Production year 1986
Written and directed by Bruce Robinson
Starring Richard E Grant, Paul McGann and Richard Griffiths
A personal favourite of AFC co-founder Mark Mason,
This cult black comedy about two out of work actors in the final months of 1969 is one of the most quotable of all British movies. It was made by George Harrison's company Handmade Films and directed by Bruce Robinson, an actor turned writer who penned the script for The Killing Fields before he wrote this film.
The film features a tour-de-force performance by Richard E Grant as Withnail, an egotistical, selfish and hilarious character who dominates the film from start to finish. It was effectively Grant's screen debut and although he has worked consistently ever since his career has never hit such a high spot again. Paul McGann is 'I' and Richard Griffiths does a memorable turn as the flamboyant Uncle Monty. The film also features a priceless cameo by Ralph Brown playing Danny the Dealer who dispenses unforgettable deadpan, stoned wisdom along with his medicine.
If you're hanging on to a rising balloon, you're presented with a difficult decision - let go before it's too late or hold on and keep getting higher, posing the question: how long can you keep a grip on the rope? They're selling hippie wigs in Woolworth's, man. The greatest decade in the history of mankind is over, and as Presuming Ed here has so consistently pointed out, we have failed to paint it black