7.8/10
33,557
193 user 95 critic

Withnail & I (1987)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 19 June 1987 (USA)
In 1969, two substance-abusing, unemployed actors retreat to the countryside for a holiday that proves disastrous.

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ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Una Brandon-Jones ...
Noel Johnson ...
Irene Sutcliffe ...
Llewellyn Rees ...
Robert Oates ...
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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

Taglines:

If you don't remember the sixties, don't worry - neither did they. 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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Technical Specs

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Camberwell Carrot was rolled by the Sound Maintenance Engineer on the shoot, Allan Brereton. Nobody in the props department knew how to build a joint that size and he was an ex-hippy who'd made them in the past. See more »

Goofs

As the boys are driving OUT of London there is a light blue Ford Transit van. It is also there when they are driving BACK to London at the end of the film. Same number plate as well. See more »

Quotes

[Marwood knocks on the door of a farmhouse. An old woman with a clunky hearing aid pinned to her apron opens the door]
Mrs. Parkin: What do you want?
Marwood: I'm a friend of Montague Withnail's. He's lent us his cottage. I wondered if you could sell us some food. Eggs and things.
[the woman just squints at him]
Marwood: What about wood and coal?
[she still doesn't answer. He leans up close to her, speaking into to her hearing aid]
Marwood: I'm not from London, you know.
Mrs. Parkin: I don't care where you come from!
[she slams the door in his face]
Marwood: [...]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Laugh Out Loud: The Funniest Films Ever (2015) 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

 
Brilliant Brit Comedy
14 January 2006 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Strange to believe that WITHNAIL AND I , a film that is regarded as today one of the best British comedies ever made flopped spectacularly on its initial release in 1987 and maybe it's not too easy to see why . In the late 1980s the British film industry was in an absolute mire and the very phrase itself " British film " made a homegrown audience roll its eyes and think of art-house crap directed by Derek Jarman or Peter Greenaway . Any British film no matter the genre or how good it was always got tarred with the same brush in those days .

Years later actor Ralph Brown ( Danny ) was asked " Why is it a good film ? " to which he replied " Because there's no crap bits in it " which simplifying the truth . WITHNAIL AND I is a very rare type of British comedy since it has been developed to its utmost potential . All too often British comedies of the last 20 years feel like they've been rush released before the script has been used to its full potential but not with this comedy classic because nearly every scene couldn't possibly be any funnier . Everyone has their favourite scene like the one in the Irish bar or the tea room or the one with bull but for me the stand out scene has got to be the urine sample down at the police station . It's also interesting to note that it's a movie without any female characters and feels both homo-erotic and laddish at the same time . It also carries an emotional and poignant impact at the end , something all of us can relate to when our best friend finds a new best friend and we become quickly forgotten

All the cast are excellent but Richard E Grant is nothing short of superb and it's probably his performance as much as Bruce Robinson's smart script . You could argue that because Withnail is a camp , self centered , mincing thespian Grant is playing an extension of himself and while this may be true he's certainly enjoyable to watch here . Ironically enough I'd have thought he'd be brilliant as the title character in DOCTOR WHO but it was co-star Paul McGann who got the role in the 1996 American TVM and what a major disappointment he was . As it stands both actors will probably be best remembered for their cracking roles in this movie


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