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04 March 2021

The Smiths’ ‘Shoplifters Of The World’ Movie Trailer Is Officially Here

The Smiths
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The trailer for Shoplifters Of The World, the movie inspired by events following the break-up of The Smiths, has officially been released in an exclusive with Entertainment Weeky. See it below.

The film focuses on four friends who are saddened and reeling from the news that The Smiths have broken up. The same evening a local radio station is hijacked by an armed superfan who insists the DJ plays Smiths songs all evening.

Shoplifters Of The World stars Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) as the radio DJ and Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood) as the hijacker, with Helena Howard (Madeline’s Madeline) and Elena Kampouris (Before I Fall). Joe Maganiello also worked as a producer on the film, and told Collider back in 2014 that “we have Morrissey’s blessing to move forward with a The Smiths project. I’m a huge The Smiths fan. It’s just really great to be afforded the opportunity to go out and tell stories that I’m really excited and passionate about, like that one.”

The film is written and directed by Stephen Kijak (We Are X). The title is a reference to The Smiths’ song Shoplifters Of The World Unite, which was released in January 1987 and reached No. 12 in the UK Singles Chart. You can see the official video for the single below, and see our selection of the Top 5 Smiths videos here.

Mark Ward, the chief acquisitions officer for RLJE Films spoke about the movie when it was announced in 2019: “With Shoplifters of the World, Stephen Kijak brilliantly transports us right back to the 1980s with the amazing look of the film and the unbelievable soundtrack… We are incredibly excited to bring this story and these great performances to U.S. audiences in 2021.”

The film’s plot – that an impassioned fan held DJs at gunpoint in Denver Colorado has been an urban myth for a long time, with some saying the DJs were forced to play Smith songs for four hours, while others suggesting the 18-year-old fan lost courage and turned himself in in the parking lot of the radio station beforehand. It is something Westworld explored in 2013, to uncover what really happened.

The story also inspired the 1994 comedy film, Airheads, starring Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, and Adam Sandler, as three band members hold up a radio station with fake guns in order to get their song played on the radio.

Shoplifters Of The World also features 20 tracks by The Smiths, including fan favourite How Soon Is Now? and you can hear the soundtrack below.

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