Guy Ritchie (1968-) b. Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England.
Director Guy Ritchie grew up in London and started his film career as a runner in 1993. He quickly progressed and by 1995 was directing music promos for bands and commercials. A severe dyslexic and self confessed movie buff; Ritchie had always been passionate about making films, having been inspired after watching Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid as a child. With the profits banked from directing music videos and commercials, Ritchie invested them into writing and making a twenty-minute short film, The Hard Case (1995), a prequel to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998). The Hard Case (1995) attracted the notice of Trudie Styler, who invested in Ritchie’s next project and triggered a snowball effect of interest. This led to Ritchie writing and ultimately directing his debut Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), a highly stylised crime caper set in London’s End. With the film completed, Ritchie faced the difficult prospect of getting the film distributed, and was turned down by ten British film distributors. After attracting the attention and enthusiasm of Tom Cruise, the film found a North American distributor before being picked up in the United Kingdom. Made on a budget of just £1.6 million, the film went on to become the third highest grossing in UK cinema history. Ritchie followed this up with Snatch (2000), another crime caper, this also did well taking a record £3m in it’s first weekend. Ritchie married singer Madonna in 2000, and directed her in Swept Away (2002), a remake of Lina Wertm�ller’s 1974 Italian film, but the film was a commercial and critical failure.