Academy Awards 1981 -
Best Supporting Actor: John Gielgud
Variety - 07/13/1981
"...Sparkling entertainment....Moore is a delightful riot throughout and builds considerable sympathy..."
New York Times - 07/17/1981
"...A terrifically engaging, high-spirited screwball comedy....[Minnelli and Moore] play together with the kind of energizing verve that one sees more frequently in the legitmate theater than on film..."
Arthur, a very rich, drunken ne'er-do-well, falls in love with a working-class shoplifter just as he is scheduled to marry a properly pedigreed society member. But if he doesn't marry the heiress, he will not inherit a $750 million trust. So Arthur turns to his loyal butler, who is slowly dying, for help. The butler wishes to see Arthur prevail and so manipulates a situation in which the true lovers will come together--and get the loot. But that is a lot easier said than done.
ARTHUR is a charming romantic comedy that features the role that Dudley Moore was born to play. Whether taking limo trips through Central Park with prostitutes, playing with his train set, having a bath in a top hat, or wanting just a tuna-fish sandwich, Arthur, perfectly portrayed by Moore, is one of the most likable onscreen characters in cinema history. John Gielgud as his loyal, dry-witted butler is an out-and-out riot. And Liza Minnelli turns in one of her sweetest performances as the woman Arthur's family demands he stop dating. Steve Gordon's film is an absolute joy to watch, a perfect piece of celluloid entertainment that never fails to please no matter how many times one has seen it.
A drunken billionaire careens through life until he meets a flat-broke girl with a heart of gold. Great performances by all, especially Gielgud as the driest butler ever. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Actor--Dudley Moore, Best (Original) Screenplay. Academy Awards: 2, including Best Original Song ("Arthur's Song - Best That You Can Do"), Best Supporting Actor--John Gielgud.
Character Study |
Essential Cinema |
Love Story |
Substance Abuse |
Film has been compared to older screwball comedies by directors such as Preston Sturges, Frank Capra and Gregory La Cava.
Shot in Technicolor. Theatrical running time 117 minutes.