This, my little silage heaps, is the Wall-O-Withnail. Feast your bloodshot eyes upon its bounty. Do not get THE FEAR, however, for the following photos will explain not only what everything is, but where in the movie it can be seen.
When I find new items to add to The Wall, I will merely take a new photo of The Wall and replace the one that's there now. Then I will add appropriate close-up photos of the new items to the top of this post, along with screen-caps showing where they appear in the film.
Basically, this blog will only ever have three posts. Okay, I just lied. Four. Four posts. Nope, serial liar... FIVE. Five posts.
1. This one, which shows the items on the Wall-O-Withnail.
2. The Withnailabilia post (click the link to see it), which shows the Withnail-related clothing and collectables in my possession.
3. The Yet to be Acquired post, which shows items I'm still on the hunt for.
4. How I built Crow Crag in one hour. *Almost* sober.
5. Wall-O-Withnail THROUGH THE YEARS! (Photos of the W-O-W from first to most recent!) Thought this might be fun...
ALSO: The Wall-O-Withnail is now on Twitter! @WallOWithnail - follow to get updates on the new additions to the wall as they appear! (As well as humorous holiday-related shenanigans during the days preceding said holidays - by mistake.)
Now sit down and eat some sugar. Take control. Find your neutral space. The fun is about to begin.
In the summer of 2016, Richard E. Grant (Withnail himself!) invited me to his perfume launch party for "Jack Piccadilly '69" in New York City (Greenwich Village, to be exact). I accepted, and he was AWESOMELY friendly in person! No surprise there.
Okay, so I know that this is one of those really obscure items in the film that you really have to squint to see... but it's easy enough to see that the lid is blue, and the box is white, and if you really squint you can see the shape of the bluebird.
The fact that I started this collection in 2012 and I'm only just now finding and posting this tin in 2021 tells you two things: One, curating a collection like this takes a hell of a lot of patience and persistence (aka you have to be a stubborn fucker) and two, next year the Wall-O-Withnail will be ten years old!
The dirgesome murk of the "light" in this film often makes it hard to pick out colors and details, but if you drink enough cider you can tell that there are red lines in the tweed of this cap. If you can't see them, an expert on caps you are not!
You're going to have to be able to read backwards, or be really drunk, or take my word for it, (most likely all three) but the towel serving as a bib for Withnail's moveable feast says "GLASS CLOTH" down the side. The letters look darker on his cloth because it's the back side...
Here's yet another case of
ale a friend in the UK coming to my rescue. I tried to find this cloth for sale here in the states, but could only get hold of some stupid fake that said "GLASS TOWEL", which wouldn't do at all... the only "GLASS CLOTH" I could find for sale wouldn't ship to NY, so I had it shipped to my dear friend G.B. in Scotland. He played middle-man and forwarded it on to me for this collection. Thanks so much, G.B.!
... as seen here in the Penrith Tea Rooms
...as seen in the Crow & Crown Pub!
As seen in the "...especially that little pimp" scene
We can just take it for Richard E. Grant-ed that:
I'M MAKING TIME!
... as seen in the Crow & Crown Pub
...as seen on the wall of the "Crow & Crag" pub
when Withnail & Marwood are escaping the poacher:
As seen in the kitchen at Crow Crag:
As seen in the eponymous chapter of the film:
Danny's aqua/white double heishi necklace...
I was able to get hold of a model Aston Martin, and here it is:
Number plate (as seen on the clapped-out Jag):
At last! The very hard-to-find "hands down" version of the Beefeater Gin bar display!
As you can see, in the film you only get the barest glimpse of his skirt and hands as the camera pans across the dingy pub... but you can most definitely see that both white gloves are tucked down at his sides.
Sadly, the trip from the UK was not a good one for Mr. Beefeater, and he arrived with both his feet punched through the box he stands on. I had to make a special trip to the DIY store for epoxy, and hand-saw a piece of wood to fit up inside the display box to support him, since the entire piece is hollow and there wasn't much left around the edges to hold him up. After a night spent soaking his feet in epoxy, he is now welded forever to his plinth and taking his rightful place on the Wall. Every once in a while I could swear I hear him whisper "Oxford.... ohhhhhhh, Oxford."
Charlie Kunz playing "Piano Medley #121"
This song is featured in the "I wanna get to bed" scene.
...as seen in the Crow Crag kitchen...
... as seen in Withnail's apartment:
Seen here, in the Mother Black Cap Pub:
I had to go and re-label my photos and correct this entry, thanks to fellow Withnail addict Robin, who pointed out that I had erroneously called this a "railroad lantern" when it is, in fact, a roadworks lantern. (Followed by yet another anecdote about his sensitive crimes in a punt with a chap called Norman, who had red hair and a book of poetry stained with the butter drips from crumpets.) Ta, Robin!
Seen here as Marwood leads the way up the stairs of Crow Crag after NOT having a slash, as planned. At this moment in the film, Withnail is suggesting they sleep together. Safety in numbers, all that. Marwood is having none of it.
This one's a sweet little guy, named him Raymond after the bartender at the Crow and Crown. He scared the shit out of me when he arrived, because I'd forgotten I bought him. Stuck my hand down into a box full of bubble wrap, and touched warmish skin. Freaked me right the fuck out until I realized what it was.
Seen in Marwood's bedroom during the packing scene:
Here we see Marwood, sitting and looking at The People:
And here we see me, doing the same:
Here's a full frontal of my copy:
Here's the article Marwood is reading:
On the table next to Marwood's elbow, we can see a Sunday Mirror:
Mr. Tom Walker, of Historic Newspapers UK, wrote an article (sadly, no longer available online) about my Withnail quest and the process they employ when hunting down historic newspapers, and posted it on their website. He posted the picture above, as well as my photos of the Withnail Papers I bought from them. Thanks, Tom!
Seen here on the shelf while Withnail glues the sole flapping off his shoe:
Here was another case of simple internet sleuthery. Googled cricket player art prints until I came up with old Charlie here. Happily, he's in such a specific pose that even though he's rather fuzzy in the film, it was easy to identify him once I'd located the right print.
Seen in Withnail's living room on the sideboard:
You wouldn't think an artificial radish is hard to find, would you? Well, I can tell you it is. There are a few companies who make artificial foods and sell them online for store and restaurant advertising, etc. - but they're all about apples and cherries and plastic martinis in real glasses. Finding a single red radish that looked like Uncle Monty's was like trying to find a piece of dry firewood at Crow Crag.
At first, I had no idea who made this coffee pot. I searched "white coffee pot with black circle" (and every other combination of descriptions) and looked at thousands of photos of coffee pots online until I saw one that looked like this one. My eyes turned bloodshot and I moaned "where's the aspirins?" many times. Eventually, I found out it was made by Wood & Sons, and was able to buy one from a nice lady in England who has an antique store online. I paid almost as much for shipping as I did for the coffee pot, but it arrived in perfect condition and I'm very happy to have it.
Seen on the wall of the Crow & Crown Pub:
Seen in Withnail's living room while he fixes his flapping sole:
All the actors have old ice skates hanging in their living rooms... even Redgrave!
Seen in Withnail's kitchen:
How did I find this piece of fabric? That's easy to answer. I'm the stubbornest person alive. I looked through thousands upon thousands of fabrics, curtains, quilt squares, you name it - day after day after day for months on end, on every website imaginable, until I finally came across the right pattern and color. I nearly wept, because while I like fabric, I don't like it that much.
This was a blessedly simple ebay find. Searched it, found it, bought it - end of story! No weeping in butchers' shops necessary.
1. Jesse Tait "Spanish Garden" pattern plate, seen in Withnail's dish drainer.
2. Cornishware blue striped mug, seen on Withnail's dining table.
3. Ridgway "Homemaker" pattern plate, seen in Withnail's dish drainer.
Let me just point out here that this blurry, far-off view of a mere edge of these plates is all I had to go on. I had no idea who made them, so it was another every-day-for-months search, mixing up different adjectives, trying alternative combinations of words, staring at plates until I thought I would go mad.
Eventually, I found both plate patterns and who made them. The Jesse Tait "Spanish Garden" pattern is fairly common and still very easy to get hold of. The Ridgway "Homemaker" is more difficult to find, and more expensive once you do. Both plates I bought came from the UK.
Oddly, the blue and white Cornishware mug was very easy to identify, but very hard to get hold of because T.G. Green, who manufactures them, is constantly out of them. There are a lot of copycats out there, too - the fakes have too many stripes, the handle is shaped differently, etc. - also, their shapes offend my palate. I had to fight tooth and (With)nail to win mine against other bidders on the UK ebay, and convince the seller to ship it to me in the US. Another case of spending as much for shipping as for the item itself... but at least I got my hands on it!
This is what the model Jag looked like when I bought it. The Jaguar in the film is a 1961 Mark II, but the only '61 model I could find was about an inch long and had no windscreen wipers. This model is a 1958 Mark II, but it's a foot long, the doors open and shut, and the steering wheel really turns the front wheels. It also has windscreen wipers, which was important because one had to be broken off.
I took pliers, steel wool, screwdrivers, and a hammer to the shiny green model, broke off the right windscreen wiper and busted out the left headlight, then painted it inside and out to match Marwood's Jag, and here's the result:
rear window of the model Jag.
That is a real penny.
Before starting this collection, I had never even heard of a "toby mug". I'd seen them in antique stores before, but didn't know what they were called. And may I also point out that all I had to go on was HALF a toby mug, as it's sitting way up there on a shelf and the camera never pans all the way up. I just looked at that and thought "Hmmm, that looks like a guy with a fish in his ear." And went from there.
The real beauty of finally finding this toby mug was discovering that the name of this model is "The Poacher". Because the above scene in the movie is where Withnail and Marwood get threatened with a dead eel by none other than Jake, who is (all together now) THE POACHER! It's like whoever set the props for this film put that up there as a little easter egg, for the truly dedicated fans to figure out. And yes, I'm patting myself on the back right now.
"British Vans of the 1960s
The new BMC 10/12 cwt vans were announced in September 1960. Available in Austin or Morris versions, differing only in the style of radiator grille, the J4 featured a 160-cu-ft body and car-type independent suspension. Power came from the BMC B-series engine of 1,489-litres, developing 42bhp at 4,000rpm"
Okay, no - I didn't buy vintage pink dish gloves, because eww. Brand new dish gloves are skanky enough, why would I ever touch dish gloves covered with matter from years gone by? I think we should go outside. I feel unusual.
You should have heard the shriek that emanated from my lips the moment I realized that someone actually made a dollhouse-sized saveloy and chips lunch. I mean, I didn't even know what a freakin' saveloy was until I saw "Withnail & I". I must have backed that part of the DVD up fifteen times trying to figure out what Marwood was on about. I thought he was saying "samurai". We don't have saveloys here in the US, so I searched for "British sausage". After several photos of Beckham in his skivvies, which looked delicious but not quite the sausage I was looking for, I finally found the saveloy. And then I found the miniature saveloy and chips lunch for my Marwood shaving scene. Chip chip HOORAY!
Seen in a bookcase behind Marwood in the opening scene:
Beethoven and Uncle Monty are the only two people in this film who don't look like a pair of farmhands.
The flash on my camera makes mine look a lot lighter in color than it really is - it's actually exactly like the one in the film.
"Journey's End" by R.C. Sherriff
"Against Nature" (or "A Rebours") by J.K. Huysmans
Seen in Marwood's suitcase and in his hand:
Vintage (and very rare, with the tail unbroken) Guinness lamp base
The vintage soap boxes were fairly easy to find, and they came with the original soap still inside, with perfumes not of nature sighing on their skin.
Seen behind Monty during the "Garlic, Rosemary, and Salt" scene:
Also seen next to Marwood's elbow during the poker game:
Apparently, Pernod Fils is an important addition to a delightful weekend in the country.
Seen every time someone lights a cigarette in the film
(ie: a million times!)
Fellow Withnail addict Robin from the UK sent me this Swan Vestas box, made in the same era as the film - thus the difference in cover design, which matches (pun alert!) the one in the film. Thanks, Robin!
Seen in the kitchen at Crow Crag:
Seen on the edge of the tub where Marwood shaves:
The Fairy Soap and Oxo boxes were actually fairly easy to find, and the Fairy Soap box came with the original bars of soap still inside! I was dead chuffed about that. Apparently the original owners were no more inclined to actually use the stuff than Withnail!
I could have gotten the poster, but it was too large for the space I have available.
Seen in Withnail's kitchen:
Seen as a get-out-of-jail device invented by Danny the drug dealer:
Danny's a genius! I'm going to have a doze.
Seen in the opening ramble across Withnail's living room,
near the base of the globe:
Seen on Withnail's mantel:
Yes, okay, I realize it's not the exact same photo - the one in the film has a dark blanket under his elbows and head, and a lighter one under the rest of him... but damn, my baby's a cute baby too, and he's in exactly the same pose! The price I paid for my fat little cherub was worth the vintage frame alone... so here he is, folks - enjoy!
This, my little shag sacks, is a photo of ACTUAL WALLPAPER SALVAGED FROM THE DINING ROOM OF CROW CRAG!! Fellow Withnail addict David W. from the UK contacted me through this website and furnished me with several photos of himself and his mates camping out at Crow Crag (known in the mundane world as "Sleddale Hall") and the actual place in the dining room where my piece was salvaged from:
He sent me the piece of wallpaper all the way from the UK, and when I received it, I turned it over in my hands wonderingly, reverently, and saw that he had written some words on the back:
This actually made me cry. Someone I've never met sent me this wonderful piece of Withnailery from across the globe out of the kindness of their heart, and inscribed it with a beautiful saying of Uncle Monty's... so I bought two frames that resembled the gold gilt frames that filled the Crow Crag dining room in the film, and framed a bit of the wallpaper as it looked in the movie. Then I cut out the bit with the quote on the back and framed it as well - so the front and the back and the lovely thought are all displayed together.
This bit of the Wall-O-Withnail was a gift - and as such, is as precious to me as the most expensive piece in my collection. More, really, as it came from Crow Crag itself!
Well, that's all for now - but tune back in every few weeks, because my search goes on, and you never know when I might happen across another fabulous find!
Don't forget to check out the Withnailabilia post, and the Yet to be Acquired post, because if you don't, I'll come up after you with a live one.