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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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first Hal Roach Laurel & Hardy film to be released through United Artists. See more »

Quotes

Student: We're going to run you out of Oxford; and if you don't go, we'll take of your britches and throw you out!
Lord Paddington: What? Take off my britches? In the presence of Meredith?
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Connections

Referenced in The Projectionist (1971) 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 amongst the Gleaming Spires
30 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm not a huge L&H fan, but I found this film very enjoyable.

As others have pointed out, CHUMP was originally a 45-minute film, but European distributors demanded at least a full hour for features. You'll spot the REAL beginning of the movie about 20 minutes in, when Stan & Ollie appear as street cleaners. The rest of the opener, beginning with some funny business on various modes of transportation, was tacked on later.

Although the maid/butler scene has some laughs, it's the kind of thing that the Three Stooges did with a lot more manic energy (and more often). The real film begins when Stan and Ollie receive scholarships to Oxford and arrive in England, where the native students decide to pick on them as much as possible. There's not much in the film about what students REALLY do at Oxford, but that's OK. An extended scene in a maze ends with a nicely-choreographed sequence in which a "third hand" from behind the bushes causes havoc with the boys. (Just think of how much rehearsal must have gone into that business to make it look natural.)

And the crowning glory of this movie is Stan's brief transformation from his usual vacuous simpleton into a posh English lord, who makes "Fatty" his personal valet. All in all, a jolly good way to spend an hour.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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