Arthur

1981

Arthur

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

88%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 33

77%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 33,489

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

77%
Average Rating: 3.3/5

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Movie Info

The ads for Arthur suggested that this was an obnoxious film about an obnoxious man, an eternally drunken millionaire indulging his every whim. Instead, Arthur (Dudley Moore) is a sweet, somewhat pathetic character whose millions have left him lonely and with no motivation in life. When the film opens, Arthur is on the threshold of an arranged marriage with simpering socialite Susan (Jill Eikenberry), whom he does not love. Everyone expects Arthur to behave himself, but nobody truly cares for his well-being, with the exception of father-figure butler Mr. Hobson (John Gielgud, who won an Oscar for his performance) and blue-collar shoplifter Linda (Liza Minnelli). Arthur would prefer to marry the lowly Linda, but his iron-willed grandmother (Geraldine Fitzgerald) threatens to pull the plug on his huge inheritance if he doesn't honor his position in life and go through with his marriage to Susan. A sequel, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, followed in 1988.

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Critic Reviews for Arthur

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (7)

One of those rare contemporary entertainments that can be used to contradict people who habitually complain, "They don't make 'em like they used to!" This time they have.

Apr 30, 2018 | Full Review…

Arthur is a sparkling entertainment which attempts, with a large measure of success, to resurrect the amusingly artificial conventions of 1930s screwball romantic comedies.

Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Moviegoers are hereby alerted to some good fun.

Aug 22, 2008 | Full Review…

So little care has gone into the characterizations, the structure, and the situations that the film merely feints at significant comedy.

Apr 1, 2008 | Full Review…

Overrated one-joke comedy.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Only someone with a heart of stone could fail to love a drunk like Arthur Bach.

Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Arthur

A billionaire playboy pursues a thief/waitress despite his family's insistence that he marry within his class. Good for a few yuks, Arthur is a charming film with a lot of good comedic performances, but the best lines come from John Gielgud. Despite being primarily a dramatic actor, Gielgud is fantastic as Hobson, delivering dry, scornfully witty one-liners with astonishing ease. He's an upper-class snob, frequently delving into lower class language, and it's often hilarious. Gielgud shows scene larceny at its finest; Dudley Moore is only noticeably funny when Gielgud isn't stealing the lens. The plot is predictable, and I didn't think the relationship between Arthur and Linda was well-developed. If I were to risk a substantial fortune for a woman, I would like a few more scenes with her, preferably when I was sober. Overall, this is a good way to enjoy 100 minutes of innocuous, enjoyable diversion, especially because of Gielgud.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

½

I saw the 2011 Athur first, and it sucked. This older version is a comedy classic. The story is about Arthur (Dudley Moore), a drunken millionare who gets money from his father. When his father gives him an ultimatium, marry a woman he hates or not marry her and he is cut off from the money, he must choose if he wishes to be rich or stay with his new love (Liza Minneli). The story was great, it was funny, good hearted, and a classic tale of a drunken fool. Dudley Moore was great, his drunken slander will make you laugh your butt off. I was also a big fan of John Gielgud (Mr. Hobson) his smart assness is just so funny. The comedy is great, well written and original, and will make you laugh. Liza Minelli was never funny in this, but thats her characters fault, not hers. Arthur is anamerican classic.

Jim Careter
Jim Careter

Super Reviewer

½

I only heard about this film after hearing about the remake with Russell Brand in the role of Arthur Bach. Like with every other remake, I will always view the original film to see which one I preferred. Well, I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed both. The remake essentially kept everything intact, but made the comedy a little bit raunchier for today's audiences. But this original and whimsical comedy about a drunken playboy is a lot of fun. As I enjoyed very much the remake, I thought that the original was terrific as well. The comedy here is sharp, witty, original and amusing. Actor Dudley Moore is enjoyable on screen as Arthur Bach, and the rest of the cast here are terrific as well. This is a charming comedy that has good laughs, but above all, an interesting story. I however didn't think that Dudley Moore was the best on screen. I thought he was good, but I thought that John Gielgud in the role of Mr. Hobson was what made this film special. I just loved his sarcastic and snobbish quips and his chemistry with Moore was wonderful. If you've enjoyed the remake, and want to see this classic, then I suggest you do. You're in for a pleasant viewing experience. I thought that both films were fun and charming, but obviously nothing beats an original film.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Arthur is the story of a lovable drunk. A rich lovable drunk. Lovable drunks only appear in movies because most drunks break your stuff and urinate everywhere except the toilet. Arthur (Dudley Moore) doesn't work, just spends money with his faithful butler Hobson (John Gielgud) shaking his head in disgust. Arthur has been given an ultimatum: be the groom in an arranged marriage or be cut off. Dependence on money leads Arthur to reluctantly propose, but he ends up meeting his true love Linda (Liza Minnelli), a shoplifter from Queens. What everything boils down to is will Arthur decide to be rich and miserable or poor and happy. Arthur has a dated feel that all early '80's comedies have. It's hard to describe, it just has that vibe of life just before CD's and such. It could have easily become another one of the cliched films that cam from this era thirty years ago, but the story isn't a cliche. It's very basic and develops into something more than it would have been. Of course the combined efforts of Dudley Moore as Arthur, spouting drunken jokes as he stumbles through life and the dead pan wisecracking of Gielgud as Hobson push this film beyond standard date night celluloid. Gielgud rightly deserved the Oscar for this one. Dated? Yes. Still entertaining? Sure. It's like a time capsule film. Sure, it's dated, but its worth digging up every couple of years.

Chris Garman
Chris Garman

Super Reviewer

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