7.8/10
35,299
198 user 98 critic

Withnail & I (1987)

Trailer
2:06 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

In 1969, two substance-abusing, unemployed actors retreat to the countryside for a holiday that proves disastrous.

Director:

Bruce Robinson

Writer:

Bruce Robinson
Reviews
Popularity
4,939 ( 369)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard E. Grant ... Withnail
Paul McGann ... ... & I
Richard Griffiths ... Monty
Ralph Brown ... Danny
Michael Elphick ... Jake
Daragh O'Malley Daragh O'Malley ... Irishman
Michael Wardle ... Isaac Parkin
Una Brandon-Jones Una Brandon-Jones ... Mrs. Parkin
Noel Johnson Noel Johnson ... General
Irene Sutcliffe Irene Sutcliffe ... Waitress
Llewellyn Rees Llewellyn Rees ... Tea Shop Proprietor
Robert Oates 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

Taglines:

You are invited to spend an hilarious weekend in the English countryside. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Handmade Films Website

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

19 June 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Withnail & I See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,544,889
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann have both said that for a long time they no idea how popular the film was overseas. Grant said he didn't realise until he was in France on a roadside with a few friends and someone shouted "Scrubbers!" from a passing car. McGann said he found out it in Canada when someone said to him "Have you gone on holiday by mistake?". 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

Uncle Monty: You shouldn't treat each other so badly. This boy's been out there frozen to the marrow and you just sit in here drinking. Now, come along, he's going to revitalise himself and you're going to finish the vegetables.
Withnail: I don't know how to do them.
Uncle Monty: Well, of course you don't, you are incapable of indulging in anything but pleasure, am I not right? You don't deserve such loyalty. Now, come along, I'm going to teach you how to peel a potato.
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The original cinema version of this film was shorter than the one that has since been released on video, laserdisc and DVD. Changes include:
  • Marwood's opening voice-over has been redubbed.
  • Marwood's speech about his thumbs having gone weird has been cut. The scene thus goes from the line "I don't feel good" to "Look at my tongue".
  • Withnail's "I'm gonna pull your head off" has been cut.
  • Danny's anecdote about The Coalman has been cut.
  • Some dialogue concerning Withnail's current work and Marwood also being a thespian has been cut out of the scene at Monty's home.
  • The scene of Marwood slipping in the mud and then angrily persuading Withnail to have another look at the shed has been cut.
  • The first part of Withnail and Marwood's conversation with the major, concerning Withnail having been in the Territorials, has been cut. The scene in this version simply dissolves from Withnail and Marwood walking to the pub with Marwood's voice-over to the major bringing up the subject of Jake. Marwood's line about why Withnail lied to the major has understandably also been cut.
  • The word Saveloy has been redubbed to Sausage.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Day in a Life 2016 LP Low Res (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

A Whiter Shade of Pale
Performed by King Curtis
Written by Keith Reid, Gary Brooker and Matthew Fisher (uncredited)
1969 Published by Westminster Music Ltd.
Original Sound Recording made by Warner Bros. Records
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User Reviews

Classic dialogue makes for a hilarious film
10 April 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

In the late 1960'sm Withnail and our narrator are two unemployed actors who have little chance of being employed. Fed up with their lot in Camden, they flee for a restful break in Penrith in the cottage of Withnail's Uncle Monty. However the facilities, the oddball locals and the advances of Monty put their friendship under pressure.

There is very little I can add to the many reviews that have rightly praised this film as one of the funniest British films ever. The basic plot is not enough to keep you watching and you should not come to this film looking for an amazing narrative - I have watched this several times and never once has it mattered where the film was going, only how it goes there. The joy of the film is a script that is rich in highly memorable and quotable dialogue that will make you laugh out loud. It is crass to let this become a list of lines but if you stood up in certain circles and declared `I demand booze' or `I want something's flesh' then it would immediately be recognised!

Of course, the dialogue would not work if it were delivered badly, a problem that does not exist here. Grant is, and always will be, Withnail; no matter how many stupid adverts he does for shops this is how I will remember him. His delivery is tremendous and he brings the character to life in a spinning fireball of comedic excess! McGann has the less showy part but is equally as good and has to make his character real in order to hold the film together. Support roles are just as well scripted and just as funny - notably Griffiths (you terrible c*nt!) and the late Michael Elphick.

Overall this is simply one of the best British comedies ever made and it breaks my heart to see voter's lists where things like Four Weddings top it! The delivery is great and the writing is consistently outrageous and hilarious. The only downside of this film is that director/writer Robinson has never topped this wonderful movie and looks like he never will.


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