Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Arthur (1981)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Arthur (1981)

In director Steve Gordon's romantic comedy about a drunken NY millionaire with a dilemma - his father insisted that he would acquire his grandmother's inheritance only by agreeing on an arranged marriage to a wealthy, upper-class lovestruck heiress:

  • the introduction of alcoholic, spoiled millionaire playboy womanizer Arthur Bach (Dudley Moore) and his street-corner pick-up of a hooker named Gloria (Anne De Salvo); he answered her question about what he did for a living: "I race cars. I play tennis, I fondle women, but I have weekends off and I am my own boss"
Playboyish Alcoholic Womanizer Arthur
Sudden Realization In Restaurant With Hooker Gloria (Anne De Salvo)
Hooker Gloria with Arthur the Next Morning
  • in the ritzy Plaza restaurant, drunken Arthur's sudden realization, after successfully wining and dining Gloria, about why his advances were so easy: ("Are you a hooker? Jesus, I forgot! I just thought I was doing great with you")
  • the next morning, reserved and poised butler Hobson (Oscar-winning John Gielgud) found them in bed together (next to a full-sized train set) and was ready with a tray: "I've taken the liberty of anticipating your condition and I've brought you orange juice, coffee and aspirins. Or do you need to throw up?"; he then noted Gloria's silence: "It is thrilling to meet you, Gloria. You obviously have a wonderful economy with words, Gloria. I look forward to your next syllable with great eagerness"
  • Arthur's announcement: "I'm gonna take a bath" - with faithful, wise, and loyal but sarcastic valet Hobson's response: "I'll alert the media"; when Arthur added: "Do you want to run my bath for me?" Hobson said: "That's what I live for" - and then quipped: "Perhaps you'd like me to come in there and wash your dick for you, you little s--t?"
  • the image of Arthur in a bubble bath sipping a martini, with Hobson at his side (Arthur: "I hate to be alone"); Hobson responded: "Yes, bathing is a lonely business"
  • Arthur's extortionist discussion with his father Stanford Bach (Thomas Barbour), who was worried about his son's reputation as a "Millionaire Drunk Playboy"; Arthur would be disowned or "cut off...from the money" if he didn't marry Susan Johnson (Jill Eikenberry) - the daughter of tycoon Burt Johnson (Stephen Elliott) - his father's business acquaintance ("I want it. Burt Johnson wants it"); Arthur stoutly refused: "Frankly, Father, I'd rather starve. And I will. I'll get married when I fall in love with somebody"; as he walked out, his father added: "Fine. I respect your integrity. You've just lost $750 million dollars"; Arthur turned back and was forced to accept the deal - with the wedding already scheduled in a month; Arthur conceded: "Congratulations, Father, you win"
  • Arthur's saving of lower-class shoplifter and Queens waitress Linda Marolla (Liza Minnelli), after he saw her stealing a necktie and she was accosted outside the store by Bergdorf Goodman's security guard Chester (Irving Metzman); afterwards, Hobson joked with Linda: "Thank you for a memorable afternoon. Usually, one must go to a bowling alley to meet a woman of your stature"; over time, however, Arthur began to fall in love with Linda
Hobson's Quip Toward Shoplifter Linda
  • Linda's crashing of Arthur's engagement party to Susan, held at his father's estate
  • Arthur's care for his dying butler in the hospital - with Hobson reassuring him that death wasn't frightening, and his final words: "Arthur, you're a good son" - Hobson had been a genuine replacement for his real father
  • the sequence of Arthur's jilting of Susan during their wedding ceremony at the altar, causing her angry father to attempt to stab him with a cheese knife
  • the revelation that Arthur's wealthy grandmother Martha Bach (Geraldine Fitzgerald) wouldn't allow him to be poor and lower-class - he accepted her offer of $750 million
  • the finale with Arthur's request to his black Rolls-Royce limousine driver Bitterman (Ted Ross), to open the door for him and Linda before a drive through Central Park: ("Bitterman! Do you want to double your salary?...Then, open that door!") - the last shot was of Arthur's NY State license plate: ARTHUR

Arthur's Announcement: "I'm gonna take a bath"

Arthur's Bath-time

Arthur's Father - Insisting on an Arranged Marriage

Dying Butler Hobson: "Arthur, you're a good son"

"Bitterman!...Open that door!"


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z