Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
The word "Provos" can be seen on the wall of the pub as Withnail and Marwood leave, however the Provisional IRA were only formed in December 1969 which is at least a couple of months after the film is set. See more »
I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth. And indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory. This most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! How like an angel ...
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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.
I have a film poster of Withnail & I that has such critical quotes as "Hilarious!" and "Gloriously funny!" and I can't say I totally agree. Don't get me wrong...I loved this film and it remains one of my favorites of all time, I just think these quotes sell the movie as some kind of Monty Python romp...and it's much more than that. I did laugh throughout, but I was also touched and found it quite sad (in a very entertaining way.) I would like to think that this is what Bruce Robinson intended...to make a dramedy...not just a silly romp. Though perhaps a bit slow for some, I thought the pace was remarkable, the acting superb. I have also heard people say that they found the plot lacking...but I argue that sometimes it's just nice to sit back and get swept away by a good character study. Interesting and thought provoking, sometimes referred to as a "cult classic", I say it's just a classic - period. Oh...and great soundtrack. The closing music always gives me goosebumps.
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