Withnail and I (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

Withnail and I1987

Withnail and I (1987)



Critic Consensus: Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann prove irresistibly hilarious as two misanthropic slackers in Withnail and I, a biting examination of artists living on the fringes of prosperity and good taste.

Withnail and I Photos

Movie Info

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 '60s, 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 & 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.

Watch it now


Paul McGann
as Marwood
Michael Wardle
as Issac Parkin
Una Brandon-Jones
as Mrs. Parkin
Noel Johnson
as General
Llewellyn Rees
as Tea Shop Proprietor
Robert Oates
as Policeman 1
Eddie Tagoe
as Presuming Ed
View All

News & Interviews for Withnail and I

Critic Reviews for Withnail and I

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (8)

It's much funnier, and sadder, watched stone-cold sober.

September 10, 2007 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Set in 1969 England, it portrays the last throes of a friendship mirroring the seedy demise of the hippie period, delivering some comic gems along the way.

September 10, 2007 | Full Review…

It is at once a coming-of-age comedy and a fond farewell to an era.

September 8, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A modern classic? A brilliant vignette of a certain time and attitudes? A self-indulgent jeu d'esprit? One thing is certain: Richard E. Grant touched greatness.

September 7, 2007 | Full Review…

A biting script from writer-director Bruce Robinson and performances from Richard E Grant and Paul McGann as two 'resting' actors, Withnail and 'I', that neither has surpassed.

January 26, 2006 | Rating: 5/6 | Full Review…

Grant - a teetotaller - delivers the performance of his life as the doomed thesp, whether it be demanding the "finest wines available to humanity", downing lighter fluid, or feeling like a pig shat in his head.

November 3, 2001 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Withnail and I

What elevates this British comedy above being a mere series of funny situations is Richard E. Grant, who embraces his role with a hilarious performance and makes this a hysterical film full of memorable lines and moments, even if some of the gags lack a proper punch line.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Utter hogwash from start to finish.

Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer


Hilarious performances from Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths and Ralph Brown.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Withnail and I Quotes

News & Features