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A Chump at Oxford (1940)

 -  Comedy  -  16 February 1940 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,166 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 16 critic

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 and screen play by), (original story and screen play by), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Forrester Harvey ...
Meredith
Wilfred Lucas ...
Dean Williams
Forbes Murray ...
Banker
Frank Baker ...
Dean's Servant
Eddie Borden ...
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) »

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

After the dinner party scene ends and the boys are seen walking down the street (Ollie is carrying a broom over his left shoulder and Stan is pushing a dustcart), they pass a building which says "Finlayson National Bank", which is obviously a nod towards their frequent co-star foil James Finlayson. See more »

Quotes

Ollie: [to Meredith about Stan] Brilliant mind?
[laughs]
Ollie: Why, I've known him for years, and he's the dumbest guy I ever saw. Aren't you, Stanley?
Stan: I certainly am!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Mirror Crack'd (1980) 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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Peter Cushing in a Laurel & Hardy movie? Now I truly have seen everything!
6 November 2006 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Before this, I've elephant fly and monkeys explaining the Theorem of Pythagoras but that all is nothing compared to seeing Peter Cushing in a Laurel & Hardy movie.

This is a good and fair, late effort from the boys, who already clearly had their best years behind them. This movie still reminded me at times of some of the good old Laurel & Hardy pictures from the early '30's. But there also lays a problem; the movie its originality. In multiple movies Laurel & Hardy reused some jokes or even situations but the fact that this movie is from 1940, multiple years after their glory years, leaves an even worse aftertaste. Nevertheless it as always still works effective so it's not really a big complaint about this movie, at least not the biggest.

Basically the movie can be divided into three separate parts. The boys trying to get a job, the boys getting a job at the Finlayson residence and the boys at Oxford. Perhaps if the movie really was divided into three separate parts, each of them would work out better. As a whole its a bit too much. Each part is really great on their own and provides some good slapstick entertainment but as a whole it doesn't always connect. This is the biggest problem of the movie and the reason why it's nothing more than an above average Laurel & Hardy movie, despite having some great comical premises and situations.

The sequences at the Finlayson residence are certainly the most 'Laurel & Hardy' ones, also of course thanks to the presence of James Finlayson. It's in the middle of the movie but in my opinion it's the best part of the movie. It's not really ever a good sign when the middle is better than the ending. The end part at Oxford is also most definitely good and enjoyable but the humor is a bit stretched out at times. Some sequences last too long, which sorts of drags down the amusement level of the movie with it. Nevertheless those parts still provide some good amusing entertainment, with a couple of fellow student who are giving the dumb and naive Laurel & Hardy a hard time. One of the students giving the boys a hard time is Peter Cushing, in one of his very first movie roles.

Definitely worth seeing but a bit too stretched thin and disjointed at certain moments.

7/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/


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