Writer/Director: Steve Gordon
Running Time: 97 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
USA Release Date: 17th July 1981
Watched on Sky+ Tuesday 19th April 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
The chances are that I will never watch the latest (2011) version of this film, mainly because I totally despise Russell Brand. So I decided I’d take another look at the original version. It’s a lot better than I remember it, mainly because of the presence of John Gielgud. But more of my thoughts later, here’s a brief summary first (summary haters, and those that don’t wish to know about the plot, please get Arthur another Scotch while I write the next paragraph).
Arthur Bach is a very rich man; he’s also a drunk and a womaniser. He has always had everything he wants, but on the downside, he has never grown up either. He relies on his servants, Hobson, his best friend and butler, and Bitterman, his chauffeur for all of his needs. His family want him to marry one Susan Johnson, but Arthur doesn’t love her and doesn’t want to marry her. It’s only when he’s threatened with being cut off that he considers it. But then he meets Linda Marolla, a girl from Queens and the hit it off straight away. This leaves Arthur with a dilemma, does he marry Susan and stay rich, or does he follow his heart and become poor? One person is helping with this tough decision, someone whose time is limited. I won’t say any more as I don’t want them Spoiler Police after me again.
Dudley Moore was perfect as Arthur, he plays the drunk so well and he can turn on the serious acting when required too. Liza Minnelli did a great job as Linda Marolla, there as a great rapport between the pair of them on screen. The star of the show (for me) was John Gielgud as Hobson, he has some truly great lines, delivered with such dry wit and I loved his performance in this one. Honourable mentions go to; Geraldine Fitzgerald as Martha Bach, Jill Eikenberry as Susan Johnson, Stephen Elliott as Burt Johnson and Ted Ross as Bitterman.
Although it’s no masterpiece, I quite enjoyed this film. As romantic comedies go, I found this to be one of the better ones I’ve seen. Some of it seems slightly dated, but I thought it’s travelled through time a lot better than some of it’s contemporary’s from the early 80’s. Over all, it’s a pretty enjoyable romantic comedy with a couple of decent performances. I’ll probably never see the updated version and so no comparisons her, but this one’s recommended.
My Score: 6.2/10