Alcoholic billionaire playboy Arthur Bach must marry a woman he does not love, or he will be cut off from his $750,000,000 fortune. But when Arthur falls in love with a poor waitress, he must decide if he wants to choose love or money.

Director:

Steve Gordon

Writer:

Steve Gordon
Reviews
Popularity
4,345 ( 298)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

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 ... 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
Edit

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, with whom he could easily fall in love. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most fun money can buy See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Cross was originally considered to score the entire film but Steve Gordon had reservations about him doing it as he had never scored a film before. Eventually the job went to Burt Bacharach with Cross helping to write the Oscar-winning theme song. See more »

Goofs

When Burt Johnson takes the knife out of the cheese and starts to approach Arthur and Linda, she reaches her right arm under Arthur's right arm to clutch him. In the next close-up, her right arm is draped over Arthur's right shoulder as she clutches him. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Joker (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
A Real Arthur
12 July 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Arthur has always been a personal film for me for two reasons. A good friend of mine who worked on the film as an extra and to help out with the horses during the stable scene just recently passed away. If you look fast you can see Frank Graham during the restaurant scene in the background while Dudley Moore and Jill Eikenberry are in conversation. Frank was a champion equestrian and will be missed by all who knew him.

Secondly though, I actually knew a real life Arthur Bach. He was not quite as wealthy as Arthur, but spent 47 years of his life basically as a kid. His parents tightly controlled his purse strings, but his rent and utilities were paid for in a basement apartment in Greenwich Village. He spent a good deal of his time getting himself intoxicated on various spirits and making a public spectacle of himself, just like Dudley Moore does.

The wonder with Arthur is why anyone would bother with him wealth of not. But that's the other half of the equation. My friend was a most charming person when you got to know him. In fact it was almost a compulsion to be charming. He couldn't buy a newspaper or magazine without trying to establish some level of relationship with the vendor. He spent his life being a perfect party guest. The term wastrel which was in common use in the 19th century would apply to him.

And that's what Dudley Moore is, a wastrel. Unlike my friend Moore has John Gielgud to clean up after him. That's a full time job as we see demonstrated in Arthur. My friend also never found a Liza Minnelli, a male Liza Minnelli in fact because he was gay. Still Moore's portrayal of Arthur Bach is deadly accurate and so real for me.

Arthur, 20th century wastrel, is being forced to marry another trust fund baby in Jill Eikenberry. Since he won't work for a living, the threat of being cut off is quite real for him. He only has his butler Hobson played by John Gielgud and chauffeur Bitterman played by Ted Post to pour his troubles out to. We should all have such troubles.

John Gielgud in his nearly century of life certainly did better work than in Arthur on film and in fact Gielgud is more prominently known for his stage performances. Yet 1981 was a year of sentiment at Oscar time. The Academy gave Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn Oscars for On Golden Pond and Gielgud the Best Supporting Actor Award essentially for the work of a lifetime. That man was amazing, still at his craft almost to the end.

So to Frank Graham who worked in the film and to Jackie Weiss, a genuine real life Arthur, I dedicate this review.


9 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 134 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arthur See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,719,534, 19 July 1981

Gross USA:

$95,461,682

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$95,461,682
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed