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"Bring us your finest wines"

"You're drunk"

"We are multimillionaires, we will buy this place and knock it over"

Screen Shot 2019 01 01 at 23.20.39

Hitting the ripe old age of 30 this year, Bruce Robinson’s Withnail & I (1987) is one of the defining British films of the 1980s. Celebrated for its endlessly quoted screenplay and gleeful evocation of the debauchery of two down-on-their-luck actors (Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann) in the late 1960s, it’s also a key film about the clash between city and country. The urban is represented by the crumbling north London in which we are first introduced to the pair, but the scene later moves to the vast, unnerving landscapes of the Lake District, where they take an impromptu holiday to escape “the fear”.

Three decades after Robinson and his crew filmed this landmark comedy, I set out in search of the film’s key locations, in the process discovering that one of them was not situated where the film makes it seem. Retracing the steps of Withnail and ‘I’ (unnamed in the film but called Marwood in the published screenplay) requires taking a trip to London, Cumbria and – unexpectedly – the Buckinghamshire town of Stony Stratford.

To read more on the BFI website:

Screen Shot 2019 01 01 at 23.20.39

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