The ads for Arthur suggested that this was an obnoxious film about an obnoxious man, an eternally drunken millionaire indulging his every whim. Instead, Arthur (Dudley Moore) is a sweet, somewhat pathetic character whose millions have left him lonely and with no motivation in life. When the film opens, Arthur is on the threshold of an arranged marriage with simpering socialite Susan (Jill Eikenberry), whom he does not love. Everyone expects Arthur to behave himself, but nobody truly cares for his well-being, with the exception of father-figure butler Mr. Hobson (John Gielgud, who won an Oscar for his performance) and blue-collar shoplifter Linda (Liza Minnelli). Arthur would prefer to marry the lowly Linda, but his iron-willed grandmother (Geraldine Fitzgerald) threatens to pull the plug on his huge inheritance if he doesn't honor his position in life and go through with his marriage to Susan. A sequel, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, followed in 1988.
by Hal Erickson synopsis