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When you get lost between the moon and New York City (ahem), chances are you'll find yourself taking another look at this hit comedy starring Oscar-nominated Dudley Moore as the charmingly witty, perpetually drunken millionaire Arthur Bach. Arthur falls in love with a waitress (Liza Minelli) who doesn't care about his money, but unfortunately Arthur's stern father wants him to marry a Waspy prima donna. The young lush turns to his wise and loyal butler (Oscar-winner John Gielgud) for assistance and advice. Arthur was a huge hit when released in 1981, as was its Oscar-winning theme song by Christopher Cross. Few remember that the movie was, sadly, the only one ever made by writer-director Steve Gordon, who died less than a year after the film's release. Consistently funny and heartwarming, Arthur was hailed as a tribute to the great romantic comedies of the 1930s. --Jeff Shannon
- One Woman's Opinion
My all-time favorite comedy movie. No matter how many times I watch it, I find myself laughing as soon as the music starts and the credits begin rolling. All of the characters are hysterically funny and were brilliantly cast....more info
- Arthur, My Favorite Drunken Playboy
"Arthur" is one of those rare films that gets better and funnier as it gets older. Some of the sharpest and most unforgettable dialogue is shared between Moore and Gielgud. Christopher Cross's "The Best That You Can Do" song complements the film beautifully. And who can resist that New York flavor? My only complaint is that the film is not shown in widescreen. ...more info
- Sir Gielgud steals the show.
As others have noted, Arthur is a delightful comedy taken from the 1930s screwball "My Man Godfrey" genre. It is an effectively told, outlandish story that winds up succeeding despite some dodgy jokes and an overabundance of lukewarm sympathies.
However, without Sir John Gielgud (a gentleman who truly deserved the knighthood), the film's faults would be much more apparent. He elevates every scene he is in with his impeccable refinement and a wit that is sharpened to perfection. He is the pillar in a film which desperately needed credibility.
And the title song is a classic.
- Flippin' Sweet!
No one doesn't love this movie. Classic. A lot of fun quotes, you'll be repeating lines from this movie for the rest of your life, and it gets funnier the more you watch it. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
"He's taking the knife out of the cheese! You think he wants some cheese?!"
"Arthur take my hand."
"But that would leave you with one."
"A real woman could get you to stop drinking."
"It'd have to be a real big woman."
"Don't you hate Perry's wife?"
"Pardon me miss... Oh, you're a hedge!"
Sometimes I wonder how much was improvised. It's a very fun movie, and "isn't fun the best thing to have?"...more info
- Growing up is sometimes hard to do
Dudley Moore as Arthur Bach, a young zillionaire who doesn't know what to do with his life except pickle it in alcohol. He is on the verge of marrying Susan (Jill Eikenberry) when he meets Linda (Liza Minelli) shoplifting clothes she can't afford to buy. They fall in love and, despite being threatened with the loss of his inheritance, Moore marries her. It's fairly predictable, though well-acted and interesting throughout. The humor is bright. Moore is very good as the lush who sobers up to Minelli, and his relationship with his valet (John Gielgud) is moving. For me the best scene is at a Christmas Eve party where Moore is asked to play the piano and he goes from an elaborate classical introduction into a jazzy "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." It only lasts a minute, but it's breathtaking. (Moore was a jazz pianist before turning to acting.) Worth a watch....more info
- Irresistible and utterly unforgettable; a comedy for the ages...
This is one of those surprisingly delightful films that rarely gets the attention it deserves yet for some reason got that attention. Watching the movie I was floored at the fact that it won two Oscars and was nominated for more. It just does not feel like an Academy movie at all, with over the top yet resoundingly sincere performances that just don't seem like the type the Academy would recognize, and yet Dudley Moore found himself an Oscar nominee and John Gielgud actually WON the Oscar.
The film is an entertaining little comedy about a rich young heir named Arthur who falls in love with a struggling actress named Linda. She loves him despite his money, but his father is adamant that he marry another woman. With the threat of losing his money, Arthur relies on his trusty butler to help him make the right decisions and ultimately `get the girl'.
It's a feel good movie, nothing more nothing less.
That doesn't overshadow the fact that it is a wonderful movie. Just because it isn't as deep as you may want your Oscar fare to be doesn't mean that it isn't worthy of all the praise and adoration it has received. It is wonderfully constructed, wildly entertaining and is memorable to boot. You could watch this movie over and over and never tire of it; that is for sure.
The acting is also a nice touch. John Gielgud is the standout, and the Oscar he has proves that. He is witty and sharp and heart touching to boot. Dudley Moore, in my opinion, also should have won the Oscar. Sure he was up against dramatic heavy weights like Warren Beatty and Henry Fonda but seriously, his pitch perfect comedic timing is flawless and needed to be recognized. He plays the majority of the film drunk yet he never lapses into mediocre repetition but is constantly fresh and his performance is beyond rewarding. Liza Minnelli is decent here, but she falls to the wayside when you consider her leading man. Still, she has talent and that charismatic touch that elevates her performance.
It's witty, charming, touching and most importantly unforgettable. It's a surefire comedy that you will enjoy and can enjoy again and again. ...more info
- A Message to all of you Moron DVD Companies
When it is in the Original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio, I'll buy it
Till then, KEEP IT...more info
- Romantic Comedy Classic
No movie better captures the charm and romance of New York as this one.
The standout performance is, of course, Gielgud. I've noticed that whenever actors have done butler roles after "Arthur", there is always a faint echo of Gielgud's stylish turn.
Dudley Moore is utterly endearing. Watch for his piano performance during the movie.
Liza gives an excellent, underrated performance. I particularly liked the scene in which Hobson (Gielgud) pays a visit to the Queens apartment of Liza's character in an attempt to convince her to go to Arthur's engagement party.
Also, a winning musical score by Burt Bacharach, Carol Bayer Sager, Peter Allen and Christopher Cross.
- Good Movie, Poor DVD
This is a nice DVD, if you don't mind that 27.9 percent of the original theatrical image has been removed for the DVD exhibition, so that the DVD image fills your entire 4:3 television screen (theatrical aspect ratio - 1.85:1; DVD aspect ratio - 4:3). If you're okay with that, enjoy!...more info
- Love among the skyscrapers
"ARTHUR" is a wonderfully balanced film--just the right mix of humor, pathos, love, and enough shots of New York City to make every American want to fall in love here. Dudley Moore is so energetic, so loud, that he threatens to steal every scene. However, Liza Minelli holds her own and displays an incredible sense of timing. Sir John Gielgud seemed to be enjoying every bit of this film. I know I did....more info
- What's so funny ...
... about a loud, obnoxious drunk who spends most of the movie laughing at his own feeble jokes? (Any third-rate stand-up comedian has better one-liners than he.) The story is a trite replay of the "poor little rich man meets golden hearted girl, and love conquers all" theme, without any attempt at originality or sophistication (anyone who compares this favorably to 30s screwball comedies needs his/her head examined). The script doesn't even bother to exploit the most obvious opportunity for humor, the English/American divide - unless I missed something we aren't even told why all these Englishmen are in the States and what it is they are dong there. Absolutely awful - the only redeeming aspect of it is Sir John Gielgud ("SIR JOHN", NOT "SIR GIELGUD", PLEASE, LIKE ANOTHER REVIEWER WROTE!!!) who is mildly funny most of the time although again the script does not bother to develop his character: while he supposedly loves Arthur loyally and deeply, in one scene he calls him - quite deservedly - a useless little sh.. or something along those lines, but this is never repeated and never explained, just a throwaway line without any relevance to the character. A wasted 97 minutes. ...more info
- Arthur dvd
LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS MOVIE! Great quality! Took longer to receive than I thought, but now that we have it we're thrilled.Thanks so much :-)...more info
- 3 stars out of 4
The Bottom Line:
A fun and witty comedy that makes the most out of Moore and Gielgud's considerable comic talents, Arthur is hurt slightly by Liza Minelli (who isn't nearly as charming as the screenplay makes her character out to be), but nonetheless represents quite an enjoyable 110 minutes in front of a screen....more info
- lol movie
dudley moore will make you laugh till you cry. i wish i was that funny when i was drunk....more info
- It just doesn't get any better than this-
This has been one of my favorite movies for a long time. Recently I was happy to see it on DVD which is a relief from watching the old, grainy VHS versions.
I hadn't seen it in years and watched it today to find myself amazed at how well the movie stands up to time. It's one of those rare, perfect storms of comedy where great writing (truly funny line after truly funny line) is paired with great direction and outstanding performances all at the same time.
Dudley Moore got an Oscar nomination for "Arthur" but lost (although John Gielgud won for best supporting actor). If Moore's performance in "Arthur" doesn't win a Best Actor Oscar -it's proof that no comedic actor could ever win the title (another example is Gene Wilder in "Young Frankenstein").
Steve Gordon crafts the film beautifully keeping true to each of the characters and the warm-hearted tone of the story. Quite simply, IMHO the movie is a rare gem. It's only sad that Steve Gordon passed away just a year after "Arthur" was released.
Regarding the DVD, it's so/so. Although the video quality is a leap over the old VHS copies, there is still no widescreen version available.
The DVD has a few extras that are nice but it's just not enough. One example is commentary from the Director stating how he greatly wished how certain deleted takes and scenes could have been included (because they were hysterical), but that he had to make tough choices for a final edit. The DVD, being the perfect format to include such material, certainly should have offered it as well.
This, the original "Arthur", is a classic comedy that is one for the books....more info
- Wholly Moses! Dudley wins an Academy Award for this film!
Back in the 70's,British-born Dudley Moore was little known to the American public even when he supported Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn in the 1978 Paramount film FOUL PLAY. The following year,he co-starred with Bo Derek in "10",which was his first starring American film. The disappointing WHOLLY MOSES followed in 1980. That same year,Moore did this film with Liza Minelli,daughter of the late Judy Garland. It was filmed in New York City and was theatrically released in July 1981. Moore won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Arthur Bach,a drunk millionaire who goes broke. Arthur is engaged to Susan Johnson(pre-L.A. Law Jill Eikenberry) but the engagement is broken and Arthur's money is taken away by Susan's father. In one of the first scenes,Arthur spends the night at his apartment with a hooker named Gloria. Then Arthur meets Linda,a diner waitress(Minelli) in a department store where she is shoplifting. Arthur and Linda hook up immediately. But the wedding between Arthur and Susan almost happened. Susan was dressed in her wedding gown and Arthur tells her at the very last minute that he's in love with Linda. Susan's father enters the chapel and beats the crap out of Arthur. The movie soundtrack album has been long out-of-print(it was never re-issued on CD). It features ARTHUR'S THEME(Best That You Can Do) performed by Christopher Cross. That song is available on some CD compilations and was one of 1981's top hits. For the next eleven years,Moore relentlessly made movies such as SIX WEEKS with Mary Tyler Moore,UNFAITHFULLY YOURS,BEST DEFENSE with Eddie Murphy,LIKE FATHER LIKE SON with Kirk Cameron,LOVESICK with Elizabeth McGovern,MICKI & MAUDE with Amy Irving and Ann Reinking,CRAZY PEOPLE with Daryl Hannah,BLAME IT ON THE BELLBOY and of course,ARTHUR 2:ON THE ROCKS with Minnelli. ARTHUR 2 was theatrically released in 1988 and wasn't as successful as the first film. Sadly,Dudley passed away in March 2002 of complications from diabetes. He was 66. I dedicate this film to his memory. Also in ARTHUR 2,Cynthia Sikes resumed the role of Susan Johnson since Eikenberry was immersed in L.A. LAW....more info
- Wow! The Definition of Film That Ages Very, Very Badly! Terrible DVD Version Too!
I feel sorry for the late great Dudley Moore as he's a much much better comedian than he is portrayed as here in a very poor movie in far too many aspects. The script is poor and the jokes age very, very poorly too. The only exception for some reason seems to be Sir John Gielgud's lines which were able to raise a chuckle or two from me and his was the only redeeming acting feature from this film. "That" song was another redeeming feature written as it was by the great Burt Bacharach but otherwise, this is a poor excuse for a comedy and actually a poor excuse for a film.
I actually enjoyed Dudley Moore's performance as a guest on "The Muppet Show" a whole lot better than his work here as he seems woefully miscast here. I can't understand how the script can be so unbalanced and it seems as if only Gielgud was reading his lines while Moore and Minnelli seemed to be making it up as they went along. I truly struggle to recall the last time I watched such a boring and totally uninspiring film.
Not that this matters given the lousy content but this dvd version is also very, very poor. It hasn't been restored or remastered and so the picture quality is average at best while the sound quality is pathetic; it was so soft volume wise and even when you increase the volume a lot higher than you'd usually do for other dvds the quality is still so poor that you have to struggle at times to hear the dialogue but in the case this film I guess you could say that it's a blessing here.
Very bad film, even worse quality dvd makes this a very highly not recommended film. Please don't judge the late great Dudley Moore's comedic qualities by this film as a great talent like his deserves to be remembered differently. Practically anything that he's ever done is a vast improvement to his "work" here....more info
- Screwball Comedy at its Best
When Arthur came out in 1981, I thought the trailers looked stupid. But I finally broke down and saw the film. I was not in the best of moods walking into the theatre but was smiling from ear to ear walking out. This is one of the funniest films ever.
Arthur Bock (Dudley Moore) is the quintessential spoiled second generation millionaire. He has never had to work a day in his life. He has his own penthouse suite complete with running trains and butler. Arthur's favorite pastime is getting drunk and embarrassing the upper-class.
We first see Arthur as he is being chauffeured through the red light district. He picks up a profession (her friend gets $50 for coming in second). He takes her to a fancy restaurant, saying she is a princess from a small country (so small that last year the recarpeted the entire country!). The next morning enter Hobson (John Gielguld), an acerbic British butler. He has the perfect one line response to any situation.
Arthur is summoned by his father. The edict is given that Arthur must marry the daughter of dad's business rival or be cut off from his inheritance. Arthur's answer to that is to go shopping and spend more of dad's money. There he spies a quirky shoplifter, Linda Marolla (Liza Minnelli). Something about her interests Arthur and he pursues her.
Eventually, reality wins out and Arthur must come to terms with his pending nuptials. Now this leads to the funniest scenes of the film. First is when Hobson realizes that Arthur really loves Linda and goes to her apartment to tell to go to the engagement party. (Best Line: "Please get me two aspirin. You will find them on the second shelf of the medicine cabinet behind the unused shave cream.") Next is when Linda shows up at the engagement party. (Best Line: "I was in the neighborhood, it took two taxi's, a bus and a train. But I was in the neighborhood") Finally, is the wedding that completely falls apart.
This was one of the best written comedies with one liners that are still being repeated. Dudley Moore gives his best performance ever. Unfortunately, it was too good and most people thought that he was like Arthur. Liza showed she inherited her mother's comic timing. But the film was stolen by John Gielguld. Gielguld deservedly won an Oscar for his perfect performance. Also notable is Ted Ross (Tony winner as the Cowardly Lion in The Wiz) as the chauffer and Geraldine Fitzgerald as Arthur's hard as nails grandmother. Oh and don't forget the great theme song!!
The only negative of the DVD is it is only available in full frame.
- Wonderful Comedy, But...
"Arthur" remains wonderfully entertaining after more than 20 years, although a DVD remaster would be appreciated ("Arthur" was one of Warner's earliest DVD releases).
Also, contrary to an earlier review Dudley Moore did not win an Oscar for his performance. He was nominated for Best Actor but lost to Henry Fonda for "On Golden Pond." ...more info
- alert the media
I have a friend who looked for a year for this movie on dvd in brick and mortar stores, I ordered it for her and she had it in a week, and by the next week, she'd watched it ten times. Its a very good movie....more info