Tigris Rose reviews Arthur (1981)
Director/Writer: Steve Gordon
Stars: Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, John Gielgud
This is rather a guilty pleasure movie. Not exactly a great movie, not exactly a good movie. It’s very nitch. I think the one thing that would make the movie a hell of a lot better is to get rid of Liza Minnelli. God I hate her. She plays a New Yorker, independent but almost con artist like. She’s sassy, but the problem with Minnelli looks like Janet from “Threes Company.”
Arthur is a rich man, who has spent the greater point of his adulthood in a bottle. He is being forced to marry a woman he doesn’t marry so he can stay in the family worth 750 million dollars, otherwise he was going to get cut off. And it gets pretty crazy after he meets Linda (Minnelli) after she steals a tie for her father.
There are three characters that really make this movie likable. First off, Arthur’s grandmother. The grandmother has the dough. Arthur will inherit the money. But she is funny, she is this surly old lady. She loves Arthur, almost understands him more than anyone but the butler. But she is a perverted, hard nose, and dastardly. One funny part with her is when Arthur is trying to explain that he loves Linda, she says to marry the rich one and cheat with the poor one.
The second person is Arthur. He is like a really old kid. Always playing with toys, drinks constantly. Moore has a very infectious laugh, especially when he is drunk. But he reminds me of a hobbit. The way he acts, drinks, laughs he just reminds me of Bilbo Baggins. Actually if it wasn’t for the fact he died 8 years ago Moore would have probably been good for a hobbit role in the Lord of the Rings.
But the greatest part of the movie is Hodson the Butler played by John Gielgud. This is the type that you could actually think and say that the butler did it. He’s pushy, brutally honest, and has a retort for everything and everyone. He’s always been the father figure to Arthur because Arthur was bounced around from school to school, and Hodson always looked after him. But Hodson has a very unique way with Arthur and with other people. But his contentment and mouthy expressions are absolutely hilarious. So much so in fact that I am going to put down my favorite Hodson lines.
Hodson the Butler: Man of many Words
Arthur: Do you know what I’m going to do?
Hobson: No, I don’t.
Arthur: I’m going to take a bath.
Hobson: I’ll alert the media.
Arthur: [rises] Do you want to run my bath for me?
Hobson: That’s what I live for.
Hobson: Perhaps you would like me to come in there and wash your dick for you, you little shit.
Hobson: Thank you for a memorable afternoon, usually one must go to a bowling alley to meet a woman of your stature.
Hobson: [to Ralph] If you and your undershirt will walk two paces backwards, I could enter this dwelling.
Executive: He gets all that money. Pays his family back by… by… by bein’ a stinkin’ drunk. It’s enough ta make ya sick.
Hobson: I really wouldn’t know, sir. I’m just a servant.
Hobson: On the other hand, go screw yourself.
Hobson: I’ve taken the liberty of anticipating your condition. I have brought you orange juice, coffee, and aspirins. Or do you need to throw up?
Arthur: I just told Linda I was getting engaged.
Hobson: I don’t know why; a little tart like that could save you a fortune in prostitutes.
Hobson: You spoiled little bastard! You’re a man who has everything, haven’t you, but that’s not enough. You feel unloved, Arthur, welcome to the world. Everyone is unloved. Now stop feeling sorry for yourself. And incidentally, I love you. Poor drunks do not find love, Arthur. Poor drunks have very few teeth, they urinate outdoors, they freeze to death in summer. I can’t bear to think of you that way.
The movie has its moments. Mostly with the Butler’s witty remarks or with Grandmother’s perverted undertones. I really enjoy this movie, but as I said would have been a lot better with out Miss Liza. I give this movie on a rating scale a solid “C.” It isn’t a great movie, low budget, plus it’s a screwball comedy they don’t exactly rank up there in cinematography. Everyone should at least see this movie once in their lives.