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Withnail & I (1987)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  19 June 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 29,201 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) »


If you don't remember the sixties, don't worry - neither did 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?


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


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 »


Uncle Monty: Indeed, I remember my first agent. Raymond Duck. This dreadful little Israelite. Four floors up on the Charing Cross road and never a job at the top of them.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Awake and Ovulate (2007) See more »


Piano Sonata in B Flat Major
Music by Franz Schubert
Performed by Leslie Pearson
See more »

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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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