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Withnail & I (1987)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  19 June 1987 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 28,168 users  
Reviews: 186 user | 91 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 ... See full summary »

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Title: Withnail & I (1987)

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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 1
Anthony Wise ...
Policeman 2
Eddie Tagoe ...
Presuming Ed
Edit

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 All (189) »

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

Withnail is a ferocious drunk, but he was played by the teetotaler Richard E. Grant. Finally convinced that he needed to get drunk at least once to have the proper insight into the character, Grant "filled a tumbler with vodka and topped it off with a bit of Pepsi", then swilled the whole thing down. He was teased the next day by costar Paul McGann and director Bruce Robinson, who assured him that he would never be so funny on film again. See more »

Goofs

A road sign for the M25 London orbital motorway can be seen at one point as Withnail and Marwood are driving along the motorway on the way back from the cottage. This was road was constructed in the 1980s, well after 1969, the year in which the film was set. The folded metal crash barrier is a thing of the late '70s at the earliest. Numerous cars dating from the 1980s are seen on the motorway. See more »

Quotes

Danny: Has he just been busted?
Marwood: No.
Danny: Then why's he wearing that old suit?
Withnail: Old suit? This suit was cut by Hawkes of Savile Row. Just because the best tailoring you've ever seen is above your fucking appendix doesn't mean anything!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The 50 Greatest Comedy Films (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Film Soundtrack & Original Music Published by Ganga Publishing B.V. Filmtrax plc.
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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.


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