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Withnail & I

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United Kingdom · 1987
Rated R · 1h 48m
Director Bruce Robinson
Starring Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Michael Elphick
Genre Comedy, Drama

This darkly comic cult classic follows two unemployed actors -- Withnail, a sardonic alcoholic, and his anxious sidekick "I" -- who live unhappily in London in 1969. When they travel to the country cottage of Withnail's uncle, they find their vacation is far from the pleasant rest they had hoped for.

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Variety by

Withnail & I is about the end of an era. Set in 1969 England, it portrays the last throes of a friendship mirroring the seedy demise of the hippie period, delivering some comic gems along the way.


CineVue by Joe Walsh

A garishly macabre vision of a Britain exiting the war years and trying to come of age, it presents a time when society was ridding itself of the shackles of its Best-Of-British conventions, and forging a new path. Sadly though, with any coming of age tale there are those who are unable to grow at the same rate. Withnail is one of those, too happy to take all the pleasures, and never wake up to reality.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

It had a miraculously literate script whose every line deservedly became a quotable classic and the film boasts a once-in-a-lifetime combination of perfect performances from Paul McGann and Richard E. Grant as the loafing actors heading for a terrible bucolic weekend, Ralph Brown as drug-dealing Danny and Richard Griffiths as predatory Uncle Monty.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

Conveys the experience of being drunk so well that the only way I could improve upon it would be to stand behind you and hammer your head with two-pound bags of frozen peas.


Empire by William Thomas

Fans can mouth the words of Grant's big speeches along with him, relishing every viperish turn of phrase...this is and always will be a perfect dark comedy and a student staple.


The Guardian by Xan Brooks

This is a ramshackle, exuberant affair, peppered with larger-than-life inhabitants, ludicrous scenes and quotable dialogue that have long since grown worn from frequent use.

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