Withnail and I

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



Genre: Crime, Drama
Rating: 15
Directed By: Bruce Robinson
Written By: Bruce Robinson
Released: 1987
Runtime: 107 minutes


Richard E. Grant as Withnail
Paul McGann as “…and I”
Richard Griffiths as Uncle Monty
Ralph Brown as Danny
Michael Elphick as Jake


The film depicts the lives and misadventures of two “resting” (struggling and unemployed) young actor friends in late-1969 London.

They are the flamboyant alcoholic Withnail and “I” (named “Marwood” in the published screenplay but not in the credits) as his more level-headed, anxiety-prone, and ennui-crippled friend and the film’s narrator.

Withnail is filled with indignation over life’s injustices, despite his privileged background. He rages against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune all the more because he blames others for the adverse consequences of his exuberant arrogance, flagrant narcissism and habitual lying, alcoholism, and drug use.

Withnail sets the tone for the friendship, with Marwood going along with whatever Withnail wants to do. They live in a filthy Georgian flat in Camden Town.

While they wait for a part, daily life revolves around getting coins to use in the meters that provide gas or electricity, going to collect benefits, and waiting for the pubs to open so they can drink and be somewhere with heating.

Their only other company at the flat besides each other is the local drug dealer, Danny; a somewhat distasteful man with far out, often bizarre viewpoints on the current state of affairs and a knack for irritating Withnail.

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