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A Chump at Oxford


Comedy / Family / Music

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Oliver Hardy Photo
Oliver Hardy as Oliver Hardy
Peter Cushing Photo
Peter Cushing as Student Jones
Stan Laurel Photo
Stan Laurel as Stan Laurel / Lord Paddington
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
577.25 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 2 min
P/S 6 / 54
1.05 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 2 min
P/S 16 / 89

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by The_Movie_Cat6 / 10

"If I could only bring your memory back."


Some Laurel and Hardy comedies really stick in the mind. Some of them I found quite disturbing and remembered them long afterwards due to this. Oliver the Eighth, where Ollie faces being murdered if he falls asleep. Or how about The Live Ghost, where their necks are twisted round by an angry sailor? A Chump at Oxford was another I would never forget, with what seemed an eerie double life for Stan. We find he'd suffered a memory loss and is really Lord Paddington, an upper class intellectual. Eventually he's restored to normal (and Stan seems dopier than usual to accentuate the difference),but the question remains: is Stan really Stan or Lord Paddington? Add to this an Oxford lynch mob and these events can seem quite horrifying to younger viewers. As a result I had fond memories of this one, to find that it's only sporadically amusing.

One thing I noticed seeing it again is how sketchy it seems. The fairly humorous butler and maid intro feels like a vignette, completely unconnected with the rest of the film. Research confirms this, the movie being shot as a forty-minute endeavour in June 1939. The extra footage was filmed in September of the same year to make it a feature for European sale. That said, even some of the original footage seems padded, with a seven-minute bench scene that is extended long past its natural lifespan.

When I was eight the idea of two grown men being terrified of a man dressed up as a ghost seemed like the funniest thing in the world to me. Now it feels fairly demeaning, or maybe it's seeing Oxford populated by the oldest students on Earth. When Laurel and Hardy arrive at Oxford they're cast as reactive victims of the stereotyped English students. (True to Hollywood form, even in a film populated by a majority of English actors they're still the villains, hoping to "beat those Yankees").

However, the reason for the fond memories of this one - not just by me, but by everyone who speaks about it, it seems - is the blissful final eight minutes when Stan becomes Lord Paddington. Absolutely hilarious, adopting a mockery of an accent and the predilection for calling Ollie "Fatty". He says it just seven times, but every time he does so it's hysterical, with "you're a witty old stick in the mud, aren't you, Fatty?" a particular highlight. If only the rest of the film was as good, this would be a classic. Unfortunately it's too patchy, making this, overall, just a very average Laurel and Hardy movie. The memory cheats.

Reviewed by bkoganbing8 / 10

Just Which One Is The Chump?

For the only time in their joint careers as a comic team, Stan Laurel slips out of character and into another guise. That's an integral part of A Chump At Oxford where the boys get a chance at the best kind of college education.

No doubt that Hal Roach got the idea for this film from the highly successful MGM film A Yank At Oxford where Robert Taylor was an American fish out of the water across the pond. Of course Taylor was there on a rowing scholarship, what brought Stan and Ollie there was something quite different.

On the jacket cover of my VHS copy of A Chump At Oxford, Hal Roach had a featurette film of about 40 minutes and decided to add on those extra 25 minutes at the beginning where Stan and Ollie are first serving as butler and maid as temporary help at a society bash. I did say maid because that was what the job required. It was Ollie's bright idea to put Stan in drag as a maid to get the job. Well, it worked for Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Anyway the highlight of that part of the film is Stan merely following orders to the letter and serving the salad undressed. It was an interesting end to that little bash.

Their next job is as street cleaners and while sitting down just having their lunch in the doorway of a bank, they foil a bank robbery and in gratitude the bank president asks them what they want. Since right before the two had concluded their lack of education has held them back, they ask for an education.

The bank president must have been David Rockefeller because he buys them an Oxford education. That's where Stan discovers that he's really Lord Paddington who got hit on the head several years ago and lost his memory. It turns out that Stan was the greatest scholar and athlete Oxford ever produced. And for a while Ollie is completely frazzled at the prospect of becoming Stan's lackey.

Stan does go into an entirely different character than the sweet innocent we all know and love. Because of that A Chump At Oxford ranks among the best of their feature films. Ollie contributes his share as well, we've never seen Ollie before or since flumoxed the way he is in this film. A must for Laurel and Hardy fans.

Reviewed by theowinthrop10 / 10

The Mysterious Disappearance and Reamergence of Lord Paddington

As mentioned earlier except for BLOCK-HEADS most aficionados might consider A CHUMP AT OXFORD to be the final great Laurel & Hardy feature length comedy. It's main weakness is it's structure - BLOCK-HEADS is a series of disasters rising to a crescendo from Stan to Ollie to everyone around them. A CHUMP is really two or three shorts (all very funny) that are united by the thinnest of plot threads. In fact it can be split into three shorts without difficulty.

First there is the repeat of the story from FROM SOUP TO NUTS (then a long forgotten silent short they made in 1928),where they are hired to serve a dinner at Jimmy Finleyson's home one evening and destroy the dinner. The high point is when Stan is told to serve the salad undressed and does so - of course too literally for Finleyson's taste. He chases the two of them out with a rifle (shades of Billy Gilbert in PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES and BLOCK-HEADS). Finn fires his rifle, and then an angry policeman shows up warning him to be careful or he will go to jail - "You could have blown somebody's brains out!" Unfortunately, the policemen turns around and we see that Finn shot a big hole into the cop's pants.

Next we see the boys at a new job as street cleaners, and Hardy launches into one of those semi-sensible speeches he gives, "Well we've reached bottom now!...What's wrong with us?" Ollie figures it's a lack of education (partly it is - though it's hard to see how Stan could comprehend any book). They foil a bank robbery (the bank is called the FINLEYSON NATIONAL, which sounds reasonable as Finn was a canny Scotsman usually). As a reward they get their wish - they get the finest education possible at Oxford.

The final segment is when they reach Oxford and fall victims to a series of pranks played by the students (led by Peter Cushing - far from his future as Dr. Frankenstein - and Charlie Hall). The best part of this is the business of the boys getting lost (even from each other) in the maze at Oxford, where Ollie is carrying their trunk on his back, and yelling for Stan, who is yelling back, just around the corner! There is also the student dressed as the bogeyman and sitting between Stan and Ollie on the trunk. There is also the boys settling into their rooms (actually the rooms of the Dean of Oxford, Wilfred Lucas),ending with them shooting soda water into what they think is the face of an old goat in a portrait, and end up hitting the original face (Lucas, of course).

A battle of the expelled students (the Dean catches them trying to leave his rooms) and the boys ("dirty rotten snitches" Cushing and Hall call them) completes this segment - but introduces us to the biggest change in the history of Laurel & Hardy: Stan's revelation of his "real" personality.

A tremendously creative and brilliant comic genius, Stan Laurel (when busy constructing his films) was all serious business - like Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Fields, the Marxes, and Lou Costello, his peers. In this mode he was not the nincompoop he played opposite Hardy. He was very serious and intelligent sounding. This is his persona, with a degree of haughtiness, when playing his alter ego, Lord Paddington. Paddington was Oxford's greatest scholar and athlete. He proves the latter by throwing Cushing and the others (unfortunately including Hardy and Lucas) out his window one after another. He also demonstrates his brilliance quickly (all these awards and trophies are on display shortly after his restoration - and worse when his new butler, Ollie, is overwhelmed hearing that Einstein is coming to discuss a problem about the relativity theory that Paddington can settle!).

Stan never tried this revelation again - and probably wisely. Stan and Ollie (to work) needs Ollie to be a bit more with it in terms of what the world expects - Stan follows, and upsets the easily toppled Ollie. It is similar to their silent film short, EARLY TO BED, where Ollie becomes a wealthy man about town, tormenting his butler Stan - we don't like this Ollie that much, and approve when Stan starts smashing Ollie's brick-a-bra-ck. The "Paddington" bit was better than the man-about-town Ollie in the earlier film. Wisely, Paddington leaves before the film ends, and Stan returns. We are glad to have him back.

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