Disc Reviews

Withnail and I 4K Review

The titular characters find themselves unemployed, often inebriated, and decide to take a trip to the countryside. Along the way they encounter various individuals, either previous connections or just brush-up against the modern aesthetic of the well-to-do mannered populace. What falls across the screen is a series of setups featuring Bruce Robinson’s wonderful dialogue and lead to perfection by Richard E Grant’s Withnail and Paul McGann’s other half of the bargain.

In today’s landscape of cinema Withnail and I may get a little lost on some people. The film may be an all-time cult British comedy classic, but much of that humour may get lost now on newer viewers, and certainly younger generations who don’t have much connection with the content of the film. Things have changed, humour has changed and what is topical in British culture has also changed dramatically.  A film of its time, but perhaps not as timeless as fans may preach.

Now, whilst you can’t really complain about the wealth of extras, you’d think Arrow would have reached out to some of the cast and or crew for a more recent recollection of the film. The film is one of the UK’s most famous and time passing by on it seems like a wasted opportunity to get even more insight into the film. But, all the main players are largely here in the material we do get. Robinson being the core mind you want to hear from. But even a Chanel 4 documentary series on here is around 25 years old.

The Robinson interviews are the most valuable, including a commentary track he’s featured on.  Otherwise, this is Arrow upgrading a previous release to the 4K format.

Steven Hurst

Full Contents:


• Brand new 4K restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films, supervised and approved by director of photography Peter Hannan
• 4K (2160p) Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
• Original lossless mono soundtrack
• Optional lossless 5.1 soundtrack
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Audio commentary by writer-director Bruce Robinson • Audio commentary by critic and writer Kevin Jackson, author of the BFI Modern Classic on Withnail & I
• All four original Withnail Weekend documentaries, first screened on Channel 4 in 1999, including The Peculiar Memories of Bruce Robinson, which looks at the director’s career, Withnail & Us, which focuses on the film’s making, and two shorter documentaries, I Demand to Have Some Booze and Withnail on the Pier
• Interview with production designer Michael Pickwoad
• An appreciation of Withnail & I by Sam Bain, co-creator of Peep Show and Fresh Meat
• Archival interview with Bruce Robinson
• Theatrical trailer
• Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring two choices of original artwork
• Limited edition perfect bound book featuring writing on the film by Vic Pratt, Anthony Nield, Martin Jones, Neil Mitchell and Mike Sutton

Withnail and I is released on 24th June

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