MOVIE: Withnail and I (1987)

Okay, look, people.  I feel like I put a lot of effort into this blog, and into the Boyfriend of the Week/Century web site.  Is it too much to ask that you return the favor by telling me about brilliant movies I haven’t seen that I would love?  You let me go 23 years without seeing Withnail & I?  HAVE YOU NO SHAME?  DO YOU NOT LIKE ME?  IF YOU CUT ME, DO I NOT BLEED THE BLOOD OF SOMEONE WHO WOULD LOVE THIS MOVIE?

My thumbs have gone weird.  Look at my tongue; it’s wearing a yellow sock.  How do we make it die?  I don’t advise a haircut, man.  I want something’s flesh.  Don’t threaten me with a dead fish.  Bollocks to the Wellingtons.  I’m going to pull your head off because I don’t like your head.  Give me a Valium; I’m getting the FEAR.

Find your neutral space.  You got a rush.  It’ll pass.  Be seated.

That is all.

[Netflix it | Buy it from Criterion]

Genre:  Comedy, Foreign
Cast:  Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown


12 Responses to “MOVIE: Withnail and I (1987)”

  1. Magrat Pudifoot Says:

    You’ve managed to guilt-trip me into delurking*. I actually feel deeply ashamed for not telling you about this movie…which is, y’know, ODD.

    Can I make it up to you by recommending you see Death at a Funeral if you haven’t already? And certainly you’ve seen Dog Soldiers, yes?

    * What is it about British movies about holidaying in secluded hellholes that gets me to speak up, I wonder?

  2. Trip Says:

    On that note, I simply could not live with the crushing and ever-increasing weight on my conscience by going one more day without recommending an urgent viewing of Dune.

    Also, The Puppet Masters.

    That is all.

  3. Liz Says:

    I love “Dog Soldiers” – seen it 2 or 3 times! Same with “28 Days Later.” But I never heard of this “Withnail” thing! Is it anything like the “Discworld” books, which I am now hooked on? Or “Monty Python” (which I’ve loved, like, forever!)?

    BTW – Richard Griffiths? He plays Harry Potter’s Uncle Vernon, and appeared with Daniel Radcliffe in “Equis” – the play about the boy who blinds the horses. Hey, can I help it if my brain works like a trashcan for trivia?

  4. Rook Says:

    I confess I violently neg the idea of “Dune,” though I commend the book to you. But I’ve been hearing this Withnail title for eons, and never knew a thing: your enticing brevity has me sold.

  5. megwood Says:

    Okay, heading to the video store on my lunch break to pick up:

    Dog Soldiers (I tried watching this once and couldn’t get into it, but clearly I was just delusional that day — I will try again!)

    Dune (Trip, if this doesn’t blow my mind with awesome, there will be hell to pay)

    Death at a Funeral

    I will report back later in the week on all three!

    If anybody else has any favorite British comedies, in particular, please let me know? And Liz, Withnail is about two starving actors who decide what they need is a trip to the country for some R&R. IT DOES NOT GO WELL.

  6. jo Says:

    OMG – I didn’t realize you hadn’t seen Death at a Funeral. You must see it immediately. I’m already annoyed that an American remake is in the works, because the original one is so perfect there is no need to remake it. Just release the dang there here, dadgumit.

  7. megwood Says:

    Okay, Trip — extended version or theatrical version for Dune?

  8. Trip Says:

    Hmmmm – I’ve only seen the extended version once or twice. IIRC it only adds a few scenes that you’d appreciate if you’ve read the book, while not doing much to advance the story at large. I’d say try the theatrical version first – if you loathe it, your pain is that much shorter.

    However, the cast alone should keep you going for the full running time, I’ll wager.

  9. megwood Says:

    Sounds good. My SOP is usually to go with the theatrical version, assuming that most scenes get cut for fairly good reasons. But I wanted to make sure since I’m doing this FOR YOU.

    Hoping to have time for it tonight — if not, won’t until Wednesday. But I will report back in excessive detail, as per usual, never fear.

  10. Liz Says:

    Okay, you guys, I was – sort of – close! I didn’t know what “SOP” stood for; I thought maybe it was “Strategic Operational Practice.” So I googled it, and found “Standard Operational Procedure.” I don’t think my idea was so bad! What do you think? Maybe I’m watching too many military-themed movies. My hubby was trying to help my mom with her computer, and they were discussing which wire was which. All I could think of was “The Hurt Computer!”

  11. Matt Z Says:

    love this movie. Favorite line is ‘a doll wot shits itself”

    Be warned they are doing an American remake of Death at a Funeral.

  12. zini Says:

    Sooo sorry, can’t believe you never saw Withnail and I until recently. I just got it out of the library to introduce it to a friend who I knew would love it as much I do (she did). My favorite line: “We’ve gone on holiday my mistake”. I also love the restaurant scene where they demand the world’s finest wines.

    My friend is the one who suggested i get the movie Delicatessen, very very weird and I loved it. French. Ya seen it?

    One other old movie that still manages to give me chills, The Changeling with George C. Scott, it’s from the 70s. A ghost story. GREAT. OK, that’s all I’ve got for now…

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