Lee Sheridan, a cocky midwestern college athlete comes to study at Oxford University as an exchange student (Rhodes scholar), but because of his abrasive attitude he is instantly disliked by the other students, who retaliate by subjecting Sheridan to a rather umiliating hazing.
Romance enters the picture in the form of Molly Beaumont, the sister of Sheridan's chief academic rival Paul Beaumont. When Paul faces disgrace over a breach of student ethics, Sheridan nobly shoulders the blame, simultaneously endangering his own future at Oxford and proving that he's really a "right guy" underneath.
After several scrapes with the college professors, and the wife of the local book seller, he becomes a hero when he joins the university rowing club, and beats Cambridge, in the annual boat race.
For the stunningly handsome Taylor, who'd been playing swoony romantic leads, it was an opportunity to change a somewhat sissy image by playing a more masculine hero. Taylor trained hard for the part, soaking in tubs of ice before the rowing sequences, which were filmed in cold water.
He showed off his buff body and hairy chest in skimpy athletic wear.
Many writers worked on the film, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, who provided some clever dialogue, but did not receive a screen credit.A Yank at Oxford was remade in 1984 as Oxford Blues, and mercilessly lampooned by Laurel & Hardy in 1940's A Chump at Oxford
In a scene shortly after arriving at Oxford, Sheridan meets with his assigned tutor, who asks him, "What are you reading?" Sheridan, confused, replies, "Well, I am reading 'Gone With The Wind', but I am only halfway through it."