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A Chump at Oxford (1939)

Approved | | Comedy | 16 February 1940 (USA)
1:24 | Trailer

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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.


Alfred J. Goulding (as Alfred Goulding)


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



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


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


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




Approved | See all certifications »






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


(copyright length) | (European)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Anita Garvin's final film with Laurel & Hardy. She came out of retirement as a favor to Stan Laurel, playing basically the same role she had played in Laurel & Hardy's silent film From Soup to Nuts (1928), whose title is a line of Ollie's dialogue in this movie. See more »


While doing their street-sweeping job, Stan and Ollie are working in front of a building marked 'Finlayson National Bank' (an obvious nod to their frequent co-star James Finlayson, who plays Mr Vandevere in the 'extended' version of this film) and they go to a side doorway to eat their lunch. When the scene changes to the robbery inside the bank, a sign is shown that says 'Farmers & Merchants Bank of Commerce'. The bank robber tries escaping through the doorway where Stan and Ollie are sitting, slips on a banana peel, and they catch him. In a wide shot of the doorway and street, now there are two signs identifying the bank as 'Finlayson National'. (This goof is seen only in the 'extended' version. In the shorter 'streamliner' version the transition to the bank robbery scene is done with a sign that says, 'James Finlayson, President'. This had to be replaced when James Finlayson's role, and the dinner party scene, was added to the shorter 'streamliner' version for distribution overseas.) See more »


Ollie: Einstein?... if it wasn't for that bump on the head he wouldn't know Einstein from a beer stein...
See more »


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


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

OK vehicle for Stan 'n' Ollie - and Peter Cushing!...
8 February 2005 | by LibretioSee all my reviews


Aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Sound format: Mono

(Black and white)

Arriving in Oxford to improve their education, Stan and Ollie fall victim to a number of practical jokes by their fellow students, until a knock on the head transforms Stan into a brilliant scholar!

Originally released in two separate versions - a 42 minute print for the US market, and a 63 minute European edition - this patchwork parody of A YANK AT OXFORD (1938) arrived at the tail-end of a long collaboration between Laurel and Hardy and producer Hal Roach, which ended in 1940 following the production of SAPS AT SEA. The longer version of "Chump" includes an unrelated opening reel derived from a scenario in L&H's silent short FROM SOUP TO NUTS (1928), and while this material is only tenuously related to subsequent plot developments, there's still much to admire in the various set-pieces, including L&H as 'maid' and butler at a swank dinner party (Stan is told to serve the salad undressed!...), the famous maze sequence, and a show-stealing turn from Stan as alter ego 'Lord Paddington', an Oxford champion who excels at sports, addresses Ollie as 'Fatty', and is asked to advise Einstein on his theory of relativity! The movie is also notable for providing Peter Cushing with one of his earliest roles, alongside L&H stalwart Charlie Hall as a rabble-rousing student. Surprisingly, James Finlayson - another L&H regular - goes uncredited, despite playing a prominent role in the opening reel. Directed by comedy specialist Alfred Goulding, and co-written by silent star Harry Langdon.

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