OK, so don’t get your hopes up; this is a pretty poor copy of Withnail & I. I mean, you wouldn’t want to watch it this way, not when the gorgeous Criterion edition exists. But it is the whole film, and as such perfectly fine for leaving on in the background while you down lighter fluid and watch your thumbs go all weird…
Withnail & I (1987)
Written and directed by Bruce Robinson. Starring Richard E. Grant, Paul McCann, and Richard Griffiths.
Additionally, here’s a decent little analysis of the opening shot. And Bruce Robinson’s beautifully self-reflective essay, a must-read.
6 thoughts on “Feature Friday: “Withnail & I” (1987)”
The scene where Richard E. Grant drinks the lighter fluid was supposed to be plain water, but Bruce Robinson wanted “a more genuine reaction” out of Grant, so he swapped out the water for vinegar when they shot it. I think Grant handled it pretty well.
Every moment of Grant’s performance in that film is a treasure!
Magnificent pick — in its own sardonic, addled, Shakespearean way, the movie updates Orwell’s heart-rending yet art-affirming masterwork, DOWN & OUT IN PARIS & LONDON.