7.8/10
34,671
195 user 97 critic

Withnail & I (1987)

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

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

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Withnail
... ... & I
... Monty
... Danny
... Jake
... Irishman
... Isaac Parkin
Una Brandon-Jones ... Mrs. Parkin
Noel Johnson ... General
Irene Sutcliffe ... Waitress
Llewellyn Rees ... Tea Shop Proprietor
Robert Oates ... Policeman 1
... Policeman 2
... 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 cordially invited to spend a funny weekend in the English countryside. (US poster) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Handmade Films Website

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Release Date:

19 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi ketten  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,544,889
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debuts of Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann. See more »

Goofs

The same cluster of vehicles is seen following the titular characters on both the outward and return journeys to Monty's cottage. See more »

Quotes

[Marwood comes out of the bathroom wearing a towel]
Danny: You're looking very beautiful, man. Have you been away? Saint Peter preached the epistles to the apostles looking like that.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Room 101: Episode #10.5 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Walk Hand in Hand
Performed by Charlie Kunz
Composed by John Cowell
Original Sound Recording made by the Decca Record Co. Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
British film-making at its best.
19 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

Camden, 1969. Two unemployed actors, Withnail (Richard E Grant), and I (Paul McGann), are facing up to the reality of an empty wine cellar and a harsh comedown following a speed binge. Squalid living conditions and the prospect of life on the poverty line leads 'I' (otherwise known as Marwood), to suggest a rejuvenating break in the Lake District. After Withnail manages to persuade his bizarre uncle, Monty (Richard Griffiths) to part with the keys of his dilapidated cottage, the take the Jag north for a taste of country life.

Adapting to such an alien environment is an initial challenge to the highly strung Withnail; his predicament is significantly worsened following an altercation with poacher Jake (Michael Elphick). Meanwhile, Marwood is forced to concentrate his attentions to fending off the advances of the lecherous Monty, who has inconveniently come to stay.

Following an awkward evening, the pair hurriedly return to London and, after a run-in with the Metropolitan Police, return to find Danny (Ralph Brown) has made himself at home. Drugged rodents fill the oven while Presuming Ed fills the bath and Marwood is rescued from the mire - it seems he will crack the boards after all. "Congratulations", Withnail says emptily, as he begins to contemplate life without his straight man.

Bruce Robinson deserves high praise for creating a rich, debauched world of weird thumbs, phenodihydrochloride benelex, old suits, uncontaminated urine and the Camberwell carrot. WIth a the tightest of budgets, he brings the late 1960's to life. The script is incredibly witty and eminently quotable. Both Mary Selway (casting director) and Bruce Robinson succeeded in bringing dialogue to life with an impeccable choice of actors. Richard E Grant has never come close to his performance as Withnail - his drunken performances are remarkable. Richard Griffiths is as camp as a hat as the overbearing, exuberant Monty, and Ralph Brown is frequently hilarious as the dangerous but lovable Danny.

This is a film that will never be tarnished by age, and neither is it limited by repeat viewings. It is a very accessible film, despite its largely English humour, and 'Withnail' remains one of the best films about friendship. Certainly a one off, 'Withnail' is a must see film that will not disappoint.


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