Lock Stock and Smokin’ Banter

If you appreciate powerful writing, whipped dialogue and tight scripts, there will be certain films and actors you reeeeeally get a kick out of watching. A bit of well-delivered banter can be an absolute game-changer. I’ve always enjoyed Clive Owen’s cusses (check out this blog post from a while back) and some of the repartee in Scorcese’s The Departed is pure gold. A lot of stuff from Charlie Kaufman and a smattering from Woody Allen do it for me too. But a recent revisiting of some of Guy Ritchie’s work reminded me why I was such a fan of his early London gangster flicks – particularly Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The writing is just a joy.

Five of my fave exchanges from this film:


EDDIE: They’re armed.

SOAP: What was that? Armed? What do you mean armed? Armed with what?

EDDIE: Err, bad breath, colorful language, feather duster… what do you think they’re gonna be armed with? Guns, you tit!


WINSTON: Charles, why have we got that cage?

CHARLES: Uh, security.

WINSTON: That’s right, that’s right, security. So what’s the point in having it if we’re not goin’ fucking use it?

CHARLES: Well, I would’ve used it but this is Willie and Willie lives here.

WINSTON: Yes, but you didn’t know it was Willie until you opened the door, did you?

WILLIE: Chill, Winston, it’s me. Charlie knows it’s me. What’s the problem?

WINSTON: The problem, Willie, is that Charles and yourself are not the quickest of cats at the best of times. So just do as I say and keep *the fucking cage locked!* What is that?

WILLIE: That’s Gloria.

WINSTON: Yes I know that’s Gloria, what’s that?

WILLIE: Fertilizer.

WINSTON: You went out six hours ago to buy a money counter and you come back with a semi-conscious Gloria and a bag of fertilizer. Alarm bells are ringing, Willie.


JD: I do know your reputation. So I choose my words very carefully. You tell Harry to go fuck himself.

BIG CHRIS: Now… I’ll put that down to shock. Only once.


BACON: What’s that?

SAMOAN JOE’S BARMAN: It’s a cocktail. You asked for a cocktail.

BACON: No. I asked you to give me a refreshing drink. I wasn’t expecting a fucking rainforest! You could fall in love with an orangutan in that!


HARRY: You must be Eddie, J.D.’s son.

EDDIE: Yeah. You must be Harry. Sorry, didn’t know your father.

HARRY: Never mind son, you just might meet him if you carry on like that.

Which films / writers / actors are you a fan of, for their handling of dialogue?


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