A Chump at Oxford - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Chump at Oxford Reviews

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August 3, 2017
Disappointing. It looks old-fashioned, especially as I had noticed the date of 1939 in the opening credits. It looked more old-fashioned than Will Hay in 1939. This was wartime (albeit not in the USA yet), and O&H were repeating their schtick from the early 1930s? Later I read that their partnership really only lasted from 1927-1940. I think it lasted a few years longer than that, but once the war kicked in for real, it diffused and dissolved them. A chump at Oxford has a 20-minute pre-eamble, during which I wondered if the title was as random as a Marx brothers title (but then half of every Harold Lloyd movie is preamble), but no - they go to Oxford, BUT then they spend a whole 15 minutes stuck in a maze! One is tempted to wonder if that was symbolic. There's a great scene in the maze where Stan wonders if he has three hands, but that's about all the content in the scene - in fact it's not a scene it's a whole act. It got a bit better after that, although there were no scenes of their studying, just a curious back-story about Stan being an English Lord (in reality - no kidding) but the film as a whole felt pretty old to me.
February 8, 2016
The best Laurel and Hardy movie. Very clever.
½ August 28, 2013
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.
½ September 7, 2012
Whilst not the finest example of a Laruel and Hardy feature, this particular effort plays out like a series of shorts, with a mixture of recycled gags (Laurel in drag) and new mishaps (trapped in a maze) that come together to form an hour of effective comedy, as only these boys can deliver, right up to the concluding shot, which perhaps best explains why moviegoers love the pair and, more importantly, why they love each other.
July 19, 2012
Pretty good, as L&H films go.
May 15, 2011
Best cure for a hangover. Love the scene with the ''third arm''.
February 14, 2011
A patchwork job, certainly - and thus less organic-seeming than the very best Laurel and Hardy - yet one with marvellous moments. The best material comes in the opening 20 minutes, tacked on for the European release, in the course of which the duo manage to comprehensively ruin Finlayson's dinner party... Some of its directorial choices are faultless: take the cut from the porter Meredith's excited declaration "Oh, what a brilliant mind!" to the typical close-up of Stan not so much lost in, as utterly oblivious to, his own thoughts - in a sequence that would these days be trumpeted as an origin story, and ends with Stan's transformation into the ear-wiggling Lord Paddington, perhaps the most radical thing Hal Roach ever did with the Laurel persona.
January 21, 2011
I couldn't abide Laurel and Hardy when I was younger but I've warmed to them over the years and think this is a fantastic film. There are many great scenes but the best is definitely at the end when the angry students come to lynch Stan and Ollie, unaware that a bump on the head has caused Stan to revert to being Lord Paddington - a man who wiggles his ears in an extraordinary manner and fights like a demon when riled, according to his valet Meredith. "We're going to run you out of Oxford; and if you don't go, we'll take off your britches and throw you out!" says one of the students. "What? Take off my britches? In the presence of Meredith?" responds Lord P, before wiggling his ears ferociously and chucking them all out of the window, including Ollie. L & H had an extraordinary partnership with a chemistry that was second to none: by the time of this film they made it all look so effortless, when surely it was anything but.
January 3, 2011
Probably Stan Laurels greatest performance. Not the funniest laurel and hardy but still very amusing.
½ November 23, 2010
A good laughable comedy.
½ August 20, 2010
I love the part when Stan biffs the whole school.
March 27, 2010
Especially the part when he moves his ear
½ December 24, 2009
Laurel and Hardy are the shit :)
May 27, 2009
Not one of the boys' highlights but still good.
March 19, 2009
A lot of fun, with some funny scenes. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Way Out West or the Music Box, but it's certainly one of their best.
½ March 5, 2009
One of the very last good Laurel & Hardy flicks. Don't miss an early role for Hammer-veteran Peter Cushing!
October 5, 2008
"We'll take off their britches and throw them out!". Excellent stuff.
September 22, 2008
A template for slapstick comedy. One of L&H's better movies that proves some humor is timeless.
½ September 12, 2008
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 abou 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.
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