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Withnail & I (1987)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  19 June 1987 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 24,797 users  
Reviews: 180 user | 79 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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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
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

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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Withnail & I  »

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

Ralph Brown turned up for his audition dressed up like the Danny described in the script, with purple hair and painted fingernails. The casting director Mary Selway and director Bruce Robinson found him frightening but also hilarious. Because of his extra mile, he got the part. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Withnail: [overtaking a car on the motorway] Here comes another fucker!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest Films (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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 »

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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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