The finest cult film known to humanity! Camden Town, the arse-end of the sixties. Two struggling, unemployed actors decide some respite is in order and so depart their miserable flat for a week in the Lake District.
The older I get the more I love this film, the writing is first rate with so many quotable phrases & Richard E. Grants delivery of them is second to none. Even though this film paints a very bleak picture of life it is hysterically funny. There is a 30minute film about the making of the film on the extras section with the writer/director Bruce Robinson & others, I implore you to watch it as it will allow you to enjoy the film even more.
I already own Withnail on VHS, DVD and Bluray, but had the sudden and overwhelming urge to watch in the dead of night when I couldn't sleep and needed the comfort of this impeccable narrative. Amazon came in very handy when I couldn't be bothered to wake the household and fetch the physical copies. That alone is testament to how much you need this film in your life. It's nourishment for your soul.
Good film. Took a while to appreciate it enough to be able to say that. Used to see it in shops as a kid, I think at a low, low price, VHS, usually near to the checkout counter in particular, below on a stand, a last-minute bargain in the bag, or so they devised. I probably made the association then with TYO because of the two of thems' bedraggled and mopey look. It's what I always expected from it and when I finally got around to buying it as one of the first DVDs to my then-collection I suppose it did and didn't live up to my childhood expectations. It is a good film though, solid casting, a cult classic, might possibly be overrated, as some have said, but it's a good slow-brew English film, Sunday viewing, maybe with a high temperature, feverish -- soup, broth or stew boiling away on the stove, roast potatoes in the oven, or just beans on toast if that's ya thing. It sort of is like a grounded The Young Ones, albeit gloomier, poignant and without the surrealism and slapstick gags. So, when the students, two of them, after having survived the bus crash, have grown up, left Scumbag College and entered the 'real' world, or the 'real' world has entered them, and finally taken its toll and turned them truly apathetic and paranoid and they've got the scumbag blues, with a society that's in social decline -- or further social decline than what's referenced in TYO and Thatcher's Britain. There are some classic scenes, scenarios and dramatic and poetic lines in Withnail and I that always come to my mind -- so it must have done something. It's worth a watch. ('Oh god. My heart's beating like a f_cked clock!')
Great movie for sure.. but here's the deal on the Studio Canal Blu-Ray version of Withnail & I:
First up, it runs for 107 minutes and 12 seconds as opposed to my Anchor Bay 20th Anniversary version which only clocks in at 102 minutes and 59 seconds.
There are no extras except for a trailer on the Studio Canal Blu Ray. The Bonus Features and Audio Commentaries on the Anchor Bay dvd are NOT repeated here, and for fans of the movie, they are indispensible.
The pictue is, of course, a little better on Blu Ray but it was never all that sharp to begin with so I wouldn't be rushing out to replace the old 20th Anniversary 2-disc Anchor Bay version which, IMHO, is still the superior product due to the many excellent extra features.
I checked out both Blu Ray and dvd on my 46" LG HD television monitor and there really isn't all that much difference in picture quality. The Blu Ray is just a tad more clear but that's about it.
I'm still glad I bought the Studio Canal Blu Ray because it is a great film and I don't mind having an extra copy around. I'm kinda weird like that...
I first saw Withnail on a video tape which I recorded during a Channel 4 'Withnail Weekend' some years ago. How I wish I'd watched the whole weekend show, but the actual film itself was all I saw. I hadn't held out much hope for the film and only recorded it on a friend's insistence; he was a bit of a Withnail nut and regaled me with quotes, which meant little to me then.
Slowly the film began to seep into my blood, and that first tape became a precious object, watched over and over again. During one particularly drunken party with friends someone managed to erase the beginning whilst trying to start the video, but never mind - I'm sure Withnail would have dismissed such a minor inconvenience - all the while the appalling quality of the tape seeming somehow to detract little from the film itself.
Now I've dispensed with that old tape. I've got a state of the art flatscreen (to replace the old portable) plus a Blu-ray player and now I've got the best quality DVD to go with it. Is my enjoyment any greater? No, not really. But that's an unfair comparison I suppose, and certainly the DVD is more watchable. A bit like a restored old painting, details are revealed which one never even suspected were there, and bits of dialogue begin to make sense in their now true form. The add-ons, like the Drinking Game, are fun and really this is the best way currently available to watch the film.
I'm preaching to the converted, and a lot of us probably regard this as our favourite film already; I must have seen it a hundred times and like many can recite the dialogue from any given point. Why am I even writing this review? Oh yes, to say that the Blu-ray is a good thing. Five stars. Hic.