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Article: The Gentlemen (Story Structure/Breakdown)

The Gentlemen Story Structure Breakdown - Image from Movie Film

The Gentlemen (Story Structure/Breakdown)

Screenplay written by Guy Ritchie
Story by Guy Ritchie & Ivan Atkinson & Marn Davies

Point of Attack | Inciting Incident | Opening Image

Criminal entrepreneur Mickey Pearson walks into a pub, places his order with the bartender, and selects a song on the jukebox. We hear a voice over, "If you wish to be the king of the jungle, it's not enough to act like a king, you must be the king." While speaking on his cell phone to his wife, Rosalind, a figure walks up behind Mickey and points a gun at his head. We hear a gunshot and see blood spatter on the table.

Call to Action (and Debate)

After breaking into Mickey's right-hand-man Raymond's home, private investigator Fletcher informs Raymond that the Daily Paper, a tabloid run by editor Big Dave, is going to pay him $150,000, for criminal evidence against Mickey to ruin Mickey's business. Fletcher offers to sell his findings - in the form of a movie screenplay as well as the direct evidence - to Raymond, in exchange for $20 million. To convince Raymond he should accept the offer, Fletcher begins to tell his story of the evidence that he has collected....

SET UP - Fletcher begins the story with a background of Mickey and how he built his marijuana empire. Mickey now intends to retire by selling his business to billionaire Matthew Berger. Mickey reveals to Berger how his marijuana farms operate, and where they're located (he has 12 labs under aristocratic landlords' estates, who allow him to use the land because they need the money for the upkeep). Dry Eye, an underboss to gangster Lord George, meets with Mickey and offers to buy Mickey's business. Mickey dismisses him and refuses the offer.

First Turning Point | Plot Point 1

One of Mickey's grow labs is broken into by a group of MMA-type fighters known as the Toddlers. The Toddlers beat up the staff, steal product, and post a video on YouTube.

SUCCESS & FAILURE - Due to the disruption in his business caused by the Toddlers, Mickey is forced to shut down the farms and begins to move his product elsewhere. However, he has to pay some of the aristocrats' expenses to keep them placated. He also agrees to find landlord Lord Pressfield's missing heroin-addicted daughter Laura, and sends Raymond and his men to take care of it. While acquiring Laura, one of Raymond 's men accidentally kills Aslan, a young Russian.


The Toddler's Coach approaches Raymond and apologizes for their actions, and offers his services to make amends.

DESCENT - Coach has kidnapped one of Dry Eye's men named Phuc, after he learned that Phuc was the man who hired the Toddlers to raid Mickey's marijuana farm. Coach presents Phuc to Raymond, but when Phuc attempts to escape, he gets hit by a train and killed. Mickey confronts gangster Lord George about Dry Eye's offer and threatens to kill him should he come after his farms again. Lord George then confronts Dry Eye about his unapproved actions. Fletcher (telling his story to Raymond) reveals that someone has killed Lord George, and it could be inferred that it was Mickey and Raymond. He also reveals that Berger and Dry Eye appear to be working together, and that Dry Eye may be planning to take Mickey's business for himself.

Crisis Point | Second Turning Point | Plot Point 2

Raymond kills a hitman that is sent to shoot Mickey [note: this is the same scene that opens the story]. Dry Eye attacks Rosalind. Realizing Rosalind is in danger, Mickey and Raymond rush to save her, but along the way they are involved in a crash and their car is totaled. An injured Mickey is forced to run the rest of the way. Mickey arrives in the nick-of-time, saves Rosalind, and kills Dry Eye.

REFLECTION & ENLIGHTENMENT - Fletcher reveals to Raymond that Berger told Dry Eye the location of Mickey's farm in order to disrupt Mickey's business and drive down the price. Then Dry Eye killed King George and took over his operation. Fletcher finishes telling his story to Raymond, and gives Raymond 72 hours to pay him for the evidence, otherwise it will go to press.

RUN UP TO THE CLIMAX - The Coach and the Toddlers kidnap Big Dave, drug him, and record a compromising video of him with a farm animal in order to blackmail him to stop the story about Mickey being published. Berger meets with Mickey and demands a lower price for Mickey's business because of the disruption caused by the theft and video release. Mickey shows Berger Dry Eye's body hanging in a freezer, disposes of Berger's bodyguards, and reveals that he knows what Berger did. Mickey tells Berger he plans to keep his business, and demands Berger give him $270 million and "a pound of flesh" from his body or he will leave him to die in the freezer.

Climax | Final Confrontation

Raymond reveals to Fletcher that he knew all along about him collecting evidence against Mickey, and only kept him at his home telling his story so he could learn about Berger and Dry Eye, and so that his guys could locate Fletcher's evidence and steal it from him. Fletcher then turns the tables and tells Raymond that he shared the information with Aslan's father - who is a Russian oligarch and former KGB agent - and that he plans to kill Mickey when he leaves his meeting with Berger. Two Russians arrive at Raymond 's house to kill him, and are shot dead by Coach. Fletcher flees Raymond 's house. As Mickey is leaving his meeting he gets into a car - but his drivers are two Russians who plan to kill him. The Toddlers kill the Russians and save Mickey. Fletcher pitches his story to a movie company. When he leaves the meeting, he gets into a cab that's driven by Raymond.

Resolution | Denouement

Mickey and Rosalind are at home as Mickey reflects on his motto, "If you wish to be the king of the jungle, it's not enough to act like a king, you must be the king." Then, he asks Rosalind "Is there any chance...?" Rosalind closes the door.

Get the Movie: Digital Film (AppleTV)