7.8/10
32,025
190 user 93 critic

Withnail & I (1987)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 19 June 1987 (USA)
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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ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
... & I
...
...
...
Jake
...
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
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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:

homosexual | gay | cottage | actor | rain | See All (189) »

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

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Release Date:

19 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi ketten  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,544,889 (USA)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name "Withnail" came from man called Jonathan Withnall that Bruce Robinson knew as a little boy. He was a local character who reversed his Aston Martin into a police car in a pub car park. Robinson said he's never been able to spell very well, and spelled his last name "Withnail" by mistake. The character of Withnail was based on Robinson's close friend, actor Vivian MacKerrell who died of throat cancer in 1995. They met at The Central School of Speech and Drama in 1964. The pair lived with David Dundas, Michael Feast and others in a Victorian townhouse bought by Dundas's parents in Camden Town, London. See more »

Goofs

When the girl shouts 'Up yours, granddad!' at Withnail, her mouth does not match the words. See more »

Quotes

Withnail: [on the way to the cottage] At some point or another I want to stop and get hold of a child.
Marwood: What do you want a child for?
Withnail: To tutor it in the ways of righteousness, and procure some uncontaminated urine.
[holding up a Fairy Liquid bottle with a strap and a tube]
Withnail: This is a device enabling the drunken driver to operate in absolute safety. You fill this with piss, take this pipe down the trouser and sellotape this valve to the end of the old chap. Then you get horribly drunk and they can't fucking ...
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) 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

Classic dialogue makes for a hilarious film
10 April 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In the late 1960'sm Withnail and our narrator are two unemployed actors who have little chance of being employed. Fed up with their lot in Camden, they flee for a restful break in Penrith in the cottage of Withnail's Uncle Monty. However the facilities, the oddball locals and the advances of Monty put their friendship under pressure.

There is very little I can add to the many reviews that have rightly praised this film as one of the funniest British films ever. The basic plot is not enough to keep you watching and you should not come to this film looking for an amazing narrative - I have watched this several times and never once has it mattered where the film was going, only how it goes there. The joy of the film is a script that is rich in highly memorable and quotable dialogue that will make you laugh out loud. It is crass to let this become a list of lines but if you stood up in certain circles and declared `I demand booze' or `I want something's flesh' then it would immediately be recognised!

Of course, the dialogue would not work if it were delivered badly, a problem that does not exist here. Grant is, and always will be, Withnail; no matter how many stupid adverts he does for shops this is how I will remember him. His delivery is tremendous and he brings the character to life in a spinning fireball of comedic excess! McGann has the less showy part but is equally as good and has to make his character real in order to hold the film together. Support roles are just as well scripted and just as funny - notably Griffiths (you terrible c*nt!) and the late Michael Elphick.

Overall this is simply one of the best British comedies ever made and it breaks my heart to see voter's lists where things like Four Weddings top it! The delivery is great and the writing is consistently outrageous and hilarious. The only downside of this film is that director/writer Robinson has never topped this wonderful movie and looks like he never will.


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