118 user 37 critic

Arthur (1981)

PG | | Comedy, Romance | 17 July 1981 (USA)
Arthur is a happy drunk with no pretensions at any ambition. He is also the heir to a vast fortune which he is told will only be his if he marries Susan. He does not love Susan, but she ... See full summary »



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Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Elliott ...
Thomas Barbour ...
Marjorie Barnes ...
Dillon Evans ...
Plaza Maitre D'
Maurice Copeland ...
Uncle Peter
Justine Johnston ...
Aunt Pearl
Paul Vincent ...
Plaza Waiter


Arthur is a happy drunk with no pretensions at any ambition. He is also the heir to a vast fortune which he is told will only be his if he marries Susan. He does not love Susan, but she will make something of him the family expects. Arthur proposes but then meets a girl with no money who he could easily fall in love with. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The most fun money can buy See more »


Comedy | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arturo, el millonario seductor  »

Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)


$95,461,682 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jeff Bridges, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson, Sylvester Stallone and Robin Williams were all considered for the lead role of Arthur See more »


When Arthur proposes to Susan, he grabs her hand twice after Susan asks, "Take my hand, Arthur." See more »


Executive: He gets all that money. Pays his family back by... by... by bein' a stinkin' drunk. It's enough ta make ya sick.
Hobson: I really wouldn't know, sir. I'm just a servant.
Executive: Yeah.
Hobson: On the other hand, go screw yourself.
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Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.96 (2010) See more »


If You Knew Susie (Like I Know Susie)
Written by Buddy G. DeSylva / Joseph Meyer
Performed by Dudley Moore
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Let's Forget About The Moose For A Moment
9 November 2015 | by (Sword Of The Protector) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead:

First, many people hate the movie for they feel it glorifies alcoholism and makes light of it. The movie endures for its existential core: the tragedy of Arthur beneath some great humor. The great English actor Gielgud carries this movie on his shoulders without his talents it would have never been this good. Arthur drinks because he has been abandoned by his rich parents who are absorbed in their wealth accumulation and art collecting. Hobson serves as Arthur's surrogate father; I cannot tell you how great the dialog in this movie is, you will be quoting lines from it the rest of your days,"Usually one has to go to a bowling alley to meet a woman of your stature." It is important to see that when Arthur is loved he stops drinking. This occurs after Hobson's death and his marriage to Linda. The film's star has fallen considerably as it has been taken as showing being drunk as funny or making light of alcohol abuse. When you watch the movie again, see it as Arthur seeking the love he was denied by his absent, materialistic parents in the arms of prostitutes with Hobson serving as a paternal figure in absentia. The movie's core is the dynamic between Arthur and Hobson, how the latter gently, but firmly, guides and protects him. He conceals his imminent death from Arthur until the very end, preparing Linda, quite sternly, for the heavy lifting of loving Arthur ahead for her.

This is my favorite comedy for many reasons: 1. The best writing of any comedy with non stop witty banter, 2. A great heart that shows love that quietly, without applause, cares and protects a damaged boy in a man's body. Yes, my header is spoken by Burt Johnson, Arthur's future father in law who does not have Hobson's patience for Arthur's flippancy and mockery in the funniest scene in the movie. You will love the movie if you see its linear narrative hidden deeply within the great humor. A dying caregiver full of worry about his surrogate son and what will become of him after his death. Arthur's progression to manhood, when he finds the love he has been searching for he throws off his liquid crutch that deadened the pain of abandonment. Hobson discovers this love when he mocks Linda and Arthur yells at him. Hobson's death is done so well and understated. My favorite scene is where Hobson looks away from Arthur and mumbles,"Arthur, you're a good son." They both are so embarrassed by their love for each other. It is done without full orchestras or string sections. After he dies, Arthur quietly moves a piece upon the chess board, gets up and locks the door behind him. What a moving, artistically brilliant way to delineate the pain and separation that is the death of a loved one.

Yes, I consider it the funniest movie ever made. I did not do the humor justice in my review because it has been so calumniated since 1981 I thought I should dispel the misunderstandings of the movie. The great writing starts at the beginning and is solid all the way through to the ending. I have watched this movie sixty or seventy times, returning to it every couple months for thirty-four years. Gielgud never gave a better performance; the dyad between Moore and Gielgud, the understated deep love will endear this classic to you. The writing is on a level you will never see again in your lifetime. There are quotable one-liners that would be the highlight of other entire movies; this movie has hundreds of them. Be warned, this is a classic but the sequel and the remake are dreadful. You will never see protective love shown in such a quiet, moving way. I enjoyed 10, though I do not care for Blake Edward's movies, on the whole; this movie towers above it. My Favorite Comedy.

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