Wakefield CAMRA Homepage                                              Ale on DVD Index                                           Bob Wallis (reviewer)

Beer on DVD  no.54

“Withnail and I” (1987)

Two out-of-work actors - the nervous, hapless Marwood (Paul McGann who is the “I” in the title and never actually named in the film) and his abrasive, alcohol soaked buddy, Withnail (Richard E. Grant) - spend their days drifting between their squalid flat, the labour exchange and the pub. When they take a holiday "by mistake" at the Lakeland pile of Withnail's extremely camp Uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths), they fall foul of the less pleasant side of English rural life: tedium, scary locals and endless rain.

Marwood, after being threatened by a man in a pub: "I don't consciously offend big men like this. And this one has a decided imbalance of hormone in him. Get any more masculine than that and you'd have to live up a tree.") So many quotable quotes that could fill an entire magazine!

In real life Grant doesn’t smoke or drink, mainly because his body cannot process alcohol, so in order to immerse Grant into the role of boozer Withnail, director Bruce Robinson shamelessly forced a full bottle of champagne then vodka down him one night so he would have a “chemical memory” for his acting thereby getting him so drunk and sick that he passed out, not recovering for 24 hours.

You, dear readers are advised to stick with beer: copious amounts of wine, gin, cider, sherry and Scotch were consumed by both of them and Withnail also has Ronsonol lighter fluid but they only have one pint of ale each.

The producers were George Harrison (yes, the Beatle), Paul Heller and Denis O’Brien

A dvd could cost you as little as six quid, or a special edition, not far short of £200.

to be printed in O-to-K , 2017  main text ©RKW 2017