Guy Ritchie (born September 10, 1968) is an English film director. He has adopted a cockney (see Mockney) accent despite being the stepson of baronet Sir Michael Leighton of Loton Park and a descendant of Edward I .
Ritchie dropped out of English independent school Stanbridge Earls at the age of 15 (he is dyslexic; the school is one of the most prominent schools specialising in dealing with dyslexia in England). He then attended Sibford School, a small independent boarding school in Oxfordshire, with his sister. Though he was expelled from the school (for taking drugs), he later went on to become an accomplished music video and film director.
Ritchie directed a film in 1995 titled The Hard Case. His first truly successful feature was Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1998. Recalling Quentin Tarantino, The Sting and The Italian Job in equal measure, the film was widely praised for its wit. It also introduced actor Jason Statham to worldwide audiences, and set former football player Vinnie Jones onto a new career as a film actor.
His second release, Snatch in 2000, was another caper comedy, this time backed by a major studio. Its cast featured such Hollywood big names as Brad Pitt, Benicio del Toro, and Dennis Farina. Reviews were also strong for this film.
He married Madonna on December 22, 2000, at Skibo Castle in Scotland, and they have a son, Rocco, together. Following his marriage to Madonna, Ritchie then began focusing his filmmaking around his famous wife, directing her in both a music video (for the song "What It Feels Like for a Girl," a controversial video that showed Madonna engaging in running people down with a car) and a short film, "Star", for the BMW films series. Ritchie's next feature, also a vehicle for Madonna, was a remake of the 1960s Lina Wertmüller hit Swept Away also entitled Swept Away. Ritchie cast Madonna as a rich, rude socialite who, after a shipwreck, is trapped on a deserted island with a slovenly servant who smacks and humiliates her. The woman is called Amber Leighton, the name of Guy Ritchie's mother. The film was both a critical and commercial disappoinment and it cast a cloud over Ritchie's filmmaking career.