Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.
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>
In the scene where Withnail (Richard E. Grant) ostensibly downs a bottle of lighter fluid, the can, which in rehearsals had been full of water, was full of vinegar. Director Bruce Robinson used vinegar on the take to get a better facial reaction from Grant. The vomiting was scripted and faked. See more »
As the boys are driving OUT of London there is a light blue Ford Transit van. It is also there when they are driving BACK to London at the end of the film. Same number plate as well. See more »
[after a phone call with his agent]
Bastard asked me to understudy Konstantin in The Seagull. I'm not gonna understudy anybody. Especially that little pimp! Anyway, I loathe those Russian plays. Always full of women staring out of windows, whining about ducks going to Moscow.
See more »
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.
There is no other movie that I have seen where almost every line of the screenplay is memorable. This is a beautifully crafted script and many of the lines in the film will live with you forever.
But of course, it is the way the words are spoken that makes them so memorable, and this is where Marwood and Withnail take you through a journey of almost impeccable desperation, confusion, anxiety, freedom and ultimately love, loss and redemption.
It's in this field of complex and beautifully woven emotion that all the aspects of the film become greater than the sum of it's parts.
To hear Withnail quoting Hamlet in the rain at the end of the film is one of the most underrated moments of modern cinematic history-it's stunning.
If you've ever spent time in London, been naughty and been caught in a period of uncomfortable and chaotic transition this is a film that will capture you.
This film is about 'youth, beauty and decay' as Uncle Monty would say.
13 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this