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Baker's Dozen

In Wide Angle: Simon Pegg's 13 Favourite Films
Elizabeth Aubrey , August 4th, 2018 09:07

Currently on cinema screens in the role of Benji Dunn in Mission Impossible: Fallout, Simon Pegg picks his 13 favourite films

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Withnail and I, 1987 – Bruce Robinson


I saw Withnail and I in 1987 on VHS as one of those movies – as it was for many people – which was a recommendation, because nobody saw it when it came out. It’s come to be what it is entirely by recommendation and word of mouth. I saw it at a party and it was just a revelation; it was such a funny, fantastic performance piece.  

I actually knew of Paul McGann because I’d seen him in the Monocled Mutineer I think but I certainly hadn’t seen Richard E Grant before and he was such a revelation. As a film it is beautifully written, yet it isn't particularly well structured – it doesn't really have a beginning, middle or an end, it just sort of meanders and rambles. But this is of course how it should be, like a drunk talking in a pub. It has so many quotable lines and so many fantastic moments of just pure hilarity. I remember when they were trying to get the stuff out of the sink and they were talking about it being matter and screaming "fork it!" It just was relentlessly surprising when I was watching it.


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