Withnail And I 1986

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(308) IMDb 7.9/10
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Bruce Robinson's celebrated cult comedy starring Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann. It's the end of the 1960s and two out-of-work actors, Withnail (Grant) and 'I' (McGann), subsist on a diet of booze, drugs and fags in their revolting Camden flat. In order to escape the depressing nexus of visits from their dealer and the months of untouched washing-up, they escape to the country, with the intention of getting some R and R at a cottage owned by Withnail's uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths). However, things do not exactly go as planned, Withnail being particularly unsuited to the quiet social mores of countrypeople. The pair's friendship starts to become sorely tested amid the vicissitudes of their 'holiday'. More ominously, uncle Monty appears in person seemingly with something of an eye for 'I'.

Starring:
Michael Elphick, Paul McGann
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 43 minutes
Starring Michael Elphick, Paul McGann, Ralph Brown, Richard Griffiths, Richard E. Grant, Daragh O'Malley
Director Bruce Robinson
Genres Comedy, Drama
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 12 November 2001
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 43 minutes
Starring Michael Elphick, Paul McGann, Ralph Brown, Richard Griffiths, Richard E. Grant, Daragh O'Malley
Director Bruce Robinson
Genres Comedy, Drama
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 31 August 2009
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Milt M. R. Ingarfield on 3 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD
For the 20th anniversary of this 1986 production a 3 disc set has been assembled which contains a host of extras which includes a director's commentary, a channel 4 documentary and the stunning soundtrack.

This comedy about a couple of out of work actors which stars Richard E Grant and Paul McGann set at the tail end of the 60's who escape their squalid London flat to go to on a holiday in the Lake District, the rich dialogue which contains and ever increasing amount of insults really starts to flow once all involved start drinking heavily.

This is an excellent package for a film that has a huge cult following since its release, a rare example of stunning British cinema given the re-release it deserves a must see film.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Charles A. Foley on 19 Feb. 2010
Format: Blu-ray
This is my favourite film of all time the conversion to blu ray is good you can actually see posters and labels in the kitchen previously just a blurry mess.
What impressed me the most was the sound quality the initial music as you turn it on with a decent digital sound set up it feels like your there. I've had this film on every format and must have seen it 30 times and still probably will watch it again. Highly recommend.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Touring Mars VINE VOICE on 5 Jun. 2003
Format: DVD
Bruce Robinson's "Withnail and I" is a modern classic, beloved by its cult following, and can be rewatched so many times that most people feel the need to have a spare copy handy just in case one wears out. Indeed, if you can hold on to your copy without lending it to someone and never getting it back, you're doing better than the rest of us!
Loosely based upon his own life, this is a story of two 'resting' actors and how they try in vain to escape the festering stink-hole that is Camden Town in 1969 by having a weekend out in country. Richard E. Grant's astonishing performance as the brilliantly sarcastic, cynical and eloquent anti-hero Withnail, is counterbalanced by the aloof Marwood (better known as 'I'), from whose perspective the film is based around. Richard Griffiths amazingly camp performance as Uncle Monty is one of his greatest roles, and when thrown into the mix with the scheming Withnail and the unsuspecting 'I', it makes for one of the most fascinating menage-a-trois ever to be caught on camera. Aside from the three main characters, there isn't really many other people in the film, but they include the late Michael Elphick as a poacher (who threatens Withnail with a dead fish), Withnail's dodgy mate Danny (who invents the legendary 'Camberwell Carrot', a joint that utilises up to 12 skins) and Presuming Ed (who doesn't say anything in the film except for 'Hare Rama').
Probably the most quoted movie in British history, nearly every single line is like a sound-bite. It has also spawned the most infamous drinking game in movie history, which involves trying to keep up with Withnail's drinking throughout the movie, which in reality is actually impossible. It is the mark of how great an actor Richard E.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 May 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is a pity that this film is not better known in the US. The story follows the antics of two young actors who are seeking work in the trendy London of the late 60s, drinking their way to oblivion to blunt their neurotic hysteria. At turns pathetic, hilarious, witty, and disturbing, the two actors are truly wonderful. In a masterful performance, Richard Grant established his reputation as an eccentric Englishman with this film. While this is a black comedy, it is also completely believable.

Frazzled with the city life, they decide they need to take a vacation in the wintry countryside, securing the permission of Withnail's obese, lascivious uncle, who has designs on the young Marwood (who serves as narrator). Once they arrive without food or fuel, they are shocked at the primitive conditions they find; the countryfolk are taciturn and unreceptive to their antics, but this doesn't stop them from getting loudly drunk in local pubs and insulting anyone more straight-laced than them. Upon the arrival of the uncle, Marwood is relentlessly accosted until he lies (or so I think) his way out of his clutches. They return to the chaos in London and finally part. It is the end of the 60s scene.

This is brilliant filmmaking, one of the most interesting post-Beatle projects of George Harrison. I warmly recommend it as an unforgettable film experience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Moksha on 2 Feb. 2013
Format: DVD
Quite simply a masterpiece. People often talk about how funny it is, or how amazing Richard Griffiths is, or the haunting soundtrack, or the astonishing ending (the most moving I have ever seen)- yet few mention the beauty of the script. So much of this film is like listening to poetry: think of Monty's "but old now, there can be true beauty without decay" or Danny's little speech about the ending of the 60s. The only script that compares to Withnail for the sheer beauty of its language is Lawrence of Arabia. I cannot understand why this is not revered as a masterpiece and as possibly the greatest British film ever made (I suspect it has something to do with Monty's homosexual assault- or perhaps it is just one of those films that some people don't 'get'). American critics often say "it's OK, but you've probably got to be British to understand the appeal". I don't think that's true, but I guess it IS a very British film: the cynicisim, the nihilism and despair, the perpetual grey skies/ rain and the sense that all of this can be redeemed by humour, by irony and by extraordinary, larger than life, anarchic eccentrics. If I was living abroad in tropical luxury I would only have to watch 20 minutes of this film before I'd be tearfully longing for the rain and gloom and cynicism of my native island, in spite of its many, many faults.
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