Plunkett & Macleane
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|Plunkett & Macleane|
DVD cover of Plunkett & Macleane
|Directed by||Jake Scott|
|Produced by||Tim Bevan
|Written by||Selwyn Roberts
|Music by||Craig Armstrong|
|Distributed by||USA Films|
|2 April 1999|
The story was co-written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. It follows the story of Captain James Macleane (Miller) and Will Plunkett (Carlyle), two men in eighteenth century Britain who are both struggling to survive. The characters are loosely based on two genuine highwaymen of the eighteenth century, James MacLaine and William Plunkett although the story bears little relation to their actual lives.
1748 England is infested with highwaymen — men such as Will Plunkett, a London-based criminal working with his partner Rob. When Rob is killed by Thief Taker General Chance after a botched heist outside debtors prison, Plunkett must find a way to retrieve a large ruby that his partner had swallowed What he doesn't know is that the incident was witnessed by James Macleane, a socialite from the upper echelons of society, who had found himself in debtor's prison. Macleane sees this ruby as his ticket out of debt, and after narrowly escaping discovery by Chance, he decides to exhume Rob's body.
Plunkett is waiting at the cemetery and forces Macleane to give the ruby to him. When they are both found by Chance's men, Plunkett swallows the ruby himself. While in Newgate Prison, the two form a partnership that utilizes Plunkett's criminal know-how and Macleane's social status to bribe their way out of prison. This tentative partnership leads to an unlikely alliance, deemed "The Gentlemen Highwaymen", where they gladly relieve the gentry of their possessions.
When Macleane falls for the beautiful Lady Rebecca, the niece of the powerful Lord Gibson, their plans to escape to America go awry. The pair part ways after a disastrous attempt to rescue Lady Rebecca from forced exodus, which leads to the death of Lord Gibson, and the discovery that Macleane's has gambled away all of their funds.
Macleane is eventually captured and tried for Lord Gibson's murder, earning him a date with the gallows. Plunkett orchestrates a daring escape, aided by Lady Rebecca and the flamboyant Lord Rochester. After a tense chase through the city sewers that sees Plunkett exact revenge upon Thief taker Chance, the three escape to freedom.
- Jonny Lee Miller as Captain James Macleane
- Robert Carlyle as Will Plunkett
- Liv Tyler as Lady Rebecca Gibson
- Ken Stott as Thief Taker General Chance
- Alan Cumming as Lord Rochester
- Michael Gambon as Lord Gibson
- Tommy Flanagan as Eddie
- David Walliams as Viscount Bilston
- Matt Lucas as Sir Oswald
- Ben Miller as Dixon
- Stephen Walters as Dennis
- Alexander Armstrong as Winterburn
- Noel Fielding as Brothel Gent
- Nicholas Farrell as M.P.s Secretary
- Iain Robertson as Rob
- Claire Rushbrook as Lady Estelle
- Tom Ward as an MP
Release and reception
Plunkett & Macleane was a flop at the box office. The film opened on 1 October 1999 in 475 U.S. theaters, taking in US$244,765 during its first three days; total domestic earnings stand at US$474,900.
- Alexander Walker, Icons in the Fire: The Rise and Fall of Practically Everyone in the British Film Industry 1984-2000, Orion Books, 2005 p273
- Miller, Jonny Lee; Robertson, Iain; Carlyle, Robert; Stott, Ken (1999-04-02), Plunkett & Macleane, retrieved 2017-05-18
- "Box office information for Plunkett & Macleane". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- "Reviews for Plunkett & Macleane". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- "Reviews for Plunkett & Macleane". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- "A ★★★½ review of Plunkett & MacLeane (1999)". letterboxd.com. Retrieved 2017-05-18.
- Plunkett & Macleane, retrieved 2017-05-18