Combustible Celluloid
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With: Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown
Written by: Bruce Robinson
Directed by: Bruce Robinson
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 107
Date: 03/27/1987

Withnail & I (1987)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Holiday by Mistake

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Many discovered this British cult film from Bruce Robinson on video. It depicts two desperate, despicable out-of-work actors (Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann) in the late 1960s as they take a trip to the country to "unwind." The visual style -- and just about everything else -- is relentlessly gloomy and depressing, and yet an odd kind of humor springs from it. It's hilarious in a kind of off-beat, sideways sort of manner. The jokes slip through your brain a beat after the dialogue has ended, as if there were nothing else do to but laugh. The Criterion Collection released a DVD, which contains a trailer and a collectible poster. (Criterion also released Robinson's second film How to Get Ahead in Advertising.) In 2010, Image Entertainment released the Blu-Ray, with no extras.

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