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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The name "Withnail" came from man called Jonathan Withnall that Bruce Robinson knew as a little boy. He was a local character who reversed his Aston Martin into a police car in a pub car park. Robinson said he's never been able to spell very well, and spelled his last name "Withnail" by mistake. The character of Withnail was based on Robinson's close friend, actor Vivian MacKerrell who died of throat cancer in 1995. They met at The Central School of Speech and Drama in 1964. The pair lived with David Dundas, Michael Feast and others in a Victorian townhouse bought by Dundas's parents in Camden Town, London. See more »
Shows EEC hedge rows planted near the motorway, a policy not introduced until the 80s. See more »
I can never touch meat until it's cooked. As a youth I used to weep in butcher's shops.
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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.
Walk Hand in Hand
Performed by Charlie Kunz
Composed by John Cowell
Original Sound Recording made by the Decca Record Co. Ltd. See more »
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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