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Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

1998 saw the release of Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, which helped pave the way for the career of Jason Statham and others.

Lock Stock was Guy Ritchie’s first feature film and paved the way for a new era of British Crime movies. The genre became a cult hit in both the UK and US, with films of a similar style following suit over the next decade.

Here’s twelve facts about the movie that only hardcore fans of the film will know.

12) Sting’s wife helped to make it

Trudie Styler, a producer, actress, and wife of Sting, found the screenplay in the mid-90s and loved it. What she didn’t love was the presentation. Fortunately, the substance of what Ritchie was trying to achieve shone through his inelegant presentation.

11) Tom Cruise helped to release the movie in the US

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Finding an American distributor was proving difficult for the British crime flick. However that all changed when Trudie Styler called an acquaintance of hers, a movie star named Tom Cruise.

Cruise was asked to attend a screening he did just that. Cruise was surrounded by ‘suits’ and ‘number-crunchers’, and was a vocal and enthusiastic viewer.

10) Brad Pitt loved the movie – hence why he was in Snatch

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When Mr. Pitt sees a movie he loves, he’s been known to call the person who made it and discuss being in a future instalment. That’s exactly what Brad did with Guy Ritchie. “He called me and told me that he wanted to be part of whatever I was doing next”. That turned out to be Snatch.

9) The Budget began at £20m and was reduced to £800k

The initial budget was toned down due to the unknown quantity to which the movie would perform, given it was Ritchie’s first full production.

After a flurry of excitement, and even some auditions and casting, much of the financing fell through and the project was postponed. Ritchie began making cuts from salaries to props and found new backers, but it took a short while.

Fortunately the low-budget look added to the gritty feel to the film and helped propel Ritchie into Hollywood. Money isn’t everything, eh?

8) Ray Winstone was originally set to play Hatchet Harry

Winstone was originally lined up to play Harry, but the budget cuts and schedule delay caused him to have to drop out. 

7) The joke about forgetting the guns happened because somebody forgot the guns

“Have you forgotten those guns, you dozy prat?” asks Bacon when the mob are preparing to rob their adversaries.

As it turns out, someone had indeed neglected to bring the prop guns to the set that day. With no time to retrieve them, Ritchie had Statham make a gag of it – and it made it into the final cut.

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