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Withnail and I (Criterion)

Director(s): Bruce Robinson

Theatrical Release: 1987

Cast: Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown, Michael Elphick, Noel Johnson

Genre(s): Comedy, cinema, culture, Criterion Collection, Dean's List

Countries: United Kingdom

Location in store: United Kingdom / Irish Cinema

(0 / 1)
Ant Rating
Running Time: 108m.

Screenwriter Bruce Robinson made his directorial debut with this British comedy. Withnail (Richard E. Grant) is an unsuccessful, pill-popping actor; "I", or Marwood (Paul McGann), is Withnail's roommate and another equally underemployed actor. The time is 1969: Withnail is fast becoming a burned-out relic of the sixties, while Marwood is trying to reassimilate into society. The two take a trip to the country in hopes of rejuvenating themselves, but things go from worse to even worse. Given the intimacy and insight of the screenplay and dialogue, one shouldn't be surprised that Bruce Robinson (who adapted the film from his own novel) based Withnail and I on his own experiences. The film proves that certain "Age of Aquarius" types were just as bollixed-up in Britain as they were in America. - Hal Erickson (

The Criterion Collection is proud to present the complete, uncut version of Withnail and I in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This exclusive digital transfer was created from the 35mm interpositive and the original magnetic tracks. Transfer supervised by Maria Palazzola and cinematographer Peter Hannan. Telecine colorist: Vince Narduzzo/Telecine, London.

London. The 60s. Two unemployed actors—acerbic, elegantly wasted Withnail (Richard E. Grant) and the anxiety-ridden “I” (Paul McGann)—drown their frustrations in booze, pills, and lighter fluid. When Withnail’s Uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths) offers his cottage, they escape the squalor of their flat for a week in the country. They soon realize they’ve gone on holiday by mistake when their wits—and friendship—are sorely tested by violent downpours, less-than-hospitable locals, and empty cupboards. An intelligent, superbly acted, and hilarious film, The Criterion Collection is proud to present Bruce Robinson’s semi-autobiographical cult favorite in its complete and uncut version.


Criterion Collection DVD #119 Special Features:

! Exclusive uncut widescreen version, supervised by director of photography Peter Hannan

! Withnail & Us, a 1999 documentary on the film

! Rare pre-production photos by Ralph Steadman

! Original theatrical trailer

! Limited-edition collectible poster of the original film art by Ralph Steadman

! English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired

! Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition