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A Yank at Oxford (1938)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, Sport | 18 February 1938 (USA)
A brash young American aristocrat attending Oxford University gets a chance to prove himself and win the heart of his antagonist's sister.

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lee Sheridan
...
Dan Sheridan
...
Molly Beaumont
...
...
Dean of Cardinal
...
Paul Beaumont
...
Dean Snodgrass
...
Scatters
...
Cecil Davidson, Esq.
...
Ben Dalton
...
Cephas
Walter Kingsford ...
Dean Williams
...
Wavertree
Peter Croft ...
Ramsey
...
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 more 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

Referenced in The Romance of Celluloid (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(circa 1856) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1862)
Sung a cappella by students with modified lyrics
See more »

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User Reviews

 
pre-Scarlet, pre-war, and pre-Waterloo Bridge
1 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

Robert Taylor is "A Yank at Oxford," a 1938 comedy also starring Maureen O'Sullivan, Lionel Barrymore, Vivien Leigh, Edmund Gwenn, and Griffith Jones. Taylor is Lee Sheridan, an all-American athlete who is accepted into Cardinal College at Oxford and leaves his hometown and his dad (Barrymore) who owns a newspaper. Lee has no idea what he's in for, as his egotism makes him an easy mark for a fake "reception" by the students and other barbs. He immediately becomes attracted to the lovely Molly Beaumont (O'Sullivan), whose brother Paul (Jones) is having an affair with one Mrs. Craddock (Leigh). Due to a series of unfortunate events, Paul and Lee become mortal enemies.

This film surely had the women drooling in 1938 as Taylor uses his muscular arms to row, his strong legs to run, and his beautiful smile to charm. He glistens with youth and vitality, and there are plenty of shots of "the world's most perfect profile" to please his fans. Normally Taylor exhibits a very likable personality in films, but in this one, he comes off as too aggressive, finally becoming aggravating to this viewer. He was probably directed that way so that he would appear as a bull in a china shop among all the Oxford gents.

Taylor has fallen into disregard since declaring himself a good American and ratting out Howard da Silva and others during the '50s Communist witch hunts. No one came out a winner who was involved, not the victims nor the blabbermouths. The sad thing about Taylor is, he truly believed every word he said. If you can separate his politics from his career, he was a very good actor, a gorgeous man, and a very big star back in the day.

Maureen O'Sullivan is perky and pretty as Taylor's love interest - that same year, she and Taylor worked together in "The Crowd Roars." British actor Griffith Jones plays her brother and is not only excellent but very handsome. According to IMDb, he worked into the 1980s and is apparently still alive at 95.

The supporting cast is marvelous, including Edmund Gwenn as a professor and Lionel Barrymore as Lee's proud father. Vivien Leigh plays a flaky, flirty bookshop owner married to a much older man and not adverse to a little hanky-panky on the side. It's not much of a role, and though she was a natural beauty, no one would have considered her for Scarlett just watching this film. Her last line, however, given the character she portrays, is hilarious. She and Taylor would meet again for the classic "Waterloo Bridge."

"A Yank at Oxford" shows an England untouched by war and young men who worked at being superior athletes and gentlemen as they roamed the hallowed halls of Oxford. That would all end soon. It was a nice fairytale while it lasted.


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