Lock, Stock and
Two Smoking Barrels
UK theatrical release poster
Directed byGuy Ritchie
Written byGuy Ritchie
Produced byMatthew Vaughn
Starring
CinematographyTim Maurice-Jones
Edited byNiven Howie
Music by
Production
companies
Distributed byPolyGram Filmed Entertainment (United Kingdom)
Gramercy Pictures (United States)
Summit Entertainment (International)[2]
Release dates
  • 23 August 1998 (1998-08-23) (Edinburgh International Film Festival)
  • 28 August 1998 (1998-08-28) (United Kingdom)
  • 5 March 1999 (1999-03-05) (United States)
Running time
106 minutes[3]
Countries
LanguageEnglish
Budget
  • £800,000
  • ($1.40 million)
Box office$28.1 million

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a 1998 British crime film written and directed by Guy Ritchie. It follows a heist involving a confident young card sharp who loses £500,000 to a powerful crime lord in a rigged game of three-card brag, prompting him to pay off his debts by enlisting his friends to help him rob a small-time gang operating out of the apartment next door. It stars an ensemble cast featuring Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham, Steven Mackintosh, Vinnie Jones, and Sting.

The film brought Ritchie international acclaim and introduced Statham (a former diver) and Jones (a former footballer) to worldwide audiences in their feature film debuts. It was also a commercial success, grossing over $28 million at the box office against a $1.35 million budget.[1] A television spin-off called Lock, Stock... followed in 2000, running for seven episodes.

Plot

Long-time friends and small-time London criminals Eddie, Tom, Soap, and Bacon put together £100,000 so that Eddie, a card sharp, can participate in one of "Hatchet" Harry Lonsdale's high-stakes three-card brag games. The game, however, is rigged and they wind up owing £500,000 to Harry, to be paid within a week. Harry sends his debt collector Big Chris to Eddie's father JD, since Harry's true intention is to acquire JD's bar in payment of the debt.

Also interested in two expensive antique Holland & Holland shotguns up for auction, Harry gets his enforcer Barry "the Baptist" to hire two thieves, Gary and Dean, to steal them from a bankrupt lord. After the incompetent thieves unwittingly sell them to Nick "the Greek", a local fence, Barry threatens them into retrieving the guns. Meanwhile, Eddie returns home and overhears his neighbours, a gang of robbers led by a brutal man called "Dog", planning a heist on some cannabis growers loaded with cash and drugs. He tells the other three and they decide to rob the neighbours after they return from their heist. Tom buys the shotguns from Nick (both unaware of their true value), for use in the plan.

Dog's gang execute their heist, and despite a gang member's death by his own Bren gun and an incriminating encounter with a traffic warden, they succeed, returning with a duffel bag full of money and a van loaded with bags of cannabis. Eddie and his friends ambush them and escape in the van containing the cannabis and the warden. They transfer the loot to their own van and return home, knocking out the warden and dumping him by the road before arranging for Nick to fence the drugs to violent gangster Rory Breaker. Rory agrees to buy the cannabis at half price but two of his men visit the house of the growers, discover that they have been robbed and the cannabis he just bought has been stolen from his own growers. Rory threatens Nick into giving him Eddie's address and tasks one of the growers, Winston, to identify the robbers.

While the friends celebrate at JD's bar, Dog's crew, having accidentally discovered that they were robbed by their neighbours, set up an ambush in Eddie's flat. Rory and his gang arrive at the flat instead and in the ensuing shoot-out, all except Dog and Winston are killed. Winston leaves with the drugs. Dog attempts to escape with the shotguns and the cash but Big Chris arrives, incapacitates him, and takes both. Attempting to recover the guns, Gary and Dean follow Chris, oblivious to the fact that Chris is bringing them to Harry.

Having delivered the money and guns to Harry, Chris returns to his car to find Dog holding his son Little Chris at knifepoint, demanding the cash be returned to him. Chris complies and starts the car. Meanwhile, Gary and Dean burst into Harry's office. The ensuing confrontation results in the deaths of Gary, Dean, Barry and Harry. Having discovered the carnage at their flat and their loot missing, the four friends head to Harry's office, finding a second set of corpses, and decide to take the money for themselves. Chris deliberately crashes into their car to disable Dog and then fatally bludgeons him with his car door. He then retrieves the cash from the unconscious Eddie but allows Tom to leave with the shotguns after a brief stand-off.

The friends are arrested but soon acquitted after the warden identifies Dog and his crew as the culprits. Back at the bar, Eddie, Bacon and Soap dispatch Tom to discard the guns, as they are the only remaining evidence linking them to the case. Chris then arrives to return the bag, from which he has taken all the cash for himself and his son and which now contains a catalogue of antique weapons. Leafing through the catalogue, the three friends learn that the shotguns are actually far more valuable than they had realised and frantically call Tom to dissuade him from disposing of them. The film ends with Tom leaning over Southwark Bridge, holding his mobile phone ringing in his mouth, as he prepares to drop the guns into the River Thames.

Cast

Soundtrack

Soundtrack from the Motion Picture Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Soundtrack album by
various artists
Released1998 (UK)
23 February 1999 (1999-02-23TUS)
GenreRock
pop
britpop
reggae
Length62:54 (UK)
43:32 (US)
LabelIsland (UK)
Maverick (US)
Guy Ritchie film soundtracks chronology
Soundtrack from the Motion Picture Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
(1998)
Snatch
(2000)
Soundtrack reviews
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic 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

* Track omitted from 1999 US release.

Release history
Region Date
United Kingdom 28 August 1998
United States 23 February 1999

Production

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2019)

The production of the film followed Guy Ritchie's single short film which preceded Lock, Stock. As stated in filmscouts.com:

Although it was Ritchie's first feature, his previous short film The Hard Case was sufficiently impressive to secure interest not only from financial backers but also persuaded Sting to take the role of JD. "I'd seen Guy's short film and was excited by the pace and energy in it. The way in which he handles violence and action appealed to me. I don't like gratuitous violence. I think it's much more chilling when it's suggested rather than graphic." For Ritchie, getting exactly the right actor for each role was essential. "The casting took forever and we auditioned hundreds of people, but I was determined to hold out until we got the real McCoy." This led to employing several genuine ex-cons, who certainly invest the film with its menacing undertones. Ritchie also looked to the celebrity arena to secure the right cast such as Vinnie Jones. "I didn't hesitate in casting Vinnie as I have the most incredible respect for his acting capabilities."[7]

A one-hour documentary of the production of the film was released featuring much of the cast along with Ritchie.[8][9]

Locations include Shoreditch for the gang hideout and Clerkenwell for JD's bar.

Reception

Box office

The film was released on 28 August 1998 in the United Kingdom and was the second-highest grossing local production for the year behind Sliding Doors with a gross of $18.9 million.[10] It was released on 5 March 1999 in the United States, where its total gross was $3,753,929 (equivalent to $6,865,956 in 2023).[11]

Critical reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 75% based on 67 reviews, with an average rating of 6.70/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is a grimy, twisted, and funny twist on the Tarantino hip gangster formula".[12] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100 based on 30 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13]

John Ferguson in Radio Times called the film "the best British crime movie since The Long Good Friday".[14] Roger Ebert in Chicago Sun-Times wrote: "Lock, Stock is fun, in a slapdash way; it has an exuberance, and in a time when movies follow formulas like zombies, it's alive".[15]

Accolades

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. In 2016, Empire magazine ranked Lock, Stock 75th on their list of the 100 best British films.[16]

Television

Main article: Lock, Stock...

A spin-off television series, co-written by Ritchie was developed for Channel 4. The show featured a new cast of characters: Moon, Jamie, Bacon, and Lee (portrayed by Daniel Caltagirone, Scott Maslen, Shaun Parkes, and Del Synnott, respectively); who comedically fail at various criminal business ventures, similar to the cast of the feature film. Lock, Stock... aired from May 29 through July 11, 2000.[17][18][19][20]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". The Numbers. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  2. ^ "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)". Swedish Film Database. Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  3. ^ "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 22 June 1998. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". American Film Institute. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 6 May 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". British Council. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Production notes". filmscouts.com.
  8. ^ "How To Make A Movie: A brilliant insight into making two very diverse British films". Cinephilia Beyond. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2023.
  9. ^ "Have A Butcher's: Making Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". The History Press. Retrieved 11 June 2023.
  10. ^ Cowie, Peter, ed. (1999). The Variety Almanac 1999. Boxtree Ltd. p. 51. ISBN 0-7522-2454-9.
  11. ^ "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1999)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  12. ^ Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels at Rotten Tomatoes
  13. ^ Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels at Metacritic Edit this at Wikidata
  14. ^ Ferguson, John. "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 7 March 2005.
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger (12 March 1999). "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels movie review (1999) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  16. ^ "The 100 best British films". Empire. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  17. ^ "How Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels was remade as a TV drama for Channel 4". Broadcast Now. Broadcast NOw. 9 May 2000. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  18. ^ "Movies You Didn't Realise Got A TV Spin-Off". Yahoo. UK Movies Group. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  19. ^ Phillips, Patrick (16 June 2023). "Why Guy Ritchie Is Making The Gentlemen Sequel A TV Series". Looper. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  20. ^ Britton, Luke Morgan (17 January 2017). "Watch Rupert Grint go gangster in trailer for 'Snatch' TV show". NME. Retrieved 4 September 2023.

Further reading

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