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Withnail & I (1987)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  19 June 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 29,207 users  
Reviews: 187 user | 92 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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Complete credited cast:
... & I
Michael Wardle ...
Isaac Parkin
Una Brandon-Jones ...
Mrs. Parkin
Noel Johnson ...
Irene Sutcliffe ...
Llewellyn Rees ...
Tea Shop Proprietor
Robert Oates ...
Policeman 1
Anthony Wise ...
Policeman 2
Eddie Tagoe ...
Presuming Ed


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 (188) »


You are cordially invited to spend a funny weekend in the English countryside. (US poster) See more »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

19 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi ketten  »

Box Office


$1,544,889 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Daniel Day-Lewis was offered but declined the role of Withnail. Among the other actors who tested for it were Kenneth Branagh and Edward Tudor-Pole. See more »


When the letter is delivered to the cottage, Withnail picks it up from the table to read it. In the following shot, he is holding the envelope at the back of the letter which wasn't in his hands in the previous shot. See more »


Withnail: Are you the farmer?
Marwood: Shut up, I'll deal with this.
Withnail: We've gone on holiday by mistake. We're in this cottage here. Are you the farmer?
Marwood: Stop saying that Withnail, of course he's the fucking farmer!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


References Modern Times (1936) See more »


Voodoo Chile
Performed and Composed by Jimi Hendrix
1969 Published by Chappell Music Ltd.
Original Sound Recording made by Polydor 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.

87 of 97 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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