194 user 96 critic

Withnail & I (1987)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 19 June 1987 (USA)
2:06 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

In 1969, two substance-abusing, unemployed actors retreat to the countryside for a holiday that proves disastrous.



1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Una Brandon-Jones ...
Noel Johnson ...
Irene Sutcliffe ...
Llewellyn Rees ...
Robert Oates ...
Eddie Tagoe ...
Presuming Ed


London, 1969 - two 'resting' (unemployed and unemployable) actors, Withnail and Marwood, fed up with damp, cold, piles of washing-up, mad drug dealers and psychotic Irishmen, decide to leave their squalid Camden flat for an idyllic holiday in the countryside, courtesy of Withnail's uncle Monty's country cottage. But when they get there, it rains non-stop, there's no food, and their basic survival skills turn out to be somewhat limited. Matters are not helped by the arrival of Uncle Monty, who shows an uncomfortably keen interest in Marwood... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If you don't remember the sixties, don't worry - neither did they. See more »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

19 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi ketten  »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although credited on screen only as "...and I", Paul McGann's character is named as "Marwood" in the script. It is widely believed that the character's first name is Peter; although this is incorrect. This myth arose as the result of a misheard line of dialogue when Withnail and Marwood are enjoying drinks at Monty's house. The only occasion Marwood's name appears in the film, is when it can be just be made out written upside down on the envelope he receives at Crow Crag. See more »


As the boys are driving OUT of London there is a light blue Ford Transit van. It is also there when they are driving BACK to London at the end of the film. Same number plate as well. See more »


[Monty's cat jumps onto the sofa]
Uncle Monty: Get that damned little swine out of here!
[he lunges at it and it runs off]
Uncle Monty: It's trying to get itself in with you, it's trying for even more advantage! It's obsessed with its gut, it's like a bloody rugby ball now! It will die, it will die!
Withnail: Monty, Monty...
Uncle Monty: No, no, no, dear boy, you must leave, you must leave. Yet again that oaf has destroyed my day!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Paul McGann is credited only as "and I". See more »


Referenced in George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011) See more »


Hang Out the Stars in Indiana
Performed by Al Bowlly
Music by Harry M. Woods
Lyrics by Billy Moll
Published by Peter Morris Music Co. Ltd.
Original Sound Recording made by EMI Records Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Brilliant Brit Comedy
14 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

Strange to believe that WITHNAIL AND I , a film that is regarded as today one of the best British comedies ever made flopped spectacularly on its initial release in 1987 and maybe it's not too easy to see why . In the late 1980s the British film industry was in an absolute mire and the very phrase itself " British film " made a homegrown audience roll its eyes and think of art-house crap directed by Derek Jarman or Peter Greenaway . Any British film no matter the genre or how good it was always got tarred with the same brush in those days .

Years later actor Ralph Brown ( Danny ) was asked " Why is it a good film ? " to which he replied " Because there's no crap bits in it " which simplifying the truth . WITHNAIL AND I is a very rare type of British comedy since it has been developed to its utmost potential . All too often British comedies of the last 20 years feel like they've been rush released before the script has been used to its full potential but not with this comedy classic because nearly every scene couldn't possibly be any funnier . Everyone has their favourite scene like the one in the Irish bar or the tea room or the one with bull but for me the stand out scene has got to be the urine sample down at the police station . It's also interesting to note that it's a movie without any female characters and feels both homo-erotic and laddish at the same time . It also carries an emotional and poignant impact at the end , something all of us can relate to when our best friend finds a new best friend and we become quickly forgotten

All the cast are excellent but Richard E Grant is nothing short of superb and it's probably his performance as much as Bruce Robinson's smart script . You could argue that because Withnail is a camp , self centered , mincing thespian Grant is playing an extension of himself and while this may be true he's certainly enjoyable to watch here . Ironically enough I'd have thought he'd be brilliant as the title character in DOCTOR WHO but it was co-star Paul McGann who got the role in the 1996 American TVM and what a major disappointment he was . As it stands both actors will probably be best remembered for their cracking roles in this movie

51 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 194 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page