UK | 1986 | Directed by Bruce Robinson
Logline: It’s 1969 and two disheveled, unemployed London actors decide to spend a rejuvenating weekend in the country only to have their escapade turn into a series of embarrassing incidents and disasters.
Quite frankly I think Bruce Robinson’s semi-autobiographical yarn is one of a rare handful of perfect screenplays. It’s also one of the most moving and affecting films about friendship. And it also happens to be exquisitely funny. I’ve watched this movie more times than any other, except maybe Blade Runner, Apocalypse Now, and Alien.
Story goes that Robinson has circulating a manuscript for a novel he’d written, based on his experiences with a fellow thespian and raving alcoholic named Vivian (whom the character of Withnail is based on). The script ended up in the hands of George Harrison who decided it was suitable for his Handmade Films production company. Robinson was then offered the director’s role. He’d never directed anything before.