Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Withnail and I: The Screenplay” as Want to Read:
Withnail and I: The Screenplay
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Withnail and I: The Screenplay

4.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  295 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Bruce Robinson, nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay of The Killing Fields, is one of the most original and exciting film-makers in British cinema. He is perhaps best known for writing and directing Withnail and I - now a cult classic about to celebrate its tenth anniversary. To coincide with this anniversary Bruce Robinson has written a typically witty and sh ...more
Paperback, 10th Anniversary Edition, 144 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by Overlook Books (first published September 7th 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Withnail and I, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Withnail and I

Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie by Charie D. La MarrThe Law of Attraction by N.M. SilberTrust by Cristiane SerruyaDreams Come True by Bridgitte LesleyNaked Determination, 41 Stories About Overcoming Fear by Gisela Hausmann
Little Known Gems
198th out of 1,015 books — 1,119 voters
Post Office by Charles BukowskiAre You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea HandlerThe Rum Diary by Hunter S. ThompsonTo Live and Drink in L.A. by Ben PellerI Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max
Drunken Masters
57th out of 216 books — 329 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 457)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Only the second time I've bought and read a screenplay; the other was Double Indemnity: The Complete Screenplay .

Double Indemnity was simply so good a film, with dialogue so quickly fired, that I was desperate to see the words again on the page. This one I got because of a new crush on the author*; obviously it goes without saying that Withnail is an excellent film too, but then I couldn't have a crush on someone who wrote less than very well indeed.

You've probably seen Withnail & I more th
Dec 08, 2011 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-white-square
I will never play the Dane.
Read the STOP SMILING interview excerpt with author Bruce Robinson

Against the Grain: Bruce Robinson
By JC Gabel

(This interview originally appeared in STOP SMILING The U.K. Issue)

Stop Smiling: Do you think there was ever a time when movie studios welcomed the creativity and passion of writers and took their ideas more seriously?

Bruce Robinson: You could answer that question with a yes and also a no and be just as accurate with either. Writers came late into the film industry as a kind of technolog
Aug 01, 2014 Phoebe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
This is one of my all time favourite films and I saw that there was this screenplay with Paul McGann on the cover so it was instantly bought. Without opening the cover I thought how could this be better or different to the film? After reading; it is!

The notes explaining the scenes not only create the scene in your mind but they focus on the points of the room or of an appearance of a character that you may have overlooked in the film. This really adds to the entire story. Not only that but they
Malin (JustMalin's)
I initially gave this four stars, and I think this is the only time I've gone back and changed the rating to a higher one. This screenplay is simply fantastic.

It adds so much to the story, and watching the film again after reading it is a completely other and better experience.

The stage directions are nothing other than beautiful and read like prose in places.

Loved it, loved it so much.
Apr 03, 2015 Janitag rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
It is hard for me to pour my heart out for Withnail and I, because I haven't got enough words to tell just how utterly brilliant it is.

The character descriptions are vivid and the dialogues clever. I'm a big time lover of words and this is the kind of play that makes me want to read the lines over and over again, to really see everything written down on paper.

Funny play, but see here's the thing, it's so much more than that. A story about friendship, of addiction, of wasted talent, of being too
Jun 21, 2015 Lysergius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
Withnail and the "I" of the piece Marwood are out of work actors bummed out by poverty, drink and drugs. This account of their trials and tribulations made me laugh out loud. This is a dangerously funny book.
Priscilla Walker
Hysterical. The books is as original as a story can get. The humor is dark, subtle, and then over the top. No romance either. Perfect in every conceivable way.
Kelly Proudfoot
Jun 07, 2015 Kelly Proudfoot rated it it was amazing
Withnail and I is my favorite movie - I have watched it more than any other. The screenplay is absolutely hilarious. I love to read screenplays where the writer includes extra info that help the director and actors gain a deeper understanding of motive. Bruce Robinson has written a perfect screenplay and it adds a lot of insight into the characters - who I love dearly.
Ernest Rowe
Jul 30, 2013 Ernest Rowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forever one of my favourite films. An absolute pleasure to read Robinson's honest and somehow familiar language - the amusing and honest stage directions add so much more to each scene than what is conveyed in the already clever dialogue alone. In particular with the final scene - Withnail's rendition of Hamlet's 'i have of late...' - is enriched with a heavy, dark humour that is not present even in Richard E. Grant's sublime performance. Robinson's introduction with its dedication to his friend ...more
Jun 19, 2013 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, comedy, read-2013
For such a short screenplay this has taken me quite a while to read. This is due to the fact I kept getting stitches from laughing as I read it, imagining the film as I read it and trying to copy the accents exactly. I'm useless at accents so it didn't work but amused me greatly to try.
Need to find my DVD so I can revel in the film once more and actually get all the script correct.

I realise now that I have found a way to play the drinking game without passing out within the first ten minutes; p
Jan 05, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous, nostalgic, laugh out loud. A throughly enjoyable read of one of my fave films of all time.
Jan 22, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Withnail and I is one of my favourite films. (Indeed I once snapped that it was my favourite to an obnoxious man in a job interview, after he'd patronisingly said my favourite must be a costume drama because I am a lady or something? I didn't get the job, which was definitely for the best.) This is the script, pure and simple. Reading it in a freezing cold living room at four in the afternoon, whilst wrapped in a sleeping bag and wearing gloves made from old socks, made me happy. It really is a ...more
Apr 12, 2015 Harrypals rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing just like the movie
Oct 09, 2015 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply perfection!
Niklas Pivic
One of my favourite films, ever. It's possible to quote endlessly from this book, but what this screenplay does add beyond the film, are the explanations on the characters' intents, notably during the final scene. Also, Robinson's explanations of the scenes are wonderfully humorous (and tragic, put it that way). Very well worth the cash.
Darin Strachan
May 22, 2012 Darin Strachan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: screenplays
A very good script to an even better movie. Robinson uses so many scene descriptions that it almost reads as prose with electrifying dialogue. While its a solid screenplay, something feels amiss reading it. It brings to light that Richard E. Grant's performance - and not the script - makes this movie great.
Dec 31, 2012 Lise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a lifelong lover of the film, the screenplay could only be just as brilliant, if not more so. Absolutely worth reading, no doubt about it. Lots of removed and extended scenes, not to mention its beautifully written. An excellent book to end 2012 on, that's for certain.
Mar 31, 2012 Charlotte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uit-eigen-wil
Highly recommended to anyone who likes the movie and also to anyone who doesn't. Time to change your opinion. Robinson's language is vivid and livid and wonderful. There's scenes that didn't make it into the movie. Marwood's POV is expanded. And it will make you laugh and cry.
Sep 16, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best movies I've ever seen and this screenplay is also a great read. There are a lot of very good extra scenes in this book that are worth reading and the introduction, in which Bruce discusses the death of his friend Vivian, is very touching.
Julian Davies
Sep 14, 2007 Julian Davies rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the post-Thatcher generation
[approaching the pub]
Withnail: Right, here's the plan. First, we go in there and get wrecked, then we eat a pork pie, then we drop some Surmontil-50's each. That way we'll miss out on Monday and come up smiling Tuesday morning.
Jun 22, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fans of this cult film will enjoy the screenplay, particularly for Robinson's moving introduction. As an added bonus, all the parenthetical directions and descriptions are just as clever and amusing as the dialogue.
Tim Chaplin
Mar 14, 2012 Tim Chaplin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the film but reading the screenplay had me in stitches. The characters are great and some memorable quotes.
Mar 18, 2011 Darren rated it it was amazing
The screenplay to my favourite film of all time. Each page crammed with quotable lines. Love it.
Edward Bison
Oct 11, 2012 Edward Bison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this book 10 starts I would
Mar 11, 2009 Rob rated it it was amazing
incandescently brilliant.
May 12, 2013 Lou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dark & Hilarious..!!
Jan 29, 2009 Alan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
who could not love this?
Aug 29, 2010 Adam rated it it was amazing
There are no words.
Geoff Dodd
Oct 13, 2012 Geoff Dodd rated it it was amazing
A delight.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15 16 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Withnail and I 4 8 Jun 24, 2015 09:19AM  
  • The Kenneth Williams Diaries
  • Because We Say So (City Lights Open Media)
  • Georgy Girl
  • I Found My Friends: The Oral History of Nirvana
  • The Last Interview and Other Conversations
  • The Jesus and Mary Chain: Barbed Wire Kisses
  • In Utero
  • With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E. Grant
  • Meetings with Morrissey
  • The Wire: Truth Be Told
  • Four Films: Annie Hall/Interiors/Manhattan/Stardust Memories
  • Being John Malkovich
  • Der Keller: Eine Entziehung
  • The Battle of Brazil: Terry Gilliam V. Universal Pictures in the Fight to the Final Cut
  • The Necrophiliac
  • Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters
  • Buried Alive
  • Blessings in Disguise
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
Bruce Robinson is an English director, screenwriter, novelist and actor. He is arguably most famous for writing and directing the cult classic Withnail and I (1986), 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 i
More about Bruce Robinson...

Share This Book

“Those with the money are eccentric. Those without, insane.” 13 likes
“We are indeed drifting into the arena of the unwell.” 9 likes
More quotes…