6.7/10
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14 user 5 critic

A Yank at Oxford (1938)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, Sport | 18 February 1938 (USA)
Lee Sheridan's ego has always been stoked by his newspaper publisher father, Dan Sheridan, who is willing to "hold the presses" solely to print Lee's many sporting accomplishments as they ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dan Sheridan
...
Molly Beaumont
...
Elsa Craddock
...
Dean of Cardinal
Griffith Jones ...
Paul Beaumont
C.V. France ...
Dean Snodgrass
Edward Rigby ...
Scatters
Morton Selten ...
Cecil Davidson, Esq.
Claude Gillingwater ...
...
Cephas
Walter Kingsford ...
Dean Williams
Robert Coote ...
Wavertree
Peter Croft ...
Ramsey
Noel Howlett ...
Tom Craddock
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Storyline

Lee Sheridan's ego has always been stoked by his newspaper publisher father, Dan Sheridan, who is willing to "hold the presses" solely to print Lee's many sporting accomplishments as they happen. Because he is as good as he says in those sporting accomplishments, Lee is generally well liked by his colleagues at Lakedale State College in his hometown of Lakedale despite that ego. It is because of those sporting feats that Lee is offered a scholarship to attend Oxford. Lee expects to be as welcomed at Oxford as he has been his entire life, but is slow to learn that his brash American sensibilities mean more to his staid Oxford classmates than his sporting accomplishments, that brashness which turns off the first three Oxford students he meets on the train. It is because of their rough treatment of him, especially by Paul Beaumont, that makes Lee reconsider his stay in England. Lee does decide to stay and make a name for himself in a good way, partly to impress Molly Beaumont, Paul's ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Roving Romances Of A Two-Fisted American! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 February 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Lausbub aus Amerika  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Conway took over as director after Michael Balcon, who was to both produce and direct, quit after clashing with MGM chief Louis B. Mayer. Balcon stayed on as producer. See more »

Connections

Remade as Oxford Blues (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played by a student band in the parade to the station
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Before the Days of "Over Paid, Over Sexed and Over Here"
19 December 2003 | by (New York, N.Y.) – See all my reviews

A black-and-white trip back to the glory days of the studio system, "A Yank at Oxford" was MGM's first feature movie filmed in England. Released in 1938 as the Depression was slowly losing its grip on America and the shadow of an inevitable global conflict was sensed by too few, this rollicking comedy about a clash of cultures - small town America and elitist Oxford - is a glimpse of a world that never existed except in movie theaters.

Robert Taylor is super-athlete Lee Sheridan from somewhere in quintessential, rah-rah, white America. His newspaper publisher dad, Lionel Barrymore, holds the presses so that his son's latest track and field victory can be bannered on the front page. Lee is the All-American collegiate sports hero.

Along comes an opportunity for Lee to go to Oxford and he's sent off with a parade, the first of several big processions in this film.

Lee is a boastful American but he's received with good humor and sharp pranks by the English students at the fictional Cardinal College. Conflict develops when Lee is attracted to Molly Beaumont, played by Maureen O'Sullivan. Molly is the sister of Paul, Griffith Jones, a fellow student whose rivalry with Lee is fueled by the latter's arrogant and, from an English viewpoint, unsportsmanlike behavior. The contretemps between the two handsome men is the center of the fable about competition and honor.

Complicating everything is Paul's relationship with pretty, flirtatious Mrs. Elsa Craddock, wife of a curmudgeonly and older bookshop proprietor. Elsa, clearly to our eyes an adulteress, may have been for original audiences little more than a simple charmer who professes love for serial college males but is never shown doing anything less chaste than planting quick kisses. Elsa is acted by Vivien Leigh who two years later had a starring role in some Hollywood spectacle about the Civil War.

"A Yank at Oxford" is a funny, light period piece most interesting for its reflection of a Hollywood that would soon shift gears as the world burned. It did allow Taylor to recast his image as a more manly character, his athleticism a change from the more effete roles for which he was better known. MGM had a plan here and it worked.

7/10 - worth renting.


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