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A Chump at Oxford (1939)

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

Director:

Alfred J. Goulding (as Alfred Goulding)

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
Stan Laurel ... Stan Laurel / Lord Paddington
Oliver Hardy ... Oliver Hardy
Forrester Harvey ... Meredith
Wilfred Lucas ... Dean Williams
Forbes Murray ... Banker
Frank Baker ... Jenkins - the Dean's Servant
Eddie Borden ... Student Ghost
Gerald Rogers Gerald Rogers ... Student Johnson
Victor Kendall Victor Kendall ... Student Cecil
Gerald Fielding Gerald Fielding ... Student Brown
Charlie Hall ... Student Hector (as Charles Hall)
Peter Cushing ... Student Jones
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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

Taglines:

Those Philosophers of Phun in a new screamlined comedy! (Newspaper ad). See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les as d'Oxford See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (European)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was originally in four reels, a "streamliner" designed to compete with theaters' new double feature concept. Roach produced only a few of these hybrids, and added the dinner party sequence later to bring it up to six reels. See more »

Goofs

The hinges and other hardware on the prop trunk that's carried about are obviously painted on and not the real thing. 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?
See more »

Alternate Versions

This was the first of Hal Roach's "streamliners", made for United Artists, after MGM no longer distributed his films. Released in the US at 42 minutes (overseas at 62, including a prologue based on Laurel & Hardy's silent "From Soup To Nuts") it was designed to form the shorter half of a double bill screening. Both versions are available on Vivendi Entertainment's Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection. And many scholars of the team consider the shorter version to be the superior of the two. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Oxford students
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Firstly Stan is Agnes, then the mighty Lord Paddington.
4 March 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

This is Stan Laurel's show all the way, sure enough Ollie plays his part, but in this double package it's the genius of Laurel that comes to the fore. The double package in question is the now widely available European release of this film, the first 20 minutes sees the boys making their way to an employment agency where they jump at the chance of a job as maid and butler to the Vandevere family. Yes, this sees Stan dress up as a woman {Agnes} with hilarious results, not only does he buffoon his way thru serving dinner, he gets drunk into the bargain as well !. After being chased off the property by Mr Vandevere, the guys end up road sweeping and whilst taking a break they inadvertently foil a bank robbery and as a reward they get to fulfil their wish of a better education.

This sends the guys to England and a place at Oxford, the fun starts straight away as they are dressed for Eton !, upon seeing that these two are candidates for pranks being played on them, some of their fellow students send them into a big maze on the bluff that it's the way to the Deans office. This sets us up for a number of great sequences, most notably a brilliant set of events that sees Stan with three hands, from here we see the boys set up {as a prank} in the Deans own quarters and this of course causes much mirth when the Dean shows up to find the guys boozing away in his bedroom. Roll onto Stan banging his head and suddenly being transformed into an aristocrat called Lord Paddington and you just know that Laurel is getting a pure mania role to get his teeth into, the results are excellent, especially as Stan gets to boss Ollie around.

One of the best films the boys ever did in my honest opinion, 9/10.


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