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Scenes from 'Withnail & I' on the YouTube
November 24, 2006 11:58 AM   Subscribe


 
I shall never play...the Dane.
posted by ColdChef at 12:03 PM on November 24, 2006


Crap. Thanks for reminding me how much I love this film. Now I'll have to buy it. I must.
posted by ColdChef at 12:10 PM on November 24, 2006


Once again that oaf has destroyed my day.
posted by No Robots at 12:18 PM on November 24, 2006


That was very British.
posted by grytpype at 12:25 PM on November 24, 2006


Wow. Thanks.

I love the fact that you've included the link to the inn. Aside from making me want to get drunk and take drugs, WAI has always made me want to check out the lake district.
posted by Rusty Iron at 12:27 PM on November 24, 2006


Rather ridiculous, the images brought to mind by the words of cult following: pallid misfits organizing their lives around figments of Gene Roddenberry’s imagination; tie-dyed refugees mourning the loss of their paunchy old Haight-Ashbury godhead; runaways wearing their underpants over their trousers so they’ll be let into The Rocky Horror Picture Show for free. The cult of Withnail & I is different, though—bereft of the usual loserish underpinnings of cultism and rife with clever, hygienic, intelligent individuals who know brilliance when they see it. Or so I’ve liked to think ever since I discovered that Withnail & I, a relatively obscure British film comedy, was not just a personal favorite of mine but a full-fledged transatlantic underground phenomenon—in other words, a cult.
The Curious Case of ‘Withnail & I’
posted by y2karl at 12:34 PM on November 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


I had liked "Withnail & I" so much that I went to see "Jennifer 8" the day it came out
posted by matteo at 12:39 PM on November 24, 2006


regretfully
posted by matteo at 12:39 PM on November 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN!
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:45 PM on November 24, 2006


We are multi-millionaires. bring us the finest wines known to humanity!
posted by cell divide at 12:55 PM on November 24, 2006


Perfume-covered ponce.
posted by chococat at 12:58 PM on November 24, 2006


I mean to have you even if it must be burglary.
posted by biscotti at 12:59 PM on November 24, 2006


I've been called a ponce.

Photos from the locations used.

Loads of quotes.

We want the finest wines available to humanity, and we want them here, and we want them now.
posted by fire&wings at 1:05 PM on November 24, 2006


"Withnail & I" is my favorite film that most people I know have never even heard of. (It used to be "Waiting for Guffman", but luckily that's found an audience.)
posted by ColdChef at 1:13 PM on November 24, 2006


I think the carrot infinitely more fascinating than the geranium. The carrot has mystery. Flowers are essentially tarts; prostitutes for the bees. There is, you'll agree, a certain je ne sais quoi oh so very special about a firm young carrot.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 1:23 PM on November 24, 2006


Awesome. Now when I watch this for my Criterion Collection project I won't have to search teh interwebs for good accompanying links.
posted by sciurus at 1:25 PM on November 24, 2006


After I saw this film, it became apparent that it has been Warren Ellis' greatest artistic influence, but that his writing is a pale mockery at best.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:44 PM on November 24, 2006


We've gone on holiday by mistake

I'm preparing myself to forgive you

As a youth, I used to weep in butcher shops
posted by milkwood at 1:49 PM on November 24, 2006


I love this film and I'm still not sure why.
posted by squidfartz at 2:03 PM on November 24, 2006


"I feel like a pig shat in my head"

"There must and shall be aspirins. If I don't get aspirin, I shall die here on this fucking mountainside."
posted by redteam at 2:15 PM on November 24, 2006


The thing I like about Withnail (other than it being utterly fucking brilliant) is that it's a firm favourite with pissed up student rugby team twats who would kick the shit out of you if you even hinted that they were gay. Not many loving evocations of unrequited queer desire you can say that about, really.
posted by jack_mo at 2:16 PM on November 24, 2006


If you're hanging on to a rising balloon, you're presented with a difficult decision - let go before it's too late or hang on and keep getting higher, posing the question; how long can you keep a grip on the rope? They're selling hippie wigs in Woolworths, man. The greatest decade in the history of mankind is over. And as Presuming Ed here has so consistently pointed out, we have failed to paint it black.

Despite being born well after the 60s ended, I always found this line to be poignant and mildly tragic.
posted by wolfsleepy at 3:20 PM on November 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN!

I won't go so far as to say that this line makes the movie, but I don't know that I ever laughed that hard. Ever.
posted by Alex404 at 3:41 PM on November 24, 2006


you may not be far off, alex.

'Bruce Robinson has said that there are two lines in the script which had to be perfect. If the actors got them as he imagined then the film as a whole would work. One is the Policeman shouting "Get in the back of the van!"; the other is Withnail saying "Fork it!"'
posted by wolfsleepy at 3:51 PM on November 24, 2006


Last night I met a French Bulldog puppy named "Withnail" and today you post this. I must add this wonderful movie to my Xmas list.

Thanks, Karl.
posted by timeistight at 3:57 PM on November 24, 2006


We want the finest wines available to humanity.

Great post.
posted by greycap at 4:24 PM on November 24, 2006


favorite movie ever! thank you.
posted by pinky at 5:03 PM on November 24, 2006


Maybe I ought to give it another watch soon...but I've always preferred How To Get Ahead In Advertising over this one. To further derail, it looks like Robinson's putting on a show for The Rum Diary someday.
posted by carsonb at 5:09 PM on November 24, 2006


Oh, here hare here.
posted by asok at 6:26 PM on November 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


We've gone on holiday by mistake

I know I'm gonna get pounded for this one, but I find this to be the only funny line in this movie. I didn't laugh much at all, and found the (sometimes incomprehensible) voiceover ineffectual. The first time I saw it was on the strong recommendation of a friend, who saw it with me, but I didn't "get it". Years later, after realizing what a cult fave it is, I gave it another try. Didn't "get it" again. I don't think the writing is the brilliant masterpiece that others feel it to be. I could be more specific, but I already feel like that "Your favorite movie sux" guy.
posted by zardoz at 6:38 PM on November 24, 2006


Wow, and that's coming from a dude named Zardoz :)

Great movie (Though I too like ...Ahead In Advertising a wee bit more), great post!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:52 PM on November 24, 2006


The one time I saw this movie was a couple of decades back, in university, and I was, to be honest, shambolically drunk at the time. I remember bugger-all about it. This post (and the praise I see for the movie all the time around the web) has inspired me today to download a copy from my favorite peer to peer service. I may get drunk again before watching it, just to be consistent.

I blame my copyright infractionizing activities on y2karl. For the drink, I take full responsibility.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:44 PM on November 24, 2006


Withnail and I almost never saw the light of day. Denis O'Brien, George Harrison's manager and partner in Handmade films, saw early rushes and very nearly pulled the plug after a couple of days of shooting. Robinson and others had to plead with him to continue.

Denis O'Brien was subsequently sued by George who alleged that O'Brien had defrauded him of a significant part of his fortune.
posted by johnny novak at 11:25 PM on November 24, 2006


Well, Zardoz, you're not alone. There's at least you, me and my husband. We found it to be rather depressing.
posted by Shoeburyness at 1:33 AM on November 25, 2006


From Y2Karl's link:
And despite clamoring from fans and Grant’s comments in the past that he would be game for Withnail 2, a sequel is impossible for one simple reason: In Robinson’s mind, Withnail is dead. A final scene, written but never filmed, has the “I”-less Withnail returning from the park to the flat. “He’s got the shotgun from Uncle Monty’s cottage and two bottles of Monty’s wine,” Robinson said. “He opens both bottles and pours them down the barrels of the shotgun. He drinks from the shotgun and blows his head all over the fucking room.”

Robinson dispensed with the suicide scene because he wanted to leave the audience with Marwood’s sense of hope, not Withnail’s sense of despair. “You can’t live your life like Withnail and ‘I,’ ” he said. “You can’t be Byron. If you’re Byron all your life, you end up fucking dead like Byron. That moment where Marwood acquiesces and accepts that he’s got to become part of society or die, to me, is hopeful.”


Fucking hell. Suddenly, I feel like I've been watching the Fox network's version of Brazil for the last 3 years. I watched it again last night after reading that, and it sure changed the tone of the entire movie for me. Of course, Withnail's character has always seemed doomed, but to know he's doomed just tweaks the bittersweetness & bleakness over the top for me. Not that it isn't still funny as hell though.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:35 AM on November 25, 2006


Zardoz was hands-down the worst movie I've ever seen. It wasn't even good in a bad way.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:36 AM on November 25, 2006


I just got my Criterion DVD on Monday! Great timing y2karl!

And damned if I only just realized why the star of History Boys looked so damn familiar all through the play.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:32 AM on November 25, 2006


I've been to Penrith and it's depressing as fuck. Grey brown former mining town reeking of unemployment and fights. Go to the Lake District if you want pleasant scenery.
posted by snoktruix at 6:45 AM on November 25, 2006


Withnail was edgy but doomed (a coat tail Young Ones fame grab). Grant's career is in decline. This is evidenced by his 'dig for material' - Wah Wah. (I watched him recently on Denton and was nonplussed).
posted by tellurian at 7:04 AM on November 25, 2006


I haven't seen this movie in years but I still start cracking up when I even consider the 'holiday' scenes. How could I forget to name my kid Withnail?!
posted by melixxa600 at 7:16 AM on November 25, 2006


"We are indeed drifting into the arena of the unwell."

A dedicated site to news about The Rum Diary.
(The designer has clearly been partaking in the rum.)
posted by papoon at 7:31 AM on November 25, 2006


top notch post.
posted by nims at 8:00 AM on November 25, 2006


some great writing in that Sanjak article - whoever thought that Absolutely Fabulous' Patsy and Eddie were Withnail's "equal opportunity distaff dissolutes"
posted by criticalbill at 8:01 AM on November 25, 2006


Count me among the people who thought this film was depressing as all hell. Don't get me wrong...I thought it was a quality flick - well directed, acted, written, etc. - but the only time I laughed out loud was the first appearance of the "Cumberland Carrot" (i.e. the silliest sight gag).

Guess it's an English thing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:55 AM on November 25, 2006


Might be an alcohol thing. When this came out, responses in my circle were remarkably consistent: Those of us who knew & loved alcoholics thought it hilarious; those who themselves were alcoholics hated it; and those in neither category simply didn't 'get it.'
posted by girandole at 10:56 AM on November 25, 2006


Count me among the people who thought this film was depressing as all hell.

I love the movie, and find it extremely funny, but it's also extremely depressing - that's part of why I love it.
posted by biscotti at 12:54 PM on November 25, 2006


Never understood the appeal.
posted by bingo at 1:30 PM on November 25, 2006


y2karl you terrible cunt!

i shall never get anything done today.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:37 PM on November 25, 2006


I've been to Penrith and it's depressing as fuck. Grey brown former mining town reeking of unemployment and fights. Go to the Lake District if you want pleasant scenery.

It's in the Lake District, it's just the wrong side of the M6 for us "outlanders" (as they referred to me when I lived locally) to recognise it as such. It's within the boundaries of the national park though.
posted by vbfg at 5:29 AM on November 26, 2006


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