A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king.
Reviews

WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The opening scene of the movie describes it best: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales."

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Danny Kaye, Farley Granger, Zizi Jeanmaire
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A singing mechanic from 1912 finds himself in Arthurian Britain.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Bing Crosby, Rhonda Fleming, Cedric Hardwicke
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two carefree castaways on a desert shore find an Arabian Nights city, where they compete for the luscious Princess Shalmar.

Director: David Butler
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

At the turn of the century, Duke and Chester, two vaudeville performers, go to Alaska to make their fortune. On the ship to Skagway, they find a map to a secret gold mine, which had been ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Walker
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a popular daredevil proposes an automobile race across three continents, his arch rival vows to beat him, while an ambitious female reporter has her own plans for victory.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon
Pollyanna (1960)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young girl comes to an embittered town and confronts its attitude with her determination to see the best in life.

Director: David Swift
Stars: Jane Wyman, Hayley Mills, Richard Egan
The Love Bug (1968)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A race car driver becomes a champion with a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Dean Jones, Michele Lee, David Tomlinson
Houseboat (1958)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A widower, his three young kids and a bombshell nanny get to know each other better when circumstances have them living together aboard a badly neglected houseboat.

Director: Melville Shavelson
Stars: Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, Martha Hyer
Mary Poppins (1964)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A magic nanny comes to work for a cold banker's unhappy family.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson
Pinocchio (TV Movie 1976)
Family | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Directors: Ron Field, Sid Smith
Stars: Sandy Duncan, Danny Kaye, Clive Revill
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing antisemitic sentiment threatens his village.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey
Comedy | Family | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Dwight Hemion
Stars: Danny Kaye, Drew Barrymore, Eric Sevareid
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Cecil Parker ...
...
Robert Middleton ...
...
Herbert Rudley ...
Noel Drayton ...
...
Giacomo
Edward Ashley ...
Black Fox
...
Sir Brockhurst
Lewis Martin ...
Sir Finsdale
Patrick Aherne ...
Sir Pertwee
Edit

Storyline

The throne of rightful king of England, the small babe with the purple pimpernel birthmark, has been usurped by the evil King Roderick. Only the Black Fox can restore the true king to the throne--and all he needs is the king's key to a secret tunnel. And while he's trying to steal it, someone has to change the king's diapers. The task falls to Hawkins, the gentlest member of the Fox's band. The Fox's lieutenant, Maid Jean, guards Hawkins and the babe while they travel, but when they meet the King's new jester on the road, they decide to initiate a daring plan for Hawkins to replace him, become an intimate at the court, and steal the key. So, humble Hawkins becomes Giacomo: the king of jesters and jester to the king. But things begin to get zany when the King's daughter falls for Giacomo, the King falls for Jean, people randomly sing what are supposed to be recognition codes, and a witch with very effective spells (and poison pellets) begins to interfere. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | jester | fox | key | poison | See All (45) »

Taglines:

SONGS! Where Walks My True Love -- Baby Let Me Take You Dreaming -- Life Could Not Better Be -- The Maladjusted Jester -- My Heart Knows A Lovely Song! -- Outfox The Fox See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 January 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Hofnarr  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Unimpressed with him in tights, the producers made Danny Kaye wear "leg falsies" to improve the shape of his legs. This adds a touch of irony when Hubert Hawkins offers the princess all of him, including his legs and calves. See more »

Goofs

When Hawkins and Ravenhurst are fighting at the end of the movie, Griselda and Gwendolyn appear in a doorway facing them. But when Hawkins and Ravenhurst are on the battlements, they've disappeared. When Hawkins falls off the battlements, they're still not there, but in all the subsequent shots, they are. See more »

Quotes

Princess Gwendolyn: Marry Griswold? Never!
King Roderick: What was that?
Princess Gwendolyn: He's a brute and a lout.
King Roderick: Brute or not, lout or not, if it pleases me you will marry Griswold.
Princess Gwendolyn: If it pleases you so much, you marry Griswold.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, Danny Kaye dances around the credits while singing a song about the movie. The lyrics of the song relate to the credits. For instance, when the music credits go by he sings about the music and when the screenwriter credits go by he sings about the story. See more »

Connections

Referenced in NewsRadio: Padded Suit (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

The Maladjusted Jester
Written by Sylvia Fine
Performed by Danny Kaye
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
More Than Classic Satire; Perhaps Kaye's Best; a Perennial Favorite
17 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

If this satire of the Middle Ages and hereditary monarchs is not the most hilarious film ever made, in most viewers' books it stands right next to their favorite. The inspired casting of Danny Kaye as a performer who wants to be a patriotic fighter, gorgeous Glynis Johns as his stern captain, Angela Lansbury as a love-prone princess, Cecil Parker as her lascivious and bumbling evil father (a usurper of course), Basil Rathbone and Michael Pate as his co-conspirators and Robert Middleton and Mildred Natwick as roadblocks to the restoring of a baby as the rightful king of the realm guaranteed a film filled with well-acted fun. The script and direction of this colorful, vivid and side-splitting film were delivered by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank. Mention should also be made of the gorgeous Edith Head costumes, the art direction, sets makeup, hairstyling and blocking and the songs by Sylvia Fine, Sammy Cahn and others. Other stalwarts in the cast who do very well also include Alan Napier, Herbert Rudley, Noel Drayton, Edwin Astley as The Black Fox (Kaye's boss), John Carradine and more. Millions to this day are still laughing about: the "An Unemployed Jester" song; the switches from hypnotized bumbler to dashing super-swordsman that afflict Kaye in the course of his penetration of the royal stronghold; the classic duel Kaye fights with with the Gruesome Griswold (Middleton); the switching of poisoned drinks that occurs just before the duel with everyone repeating "The poison is in the vessel with the pestle, etc."; and the high-speed knighting of Kaye that precedes both these scenes. The climax of the film features a battle between midgets and foresters doing combats against the usurper's misguided loyalists, and Kaye's exhibiting the royal birthmark on the baby king's bottom to prove his right to lie on the throne. What ends with a song called "Life Couldn't Possibly Better Be" and begins with "You'll Never Outfox the Fox" has by that scene traversed areas of hilarity few have ever ventured upon, or even dreamed to reach. A key to the film lies in the comedic use of Mildred Natwick as a spell-casting Svengali exercising power over the Princess (lansbury) who is besotted with the idea of romantic love; half the goings on are due to her machinations that complicate an already astonishing situation. The rest is made possible by Kaye's impersonating the jester Giacomo (Carradine) who has been sent for by the bad men to do in the opposition. The colors are gorgeous in this film, the acting far above average, and Kaye is at his absolute best whether doing faked accents, signing a lullaby to the boy king or proving that courage is not a matter of muscles at all. This is a movie to fetch out of the vault on any holiday, or for any other excuse. With a bit more care at cutting down Sylvia Fine's vaudeville- type material for Kaye, the movie might have been as appreciated when it was first released as it is now.


22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Movie Bombed PlascenciaCar
Favourite Lines/Scenes?? Elastigirl_
how come this is not in the top 250 ? yveslavandier
who was the BABY? missevy
Most quoted movie? Alex_58
A song I'd never heard... Elastigirl_
Discuss The Court Jester (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?