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Withnail and I

Withnail and I

Withnail and I is a 1987 British black comedy film written and directed by Bruce Robinson. Loosely based on Robinson's life in London in the late 1960s, the plot follows two unemployed actors, Withnail and "I" (portrayed by Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann, respectively) who share a flat in Camden Town in 1969. Needing a holiday, they obtain the key to a country cottage in the Lake District belonging to Withnail's eccentric uncle Monty and drive there. The weekend holiday proves less recuperative than they expected.

Plot

In September 1969, two unemployed actors, flamboyant alcoholic Withnail and contemplative Marwood, live in a messy flat in Camden Town, London. Their only regular visitor is the drug dealer, Danny. One morning, the pair squabble about housekeeping and then leave to take a walk. In Regent's Park, they discuss the poor state of their acting careers and the desire for a holiday; they propose a trip to a rural cottage near Penrith owned by Withnail's wealthy uncle Monty. They visit Monty that evening at his luxurious Chelsea house. Monty is a melodramatic aesthete, who Marwood infers is homosexual; the three briefly drink together as Withnail casually lies to Monty about his acting career and claims that grammar school-educated Marwood studied at Eton. Withnail persuades his uncle to lend them the cottage key and they leave.