Region 4 Winners and Losers

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Explanatory Notes
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Title Best
Withnail and I: Special EditionR4

    Any fan of Withnail & I will know that there are many DVD editions of the film available from all over the world.

    I will concentrate on comparing this Umbrella edition with the region free, Criterion release and the R2, 20th Anniversary Edition, released by Anchor Bay in 2006.

    The Umbrella edition seems to mirror the Anchor Bay release, with a couple of minor differences. The Anchor Bay Edition is a three-disc set, with the third disc being a CD of the film's soundtrack (original music score only). This soundtrack is also included on the Umbrella set, but it is contained on the second (special features) DVD. The Umbrella release is also missing the Withnail & I Drinking Game - probably due to social responsibility. Apart from these, both editions appear to be identical in terms of transfers and extras.

    The Criterion edition was released in 2001 and features a 1.85:1, non-anamorphic NTSC transfer. It also features a single mono audio track, English subtitles, the Withnail and Us documentary, pre-production photographs, trailer and poster of film art.

    The clear winners here appear to be the local Umbrella two-disc release and the Anchor Bay, 20th Anniversary Edition.

    There is another vastly inferior local edition of Withnail & I, which was released in 2002 by Rainbow Entertainment. This is officially no longer available, but I still occasionally see this edition in the bargain bins of DVD stores around town.