7.7/10
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206 user 102 critic

Withnail & I (1987)

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

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

Director:

Bruce Robinson

Writer:

Bruce Robinson
Reviews
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 ... Irishman
Michael Wardle ... Isaac Parkin
Una Brandon-Jones Una Brandon-Jones ... Mrs. Parkin
Noel Johnson Noel Johnson ... Raymond (General)
Irene Sutcliffe Irene Sutcliffe ... Mabs Blenehassit (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:

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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,627,318
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

Both Paul McGann and Richard E. Grant went on to play the Doctor in Doctor Who. McGann was the 8th Doctor and Grant was the 9th (in the 2003 animated webcast Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka (2003)), though his status was changed to "unofficial" when the new series of Doctor Who started in 2005. He also played an incarnation of the Doctor in the Comic Relief skit Comic Relief: Doctor Who - The Curse of Fatal Death (1999). Coincidentally, Richard Griffiths was once strongly considered to succeed 7th Doctor Sylvester McCoy, but this was never realized after the series was canceled in 1989 and McCoy's Doctor later regenerated into Paul McGann's in the 1996 TV movie. Griffiths had also previously been considered to succeed 4th Doctor Tom Baker in 1981. Grant would later appear in the revitalized Dr Who as the recurring character of 'The Great Intelligence'. See more »

Goofs

Surmonti-50 (which was to be taken with a pork pie so they could "miss out Monday") was not available until 1980 or so. See more »

Quotes

Marwood: If my father was loaded I'd ask him for some money.
Withnail: If your father was my father you wouldn't get it.
See more »

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 Watership Down: The Raid (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Performed by The Beatles
Composed by George Harrison
1968 Published by Harrisongs Ltd.
1968 Original Sound Recording made by EMI Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perennial Favourite
16 April 2005 | by regdricosSee all my reviews

Pretty superfluous to add to the praise of Withnail & I. If Oscars mattered particularly and, further, went to those deserving, surely Richard Griffiths (Uncle Monty) would receive one for his high camp, yet credible and deeply touching turn. That's the key - it's all too credible, 'cos we've done it. As an essay on the final shedding of a strange inverted innocence for the corruption of 'normal' life with its compromises, self-discipline and grind, unsurpassed, I believe. Likewise for its appreciation of the deep platonic love that can spring up between young men in the trenches of poverty and booze. Everything pitch perfect from the herniating slapstick to the pathos, from the soundtrack to the props, from the rain to the booze and all the way from Withnail... to I. 10/10.


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