7.8/10
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189 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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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) »

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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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 film takes place from September to October 1969. See more »

Goofs

When Withnail and Marwood are driving along the motorway on the way to the cottage, at least one motorway construction vehicle can be seen driving in the same direction, but on the other carriageway. This gives away the fact that the motorway scenes were filmed on a completed but as yet unopened section of the M25 motorway. See more »

Quotes

Withnail: I will say one thing for Monty, he keeps a sensational cellar!
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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

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.
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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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