In the 1981 original comdey, Arthur stars Dudley Moore, a rich socialite who after years of being spoiled and having too much to drink is ordered to marry a wealthy woman named Susan in order to maintain his inheritance. Arthur agrees to marry Susan even though he is quickly falling in love with a poor waitress named Linda (Liza Minelli) at the Bergdorf-Goodman department store. He watches her as she pockets a necktie and leaves the store. She, of course, gets caught by the security guard, and Arthur is so fascinated by her that he comes to her rescue and makes sure she does not get arrested. The two fall in love almost instantly. However, Arthur’s family threatens to cut him off entirely if he does not marry Susan, so Arthur turns to his valet Hobson (John Gielgud) for help.
Another noteworthy Arthur location is the Plaza Hotel, where Arthur drinks and dines with a prostitute named Gloria at the prestigious Oak Room bar. Don’t miss the chance to see The Plaza Hotel on the On Location Tours’ NYC TV & Movie Tour.
Dudley Moore is said to have based his performance partly on Peter Cook, whose over-the-top drinking caused a rift between Moore and Cook, comedy partners in the 1970’s.
There is a scene in the film where Liza Minelli boards a bus in front of Bergdorf-Goodman. During filming, Minelli accidentally got on a real New York City bus instead of the prop bus. She didn’t realize her mistake until she was halfway down the block! She looked back, and the whole crew was laughing.
John Gielgud, who plays Hobson, turned down the role several times. He finally accepted because the salary was just too good to pass up. He went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Hobson in Arthur.
* In an effort to stay current, we are constantly updating our tours with new locations and cannot guarantee the presence of locations mentioned on our site. If you have a particular interest in locations from a specific TV show or movie, please let your tour guide know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.