7.8/10
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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:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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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
See more on IMDbPro »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bruce Robinson: The Barman in the London pub. He also doubles up for Richard E. Grant as the driver of the car on the way back from London (and can be seen at a couple of points) and Michael Elphick's poacher character in the long distance shots of him visiting Crow Crag. 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

Marwood: Don't vent spleen on me, I'm in the same boat!
Withnail: Stop saying that! You're not in the same boat. The only thing you're in that I've been in is this fucking bath!
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in American Beauty (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

All Along the Watchtower
Performed by Jimi Hendrix
Composed by Bob Dylan
1969 Published by Dwarf Music
Special thanks to Jeff Rosen
Original Sound Recording made by Polydor Records Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
British film-making at its best.
19 November 2001 | by 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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