I don’t care what anybody says. Arthur has it all. New York City. A love story. A tale of perseverance. A short man with a sharp tongue wrapped in a charming accent and a drinking problem. And Liza!
And how great is John Gielgud as Hobson? There is yet another endearing aspect of this film – the relationship between the sardonic butler and the spoiled man child. I wish I had a Hobson.
I am also envious of Arthur’s bath. After viewing this film closely I did my best to pretend to have nearly as cool a bath, and used some champagne to aid in my delusion. Maybe I need a top hat.
Of course, there is the classic swoon-worthy love story that just spontaneously combusts in the middle of Bergdorf Goodman. Who doesn’t love a good traditional rich bastard falls for a poor yet whimsical dame plot? But nobody could play the roll of Linda Marolla quite like Liza Minnelli. Even though she is Hollywood royalty, and was born as such, she plays a convincing Queens girl, working in a diner.
I love how much they love each other. I know it’s just actors following a script, but it’s nice to think that there could be people willing to be poor together, and see each other through addiction, and manage to just laugh when the other does something stupid. Plus I think they look good together, in a special early-80s sort of way.
I’d be remiss not to mention Arthur 2: On the Rocks, the sequel which was released seven years later. Not quite as good as the first one, but you know I could watch a regular sitcom if it starred these two. Plus it entails Arthur fighting for his love, which I feel is a concept entirely lost on men these days.
Not to mention it involves redecorating on a dime, a baby (the ultimate symbol of a lasting relationship… not) and this lovely metaphor for Arthur’s man-child syndrome:
and some pretty funny quips about an ancient stair-chair: