Withnail & I

1987, Movie, R, 108 mins


A hilarious black comedy and already something of a cult favorite, WITHNAIL & I opens in a cluttered, refuse-ridden flat in North London. This confused mess is home for two out-of-work actors: gaunt, sarcastic, vaguely aristocratic, and dissipated Withnail (Richard E. Grant); and handsome, bespectacled Marwood (Paul McGann), whose journal notations, heard in voice-over, serve as the film's narration. It is 1969, and the pair visit Withnail's wealthy eccentric uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths) in hopes of getting the use of his country cottage for a weekend away to "rejuvenate." Uncle is agreeable, and the two drive off to the cottage only to find it a rustic version of their own flat--ice cold, damp, totally without provisions. As usual, Withnail leaves the practical matters to Marwood to solve. WITHNAIL & I is a wry portrait of 60s low-life bohemia which gets plenty of comic mileage from the rapid-fire repartee, colorfully drawn characters, and occasionally Monty Pythonesque moments of director-writer Bruce Robinson's script. leave a comment

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Withnail & I (BFI Modern Classics)
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