London, 1969 - two 'resting' (unemployed and unemployable) actors, Withnail and Marwood, fed up with damp, cold, piles of washing-up, mad drug dealers and psychotic Irishmen, decide to leave their squalid Camden flat for an idyllic holiday in the countryside, courtesy of Withnail's uncle Monty's country cottage. But when they get there, it rains non-stop, there's no food, and their basic survival skills turn out to be somewhat limited. Matters are not helped by the arrival of Uncle Monty, who shows an uncomfortably keen interest in Marwood...Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
An illustration of Elvis Presley wearing a white jumpsuit is seen on a shelf in the Camden flat. Elvis started wearing white jumpsuits in 1970, one year after the film's 1969 setting. See more »
[amorously puts his hand on Marwood's arm as he peels vegetables]
I think you've been punished enough. I think we'd better release you from the légumes and transfer your talents to the meat.
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The original cinema version of this film was shorter than the one that has since been released on video, laserdisc and DVD. Changes include:
Marwood's opening voice-over has been redubbed.
Marwood's speech about his thumbs having gone weird has been cut. The scene thus goes from the line "I don't feel good" to "Look at my tongue".
Withnail's "I'm gonna pull your head off" has been cut.
Danny's anecdote about The Coalman has been cut.
Some dialogue concerning Withnail's current work and Marwood also being a thespian has been cut out of the scene at Monty's home.
The scene of Marwood slipping in the mud and then angrily persuading Withnail to have another look at the shed has been cut.
The first part of Withnail and Marwood's conversation with the major, concerning Withnail having been in the Territorials, has been cut. The scene in this version simply dissolves from Withnail and Marwood walking to the pub with Marwood's voice-over to the major bringing up the subject of Jake. Marwood's line about why Withnail lied to the major has understandably also been cut.
Soundtrack Album Available From Filmtrax plc. See more »
Classic dialogue makes for a hilarious film
In the late 1960'sm Withnail and our narrator are two unemployed actors who have little chance of being employed. Fed up with their lot in Camden, they flee for a restful break in Penrith in the cottage of Withnail's Uncle Monty. However the facilities, the oddball locals and the advances of Monty put their friendship under pressure.
There is very little I can add to the many reviews that have rightly praised this film as one of the funniest British films ever. The basic plot is not enough to keep you watching and you should not come to this film looking for an amazing narrative - I have watched this several times and never once has it mattered where the film was going, only how it goes there. The joy of the film is a script that is rich in highly memorable and quotable dialogue that will make you laugh out loud. It is crass to let this become a list of lines but if you stood up in certain circles and declared `I demand booze' or `I want something's flesh' then it would immediately be recognised!
Of course, the dialogue would not work if it were delivered badly, a problem that does not exist here. Grant is, and always will be, Withnail; no matter how many stupid adverts he does for shops this is how I will remember him. His delivery is tremendous and he brings the character to life in a spinning fireball of comedic excess! McGann has the less showy part but is equally as good and has to make his character real in order to hold the film together. Support roles are just as well scripted and just as funny - notably Griffiths (you terrible c*nt!) and the late Michael Elphick.
Overall this is simply one of the best British comedies ever made and it breaks my heart to see voter's lists where things like Four Weddings top it! The delivery is great and the writing is consistently outrageous and hilarious. The only downside of this film is that director/writer Robinson has never topped this wonderful movie and looks like he never will.
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