Sunday, April 10, 2011

One more lost scene from the original ARTHUR

Hello from Seattle!  Thanks for your great response to yesterday's post.  Much better than paying money and seeing the current ARTHUR is reading a scene from the original ARTHUR.   I'm fortunate enough to have Steve Gordon's original draft.  It contains scenes that never made the final cut.  I posted one yesterday and I'm sharing another one now.  I'm sure the stuff that didn't make the first movie is better than anything that did make the newer version. Enjoy.  Part of the fun of having this blog is being able to share great writing, even if it’s not mine.

Remember when Linda shows up at Arthur’s engagement party and they go out to the stables? In this version after the party they go to the Plaza Hotel and end up here:


Linda and Arthur enter the room.

(looking around) Look at this room! It’s not easy to feel cheap here.

Arthur sits on the bed.

You want something to drink? Or eat?


She walks to the window and looks out.

New York…

You were expecting Pittsburgh?

I feel like we’re a young couple from the Midwest on our first trip to New York.

(lying back on the bed) Come here.

Linda goes to the bed and lies next to him. He puts his arm around her. They lie like that for a beat.

What are we waiting for?

The other girl will be here in a minute. You didn’t think this was just going to be you and me, did you? You’ll like her.

Linda laughs.

Why do I feel so comfortable with you?

Because we are that couple from the Midwest. And we’re very nice people.

He kisses her. Light at first. Then it quickly turns to passion.

(breathing heavily) You’re a nice girl… but you don’t turn me on physically.

You’re not going to marry that girl. And you know it.

Arthur kisses her again.

Let’s not talk anymore. Okay?

Linda starts to unbutton Arthur’s shirt. She kisses his chest. They are both very excited.

(while kissing his chest) I know you’re not going to marry her.

She’s talking. Linda… let’s not talk.

He rolls over and kisses her again. After the kiss:

Let’s talk for a second…

I’m having sex here! Do you mind?

Why would you marry a woman you don’t love?

I have to. Can I help you with that zipper?

What do you mean… you have to?

Linda… there’s not a shower in the world cold enough to fix what’s going on here. Now… could we talk about this later?

Just tell me what you mean… you have to?

My family is forcing me to marry her.

You asshole! Nobody gets married like that! That hasn’t happened since 1850!

They’ll cut me off if I don’t! Without a cent!

So? You’ll get a job like everybody else. How much money is it?

250 million dollars.

Try it with her for a few years. Maybe it’ll work out.

Linda… you see this suite? I have to be in suites like this.


Because… that’s who I am. I’m Arthur Bach. I’ve got nothing but the money. I don’t know who I am without it.

You’re not Winston Churchill… I’ll tell you that.

(touching her face) It took me years… all my life… to find you. Just don’t compete with the money. The money is like my arm. It comes with me.

We’re not that nice young couple from the Midwest, are we? I’ll get a cab.

Linda crosses to the door. Arthur sits on the bed. She stops.

You can’t have everything, Arthur. If you get the potato you don’t get a vegetable.

Would you turn down this money?

Are you crazy? Of course not! I steal ties for Christ sakes! But when you look for a mistress… make it a mistress! She should speak French and give back rubs. Don’t come to me. I want to get married. What do I know about being a mistress? You’d get me an apartment and I’d want to know if it’s near a good school.

Goodbye, Linda.

Don’t pout. You’re lovely. I’ll remember you the rest of my life.

Linda exits. Arthur goes to the bar and pours a drink.



Mike said...

What a great line: "Try it with her for a few years. Maybe it’ll work out."

Bolinha said...

You should publish this screenplay, a true guide on how to write poetry with humor.

Mac said...

That is so brilliant. Just one belter after another.
It's really quite a callous break-up scene, but how he keeps it so funny, and stops you from disliking Arthur, is pure gold. I don't want to get into comparing the original and the remake, because it's like comparing Stan Laurel to Ashton Kutcher,
ie: pointless, but if the remake's trailer (presumably) has the best bits from the movie, then yes, the deleted scenes from the original must literally be better than anything in Russell Brand's abomination.
Thanks for posting this, it's a joy to read

Max Clarke said...

Just great.

With the new movie out, I read the SFgate review. I posted my comment about the original Steve Gordon masterpiece, and when I came back, viewers had added their favorite lines from the original Arthur to my comment.

In this deleted scene, I can actually hear Liza doing the lines, even the inflection. A tribute to her performance and the source material.

bevo said...

Arthur does qualify as a candidate for a remake. The original was very good but could have been grate.

The problem with the movie, and hence, the casting is the protagonist. He is choosing the money over the girl. How many actors can pull that off?

I don't think Dudley Moore did. I saw this movie in the theatre when I was in elementary school (5th or 6th grade, IIRC) and watched again about 10 years ago.

Moore is playing the same character he did in 10. He has a shtick. However, I think 99.5% of all working actors destroy the part because of the movie's tension.

That said, the ending blows chunks. It is a Hollywood crap thrown on top of Kentucky blue grass. For shame. A better ending that is faithful to the material and does not insult the audience is for Martha never to extend the money to Arthur.

Instead, Arthur should have married Susan. As the credits roll, a passed out Arthur and Susan, in their limo pass Linda who is arguing with a store security guard that has a tie clutched in his hand.

Please Don't Eat Me said...

Love these Arthur screenplay out-takes. Gordon was brilliant.

Oh, and sometime today let's hear a birthday shout out for Henry, knee "Harry" Morgan, a young 96!

AlaskaRay said...

Not bad, but when do the transformers and the sensitive teenage vampires come in?


El Cid said...

BEAVER BISCUITS! Happy b-day Col. Potter!!!

jbryant said...

Yes, the Russell Brand ARTHUR is the most abominable film I've never seen.

I mean, sheesh, I'm sure it DOES pale in comparison to the original, but I'm sorry, opinions based on a two-minute trailer have to be taken with a pretty big grain of salt. Isn't it enough to say "The trailer for the remake doesn't look very good, and I loved the original, so I think I'll skip it"?

Rebounding said...

I love the original. Haven't seen the new one, and won't. But that's not because I think it will sick (although I do) but more because I have a 2 and a half year old and haven't seen a movie in the theater for...2 and a half years.

The only issue I remember from the original is that, even at 10 years old, watching it on HBO...even then, when my penis got hard when the wind blew, I knew that Liza was just plain ugly.

rockfish said...

It's awesome to read great writing.

On a sidenote, i listened to today's Mariners' broadcast. Was it a slight jab, a coordinated snark or just a tweak when all 3 broadcasters were asked about who was their player of the game? Seattle had just been slapped 7-2 (or something), Vallee picked some Mariner outfielder for going 1-for-4 with a HR, Ken chose Cleveland's Assie Cabrera who homered and had three hits, and Rizz took a Seattle reliever (it think)... Didn't you know you were suppose to pick the home team, no matter how badly they played? Or was it a case of just honest disagreement? I hate when homerism gets in the way of an honest call... You made the right call.

Gene Siskelcellanemia said...

It ain't that I have any faith in Russell Brand, but this fundamentalist "NAY, I say, NEVER!" routine is over the top. "The Front Page" was very good, but "His Girl Friday" was great. The idea that a top-notch comedy couldn't possibly be recycled into another top-notch comedy is just that: an idea. "Arthur V.2" doesn't look like it's that movie, but let's not act like this is the immutable theory of remake gravity here.

writers room nyc said...

You should publish this screenplay, a true guide on how to write poetry with humor.

Pat Reeder said...

My personal "immutable theory of remake gravity" is that there is nothing that could be made more enjoyable by adding Russell Brand to it, other than a funeral.

Frank Paradise said...

They just don't write comedy like that anymore! Cheers Ken!

Knuckles Buchanan said...

So, are you posting these because the M's games this weekend weren't funny enough? Good god, that was an awful series.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

When I saw the new Arthur trailer I had 2 thoughts...
1) Why mess with perfection?
2) This looks like a different movie with some similarities. If that's the case then why don't they just rewrite it enough that it's completely different? Then any comparisons would not be needed. It could have been done. It's not like the Planet of the Apes where the storyline is needed. Couldn't they have written the new Arthur with the same type of story of boy is in a contrived engagement but is in love with someone else.

Isn't that what Bollywood was built on?

Johnny Walker said...

Another great scene. I can see they compressed everything in the final version (so this information was delivered in her room), but the final film felt too rushed. Gordon was right to drag it out. Arthur wouldn't immediately turn up with a cheque like that (although Linda's reaction was excellent).

Anyways, a Friday Question:
Given you're one of the lucky few who have a copy of the original Arthur script, how do you think it compares to the final film? Does it solve many of the film's flaws, or was the film a more efficient and effective version of the original script? Would love to know! Thanks.