"Arthur" 1981 Film Review and Preview of Russell Brand's 2011 "Arthur"

Thirty years before Russell Brand premiered as the character Arthur the film made its debut in 1981 starring Dudley Moore as Arthur Bach. Here is a review of the film “Arthur” written and directed by Steve Gordon in 1981.

Thirty years before Russell Brand premiered as the character Arthur the film made its debut in 1981 starring Dudley Moore as Arthur Bach. Here is a review of the film “Arthur” written and directed by Steve Gordon in 1981.

This film “Arthur” has a very slow start and takes a while to pick up momentum when Liza Minnelli enters the storyline and brings a character arc to Dudley Moore’s drunken stammering through the first half of the film.

The movie opens on a rich and sad character seeking alcohol and prostitutes and laughing at his own jokes louder than anyone else in the room. The British belligerence of John Gielgud as Hobson begins to shape the understanding of Arthur’s life as a meaningless pursuit of material possessions and a life of suspended animation.

Arthur’s family threatens to cut him out of the family fortune if he does not marry Martha Bach played by Geraldine Fitzgerald. She is an otherwise perfect woman except for the loveless feelings Arthur holds for her.

Things turn around when Liza Minnelli comes around and sways Arthur to stir for love for the first time in his entire life just as his best friend and butler Hobson falls ill.

The film really packs a lot of character and laughs in the latter half of the film which is slow to develop. The characters are well developed and memorable and capture a certain spirit of the early 1980’s. The acting is excellent and reminds us what great comedy acting used to be.

Timing is excellent and you can tell which takes of the film were unedited and even improvised when dealing with children and animals in the scenes. The story is a little predictable but still well executed to the point of being entertaining and endearing once the story takes full shape.

I am now interested to see what changes are made in 2011 with Russell brand at the helm of what previews are making out to be a more silly themed comedy. Jennifer Garner takes the leading actress position and Hellen Mirren fills the role of the butler in the film.

The 1981 film “Arthur” has received a 6.7 out of 10 overall rating from the Internet Movie Database but I give it a 7 for containing some really great comedy acting. Check it out if this review interests you.

 

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Eva Coombes
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