Plunkett & Macleane. Image shows from L to R: Captain James Macleane (Jonny Lee Miller), Plunkett (Robert Carlyle). Copyright: Working Title Films
Plunkett & Macleane

Plunkett & Macleane

  • 1999 film

Comic adventure set in the 1740s. A gentlemen drunkard and a robber pool their talents to embark on a crime spree. Stars Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Liv Tyler, Ken Stott, Michael Gambon and more.

Plunkett & Macleane. Image shows from L to R: Captain James Macleane (Jonny Lee Miller), Plunkett (Robert Carlyle). Copyright: Working Title Films

Key details

Genre
Film
Released
1999
Stars
Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Liv Tyler, Ken Stott, Michael Gambon, Alan Cumming, Iain Robertson, Tommy Flanagan and more
Writers
Robert Wade, Neal Purvis, Charles McKeown and Selwyn Roberts
Directors
Jake Scott, Euan Keddie and Mirek Lux
Producers
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Rupert Harvey, Gary Oldman, Douglas Urbanski, Selwyn Roberts, Matthew Stillman, Donna Grey and more
Companies

London, 1748. Drunkard gentleman James Macleane's spell in a single-cell debtors' prison is brought to an abrupt and unscheduled early close when a highway robbery goes dangerously awry, smashing the door to pieces and leaving one of the culprits dying beside the damaged carriage outside.

With the Lord Chief Justice's ruthless men close behind, escaping fellow highwayman Plunkett soon returns in hope of retrieving gems swallowed by his erstwhile colleague: and Macleane has seen the exact same opportunity. But whilst working to rob the grave and destroy the corpse of the fellow criminal, the pair are caught and swiftly hauled off to Newgate for the offence.

It doesn't take long for Plunkett to begin noticing the very different manner in which James is treated, and realise his greatest opportunity yet. Uniting his criminal skill and Macleane's connections, the pair could make a formidable duo, targeting the very heart of English society and stealing some of their most valuable possessions with ease.

Eventually persuading Macleane that the plan is both worthwhile and manageable, the pair bribe their way out of Newgate and set about installing themselves in London society as a newly wealthy Captain Macleane and his manservant. An initial robbery - on the coach of the Lord Chief Justice, no less - proves highly successful, and James's educated manner earns him the nickname 'the Gentleman Highwayman', quickly becoming the talk of the town.

However, as their notoriety increases, so does the pressure on chief criminal-catcher Mr Chance to put an end to their escapades. Already a vicious, ruthless individual, his own boss, the Lord Chief Justice, is increasingly seen as too old and incapable, leading to direct intervention from the Prime Minister - and Chance sees an opportunity to rise up the ranks himself.

Meanwhile, James Macleane is busy spending most of what he and Plunkett are earning in the rat-race of keeping up appearances amongst the upper echelons of London's elite, whilst Plunkett tries to save to buy their way to a new life in the untamed lands of the Americas. And James's burgeoning infatuation with the Lord Chief Justice's niece and ward, Lady Rebecca, seems a distraction too far.

With Chance and his men closing in and fractures emerging between the criminal partners, the stakes could not be higher.

Additional details

Tagline
They rob the rich...and that's it
UK certificate
15
Duration
101 minutes
Distributors

PolyGram

Also known as
  • Plunkett And Macleane
Production
Location
Camera set-up
Single camera
Picture
Colour

Website links

Broadcast details

Most recent repeats
  • Friday 15th August 2014 at 12:30am on ITV4
  • Friday 8th August 2014 at 11:05pm on ITV4
  • Thursday 10th October 2013 at 9:00pm on ITV4

Recording details

  • London, Prague and Spain - Locations
  • Pinewood Studios - Studios

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