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Withnail & I (1987)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  19 June 1987 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 25,850 users  
Reviews: 181 user | 81 critic

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... See full summary »

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Title: Withnail & I (1987)

Withnail & I (1987) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
& I / Marwood
...
...
...
Jake
Daragh O'Malley ...
Irishman
Michael Wardle ...
Isaac Parkin
Una Brandon-Jones ...
Mrs. Parkin
Noel Johnson ...
General
Irene Sutcliffe ...
Waitress
Llewellyn Rees ...
Tea Shop Proprietor
Robert Oates ...
Policeman One
Anthony Wise ...
Policeman Two
Eddie Tagoe ...
Presuming Ed
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Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

cottage | actor | rain | friendship | food | See more »

Taglines:

If you can't remember the 60's, ...don't worry. Neither can they. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi ketten  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,544,889 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally written by Bruce Robinson as a novel. Its conclusion is quite different from the film's: after his soliloquy in the rain at the park, Withnail returns to the flat he shared with Marwood, loads the rifle he took from Monty's country home, pours some wine (also taken from Monty) down its barrel, then puts the muzzle to his lips and drinks. He then pulls the trigger on the gun, killing himself. See more »

Goofs

When the letter is delivered to the cottage, Withnail picks it up from the table to read it. In the following shot, he is holding the envelope at the back of the letter which wasn't in his hands in the previous shot. See more »

Quotes

Marwood: [voiceover] Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day. And for once I'm inclined to believe that Withnail is right. We are indeed drifting into the arena of the unwell. Making an enemy of our own future. What we need is harmony, fresh air, stuff like that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in House M.D.: Risky Business (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

My Friend
Performed by Charlie Kunz
Composed by Ervin Drake and Jimmy Shirl
Published Chappell Music Ltd
Original Sound Recording made by the Decca Record Co. Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
British film-making at its best.
19 November 2001 | by (Amsterdam) – See all my reviews

Camden, 1969. Two unemployed actors, Withnail (Richard E Grant), and I (Paul McGann), are facing up to the reality of an empty wine cellar and a harsh comedown following a speed binge. Squalid living conditions and the prospect of life on the poverty line leads 'I' (otherwise known as Marwood), to suggest a rejuvenating break in the Lake District. After Withnail manages to persuade his bizarre uncle, Monty (Richard Griffiths) to part with the keys of his dilapidated cottage, the take the Jag north for a taste of country life.

Adapting to such an alien environment is an initial challenge to the highly strung Withnail; his predicament is significantly worsened following an altercation with poacher Jake (Michael Elphick). Meanwhile, Marwood is forced to concentrate his attentions to fending off the advances of the lecherous Monty, who has inconveniently come to stay.

Following an awkward evening, the pair hurriedly return to London and, after a run-in with the Metropolitan Police, return to find Danny (Ralph Brown) has made himself at home. Drugged rodents fill the oven while Presuming Ed fills the bath and Marwood is rescued from the mire

  • it seems he will crack the boards after all. "Congratulations",


Withnail says emptily, as he begins to contemplate life without his straight man.

Bruce Robinson deserves high praise for creating a rich, debauched world of weird thumbs, phenodihydrochloride benelex, old suits, uncontaminated urine and the Camberwell carrot. WIth a the tightest of budgets, he brings the late 1960's to life. The script is incredibly witty and eminently quotable. Both Mary Selway (casting director) and Bruce Robinson succeeded in bringing dialogue to life with an impeccable choice of actors. Richard E Grant has never come close to his performance as Withnail - his drunken performances are remarkable. Richard Griffiths is as camp as a hat as the overbearing, exuberant Monty, and Ralph Brown is frequently hilarious as the dangerous but lovable Danny.

This is a film that will never be tarnished by age, and neither is it limited by repeat viewings. It is a very accessible film, despite its largely English humour, and 'Withnail' remains one of the best films about friendship. Certainly a one off, 'Withnail' is a must see film that will not disappoint.


96 of 107 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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truly one of the saddest films ever summerislefan
Rated best British comedy since 1980 chiefbrody2001
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