Dir: Alfred J Goulding
Starring: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
Laurel and Hardy earn a scholarship to Oxford
This classic comedy from the great comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy is a pleasing addition to the website. Although a colourised version is readily available, it seems only right to watch it in good ol black and white. Although most of the film uses studio sets this one contains a very brief montage journey from New York to Oxford via sea, Southampton, and London Waterloo. The onward journey to Oxford is then depicted by a rather fine tracking shot of a GWR express in the hands of ‘King’ Class 4-6-0. A Chump at Oxford was originally conceived as a streamliner featurette. The completed film ran to 42 minutes in length but United Artists rejected it and insisted on a full-length feature film, forcing producer Hal Roach to add 21 more minutes of action. The added scenes were a partial reworking of the silent film From Soup to Nuts (1928). The shorter version was shelved, and the longer version was released to theatres and later to television; this 63 minute print is the version most often seen today. The shorter version was ultimately released to theatres in 1943 and a later 25 minute version created for television distribution was entitled Alter Ego.