Monday 10 April 2017

Happy 30th Birthday, Withnail and I

Ralph Steadman's illustration for the original theatrical poster.

It was 30 years ago today that Withnail and I was first screened. Back on April 10th 1987 the response was, frankly, not particularly overwhelming... the film took years to build into the terrible cult that it is today. It had built up a head of steam by its 10th anniversary, when it had one of its many re-releases...

The 10th anniversary theatrical re-release poster. Sorry Ralph, they went for a photo. Sponsored by Oddbins!

... and while back then, the film was being aimed squarely at the Loaded generation, twenty years on, it can still be convincingly argued that it is a 'film for today', as this thoughtful piece at The New Statesman shows.

There's another 30th anniversary piece at The Daily Beast, here, a listicle at the Torygraph here, and truly excellent, in-depth then-and-now look at the film's locations from Adam Scovell at the BFI, here. (Update: they were a few days late to the party, but the BBC weighed in with a lovely piece, including a new interview with Richard E Grant, which you can read here.)

As a final piece of birthday reading, here's Ralph (Danny the Dealer) Brown's blog post about seeing the film for the first time. (Brown's blog, taking songs as a way into stories from his life, is well worth a read, by the way.)

Happy birthday, Withnail. Chin chin!