Bruce Robinson’s debut feature is a cultishly beloved chronicle of the misadventures, follies, and misfortunes of two unemployed actors on holiday at a countryside cottage. Marwood (Paul McGann) and his quasi-mentor Withnail (Richard Grant) decamp for Withnail’s uncle Monty’s country home as a reprieve from their decrepit Camden flat (and the general futility of their careers as thespians), but they arrive to encounter constant rain, the absence of food, and perhaps too much ready access to alcohol. Outrageous, drunken chaos ensues, and Grant (in a career-making performance) and McGann imbue the proceedings with an unforgettable blend of wit and anarchy. This film print is from the collections of the BFI National Archive.

“The movie itself finds deep humor in Withnail’s horrific bitterness. The end scene is bitterness incarnate. We all know the feeling it captures and it’s not pretty.” –Owen Kline