Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Watch Out for Lord Paddington’s Wiggling Ears…

In the series of short rowing sequences in a film, we have now come to slap-stick movies, or in this case, the 1940 A Chump At Oxford with the comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Fate has it that Stan and Ollie have ended up in Oxford to get the best education possible. Meredith, their valet, recognises Stan as Lord Paddington, the best athlete and scholar Oxford University has ever had. Lord Paddington once lost his memory after a window in his room fell down on his head. When the accident happens again, Stan turns back into Lord Paddington, who has the ability to wiggle his ears when he gets upset and in a fighting mood.

At 55:28, in the long ‘European’ version of the movie, we see a plaque of all of Lord Paddington/Stan’s achievements as a sportsman, including ‘International [sic] Oarsman of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race’. Unfortunately, that very scene is missing in the YouTube version below, but will be found in the longer version here.

It might be that Laurel and Hardy’s slap-stick humour can seem out of date for us nowadays, but honestly, they are still more entertaining than most of our time’s so called comedians….

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