Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The Guy Ritchie movie that became an instant cult classic and launched the careers of Jason Statham, Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher and Nick Moran. It grossed $28 million on a budget of just $1 million and sent producer Matthew Vaughn into the world of A-list movie making.

Tom CruiseTom Cruise seems like a throughly decent chap, doesn't he?

Now Vaughn, who recently directed the mega-hit Kingsman: The Secret Service, has spoken about his difficulty of getting Lock, Stock off the ground and how an unlikely Hollywood hero saved the project from obscurity.

Speaking to Mark Kermode for the Radio 4 programme The Business of Film, Vaughn said Lock, Stock was struggling to find a distributor  when he got in touch with one of the film's investors, Trudi Styler. He asked her to contact her friend Tom Cruise and see whether he would be interested in attending an American buyers' screening - which is exactly what he did.

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"It was hysterical," Vaughn recalled to Kermode. "You had all these mid-level executives sitting there, and Cruise walked in. He saw them all sit up and pay attention, all getting on their phones, and suddenly all these senior executives joined the screening." 

"At the end, Tom got up in front of everyone and said 'this is the best movie I've seen in years, you guys would be fools not to buy it.'" 

The movie famously became the subject of an intense bidding war and ultimately became an international hit.

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