7.8/10
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193 user 95 critic

Withnail & I (1987)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 19 June 1987 (USA)
In 1969, two substance-abusing, unemployed actors retreat to the countryside for a holiday that proves disastrous.

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

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

Taglines:

You are cordially invited to spend a funny weekend in the English countryside. (US poster) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

19 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi ketten  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,544,889
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was this film that prompted the family of Jimi Hendrix to take back full control over the use of his songs. They had grown dismayed by the association of Hendrix with drug culture in general. See more »

Goofs

Surmonti-50 (which was to be taken with a pork pie so they could "miss out Monday") was not available until 1980 or so. See more »

Quotes

Monty: Do you like vegetables? I've always been fond of root crops but I only started to grow last summer. I happen to think the cauliflower more beautiful than the rose. Do you grow?
Withnail: Geraniums.
Monty: Oh, you little traitors. I think the carrot infinitely more fascinating than the geranium. The carrot has mystery. Flowers are essentially tarts. Prostitutes for the bees. There is, you'll agree, a certain 'je ne sais quoi' oh so very special about a firm, young carrot.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Laugh Out Loud: The Funniest Films Ever (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Soundtrack Album Available From Filmtrax plc.
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User Reviews

 
A Journey back to the 60s with George Harrison
29 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

Withnail and I is set in an old, run down student flat in London's Camden Town at the end of the 1960's. Withnail and I are a couple of unemployed actors from different ends of the social spectrum.

Withnail is a Harrow educated dilettante, and rather upper crust; his flatmate Marwood is a grammar school boy with a slightly more realistic outlook on life. To escape from the squalor of their grim, unemployed, existence in Camden Town, soaked in a near lethal cocktail of alcohol and drugs, the desperate pair call upon the generosity of Withnail's uncle Montague and secure the use of his cottage in the country for a weekend.

Uncle Monty is an eccentric middle-aged homosexual, who prefers vegetables to flowers. He considers that 'flowers are essentially tarts - prostitutes for the bees', and wears a radish in his buttonhole in preference to a flower. He grows vegetables in pots in his Chelsea house, and makes suggestive references to 'firm young carrots'.

Withnail (excellently played by Richard E. Grant), persuades Uncle Monty (a superb Richard Griffiths) to lend Marwood (a convincing Paul McGann) and him his cottage in the country for the weekend.

Their exploits at the cottage, and in Penrith where they spend their Wellington boot money on booze and try to sober up in a gentile tearoom are memorable, witty and entertaining. The incongruous uncle Monty reciting Baudelaire in the Cumbrian hills, seeking carnal knowledge of Marwood (apparently coerced by the cowardly and treacherous Withnail), are testament to the writing skills and humour of author and director, Bruce Robinson.

The film's soundtrack brings us 'A Whiter Shade of Pale', played by King Curtis on the Saxophone, 'My Friend' and 'Walk hand in Hand', performed by Charlie Kunz, 'Schubert's Piano Sonata in B Flat Major' performed by Leslie Pearson, 'All Along the Watchtower' and 'Voodoo Chile', by Jimi Hendrix, 'Hang Out the Stars in Indiana', performed by Al Bowlly, and 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', by the late lamented George Harrison, who provided much of the financial backing for this memorable film.

This is a thoroughly entertaining 108 minutes of humorous entertainment, a few too many drinks, a convincing 60's atmosphere, superb performances from the excellent cast, and music to make your heart, and your guitar, gently weep. Thank you, George Harrison.


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