Robinson didn't have an ending for the movie

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Robinson didn't have an ending for the movie

PostPosted by Wanker on the site » Fri May 09, 2008 12:49 am

I put this to the room for discussion, bearing in mind this is my favorite movie, or I wouldn't take the time to debate elements of it:

Robinson didn't have an ending, so he GRATUITOUSLY tacked on The Dane's soliloquy as the movie’s final words.

Grant’s fine recital of the above sullied things further because the whole point of the movie was the W was a HACK actor, and here he is, half pissed, doing a decent Hamlet.

A pity, that, and a cop out too. Would’ve been more honest to see W just heading back thru the park alone, en route spitting a bit of undercooked potato at the wolves or jackals or whatever is behind those zoo bars.

I can say all this stuff because I know Bruce Robinson would pull out his teeth with pliers before spending even a moment in a W forum.
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PostPosted by crooked » Fri May 09, 2008 8:13 pm

In the original novel (that Bruce later adapted into the screenplay) Withnail goes home and shoots himself. No one really knows why he changed it. I think it would have made a much better ending.
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PostPosted by smallrhesusneg.bloodyMary » Fri May 09, 2008 9:38 pm

That would have made a terrible ending! It would be trite, and, of course, not true to the life of Vivian McKerrell. He fought to stay alive after getting cancer.

And i disagree with Wanker (how can I insult you if you already call yourself a wanker? spoiling my fun)that Withnail was supposed to be a hack i.e untalented actor.
I had the impression that Withnail was a good actor, but that his ego and problems with alcohol made him too difficult to work with. Most directors like to stay clear of prima donnas; add alcoholic stupors and/or rants and tantrums, you can see why he didn't get any work.
I think the final scene expressed that tragedy; a very talented actor, lacking the discipline to apply himself and therefore sliding downhill, while his more focussed friend begins on an upward path.

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PostPosted by Wanker on the site » Fri May 09, 2008 11:30 pm

It wuld be really super boring if we all agreed, and not in the spirit of W&I. Wanking, it turns out, does not destroy brain cells. So onward I plunge. . . .

You contradict yourself, sir. First you state that a realistic ending would have been untrue to the real person after whom the W character was modeled: McKerrell.

Immediately thereafter, you assert that the W character was a talented actor, whereas in real life McKerrell was not.

Which is it, sir?

I am in accord with you to this extent: Be dramatically effective even if it means diverging from real life. Suicide would have been too much of a downer to end this movie.

There is an element of tragedy in the film, but the tragedy was not W's inability to land a job in spite of his talent; it was W's lack of talent and his persistence in remaining in an occupation for which he was not suited.

This was McKerrel to a "t". The ending substituted suicide with another action McKerrell never performed: an effective Shakespearean soliloquy. It was a weak ending and the only disappointing scene in a brilliant film. Too bad it was the last scene.
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PostPosted by jeff wode » Sat May 10, 2008 12:18 am

when we say 'the original novel' are we talking of a published work. ive got at least 2 slightly different copies of the screenplay, but ive never actually seen or heard of anyone who has the novel of the story. do we mean that br had the idea to end it with withnail filling the barrels of the shotgun with chateu margaux and then putting it in his mouth before pulling the trigger, but then changed his mind. or was that ending or any of the novel, ever actually commited topaper aside from the post film screenplay?
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PostPosted by jeff wode » Sat May 10, 2008 12:20 am

but mckerrell was a cose friend of br, and as such, if robinson is going to pay a sort of homage to his old and dear friend, then he is hardly going to portay his as a useless bum is he. so, despite the fact that mckerell was a poor actor, he is portayed as a reasonably good one, and as a huge personality, which i think comes over well.
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PostPosted by Wanker on the site » Sat May 10, 2008 12:46 am

Thank you, sir, for I could not have stated more precisely the major flaw of this film's ending: Robinson mistook sentimentality for affection.

Feel free to comment further but but I am moving on to other matters. I will let my previous remarks rest.

I have some observations about Uncle Monty. They will be soon be scribbled in a new topic.

Once again, my many thanks.
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PostPosted by crooked » Sat May 10, 2008 1:18 am

He wrote the novel but it was never published.
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PostPosted by smallrhesusneg.bloodyMary » Sat May 10, 2008 3:03 am

Wanker on the site wrote:
Which is it, sir ?



My name is Mary! small! rhesus negative! bloody! MARY!

Even though I bear more than a passing resemblance to Dame Edna, I am indeed female.


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PostPosted by Silage Heap » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:28 pm

I thought Withnails Hamlet quote was overacted and not that well done, certainly not a contradiction to the idea of him being a crap actor. As an ending, however, it suits me fine, poignant without being OTT, as the suicide ending would have been.
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PostPosted by jeff wode » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:31 pm

ive seen it written several times, that withnails final hamlet scene, is amongst the finest renderings of those words ever committed to film.
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PostPosted by Withwine and I » Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:38 am

The ending is poignant.

Don't you have poignancy in your country?

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PostPosted by Wrigglesworth » Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:00 pm

I think you are missing the glaringly obvious flaw with the suicide ending ...The shotgun wouldn't have fired.
In the sixties a double barrel shotgun such as the one seen in the film would have had paper cartridges filled with shot and gunpowder. One sniff of any liquid, whether it be fine wine or ale, and the cartridge would have been rendered useless.

It's also possible that Dennis O'brien had something to do with the change of ending(if indeed BR didn't just have a change of heart). He would have definately frowned upon such a macabre finale.
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PostPosted by hair are your aerials » Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:06 am

ive seen it written several times, that withnails final hamlet scene, is amongst the finest renderings of those words ever committed to film.


Well said jeff wode sir, I'd completely agree. The ending is perfect, or at least as near as perfection can be. It leaves mystery as to how Withnail will diminish....or survive, but for how long? It's an excellent, fitting end to a a film that follows the same lines....unplanned. Withnail has no set path to follow, and nor did the pair during the whole film (except to get so wasted they'd miss out monday altogether :wink:)

The shotgun would be less fitting for us all. As fans we all know we wonder what happened to the pair in their separate? lives after separating. If we saw the death of one of the pair, in this case Withnail, it would completely take away one priceless part of what this films gives....and what Monty states during the film, Mystery! The films full of it, and why i love it so. They have no fucking plan whatsoever, their futures full of mystery, and it lays it to us on a plate perfectly in the final scenes to leave us all in wonder. And that my friends is one huge reason we are here discussing still.

Thanks BR
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PostPosted by jeff wode » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:51 am

Wrigglesworth wrote:I think you are missing the glaringly obvious flaw with the suicide ending ...The shotgun wouldn't have fired.
In the sixties a double barrel shotgun such as the one seen in the film would have had paper cartridges filled with shot and gunpowder. One sniff of any liquid, whether it be fine wine or ale, and the cartridge would have been rendered useless.

It's also possible that Dennis O'brien had something to do with the change of ending(if indeed BR didn't just have a change of heart). He would have definately frowned upon such a macabre finale.



not quite so. so called paper shotgun cartidges were made from waxed paper, this was in order to make them waterproof, as out on the moors damp cardridges wouldnt fire propperly. so the chances are that they would most likely have fired, cos despite being paper, they would have still been sealed.

the thing ive always wondered is just how did a guy pulled for drink driving manage for the police not to find a stolen unlicenced shotgun in the car he was driving when he got pulled. plod have always searched cars the pull over.
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