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Sunday June 23rd 2024

Arthur | 1981

Arthur location: St Bartholomew's, Park Avenue, New York
Arthur location: Arthur ducks out of the wedding: St Bartholomew’s, Park Avenue, New York

Any pretensions Steve Gordon may have had toward saying something about alcoholism in his sharp and funny script are scuppered by Dudley Moore's charming but rather one-note, end-of-the-pier drunk, (OK, he was Oscar nominated – what does my opinion matter?), and it's left to waspish butler Hobson (John Gielgud) to walk off with the Academy Award, and the film.

Arthur location: Plaza Hotel, New York
Arthur location: Arthur drinks in the Oak Room: Plaza Hotel, New York

If you were in the same tax bracket as squillionaire Arthur Bach (Moore), you could have enjoyed a meal at the classy restaurant where he shocks fellow diners with hooker Gloria, the wood-panelled Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street? This is also where Al Pacino dined out with Chris O’Donnell during his New York break in Scent Of A Woman. But no more. Its fortunes declined and the Oak Room closed in 2011.

Arthur location: Fifth Avenue, West Side, New York
Arthur location: Arthur's luxury apartment: Fifth Avenue, West Side, New York

Arthur’s luxury pad, where he's waited on by the attentive Hobson, is 1067 Fifth Avenue, at East 88th Street, opposite Central Park – and handy for the Guggenheim Museum next door.

Arthur location: West 51st Street at 5th Avenue, New York
Arthur location: Arthur is summoned to meet his father at the ‘Bach Building’: West 51st Street at 5th Avenue, New York

The ‘Bach Building’, where he’s summoned to meet his overbearing father, is 640 Fifth Avenue (though the imposing entrance is actually on West 51st Street.

Arthur casually wastes money on shirts and sweaters at Bergdorf-Goodman's posh department store, 754 Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets, where he spots kooky Linda Marolla (Liza Minnelli) shoplifting a tie for her dad.

Arthur location: 1 East 91st Street, East Side, New York
Arthur location: the lavish apartment block: 1 East 91st Street, East Side, New York

On the Upper East Side, you can visit the palatial home of the ‘scary old broad’, Arthur’s Grandma, where the new Vermeer just arrived. It’s the Carnegie Mansion, 2 East 91st Street, familiar from Marathon Man, Working Girl and Sean Connery thriller The Next Man. It now houses the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

With an ultimatum from his family ringing in his ears, Arthur drives over to Long Island to propose to wholesome – and wealthy – Susan Johnson (Jill Eikenberry). Her family’s estate is the de Seversky Mansion, Northern Boulevard at Old Campus Road, Old Westbury, now a part of New York Institute of Technology.

Built in 1918 on Long Island’s prestigious Gold Coast for inventor and philanthropist Alfred du Pont – at a cost of $1.1 million – the estate was originally known as White Eagle. Later renamed Templeton, it was bought in 1972 by the New York Institute of Technology, and renamed for the famous Russian aviator, Alexander P. de Seversky.

It’s not open to the public, but you can hire the mansion for that special wedding.

Hobson slyly invites Linda to the subsequent engagement party at the estate of Arthur’s father. This grand mansion is also on the coast, about 15 miles to the east, at the Marshall Field III estate. It’s now Caumsett State Historic Park, 25 Lloyd Harbor Road in the village of Lloyd Harbor. The stables, where Linda has to come up with an elaborate cover story when she’s discovered alone with Arthur, are the estate’s Polo Stables (which are not open to the public).

When Hobson falls ill, the roles are reversed and he’s looked after by Arthur in the Lenox Hill Hospital, 100 East 77th Street on the East Side (also seen in the 2008 movie of Sex And The City).

You can find the church, where Arthur opts out of the arranged marriage, on Park Avenue, naturally. It's the Byzantine-styled, Episcopalian St Bartholomew's, 109 Park Avenue – which crops up again in the 2011 remake.