A Chump at Oxford (1940)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
as Baldy Vandevere
as Water wagon driver
as Bank Robber
as Mrs. Vandevere
as Tow-truck driver
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Critic Reviews for A Chump at Oxford
Near the top of the hilarity meter of Laurel and Hardy greats.
Good Laurel and Hardy vehicle, but far from their best.
Audience Reviews for A Chump at Oxford
This short comedy film has Laurel and Hardy scrounging around for work and they masquerade as a maid and butler in a well-to-do home. As expected they cause loads of trouble and skip out. Next they are a pair of street sweepers who come upon some luck while on break. They unwittingly capture a bank robber and they are soon rewarded with a free education at Oxford. There they are met with a group of haughty Oxford snobs who cannot wait to mess with the new arrivals. The ensuing moments include getting lost in a maze, dizzy spells, run-ins with the Dean, and a chance encounter with Oxford athletic hero Lord Paddington, who shares an uncanny resemblance to Stan. Despite all the ups and downs, Stan and Ollie make it through and they succeed in making this comedy quite funny.
A light comedy from Laurel and Hardy, the two are out-of-work and down on their luck til one day they happen to foil a bank robbery. The bank president offers to put them through school to "better themselves" so the two travel to merry old England and enroll at Oxford. Most of this film didn't work so well for me, it moves at a fairly slow pace (they spend about ten minutes of the movie lost in a topiary maze) and at a running time of 65 minutes, you'd think the pace would be flying by. There are only 3 set pieces to the movie: the scene where the two get jobs as a maid and butler (and all the hilarity that comes with them being classless oafs at a millionaires mansion), the scene where they're lost in the maze, and the ending, where Stan gets hit on the head and recovers his old memory of being "Lord Paddington", star of Oxford. This final scene is actually the best in the movie, as Lord Paddington is the exact opposite of Stanley: he's intelligent, strong, athletic and not afraid of anything (when he gets mad and ready to fight, his ears wiggle, and he beats up dozens of troublemakers). Lord Paddington even allows Olly to hang around, as his boy, "Fatty". But the last ten minutes aside, this plays out more like an average 3 stooges short rather than the other classic Laurel and Hardy movies that everyone should see.
I think his is the best movie they've done, period. When I'm watching this, there is never a spot where I'm not laughing out loud or chuckling. My face hurts everytime I watch this move.
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