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

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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


Don't You Wish You Were Arthur? 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?


There are three audio cassettes on the edge of Arthur's bathtub: Bob Marley, Randy Newman, and a record-it-yourself tape. See more »


When Arthur exits his race car to talk to Hobson he takes a sip from a flask. In the next shot the flask is gone even though his arm never moved. See more »


Burt Johnson: [smiling broadly] When I was 11 years old, I KILLED a man.
Arthur: Well, when you're 11 you probably don't even know there's a law against that. Is Susan here?
Burt Johnson: I knew what I was doing. We were poor. He came into our house to steal our food.
Arthur: Well, he was asking for it.
Burt Johnson: I took a knife, and I killed him in the kitchen.
Arthur: You, uh... probably ate out that night, what with that man lying in your kitchen.
Burt Johnson: You seem to find humor in everything.
Arthur: Yeah, sorry.
See more »


Referenced in The Ricky Gervais Show: Night Club (2011) See more »


Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie
Performed by Dudley Moore
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

24 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

Written and directed by Steve Gordon. Running time: 97 minutes. Classified PG.

It was the quintessential comedy of the decade. It won Sir John Gielgud the Academy Award. It was even featured in VH1's "I Love the 80's." And it looks just as good today as it did upon it's initial release. Arthur is the acclaimed comedy classic about a drunken millionaire (played with enthusiasm and wit by Dudley Moore in an Oscar-nominated performance) who must choose between the woman he loves and the life he's grown accustomed to. While the basic plot is one big cliche, there's nothing trite about this congenial combination of clever dialogue and hilarious farce. Arthur Bach is essentially nothing more than a pretentious jerk, but you can't help but like him. Especially when he delivers lines such as, "Don't you wish you were me? I know I do!" He's also a delineation from the archetypical movie hero: unlike most wealthy characters we see on the silver screen, he's not ashamed of being filthy rich. In one scene, a man asks him, "What does it feel like to have all that money?," to which he responds, "It feels great." Moore lends such charisma and charm to a character that would otherwise be loathed by his audience. And Gielgud is simply perfect as the arrogant servant, addressing his master with extreme condescension in spite of the fact that his salary depends on him. Arthur is one of those movies that doesn't try to be brilliant or particularly exceptional: it just comes naturally. The screenplay -- which also earned a nod from the Academy -- is saturated with authentic laugh-out-loud dialogue. This is the kind of movie that, when together with a bunch of poker buddies, you quote endlessly to one another. It also looks at its characters with sincere empathy. There have been a number of comedies that attempt to dip into drama by including the death or illness of a principal star (including both Grumpy Old Men's), but few can carry it off because we just don't care. When this movie makes the dubious decision to knock off the butler, it actually works, because we genuinely like these people. Why should you see Arthur? The answer is simple: because it's an all-around, non-guilty pleasure. At a period in which films are becoming more and more serious, Arthur reminds us what it feels like to go to the movies and just have a good time.

**** - Classic

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