Monday, 24 September 2012

The Finest Wine available to Humanity.




I'll get straight to the point and say that I am going to write about my favourite film, this gives the people who don't want to hear my opinion the chance to go read another blog and not waste any more time reading this one.

Have they gone? Good, I never liked them anyway.

So my favourite film of all time is Withnail and I.  Released in 1987 it was a box office failure (a bit like the new Dredd movie out at the moment which is a shame because it is great).  Despite the lack of interest shown on it's theatrical release it gained a strong cult following on video via word of mouth and has since been hailed as a classic British film.

Set in 1969 it tells the story of two out of work actors sharing a crappy London flat who spend most of the time trying to get out drunk or stoned and complaining about their lack of work or being cold.
They decide to get out of the city and persuade Withnail's gay Uncle Monty to let them use his cottage up in the Lake District.

I won't give away anymore of the story as I would urge you to see this film.  Withnail is played brilliantly by Richard E Grant in his first film role, all the more surprising is that Grant does not drink yet manages to convince he is almost constantly inebriated with a wild-eyed furious performance.

Paul McGann plays the everyman character of I (you never hear his name mentioned although in the credits he is called Marwood) and is the foil of Withnail's manipulative scheming.  The rest of the characters are excellent, Danny the Dealer, Jake the Poacher and the unforgettable Uncle Monty, played by Richard Griffiths in probably his best ever role, and they all look as though they are enjoying themselves immensely.

There are hardly any women in the film I'm afraid, this is blokey film about blokes doing blokey stuff but don't let that put you off, the dialogue is legendary and almost every line in the film is quotable, here is a small sample:

Withnail: I've some extremely distressing news. 
Marwood: I don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear anything. Oh God, it's a nightmare, I tell you, it's a nightmare. 
Withnail: We just ran out of wine. What are we gonna do about it? 
Marwood: I don't know, I don't know. Oh God, I don't feel good. My thumbs have gone weird! I'm in the middle of a bloody overdose! Oh God. My heart's beating like a fucked clock! I feel dreadful, I feel really dreadful! 
Withnail: So do I, so does everybody. Look at my tongue, it's wearing a yellow sock. Sit down for Christ's sake, what's the matter with you? Eat some sugar. 

Even if you don't watch the film you can google 'Withnail and I quotes' and see just how the script crackles with energy and humour.
The film has gained such a cult following now that many students play the 'Withnail Drinking Game' in which they have to watch the film and match Withnail drink for drink.  This is impossible to do as fairly early in the film he drinks lighter fluid and throws up, the game usually ends at this point.

And to top everything off the ending has the saddest break-up of a bromance I've ever seen on screen, with Withnail staring sadly at the wolves in London Zoo while quoting from Hamlet.

This is one of those films that every now and then I will settle down with a nice bottle of red and stick it on the telly.  It never gets boring even though I know it word for word and it reminds me of when I shared a flat in London with a mate.

So do yourself a favour and watch this movie, you don't need to thank me.






24 comments:

YeamieWaffles said...

I haven't seen this film before but I'm not somebody who doesn't care about your opinion in the slightest. The film sounds incredible and due to your recommendation I've simply got to check it out. I've had a really strong bromance before so I reckon I can relate to this a lot, the dialogue sounds amazing too, can't wait to check this out now, I'll let you know what I think of it buddy.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Matthew: First to comment yet again, thanks mate.

Deus Ex Machina said...

Maybe it's because I am American, but I have never heard of this movie. Never even heard the title before. I'm quite ashamed to say that my guilty pleasures are gratuitous blood-n-guts horror flicks. Although, I did go through a cult movie phase once. It involved teenage Aimee dressing up like Magenta every Friday and sneaking out of my house to drive 2 hours to the Fox Theater in Atlanta where I would engross myself in a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show while the entire theater danced and sang in costume. There may have been drugs involved. Definitely alcohol. And plenty of shame. I'm going to watch your movie.

Pat Hatt said...

Never heard of this one what so ever and I've seen a ton, just added it to my list of ones to watch, always looking for good movies.

The Angry Lurker said...

A true classic I've seen many times but don't own?

D4 said...

One quote was good enough for me, I'll put it on the list for sure.

Janie Junebug said...

I've never heard of this movie, but because I'm intelligent enough to value your opinion, I shall put this in my Netflix queue. The quotation is hilarious.

Love,
Janie

Rob Z Tobor said...

Have not seen that in ages, excellent movie. . . . . .

Tony Van Helsing said...

Aimee: 'Have you got soup? Why haven't I got any soup'?

Pat: 'We've come on holiday by mistake'.

Lurker: 'A coward you may be Withnail, an expert on bulls you are not'.

D4: 'The fucker will rue the day'.

Janie: 'Fork it'!

Rob: 'I invented it in Camberwell and it looks like a carrot'.

Stephanie D said...

Sounds like a movie I'd enjoy...and red always goes with movies!

Juliette said...

Can't believe I haven't seen it. But I will. And thank you.

Margaret said...

I'm game. I'll try and find it. Thanks for the recommendation.

Padded Cell Princess said...

I have never even heard of it. I'll definitely need to grab a bottle of red and watch it with Branden. Sounds like something we'd like!

Tony Van Helsing said...

Stephanie: 'As a youth I used to weep in butcher's shops'.

Juliette: 'Don't threaten me with a dead fish'.

Margaret: 'We were entering the arena of the unwell'.

Princess: 'We want the finest wines available to humanity. We want them here and we want them now'.

Bart said...

never heard of that movie, as for that new dredd movie everyone around here likes it. i dont like there new bikes though, i liked the ones in the stallone movie better

Tony Van Helsing said...

Bart: They may like it but no-one is going to see it. I'm with you on the bikes, the new ones just look like Suzukis with bigger farings.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Thanks for the suggestion . . . the dialogue you quoted above is entertaining:)

Al Penwasser said...

Hey, any movie you can turn into a drinking game gets my vote.

Beau Thompson said...

I've only seen brief previews of the new Judge Dredd movie. No desire whatsoever to see it...

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

I have never heard of this one either, Tony. Er, thank you? No, seriously I'm always on the lookout for cool films. Now to find it in France...

Tony Van Helsing said...

Lindsay: 'This will tend to make you very high'.

Al: 'Come on old boy, what have you got in your hump'?

Beau: 'Get in the back of the van'.

Samantha: 'He wants to go down there and have sex with those cows'.

Craziness abounds said...

It worked! I'm back! I've never heard of this movie! I'll have to look it up.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Melynda: Wahey! Welcome back.

altadenahiker said...

Don't need to thank you, because I like it, too. Starting with the kitchen sink.