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A Chump at Oxford (1940)

Approved | | Comedy | 16 February 1940 (USA)
As a reward for capturing a bank robber, Stan and Ollie get scholarship to Oxford, but are met with resentment by other students.

Director:

(as Alfred Goulding)

Writers:

(original story) (as Charles Rogers), (original story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Dean Williams
...
Banker
...
Dean's Servant
...
Ghost
Gerald Rogers ...
Student
Victor Kendall ...
Student
Gerald Fielding ...
Student
Charlie Hall ...
Student (as Charles Hall)
...
Student
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Storyline

With Stan in drag, the boys get jobs as a butler and maid for a dinner party at the Vandevere's. After that ends in disaster, they're reduced to sweeping streets, and accidentally capture a bank robber. The grateful bank president sends them to Oxford for a proper education. There they become victims of student pranks, getting lost in the Maze and taking over the Dean's quarters as their own. But then a knock on the head gets Stan to believing he's the famed Lord Paddington, scholar and athlete extraordinaire. Suddenly erudite and supercilious, he retains Oliver as his valet, "Fatty." Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

oxford | dean | valet | scholarship | maze | See All (28) »

Taglines:

Figuring out a grand time for you! (one-sheet poster). See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 February 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les as d'Oxford  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in New York City Sunday 8 August 1948 on WPIX (Channel 11), as part of their newly acquired series of three dozen Hal Roach feature film productions, originally theatrically released between 1931 and 1943, and now being syndicated for television broadcast by Regal Television Pictures. In Los Angeles its television premiere occurred Tuesday 14 December 1948 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »

Quotes

Meredith: [speaking of Lord Paddington] And when he got angry, he would wiggle his ears in the most extraordinary fashion, and he would fight like a demon.
Ollie: Fight like demon...
[to Stan]
Ollie: Wiggle your ears.
Stan: Huh?
Ollie: [sternly] Wiggle your ears!
Stan: [Stan tries to wiggle his ears] I can't wiggle my ears.
Ollie: Of course not; it's another rib.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Dance of the Cookoos (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Fee-fi-fo-fum!
(uncredited)
Traditional and famously used in the fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk"
Sung a cappella by Oxford students with modified lyrics
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User Reviews

 
Stan and Ollie at College
15 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A CHUMP AT OXFORD was one of the last films Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made for their longtime producer Hal Roach. Originally shot and released as forty minute "Streamliner," an additional ten or so minutes was later added onto the beginning of the film, and other scenes were extended, turning the film into a standard feature.

The basic premise is that Stan and Ollie, after unwittingly stopping a bank robbery, are rewarded a scholarship at Oxford University. Once there, the duo find themselves the victim of a series of practical jokes from the other students (one of whom is future horror star Peter Cushing). Later, it is revealed that Stan was once Lord Paddington, the greatest scholar to attend Oxford. A bump on the head turned him into Stan, and another bump turns him back into Paddington. Now, poor Ollie has to act as Stan's valet.

This isn't one of their best films, but it's decent enough. The opening sequence (in the extended version, anyway) borrows heavily from the team's classic silent short FROM SOUP TO NUTS. This remade version isn't quite as good as its predecessor, but the inclusion of old favorite costars Jimmy Finlayson and Anita Garvin helps keep things interesting.

The film admittedly falls apart once Stan and Ollie wind up at Oxford. Immediately, they are frowned down on by the school's more intelligent students, who put the duo through a series of practical jokers. Seeing Laurel and Hardy depicted as dopey misfits in a more adult world isn't incredibly funny, and would sadly become more common for their characters in future films. One of the students' many pranks leads to a sequence in a maze that goes on much longer than needs to.

By far, the highlight is the entire Lord Paddington sequence. Stan Laurel is excellent in his role, and proves that he was a darn good actor.

Other supporting players include old favorites Charlie Hall and Wilfred Lucas, as well Forrester Harvey as Meredith, Lord Paddington's right hand man.


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