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The Court Jester (1955)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, Family | 27 January 1956 (USA)
A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king.
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

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

The Musical Romantic Adventure Of This Or Any Year! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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
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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

Hawkins is pulling the glove off of Giacomo's raised hand and a camera angle change occurs, Giacomo's hand is against his body. See more »

Quotes

Princess Gwendolyn: If my father hears of this our necks will snap like twigs!
[she snaps her fingers, causing Griselda's spell to break and Hawkins to start panicking]
Hawkins: Uh, like what?
Princess Gwendolyn: Twigs!
[she snaps again, putting the spell back in place and Hawkins to stop panicking]
Hawkins: Twigs? Speak not of twigs when you look at an oak! Until tonight, my little sapling.
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

Willow, Willow, Waleyc/ Pass The Basket
Written by Sammy Cahn and Sylvia Fine
See more »

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User Reviews

Terrifically Entertaining Comic Adventure
25 June 2001 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

"The Court Jester" is a terrifically funny movie, with a wonderfully complicated comic/adventure story, memorable characters, and outstanding dialogue. It also offers a great showcase for star Danny Kaye's many talents.

The story is a nicely done comic version of the Robin Hood-type adventure tales. Kaye is one of a band of rebels hiding out in a forest, led by "The Black Fox", who are opposing an evil king who has usurped the throne. Their secret plan to restore the rightful king involves having Kaye impersonate the evil king's new court jester, so that he can gain the monarch's confidence. But even as the rebels plot, the king's own nobles are maneuvering for advantage amongst themselves, some with murderous intent. The question of whom the king's daughter should marry also comes into play. The early part of the film moves somewhat slowly as all of this is established, but then things get delightfully complicated, and the laughs and adventure both start coming quickly. There are several outstanding sequences, and a fittingly wild sword fight finale.

The cast is filled with outstanding actors - Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury, and many others - who make their characters entertaining and memorable. The dialogue is terrific, and the cast does justice to it every time. The story and the medieval setting also make a great showcase for Kaye's varied talents such as singing, dancing, role-playing, and his other comic gifts.

All of this makes "The Court Jester" a wonderful and timeless film, great comic entertainment done with exceptional skill and talent. Don't miss it.


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