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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 2,167 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

The scenes of the employment agency and dinner party were originally filmed for the 63 minute version to be released overseas simultaneously with a USA 42 minute print, but the 63 minute version was released in the USA as well. See more »

Quotes

Stan: Hey, Ollie look...
[spans the distance from England to America on a globe with his thumb and forefinger - about two inches]
Stan: We're only this far from home.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Laurel & Hardy: Their Lives and Magic (2011) 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

 
Stan & Ollie at their best. Hilarious.
23 February 2005 | by (Lincoln England) – See all my reviews

What a lovely gentle comedy. Laurel & Hardy are down on their luck after spectacularly failing as domestic servants (with Stan in drag as a maid) and find themselves literally "in the gutter" working as road-sweepers. They accidentally foil a bank robbery and the grateful bank manager rewards them with the one thing they most dream of, "the best education money can buy". And so off they go to Oxford University, England where the students play a series of practical jokes on them until it's discovered Stan is really Lord Paddington, a brilliant academic who lost his memory several years earlier and vanished. Some of Laurel and Hardy's full-length movies lack the brilliance of their "shorts" but this is spot on throughout. Trust me, you won't stop laughing. Hard to believe this film is now 65 years old, but it still shines. The "Oxford" scenes were shot in Hollywood as we British were rather pre-occupied in 1940 and it's kind of poignant to reflect on the terrible evil that was loose in the world while this lovely film was being created. This movie is a wonderful anglo-American co-operation just like the military alliance which, thankfully, meant that comedy could continue. I recently heard Laurel and hardy described as two very gentle gentlemen, and that sums up my feelings. God bless them both, and long may their legacy continue to bring laughter. Look out for a very young Peter Cushing as one of the spiteful students.


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