Arthur 2 On the Rocks (1988)

PG | 107, 110 or 112-113 mins | Comedy | 8 July 1988

Director:

Bud Yorkin

Writer:

Andy Breckman

Producer:

Robert Shapiro

Cinematographer:

Stephen H. Burum

Editor:

Michael Kahn

Production Designer:

Gene Callahan

Production Company:

Warner Bros., Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

       The film is a sequel to the 1981 film, Arthur (see entry). An article in the 10 Jun 1987 DV reported “an unusual tradeoff” with Warner Bros. Pictures obtaining sequel and remake rights to Arthur in exchange for permitting Orion Pictures and Rollins, Joffe, Morra, Brezner Productions to use film clips from the 1951 Alfred Hitchcock film, Strangers on a Train (see entry) in the film Throw Momma from the Train (1987, see entry).
       Though a 4 Nov 1987 HR news item reported principal photography would start in Feb 1988, the 15 Dec 1987 HR production chart, referring to the film by the title, Arthur On the Rocks, announced filming began on 30 Nov 1987 in New York City and Los Angeles, CA. Studio production notes in AMPAS library files listed the following New York locations used in filming: the Apthorp Building on Broadway in the Upper West Side; the Americas Society located on Park Avenue; the Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; the Big Apple Circus; the Washington Square Methodist Church in Greenwich Village; the South Street Seaport; and the Entrepreneur II, a 130-foot yacht docked in the East River. A 5 Jan 1988 HR brief mentioned filming in Los Angeles was scheduled to start on 11 Jan 1988, and the 13 Jan 1988 DV reported the Vine St. Bar & Grill in Hollywood was used as a filming.
       A number of original cast members from Arthur returned for the film, ... More Less

       The film is a sequel to the 1981 film, Arthur (see entry). An article in the 10 Jun 1987 DV reported “an unusual tradeoff” with Warner Bros. Pictures obtaining sequel and remake rights to Arthur in exchange for permitting Orion Pictures and Rollins, Joffe, Morra, Brezner Productions to use film clips from the 1951 Alfred Hitchcock film, Strangers on a Train (see entry) in the film Throw Momma from the Train (1987, see entry).
       Though a 4 Nov 1987 HR news item reported principal photography would start in Feb 1988, the 15 Dec 1987 HR production chart, referring to the film by the title, Arthur On the Rocks, announced filming began on 30 Nov 1987 in New York City and Los Angeles, CA. Studio production notes in AMPAS library files listed the following New York locations used in filming: the Apthorp Building on Broadway in the Upper West Side; the Americas Society located on Park Avenue; the Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; the Big Apple Circus; the Washington Square Methodist Church in Greenwich Village; the South Street Seaport; and the Entrepreneur II, a 130-foot yacht docked in the East River. A 5 Jan 1988 HR brief mentioned filming in Los Angeles was scheduled to start on 11 Jan 1988, and the 13 Jan 1988 DV reported the Vine St. Bar & Grill in Hollywood was used as a filming.
       A number of original cast members from Arthur returned for the film, with the exception of actress Jill Eikenberry in the character of “Susan Johnson.” The role was recast with actress Cynthia Sikes. An item in the 29 Jan 1988 DV mentioned the film’s production designer Gene Callahan was to “play a chef” in the film. However, Callahan is not credited onscreen as a cast member and could not be confirmed as appearing onscreen.
       Items in the 25 Apr 1988 DV and 9 May 1988 LAHExam reported the film had a “sneak” preview in Pasadena, CA, and received marks of “Excellent” from ninety-three to ninety-four percent of the viewers. Due to the high marks, DV stated the film’s release was moved forward to Jul 1988 from Dec 1988.
       News briefs in the 5 Jul 1988 DV and 8 Jul 1988 HR reported the film premiered on 5 Jul 1988 in West Palm Beach, FL, as a benefit to raise money for Florida State University programs, such as the Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts program. The 8 Jul 1988 NYT review stated the film opened on 8 Jun 1988. Contemporary sources, such as the 6 Jul 1988 Var and Oct 1988 Box, listed the film’s duration as 113 minutes. Reviews in the 5 Jul 1988 HR and 23 Jul 1988 Screen International listed the running time as 110 minutes, while the 8 Jul 1988 LAT review stated the running time as 107 minutes, and the 8 Jul 1988 NYT as 112 minutes.
       Though reviews were mixed, the 12 Jul 1988 LAT reported the film placed third in box-office totals for its opening weekend of 8 Jul--10 Jul 1988, earning $5.15 million.

      The following dedication is presented before end credits: “This film is dedicated to the memory of Steve Gordon.” End credits state: “The producers with to thank New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development; New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting.” Music credits spell musician Thelonious Monk’s first name as “Thelonius.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Oct 1988.
---
Daily Variety
10 Jun 1987
p. 2, 14.
Daily Variety
13 Jan 1988
p. 3.
Daily Variety
29 Jan 1988
p. 3.
Daily Variety
25 Apr 1988
p. 3.
Daily Variety
5 Jul 1988
p. 3, 16.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Dec 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jan 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 1988
p. 6, 101.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 1988.
---
LAHExam
9 May 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Jul 1988
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
12 Jul 1988
Calendar, p. 2.
New York Times
8 Jul 1988
Section C, p. 8.
Screen International
23 Jul 1988.
---
Variety
6 Jul 1988
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. presents
a Havlin-Robert Shapiro production
a Bud Yorkin film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Unit prod mgr, New York crew
2d asst dir, New York crew
DGA trainee, New York crew
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Based on characters created by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Key grip
Grip best boy
Dolly grip
Still photog
Panaglide op, New York crew
1st asst cam, New York crew
2d asst cam, New York crew
Key grip, New York crew
Chief lighting tech, New York crew
Still photog, New York crew
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir, New York crew
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Standby painter
Lead person
Set dec, New York crew
Prop master, New York crew
Const coord, New York crew
COSTUMES
Men`s costumer
Women`s costumer
Ms. Minnelli's jewelry by
Asst costumer des, New York crew
Men`s ward, New York crew
Women`s ward, New York crew
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR ed
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Scoring mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Main titles des
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Make-up artist, New York crew
Hairstylist, New York crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Asst to Mr. Shapiro
Asst to Mr. Yorkin
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Unit pub
Prod office coord, New York crew
Secy to Mr. Shapiro, New York crew
Secy to Mr. Yorkin, New York crew
Transportation capt, New York crew
Prod runner, New York crew
Prod runner, New York crew
Prod runner, New York crew
Casting asst, New York crew
Extras casting, New York crew
STAND INS
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
Stunt personnel
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Steve Gordon.
AUTHOR
SONGS
“Love Is My Decision (Theme From Arthur 2 On the Rocks),” performed by Chris De Burgh, produced by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, written by Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager and Chris De Burgh, courtesy of A & M Records
“Secret,” written and performed by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, courtesy of Virgin Records/A &M Records
“The Loco-motion,” produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, performed by Kylie Minogue, courtesy of Pal Productions, Ltd./Geffen Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
“Love Is My Decision (Theme From Arthur 2 On the Rocks),” performed by Chris De Burgh, produced by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, written by Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager and Chris De Burgh, courtesy of A & M Records
“Secret,” written and performed by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, courtesy of Virgin Records/A &M Records
“The Loco-motion,” produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, performed by Kylie Minogue, courtesy of Pal Productions, Ltd./Geffen Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Gravity,” performed by Brenda Russell, written by Brenda Russell and Gardner Cole, courtesy of A & M Records
“Boys Night Out,” performed by Tower of Power, written by Ellis Hall, courtesy of Cypress Records
“Speed Of Light,” performed by Reimy, written by Debbie Gibson, courtesy of A & M Records
“Reflections,” performed by Steve Khan and Donald Fagen, written by Thelonius Monk [sic], courtesy of A & M Records
“Devotion,” performed by Liz Story, written by Liz Story, courtesy of Windham Hill Records
“My Girl,” written by Ronald White and William Robinson
“Close To You,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
“This Guy’s In Love With You,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
“Wives And Lovers,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
“Heart Light,” written by Neil Diamond, Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Arthur II
Arthur on the Rocks
Arthur 2: On the Rocks
Release Date:
8 July 1988
Premiere Information:
World premiere in West Palm Beach, FL: 5 July 1988
Los Angeles and New York openings: 8 July 1988
Production Date:
began 30 November 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros., Inc.
Copyright Date:
11 August 1988
Copyright Number:
PA382757
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
107, 110 or 112-113
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29244
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York City, multimillionaire Arthur Bach arrives at Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park. Inside, Arthur joins his wife, Linda Marolla Bach. As Arthur settles down after a day of Christmas shopping and drinking, Linda informs him she saw her doctor and learned she is unable to have children. She suggests they look into adopting a child. Arthur agrees. The next morning, Arthur and Linda’s new butler, Fairchild, hands Arthur his morning newspaper. When Arthur gleefully comments on Fairchild’s hands, dyed dark purple, Fairchild insists his bathroom soap is “malfunctioning.” Arthur explains he placed a trick bar of soap in Fairchild’s bathroom as a practical joke, but Fairchild does not grasp the concept. Arthur recalls that his former butler, Hobson, would call him out on his bad behavior. However, Fairchild only responds that Hobson must have gone to a different butler school than he did. Afterward, Linda arrives, telling Arthur she has been looking at adoption agencies. She also informs him that his father, Stanford Bach, wants to see him. After Linda leaves, Arthur calls Fairchild to prepare him for the meeting with his father, by bringing him a martini. Arthur arrives drunk at his father’s company, Bach Industries. Stanford informs Arthur the company is merging with Burt Johnson’s Johnson Enterprises. Shocked by the news, Arthur reminds Stanford that Burt Johnson is the father of Susan Johnson, the woman Arthur jilted at the altar to marry Linda. Later, Burt Johnson arrives at the Johnson Gallery to see his daughter, Susan, and informs her about the merger. Still in love ... +


In New York City, multimillionaire Arthur Bach arrives at Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park. Inside, Arthur joins his wife, Linda Marolla Bach. As Arthur settles down after a day of Christmas shopping and drinking, Linda informs him she saw her doctor and learned she is unable to have children. She suggests they look into adopting a child. Arthur agrees. The next morning, Arthur and Linda’s new butler, Fairchild, hands Arthur his morning newspaper. When Arthur gleefully comments on Fairchild’s hands, dyed dark purple, Fairchild insists his bathroom soap is “malfunctioning.” Arthur explains he placed a trick bar of soap in Fairchild’s bathroom as a practical joke, but Fairchild does not grasp the concept. Arthur recalls that his former butler, Hobson, would call him out on his bad behavior. However, Fairchild only responds that Hobson must have gone to a different butler school than he did. Afterward, Linda arrives, telling Arthur she has been looking at adoption agencies. She also informs him that his father, Stanford Bach, wants to see him. After Linda leaves, Arthur calls Fairchild to prepare him for the meeting with his father, by bringing him a martini. Arthur arrives drunk at his father’s company, Bach Industries. Stanford informs Arthur the company is merging with Burt Johnson’s Johnson Enterprises. Shocked by the news, Arthur reminds Stanford that Burt Johnson is the father of Susan Johnson, the woman Arthur jilted at the altar to marry Linda. Later, Burt Johnson arrives at the Johnson Gallery to see his daughter, Susan, and informs her about the merger. Still in love with Arthur, Susan is excited. Days later Linda and Arthur meet with Cynthia Canby of the Manhattan Adoption Agency. Mrs. Canby asks about Arthur’s well-publicized drinking. As Arthur makes jokes, Linda tells Mrs. Canby she and Arthur would be great parents. Mrs. Canby tells them she will be conducting a surprise visit soon, and shows them out. Re-entering Mrs. Canby’s office alone, Linda assures her that Arthur is capable of being a great father. Mrs. Canby tells her that they still have a chance of adopting a baby, but the process is long. While shopping for baby furniture, Fairchild informs Arthur that Burt Johnson called the car telephone and wants to meet. Arthur arrives on Johnson’s yacht as he practices skeet shooting. Johnson is still furious that Arthur stood up Susan on her wedding day. As of noon, he will have controlling interest in the newly merged companies. The Bach family will retain their money, as long as they disown Arthur of his $750 million fortune. Arthur is dumbstruck as Johnson tells him that if he divorces Linda and marries Susan he can keep his money. Arthur returns home to break the news to Linda. She tells Arthur they will survive together without the money because they love each other. Arthur visits his grandmother, Martha Bach, to enlist her help to get his money back. However, Martha says he should be with Susan. Afterward, Linda packs her belongings and says good-bye to the house staff. Meanwhile, Arthur looks around Hobson’s old room, kept intact after the old butler’s death. Fairchild finds him and observes the room is bigger than his. Before leaving, Fairchild tells Arthur he understands why the trick soap joke is funny. Later, Linda and Arthur arrive at the apartment of Linda’s father, Ralph Marolla. Upon learning Arthur’s money is gone, Ralph cries. Linda finds work as a waitress while Arthur looks for a job. Instead, he visits Susan Johnson at her gallery. Excited to see him, Susan tells Arthur she still loves him and suggests they announce their re-engagement at her father’s Christmas yacht party next week. Arthur declines and pleads her to reason with her father, but Susan refuses. That evening, the superintendent of Ralph Marolla’s building knocks on the door. He tells Ralph the building has been purchased by Johnson Enterprises and only people listed on the lease can live in the apartment. The following day, Linda and Arthur go to a rundown apartment building and meet Mr. Butterworth, the superintendent. Though the apartment is small and shabby, they take it. Mrs. Canby from the Manhattan Adoption Agency arrives. She tells Linda and Arthur she has a baby in mind for them, even though their financial situation has changed. She will return in a week for an official inspection, and tells Arthur he needs to be sober and employed by then. While Arthur is able to get a job at a hardware store, after his first day, his new boss tells him the store was sold to Burt Johnson, who instructed him fire Arthur. Feeling guilty, he gives Arthur some money and wishes him well. Meanwhile, Susan finds Linda alone in the apartment. She breaks the news that her father just had Arthur fired from the hardware store, and will make it impossible for him to find any work. Susan also says Arthur would be happier with her as she is able to have children. After Susan leaves, Linda cries. That evening Arthur returns to the apartment drunk. Mr. Butterworth informs him that Linda cancelled their lease and left Arthur a note. Although she loves him, she has to leave for his own good. Depressed, Arthur goes out drinking. Days later at a Christmas caroling performance, a drunken Arthur hallucinates that his deceased butler, Hobson, is standing beside him. As Arthur tells Hobson he misses him, people only see Arthur speaking to himself. Arthur tells Hobson he plans to marry Susan. When Hobson expresses his disappointment with Arthur’s decision, Arthur realizes no matter what he does, he not love Susan. Later at a homeless shelter, Arthur is awakened by another vision of Hobson. Slapping him as he used to, Hobson says Arthur needs stop drinking because he will one day have a son. Arthur leaves the shelter determined to reclaim his wealth. He arrives at his grandmother’s home and tells her he wants to be the best father to his future child, but Burt Johnson will never let that happen. Martha tells him to seek out Noah Curtis, a former partner of Johnson. In the shadows of a parking garage, Arthur meets Curtis’s son and learns that Noah Curtis passed away a year ago. The son offers to help Arthur get back at Johnson for cheating his father. Obtaining documents related to Johnson’s crooked business practices, Arthur sneaks aboard Johnson’s yacht during the Christmas party, and shows Johnson and Susan the documents proving Johnson committed extortion during the buyout of the Carlyle-Swinson company twenty years ago. Johnson laughs at Arthur’s evidence and tells him it is too late for any legal action. Upset, Arthur punches Johnson. Susan tells her father to return Arthur’s money, as she no longer wants to marry him. However, Johnson pulls a handgun and threatens to kill Arthur. Susan blackmails Johnson, stating she will not tell her mother about his extramarital affairs in Florida if he lets Arthur go and gives back his money. Johnson begrudgingly agrees. Days later, Arthur arrives at Ralph Marolla’s apartment in his former Rolls Royce driven by his chauffeur, Bitterman, followed by trucks of flowers, toys, balloons and a brass band. Arthur tells Linda they are rich again. Mrs. Canby arrives with their new adopted baby girl. Arthur says he thought they were going to get a boy. However, Linda tells Arthur she is pregnant. They return to their former home and are welcomed by their staff. To show Arthur his newfound fun side, Fairchild plays a practical joke by squirting Arthur with water from his boutonnière. Everyone laughs except Arthur, who instructs Fairchild to pack his belongings. After Fairchild packs, Arthur leads him to Hobson’s room, gives Fairchild the key, and says the flower was a great joke. Linda and Arthur go into the nursery and place their new daughter in her bassinet. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.