leaves with the two shotguns and the money, but is waylaid by Big Chris who knocks him out and takes everything. Meanwhile Gary and Dean, having learned who bought the shotguns and not knowing that Chris works for Harry, follow him to Harry's place. Chris delivers the money and guns to Harry, but discovers when he returns to his car that Dog is hiding inside, holding a knife to Little Chris's throat and demanding Chris recover the money. Chris calmy agrees and starts the car. Meanwhile, Gary and Dean burst into Harry's office, starting a confrontation that ends up killing both of them, and Harry and Barry as well.

Having seen the carnage at their flat, Eddy and friends arrive at Harry's to offer their apologies, but when they discover Harry's corpse they decide to take the money for themselves. Before they are able to flee the scene, Chris crashes into their car to disable Dog, and brutally bludgeons Dog to death with his car door in retaliation for threatening his son (who is shown to be unharmed). He then takes the debt money back from the unconscious friends, but allows Tom to leave with the antique shotguns, after a brief standoff in Harry's office.

The friends are arrested, but declared innocent after the traffic warden identifies Dog's dead crew as the prime suspects. Back at the bar, they send Tom out to get rid of the last piece of evidence connecting them to the case: the antique shotguns. Meanwhile, Chris arrives to give the friends back the duffle bag. He has taken all the money for himself and his son, and the bag is empty save for a catalogue of antique weapons. After leafing through the catalogue, the friends learn that the shotguns are actually quite valuable, and quickly call Tom. The film ends with Tom's mobile phone, situated in his mouth, ringing as he hangs over the side of a bridge, preparing to drop the shotguns into the River Thames.

Cast[edit]

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.

Soundtrack[edit]

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
Pop
Brit pop
Reggae
Length 62:54 (UK)
43:32 (US)
Label Island (UK)
Maverick (US)
Guy Ritchie film soundtracks chronology
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
(1998)
Snatch
(2000)
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

Release[edit]

Box office[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]

Critical reception[edit]

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]

Accolades[edit]

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.

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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

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

External links[edit]