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Arthur (1981)

PG | | Comedy, Romance | 17 July 1981 (USA)
2:08 | Trailer

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Arthur spends his time with booze and whores. His dad has a wife lined up for him that he keeps rejecting - until it's her or being cut off from $750,000,000. Then he goes shopping where he falls in love with a shoplifter.


Steve Gordon


Steve Gordon
4,939 ( 715)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Dudley Moore ... Arthur Bach
Liza Minnelli ... Linda Marolla
John Gielgud ... Hobson
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Martha Bach
Jill Eikenberry ... Susan Johnson
Stephen Elliott Stephen Elliott ... Burt Johnson
Ted Ross ... Bitterman
Barney Martin ... Ralph Marolla
Thomas Barbour Thomas Barbour ... Stanford Bach
Anne De Salvo ... Gloria
Marjorie Barnes Marjorie Barnes ... Hooker
Dillon Evans Dillon Evans ... Plaza Maitre D'
Maurice Copeland Maurice Copeland ... Uncle Peter
Justine Johnston Justine Johnston ... Aunt Pearl
Paul Vincent 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, with whom he could easily fall in love. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not everyone who drinks is a poet, some of us drink because we're not. See more »


Comedy | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

17 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arturo, el millonario seductor See more »


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,719,534, 19 July 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was the fourth most popular 1981 movie at the U.S. and Canadian box-offices. See more »


During Arthur's engagement party a live band is playing. At one point, you can clearly hear a hi-hat while you see the drummer play cymbals. See more »


Burt Johnson: I don't drink because drinking affects your decision-making.
Arthur: You may be right. I can't decide.
See more »


Referenced in 3rd Rock from the Sun: Mary Loves Scoochie: Part 2 (2001) See more »


Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)
Written by Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Christopher Cross and Peter Allen
Performed by Christopher Cross
Produced by Michael Omartian
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Witty and warm, and lots of booze. Three great actors combine.
26 December 2016 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Arthur (1981)

I'm no Dudley Moore fan, but this grew on me and I found him not only hilarious but, as intended, touching. He is supported by two very different kinds of actors—John Gielgud and Liza Minnelli—but they form a wonderful trio.

The story is a timeless one—the rich man who is out of touch with what really matters in life. This isn't pushed very far, and the end is pretty inevitable, but the journey is great fun mostly because Moore is relentlessly funny. Minnelli plays a great strong woman foil to him, and is obviously what he needs in life. The "romance" between them is never very convincing because it remains a bit practical—they don't have that great scene where we expect them to truly "fall in love," and that's just fine. (The closest is the scene in the horse barn, which has one of the funnies lines in the movie, which almost feels like a Moore ad lib, you'll see.)

The aging butler played by Gielgud is more nuanced and funny than the cliché of the English butler in so many movies. It's weird to see him play this kind of role when his repertoire ranges more to Shakespeare (he's one of England's great 20th Century stage actors).

So love this not for the story, which is lovable but plain, but for the three actors and their ongoing wit and verve. A fun fun movie.

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