7.8/10
33,401
192 user 95 critic

Withnail & I (1987)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 19 June 1987 (USA)
In 1969, two substance-abusing, unemployed actors retreat to the countryside for a holiday that proves disastrous.

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ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
... & I
...
...
...
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
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>

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Taglines:

If you don't remember the sixties, don't worry - neither did they. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

19 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi ketten  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,544,889 (USA)
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the film, Danny mentions an acquaintance of his named The Coalman, then threatens Withnail with a potent drug called The Embalmer. Both The Coalman and The Embalmer are the names of two hangover "cures". See more »

Goofs

When the girl shouts 'Up yours, granddad!' at Withnail, her mouth does not match the words. See more »

Quotes

Danny: I see you're wearing a suit.
Withnail: What's it got to do with you?
Danny: No need to get uptight, man. I was merely making an observation. I happened to be looking for a suit for the Coalman two weeks ago. For reasons I can't really discuss with you. The Coalman had to go to Jamaica. Got busted coming back through Heathrow. Had a weight under his fez. We worked out it would be handy karma for him to get hold of a suit but he's a very low temperature spade, the Coalman. Goes into court in his kaftan and a bell...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Screenwipe: Episode #3.1 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata in B Flat Major
Music by Franz Schubert
Performed by Leslie Pearson
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant Brit Comedy
14 January 2006 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Strange to believe that WITHNAIL AND I , a film that is regarded as today one of the best British comedies ever made flopped spectacularly on its initial release in 1987 and maybe it's not too easy to see why . In the late 1980s the British film industry was in an absolute mire and the very phrase itself " British film " made a homegrown audience roll its eyes and think of art-house crap directed by Derek Jarman or Peter Greenaway . Any British film no matter the genre or how good it was always got tarred with the same brush in those days .

Years later actor Ralph Brown ( Danny ) was asked " Why is it a good film ? " to which he replied " Because there's no crap bits in it " which simplifying the truth . WITHNAIL AND I is a very rare type of British comedy since it has been developed to its utmost potential . All too often British comedies of the last 20 years feel like they've been rush released before the script has been used to its full potential but not with this comedy classic because nearly every scene couldn't possibly be any funnier . Everyone has their favourite scene like the one in the Irish bar or the tea room or the one with bull but for me the stand out scene has got to be the urine sample down at the police station . It's also interesting to note that it's a movie without any female characters and feels both homo-erotic and laddish at the same time . It also carries an emotional and poignant impact at the end , something all of us can relate to when our best friend finds a new best friend and we become quickly forgotten

All the cast are excellent but Richard E Grant is nothing short of superb and it's probably his performance as much as Bruce Robinson's smart script . You could argue that because Withnail is a camp , self centered , mincing thespian Grant is playing an extension of himself and while this may be true he's certainly enjoyable to watch here . Ironically enough I'd have thought he'd be brilliant as the title character in DOCTOR WHO but it was co-star Paul McGann who got the role in the 1996 American TVM and what a major disappointment he was . As it stands both actors will probably be best remembered for their cracking roles in this movie


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