THE MOST FUN MONEY CAN BUY
Classic hit comedy starring 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.
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!!