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Laurel & Hardy: A Chump At Oxford

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62 Minutes


Two street cleaners inadvertently foil a bank robbery and are rewarded with an education at Oxford University. In a sensational transformation, a bump on the head restores Stan's memory, revealing him to be the lost British athletic and scholastic standout, "Lord Paddington. " This was the pair's first release through United Artists. Following the dissolution of his distribution arrangement with M-G-M, Hal Roach allowed first Laurel's, and next Hardy's contracts to expire. They had long labored separately under individual employment agreements, so finally there was an opportunity for them to sign as a team with Roach. The producer announced he would utilize them in the new film format he created, the streamliner, approximately double the length of a two-reeler. Inspired by A YANK AT OXFORD, Roach shot and cut Laurel & Hardy's "comeback" picture to run 42 minutes — only to shelve it until 1942 in favor of an expanded version to 63 minutes. The reason: while at liberty Laurel & Hardy had made FLYING DEUCES for RKO in the interim, which was racking up big grosses as a full length feature. This success caused Roach to re-think his game plan insofar as running time was concerned — initially just for the international market, but ultimately for the entire theatrical release. What the longer version added at the outset is a reworking of FROM SOUP TO NUTS, with old friends James Finlayson, Vivien Oakland and Anita Garvin. The shorter, streamliner version is a completely different edit than the corresponding footage in the extended rendition. The streamliner (again, held out of release until 1942) even contains lines and shots not found in the longer cut (issued theatrically worldwide in 1940). Plus there is one scene in the coming attractions trailer not used in either edit of the picture! Compare the three and see. Fans find this endearing film a totally satisfying experience, in either length. Especially with such a poignant ending. Directed by Alfred Goulding, who first recommended Laurel to Roach in 1918. Uncredited director of the added prologue shot three months later was Gordon Douglas. With Forrester Harvey, and Peter Cushing as one of the otherwise elderly looking student tormenters.


Al Thompson
Alec Harford
Bobby Tracy
Charlie Hall
Doris Morton
Eddie Borden
Edgar Norton
Edmund Mortimer
Elmer Serrano
Ethelreda Leopold
Evelyn Barlow
Forbes Murray
Forrester Harvey
Frank Baker
George Magrill
Gerald Fielding
Gerald Rogers
Harry Bernard
Herbert Evans
Jack Heasley
Jack Richardson
James Millican
Jean De Briac
Jewel Jordan
Lois Lindsay
Louise Bates
Mack Germaine
Marjorie Deanne
Oliver Hardy
Peter Cushing
Rex Lease
Richard Cramer
Robert Kent
Ronald R. Rondell
Sam Lufkin
Stan Laurel
Stan Mckay
Stanley Blystone
Tom Costello
Victor Kendall
Vivien Oakland
Wilfred Lucas
William H. O'Brien



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