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12 November 2011

Retro Review: A Chump at Oxford (1940)

 Directed by: Alfred J. Goulding
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 63 Minutes

This is a very old review that for the sake that I have not put up a review in while, I shall put up this one. The grammar will be weaker, and my points and language won't be as good as what I do now. So for the sake of humour, have a read at this. In addition, it is a wonderfully funny Laurel and Hardy film.

This is one of the last Laurel and Hardy films. This time the duo decides to go to college. I really enjoyed this one and it is another classic Laurel and hardy film. It’s based off college and is full of laughs. A lot happens in this one and is probably the finest film NOT written by Laurel. From getting lost in a maze to sleeping in the headmasters dormitory. With a run time of 65 or so minutes, it’s full of laughs, sticky situations and ingenious plots. 

Plot:
The film opens with seeing the comical block-heads and get there selves into a bit of mischief by going to the job centre and taking a job for a maid and butler wanted. Naturally Hardy takes the stage of telling Laurel to dress as the woman. Eventually they fail to please and end up running for their lives from the house owner, Mr Vandeveer. (James Finlayson). We next see them on the streets picking up garbage, and on my first viewing (many years ago) I found it strange that they were nowhere near ‘Oxford’ 15-20 minutes into the film. Well eventually they take a break from picking up litter and Stan grabs a banana out to eat for lunch and throws it in front of him. (This is where the genius writing comes in) they are currently outside a bank and it is being robbed. The robber runs out and has a classic ‘banana slip’. So the two are rewarded and eventually go to Oxford for an education. 



Lost in a Maze
When they arrive at Oxford a group of the snobby college students play a prank on them. We first meet Johnson, who tells them that the college is through the maze. So they both blindly go in after being given directions clearly no one can remember. I thought the maze scene was terrific. It was very funny indeed.

Laurel (Or is it Laurel?)
At their time at the college they meet Meredith, the valet. He recognises Laurel as Lord Paddington and how he is known as “greatest athlete and scholar the University ever had" He says that Lord Paddington had lost his memory when the window fell on his head and wandered from campus. Stan and Ollie dismiss his story as a "dizzy spell". Eventually Laurel bumps his head and we meet Lord Paddington. Stan did a great job on acting the snobby, successful Lord Paddington with his cruel remarks (like calling Ollie ‘fatty’ as a regular name towards the end). Well this ear wiggling fellow in the end of the film takes pity on Ollie and makes him his personal valet. Ollie willingly stays to see if he ever remembers him, as now he doesn’t being Lord Paddington.

Overview:
A Chump at Oxford was very well written, had great direction and basically everything a Laurel and Hardy film should have (Lest we not forget the great humour). This one is well worth checking out for Laurel and Hardy fans and film lovers alike!

Rating: 9/10

 

2 comments:

  1. I've never actually seen anything of Laurel and Hardy, but you did say its worth for film lovers checking out, so why not? Great review

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have seen about 90% of everything they have appeared in. My first blog post was all about them, check it out if you want. They are amazingly hilarious. Masters of slapstick.

    ReplyDelete

 

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