Talk:Withnail and I

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


"On a drive into town, he berates Withnail and Marwood for "looking like a couple of farmhands."

This happens after tha farmhouse has been lent, it appears in the text out of sequance


I added a "reception" section. Feel free to add more things to it. I moved the second paragraph at the beginning to the "reception" section because I felt like it belongs there. Demoman87 17:42, 10 May 2007 (UTC)


In the article, it's stated that Marwood went to "the other place" (Eton). This was simply something Withnail told his uncle for appearances, but it's later revealed that Marwood (I) didn't attend a top-tier school, Eton or otherwise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:00, 11 May 2009 (UTC)


Quote: blue motorway signs dating from well after the sixties are also visible

Hmm. In what way do they date from "well after the sixties"? Blue motorway signs are featured in the 1960 edition of the Royal Automobile Club Guide and Handbook (the first motorways opened in 1958-59). -- Picapica 09:35, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

There signs for the M25 which wasn't there at the time
The wording ought to be changed as it does seem to suggest the blueness of the signs is anachronistic, I'll have a go. --JamesTheNumberless 15:07, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Too much trivia[edit]

Following up on the "too much trivia" note, I have trimmed down the trivia section. The items I have removed (and reasons why) are listed here.

  • After eating the potatoes which Withnail digs up, Marwood can be seen reading a book titled Journey's End. Whilst this can be interpreted as a sign of things to come for the pair, it also shares certain elements with the film itself: one of the characters is an unreliable alcoholic who comes into conflict with a friend and one of the characters dies, leaving the other to face the rest of the war by themself. In much the same way, it could be said that Marwood is leaving Withnail to face the rest of his life by himself.
This is interpretation, and not encyclopaedic. It also totally misses the point that Marwood is reading Journey's End because it is the play he is trying out for (and eventually gets the lead role in at the end of the film).
  • A scene which never made the final cut involved Marwood and Withnail fencing. Marwood was the eventual winner.
Deleted scenes are not encyclopaedic.
  • 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!" The first time Grant did it Robinson began to roar with approval, but Grant could never match the first take so the scene in the film is the first take but the rest of the scene is cut to cover the director's outburst.
I've read this story elsewhere, but it makes reference only to the 'fork it' line, not 'get in the back of the van'. Although this could be an interesting piece of trivia, I'm not convinced it isn't made up. It can live here for now.
  • Also, Monty's full name, Montague Withnail, may refer to the fictional Montague clan in Romeo and Juliet, which Robinson's character in the film version is allied to.
"May" is not encyclopaedic. And without a citation, this is probably nonsense.
  • There is a drinking game associated with Withnail & I, popular amongst fans. The game consists of keeping up, drink for drink, with each and every alcoholic (and other) substance consumed by Withnail and Marwood over the course of the film. Most players may simply drink their beverage of choice regardless of what the characters consume, though this is viewed by the more "hardcore" Withnail & I fans as an "easy way out." All told, Withnail is shown drinking roughly 9½ glasses of red wine, half a pint of cider, 1 shot of lighter fluid (vinegar or overproof rum are recommended substitutes), 2½ shots of gin, 6 glasses of sherry, 13 glasses of whisky and half a pint of ale. Since the whisky alone would be more than enough to necessitate a trip to hospital for most people, few, if any, keep pace for the entire film.
    • a generous glass of whisky is roughly equivalent to a pint of strong beer. 13 pints of beer is enough to put most people to sleep, but is unlikely to require hospitalising.
I'm not convinced by your assertion here. 13 pints isn't going to hospitalise someone, no. But you could drink 13 glasses of whiskey in one go - you would seriously struggle to drink 13 pints of beer all at once. Also, the alcohol is more diluted in beer and so impacts upon your system less. Marwood 17:49, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Anyone who consumed the full list ( 32+ units ) would have a Blood alcohol content level of greater than 0.5% by volume, which carries a high risk of poisoning, and a possibility of death. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:37, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
The drinking game is a big part of 'Withnail and I' and is how many people first discover the film - this deserves its own section (which I'll add shortly).
Who says? Who cares? :-)

Marwood 09:57, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Alternative ending[edit]

A flim studies graduate friend says:

"I don't know where Wikipedia get that from - Bruce Robinson has certainly never mentioned that and I have way more Bruce interviews than is healthy. I'm way too obsessed with him and his films, this one especially."

Request a citation. Joe D (t) 13:37, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Robinson mentions the ending in "Smoking in Bed: Conversations with Bruce Robinson". I've added a citation. 08:32, 25 July 2006 (UTC)


Much of the latter half of this section seems to be mostly an interpretation which is unsuitable for an encyclopedia. Specifically:

Quote: At one point, towards the end of the film, Withnail says 'There's always time for a drink' to which Marwood quickly and bluntly replies ' No, I don't have the time.' Marwood is not merely telling Withnail that he doesn't have time for a drink; but rather, he no longer has time for him. Whereas before, Marwood always had time for a drink (as is evident throughout the film) this is no longer the case. In refusing to drink with him, Marwood is implicitly telling Withnail that their time together is over; their friendship has come to an end.

Rather than bieng a statement of fact, it reads more like an interpretation. I would suggest the removal of this, and a reworking of this whole section. Mister B.

I agree - do please go ahead. --A bit iffy 09:02, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Upon Further reading, I suggest the complete removal of this section as it adds little to the article. Mister B. 19:46, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

As no-one has responded negatively to this suggestion, I am going to remove the section Mister B. 05:30, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Needs more work[edit]

Much of the trivia section is more like interpretation. I have nothing against having analysis in articles but not sure how this fits the Wikipedia format. The discussion of 'Journey's End' misses the point that Marwood is reading for the part which he secures at the end of the film.Piersmasterson 16:33, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Character names[edit]

Quote: In the same scene, Monty seemingly refers to Withnail as "Nathan".

In which line is this exactly? I can't hear it while watching the scene through in one of the DVD versions -- JackMcJiggins 07:35, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

When they're ar Monty's flat towards the end of the scene, and Monty decides he has to chase the cat out, he's in a fluster and says something like "no, no, Nathan, you must go". MegdalePlace 14:37, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Except he doesn't. Griffiths fluffs his lines slightly and says "No, no, nay-, no, dear boy, you must leave. You must leave". Marwood 13:36, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
It remains my feeling that until there's some real documentary proof I's name can not be considered to be Marwood- the fact that some people think they hear it in one scene is not encyclopedic fact. Equally well, the writing on the envelope percieved as being Marwood is perilous evidence at best, as the vast majority of props (especially for films of this sort of budget) are inherantly untrustworthy. It's my feeling that all references to the character as "Marwood" are just pandering to someone's fancies. Himynameishelen (talk) 01:59, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd suggest that the script is fairly definitive on the subject. Both the original shooting script and the commercially published versions name the character as "Marwood" throughout. (talk) 15:00, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

Does anyone else feel that most of the 'Background' section is original research/interpretation rather than factual and encyclopaedic? Marwood 11:14, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I reluctantly agree. It would appear, looking above, that this has already been discussed, and looking at the article history, Mister B. removed it following on from that. It was promptly replaced with an 'rv vandal' comment, perhaps in haste. I'd suggest removing it again, or I will if it's still there when I have more time. CiaranG 21:42, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Done. CiaranG 23:31, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


I added a tag to the trivia section. Wikipedia has deemed this type of section un-encyclopedic Mister B. 01:06, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

See also[edit]

While this section is very funny, it is inappropriate for an encyclopedia. I will update this section.Mister B. 00:42, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Cut scenes[edit]

What are the cut scenes?

The published script includes a scene where the boys go to "get the Jag fixed up", whereupon the mechanic tells them their car is a pile of crap and refuses to repair it. Withnail says something like, "Nonsense, it's in excellent condition" and they presumably patch it up themselves.

They also take an incredible number of empty bottles to the offy as in those days you got a halfpenny back on each of them. This is where they get the money for the whiskey that 'nail drinks on the journey north.

Robinson also mentions a scene, started but abandoned, where Withnail fences while wearing a mask and smoking at the same time, with disatrous consequences, as you'd probably imagine.

The most insanely obscure Withnail reference in the world[edit]

The Lone Pigeon track "Beatmix Chocbar Rap" (from the 2002 album Concubine Rice)includes the lines "I'm PC Stuck-In-The-Middle-of-Fife/ get in the back of the van/ it's life". Is this a deliberate Withnail & I reference? There'd be something admirable, and maybe a bit frightening, about someone who could be arsed to find out.

Had a quick look but no connection seems to pop up immediately- possible, but unlikely I'm afraid.Himynameishelen (talk) 02:29, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

"Here Hare Here" and Michael Feast - an in-joke?[edit]

The actor Michael Feast is credited by Robinson as being one of the two people on whom Withnail is based. He certainly lived with Robinson, Dundas et al in the late 60s and was no stranger to the fruit of the vine in the years that followed. Anyway, the advertising slogan for the UK cast album of the musical Hair was HEAR HAIR HERE. Given that Michael Feast appears on said LP as one of the stars of the original UK production, isn't Jake's note an in-joke between Robinson and his old (house)mate Mickey? I think so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

No, "Hear Hair Here" is a vocal exercise used at some acting schools to improve pronunciation. Both 'Withnail' and 'Hair' are referencing this, not each other. Marwood 14:36, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Is this where some of script was taken from —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:47, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

1986 or 1987[edit]

IMDb and several other references list it as 1987 (as does the category that this article is in), but the opening line, and the infobox say it is 1986. Is there a reason why the infobox and lead list it as 86? Chris_huhtalk 00:27, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

I know it came out in 1986 becuase I was working abroad when I got a letter from a friend telling me he had seen this great new film at the cinema called Withnail and I (weird title, thought I). I know the date is right because I was back in the UK for all of 1987. I know this can't be cited in the article (!!!) but it's just to confirm that it's defintely a 1986 film. (talk) 14:24, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
British Film Institute labels it as a 1986 release. For whatever reason, IMDb is wrong. Erik (talk) 17:18, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

The year at the end of the end-film credits is 1986. Tempted to make this edit but not certain of criteria of Wikipedia for 'year of film'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

It's reviewed in the February 1988 issue of the BFI's Monthly Film Bulletin where it's listed as a 1986 release. 16:40, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

According to the British Board of Film Classification, its censors screened the film on 27 March 1987, so it can't have been shown publicly before then in the UK. Editing may very well have been finished in 1986, which would explain the 1986 copyright year in the end credits, but it's the premier date which normally determines the film year. As the film was shown at the New York New Directors and New Films Festival on 27 March 1987, in the New Directors/New Films series at the Museum of Modern Art, according to New York Times, which was the same day it was being screened by the censors in London, this may very well have been its very first public screening, probably followed by a UK release sometime between that date and the limited theatrical release in the US, which started in New York on 19 June 1987 (at the Carnegie Hall Cinema). Unfortunately, there are no free British online newspaper archives for that period, as far as I know. BFI, unfortunately, has lots of errors in its various online databases, and none of those contain release dates, just years. I've changed it back to 1987 for the time being, but it would be good if someone could find a verifiable UK release date. Thomas Blomberg (talk) 12:57, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

In popular culture[edit]

There may well be enough here, but just wanted to add that the Manchester band Elbow's debut album "Asleep in the Back" has at least two song titles presumably inspired by the film: "Don't mix your drinks," and "Presuming Ed (Rest Easy)." o0drogue0o 09:19, 17 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by O0drogue0o (talkcontribs)


Article says: "One shot shows the characters driving on the wrong carriageway, with the hard shoulder on the right." This is not an anachronism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:43, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

While driving along the sort of narrow country roads shown in the film It would be usual to use the whole width of the road rather than to stick to the left hand side only; equally where traffic is light or nonexistent it would be acceptable to drive out of lane in order to increase visibility round a corner. This would be especially true when driving a wide vehicle such as a Rolls-Royce. (talk) 00:46, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Uncle Monty leaves the farmhouse[edit]

Uncle Monty's exit from the farmhouse, as I read it, was due to hearing Marwood's furious rant at Withnail for selling Monty the idea that Marwood was a homosexual. The fallout from this was of course Monty's fixation on Marwood and his attempts to seduce him. After hearing the truth of the matter as Marwood berates Withnail, Monty realises that he has been deceived and leaves in shame (hence the reference in his letter to himself as an eavesdropper). Your thoughts on this? (talk) 20:06, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

DVD Releases[edit]

Much of this section is unsourced (and, indeed, mostly written by me a long, long time ago). There is material in there which is true, but is unverified/unverifiable. For example, the Seville Pictures release not including the trailer because they thought they had a copy in their library but didn't. I know this because the MD of Seville told me. This whole section should probably be reworked with better sourcing. Marwood (talk) 14:36, 15 November 2012 (UTC)


The following is from the plot synopsis.

'Withnail and Marwood get into Marwood's battered Jaguar Mark 2, which is parked next to a scene of demolition of some old houses (significant for the time period) and set off north along the motorway. '

Why is the demolition of houses significant for the time period? Should this be included? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rybrarian (talkcontribs) 18:44, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

Reference 5 on this article is a dead link - anyone know where this interview can be found? — Preceding unsigned comment added by MikeyMikey667 (talkcontribs) 14:47, 28 November 2016 (UTC)