Withnail and I

Synopsis: Withnail and I is a 1987 British black comedy film written and directed by Bruce Robinson. Based on Robinson's life in London in the late 1960s, the plot follows two unemployed young actors, Withnail and "I" (portrayed by Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann) who live in a squalid flat in Camden Town in 1969 while squandering their finances on alcohol. Needing a holiday, they obtain the key to a country cottage in the Lake District belonging to Withnail's lecherous gay uncle Monty and drive there. The weekend holiday proves less recuperative than they expected.
Genre: Comedy, Drama

Camden Town, London. 1969

The Flat.

[A few shafts of sunlight sneak through the curtains and illuminate a

sitting room. There are empty bottles everywhere. 'I', who is smoking a

joint, gets up somewhat precariously and walks into a kitchen which is full

of bottles and dirty washing up. He lights the gas on the stove and puts on

the kettle.]

['I' knocks on the door to Withnail's bedroom]


I'm having a cup of tea, do you want one?

[He waits for a response.]


Do you want a cup of tea Withnail!?



['I' leaves the flat, slamming the front door behind him]


The Cafe

['I' is reading a paper at a table in the cafe. The proprietor is cooking

eggs in a frying pan full of grease. She takes one out, inserts it between

two slices of bread and places it in front of an elderly woman who inspects

it doubtfully and bites into the sandwhich. Yolk runs out of the other

edge. 'I' turns his attention to his paper. The story is about a

transexual, the headline 'Love made up my mind, I had to become a woman'.

He looks around at the other customers.]

I [mentally]:

Thirteen million Londoners have to cope with this, and bake beans and

allbran and rape, and I'm sitting in this bloody shack and I can't

cope with Withnail. I must be out of my mind. I must go home at once

and discuss his problems in depth.


The Flat

[I stumbles up the barely lit stairs looking unwell. Withnail emerges from

his room holding a bottle and glass and follows him.]


I have some extremely distressing news.


I don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear anything. Oh God, it's a

nightmare out there I tell you.

Withnail [pouring some wine]:

We've just run out of wine what are we going to do about it?


I don't know. I don't know. I don't feel good. Look! My thumbs have

gone weird. I'm in the middle of a f***ing overdose. My hearts beating

like a f***ed clock. I feel dreadful, I feel f***ing dreadful.


So do I. So does everyone. Look at my tongue. A grey yellow sock. Sit

down for Christ's sake, what's the matter with you? Eat some sugar.

[I goes into the kitchen which is by now full of steam and turns off the

kettle. Withnail follows him around reading from a newspaper.]


Listen to this. "Curse of the superman. I took drugs to win medals

said top athlete Geoff Woade."


Where's the coffee?

Withnail [reading from the paper]:

"In a world exclusive interview 33 year old shot putter Geoff Woade

who weight 317 pounds, admitted taking massive doses of anabolic

steroids, drugs banned in sport. It used to get him bad tempered and

act down said his wife. He used to pick on me. But now he's stopped

his much better in our sex life and in our general life."

[I pours water from the kettle into a bowl and goes back into the living

room. Withnail follows him.]


My God, this huge, thatched head with its earlobes and cannonball is

now considered sane. "Geoff Woade is feeling better and is now

prepared to step back into society and start tossing his orb about."

Look at him. Look at Geoff Woade. His head must weight fifty pounds on

its own.

[Withnail stands infront of a mirror and brushes his long, greasy hair with

a comb. I sits on the settee and starts drinking the coffee from the bowl

using a spoon.]


Imagine the size of his balls. Imagine getting into a fight with the



Please! I don't feel good.


That's what you'd say but that wouldn't wash with Geoff. No! He'd like

a bit of pleading. Add spice to it. In fact, he'd probably tell you

what he was going to do before he did it. "I'm going to pull you head

off". "Oh no, please, don't pull my head off". "I'm going to pull your

head off because I don't like your head!"

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Bruce Robinson

Bruce Robinson (born 2 May 1946) is an English director, screenwriter, novelist and actor. He is arguably most famous for writing and directing the cult classic Withnail and I (1987), a film with comic and tragic elements set in London in the 1960s, which drew on his experiences as "a chronic alcoholic and resting actor, living in squalor" in Camden Town. more…

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Submitted by aviv on February 05, 2017

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    "Withnail and I" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Jul 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/withnail_and_i_955>.

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