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Withnail & I (1987)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  19 June 1987 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 24,835 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 invited to spend an hilarious weekend in the English countryside. 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where they set off for Penrith, in the shot where the Jaguar drives away after Marwood flips the shades down on his glasses, Bruce Robinson's rare Aston Martin DB4 convertible can be seen parked in the background. This car also appears in the Bagleys' garage in How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989) See more »

Goofs

When Marwood is in the bath shaving (just before Withnail arrives with his saveloy and chips), you can clearly see that below the shaving foam he is in fact already clean shaven. See more »

Quotes

[Marwood is in the pub toilets, after walking past a hulking Irishman who's called him a ponce]
Marwood: [voiceover] I could hardly piss straight with fear. Here was a man with 3/4 of an inch of brain who'd taken a dislike to me. What had I done to offend him? I don't consciously offend big men like this. And this one has a decided imbalance of hormone in him. Get any more masculine than him and you'd have to live up a tree.
[reading graffiti]
Marwood: "I fuck arses." Who fucks arses?
[aloud]
Marwood: Maybe *he* fucks arses!
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) 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

 
A Journey back to the 60s with George Harrison
29 August 2004 | by (London, England) – 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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