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Withnail & I (1987)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 19 June 1987 (USA)
2:06 | Trailer

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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 »



4,570 ( 358)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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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:

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


If you can't remember the 60's, ...don't worry. Neither can they. 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?


Withnail is a ferocious drunk, but he was played by the teetotaler Richard E. Grant. Finally convinced that he needed to get drunk at least once to have the proper insight into the character, Grant "filled a tumbler with vodka and topped it off with a bit of Pepsi", then swilled the whole thing down. He was teased the next day by costar Paul McGann and director Bruce Robinson, who assured him that he would never be so funny on film again. See more »


When Withnail puts his boots in the oven to dry, he opens the iron door with a stick because it will be hot. When he closes it, he uses his hand and doesn't even flinch. See more »


[last lines]
Withnail: I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth. And indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory. This most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! How like an angel ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Endeavour: Trove (2014) 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

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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