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Withnail and I: The Screenplay
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Withnail and I: The Screenplay

4.66 of 5 stars 4.66  ·  rating details  ·  247 ratings  ·  25 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 TP (first published September 7th 1995)
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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 tha
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
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
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.
Ernest Rowe
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
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
Fabulous, nostalgic, laugh out loud. A throughly enjoyable read of one of my fave films of all time.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 4 of 5 stars
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.
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
Loved the film but reading the screenplay had me in stitches. The characters are great and some memorable quotes.
The screenplay to my favourite film of all time. Each page crammed with quotable lines. Love it.
Edward Bison
If I could give this book 10 starts I would
incandescently brilliant.
Dark & Hilarious..!!
Jan 29, 2009 Alan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: plays
who could not love this?
There are no words.
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Withnail and I 2 5 Feb 28, 2008 10:34AM  
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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...
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