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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

I race cars, I play tennis, I fondle women, but I have weekends off and I am my own boss! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

17 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arturo, el millonario seductor  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$95,461,682 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Charles H. Joffe, John Gielgud "never really understood the jokes he was giving." According to Liza Minnelli, Gielgud kept turning to her and Dudley Moore asking if what he just said was funny.

After the film came out, he wrote to journalist George Pitcher, explaining that he was "very bucked" at the success of the film. "I thought Liza so very good, and underestimated by the critics," Gielgud added. "Dudley screams too much at first, but gets better all through and is very charming and co-operative in the scenes with me. We also got on so wonderfully well together, despite that appalling heat." See more »

Goofs

The length of Arthur's hair changes back and forth throughout the final scenes. See more »

Quotes

Ralph: Here's your tea.
Hobson: I despise tea. Now, would you go to the bathroom and bring me two aspirin? You'll find them on the top shelf to the left, behind the untouched shaving cream.
[Ralph looks embarrassed and leaves the room. Hobson coughs]
Linda: That sounds bad. Have you seen a doctor?
Hobson: Yes. And he has seen me.
Linda: You know, I think Arthur has a very good friend. May I kiss you on the cheek?
Hobson: Is it something you feel strongly about?
Linda: Yes.
[She kisses Hobson, who smiles, nods, and prepares to leave]
Linda: What about ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Oscar's Greatest Moments (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Moon
Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Performed by Dudley Moore
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Still a Charmer a Quarter Century Later Especially for the Well-Missed Talents of Moore and Gielgud
1 August 2006 | by (San Francisco, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

This 1981 comedy still sparkles thanks to the combined efforts of writer/director Steve Gordon and stars Dudley Moore and John Gielgud. Sadly, Gordon, only in his early forties, died soon after completing this, his only feature film. It's an especially unfortunate loss since he shows a truly deft hand at character-driven farce that makes the whole film irresistible. It plays almost like a 1930's-style screwball comedy revamped for contemporary tastes. The plot centers on Arthur Bach, a drunken, diminutive millionaire playboy who is at risk of losing his $750 million inheritance if he doesn't marry the dowdy and boring Susan Johnson, an heiress handpicked by his old-money father and dotty grandmother. Of course, he doesn't love her and by chance, runs into Linda Marolla, a working-class waitress (and of course, aspiring actress) after she pilfers a Bergdorf Goodman tie for her father.

The standard complications ensue but in a most endearing way with loads of alcohol-fueled slapstick executed with classic élan by Moore. That he makes such a spoiled character likable is a credit not only to his comic talents but to Gielgud's feisty, acidic turn as Hobson, Arthur's devoted but reality-grounded valet. It's the type of role he could play in his sleep, but Gielgud makes Hobson such a truly memorable character that his fate in the film brings a welcome injection of poignancy in the proceedings. In probably her most likable film role, Liza Minnelli hands the picture to her male co-stars by toning down her usual razzle-dazzle personality and making Linda quite genuine in motivation.

A pre-"LA Law" Jill Eikenberry plays Susan just at the right passive-aggressive note, while Barney Martin (Jerry's dad on "Seinfeld") steals all his scenes as Linda's slovenly father Ralph. The one fly in the ointment is veteran actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, who overdoes the eccentricities of the grandmother. And I have to admit that I still can't stand the very dated, overplayed Christopher Cross song that inevitably won the Oscar for that year's best song. Unfortunately, the 1997 DVD, certainly in need of remastering, has no extras worth noting except some photos and production notes.


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