Author Topic: Arthur (1981)  (Read 1420 times)

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Arthur (1981)
« on: May 21, 2010, 10:29:57 PM »

Year: 1981
Film Studio: Orion Pictures
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Length: 97 Min.

Steve Gordon

Steve Gordon...Writer

Charles H Joffe
Robert Greenhut

Fred Schuler

Burt Bacharach (1928)...Composer
Carole Bayer Sager...Song Writer
Burt Bacharach (1928)...Song Writer
Christopher Cross...Song Writer
Peter Allen...Song Writer

Dudley Moore as Arthur Bach
Liza Minnelli as Linda Marolla
John Gielgud (1904) as Hobson
Geraldine Fitzgerald (1913) as Martha Bach
Jill Eikenberry as Susan Johnson
Stephen Elliott (1918) as Burt Johnson
Ted Ross (1934) as Bitterman
Barney Martin (1923) as Ralph Marolla

       Nowadays, no one likes a drunk. In a world of ‘in your face’ political correctness, the societal faux-paux of irresponsible inebriation is akin to perversion in Victorian times. While I don’t condone the behavior of someone who puts other people’s lives in danger when they get behind the wheel after they just pissed themselves from too many shots of Jaeger, I do find amusement in the situations that some of these people get into. In movie history, the drunkard’s primary residence has been in the world of Comedy. From the earliest days of silent film, the pratfalls and embarrassing antics of these alcohol-saturated acrobats has tickled the funny bone of film audiences around the world. In fact, Charlie Chaplin owes his entire career to a drunken character he portrayed on stage while he was touring America with the Fred Karno comedy troupe. Mack Sennett, the owner of Keystone Comedies, thought the routine that Chaplin was doing was so hilarious, he signed him on the spot to his first movie contract and the rest was history.
       Arthur Bach (Dudley Moore) would be the last in a long line of lovable drunks that the American viewing public would take into its heart from the world of film and television. Following in the footsteps of Elwood P. Dowd and Otis Campbell, this tipsy tycoon would be the last sloshed soul to be a primary character in either a film or television show. Organizations such as M.A.D.D. decree that the youth of America will take these characters as role models if they are perceived to be popular and that is plain wrong! Let’s face it, if teenagers were that impressionable from watching a movie, then I must have been doing a Rip Van Winkle impersonation after Oliver Stone’s tribute to the American serial killer, Natural Born Killers. I don’t remember scores of wild psycho adolescents shooting up the heartland in the nineties, do you?
       But I digress; Arthur is a comedic film of the highest magnitude with an all-star ensemble that seems to be firing on all cylinders. Dudley Moore’s performance is never clichéd and his timing is on par with some of the great comedic clowns of history. He accomplishes this by proving the old adage that less is more. While some actors would go over the top to perform some of the scenes that are now considered classic, Moore with just an oft-glance or a staccato delivery of a terse line of dialogue, manages to convey his characters faulty, yet lovably eccentric personality.  He is teamed with an actor, who must have been perceived at the time, as a perplexing quirk of casting. John Gielgud was a renowned stage Shakespearean actor who had worked with the likes of Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson. His refined manner and his apparent stiff and stilted disposition would suit his character Hobson, Arthur’s valet, to a tea. Their timing is flawless as Gielgud plays the straight man to Moore’s misguided man-child. What makes the pairing work so well is that Gielgud is also given his fair share of the best lines of comedic dialogue, the mark of a quality comedy. When Arthur informs him of his intention to take a bath, Hobson replies with the droll and disillusioned ditty, “I’ll alert the media”.
       As I reach the end of this review, I will not attempt to rationalize what effect this film may have on your children’s fragile psyches. Arthur is a very funny film that is meant to help you escape reality for about ninety minutes and make you chuckle. If you like films that balance the weight between laughter and tugging your heartstrings than this is a film for you. If anyone tries to convince you that it’s not humorous or in good taste to watch a comedy about an individual who is in need of substance abuse help. Just tell them to sit down, relax, take a drink and laugh a little, it’s good for the soul.  

Review Criterion
- The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
- Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
- Historically important film, considered a classic.
- An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
– A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
- Borderline viewable.
– A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
– Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
– A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
- A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 03:04:25 PM by Antares »