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Smalltime (1996)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Jumbo, Malcolm and Willy, three petty criminals from Sneinton, a run-down suburb of Nottingham, steal tins of dog food from a back yard. Lenny the Fence refuses to buy them, but suggests they sell then door to door from a van driven by Lenny's unspeaking brother Mad Terry. Malcolm ends up storing the unsold dog food under a blanket in his living room, to the annoyance of his girlfriend Kate.

Jumbo and Malcolm, along with their girlfriends, children and friends, go to a car boot sale and steal various items. Their haul is stolen from them after Lenny leaves it behind a hedge, and the gang walk home empty handed.

Malcolm and Kate argue about the need to escape from this lifestyle, while Jumbo and his girlfriend Ruby fight next door. Jumbo threatens Ruby, who wants to come out with him. Ruby turns up uninvited at a drunken, stoned gathering and Jumbo threatens her again, but allows her to stay on the condition that she doesn't embarrass him.

After an exercise class, Kate accepts an invitation to dinner with a classmate, Martin. Malcolm and Kate are making friends with Martin and his partner, when Jumbo arrives and acts aggressively. Martin incapacitates Jumbo with a martial arts manoeuvre, and he leaves in a daze.

Jumbo and his gang meet at a café on the morning of Malcolm's birthday and discuss a plan to rob the Greenpeace office where Martin works. Malcolm is told that he will be the lookout.

That afternoon, Jumbo fights with Ruby, having discovered that she uses a vibrator, while Malcolm and Kate argue next door about the need to escape. A party is held for Malcolm's birthday. The next morning Malcolm and Kate visit Skegness with their kids.

At the Greenpeace office, Malcolm acts as lookout while Jumbo, Willie, Lenny and Bets storm in, armed with toy guns, only to find that there is no money. Malcolm escapes with Terry in the getaway van, leaving the rest of the gang in the lurch. He collects Kate, the kids and all their belongings and they return to Skegness with Terry in tow.

Kate and Malcolm run a donut stall while Terry looks after the children. Jumbo, Willie and Bets end up in prison while Lenny, who managed to run away, is attacked by a disgruntled customer.