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The Court Jester
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The Court Jester (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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The Court Jester -- Danny Kaye plays kind-hearted entertainer Hawkins who disguises himself as the legendary king of jesters, Giacomo. Hawkins infiltrates the court of the evil villain Basil Rathbone, but when a sorceress hypnotises him, royal chaos ensues.


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8.0/10   9,147 votes »
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Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Norman Panama (written by) and
Melvin Frank (written by)
View company contact information for The Court Jester on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 January 1956 (USA) See more »
The Musical Romantic Adventure Of This Or Any Year! See more »
A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Terrifically Entertaining Comic Adventure See more (105 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Danny Kaye ... Hubert Hawkins

Glynis Johns ... Maid Jean

Basil Rathbone ... Sir Ravenhurst

Angela Lansbury ... Princess Gwendolyn
Cecil Parker ... King Roderick I

Mildred Natwick ... Griselda

Robert Middleton ... Sir Griswold

Michael Pate ... Sir Locksley
Herbert Rudley ... Captain of the Guard
Noel Drayton ... Fergus

John Carradine ... Giacomo
Edward Ashley ... Black Fox

Alan Napier ... Sir Brockhurst
Lewis Martin ... Sir Finsdale
Patrick Aherne ... Sir Pertwee
Richard Kean ... Archbishop
Hermine's Midgets ... Ensemble
The Jackson Michigan Zouave Drill Team ... Marching Knights - Knighthood Ceremony (as The American Legion Zouaves Of Richard F. Smith Post No. 29 Jackson Michigan)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eric Alden ... King's Man (uncredited)
Lee Belser ... Court Lady (uncredited)
Chad Dee Block ... Specialty Dancer (uncredited)
Leo Britt ... Sir Bertram (uncredited)
Bill Cartledge ... Pageboy (uncredited)
Phyllis Coghlan ... Hairdresser (uncredited)
Tommy Cottonaro ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)

Billy Curtis ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Frank Delfino ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Leslie Denison ... Guard (uncredited)
Burnell Dietch ... Specialty Dancer (uncredited)
Floyd Hugh Dixon ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Irving Douglas ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Alan Eric ... Forester (uncredited)

Franklyn Farnum ... Townsman (uncredited)
William Augustus Fuller ... Forestry Officer (uncredited)
Irving Fulton ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Russell Gaige ... Chamberlain (uncredited)
Edward Gibbons ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Richard Gilden ... Forester (uncredited)

Harry Guardino ... Forester (uncredited)
Roy G. Gunther ... Pageboy (uncredited)
Kenneth Harp ... Forester (uncredited)
Robert Hart ... Specialty Dancer (uncredited)
Len Hendry ... Guard (uncredited)

Robin Hughes ... Black Fox's Man with Message (uncredited)
John Irving ... Gate House Guard (uncredited)
Charles Irwin ... Griswold Aide (uncredited)
James B. Jordan ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Morgan Justin ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Ray Kellogg ... Court Official (uncredited)

Ethan Laidlaw ... King's Soldier (uncredited)
Mike Mahoney ... Soldier (uncredited)
Roger Lee McKee ... Knight Recruit (uncredited)
Frank Meservey ... Knight Recruit (uncredited)
Lee Miller ... Frank (uncredited)
Harry Monty ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Ralph Moratz ... Extra (uncredited)
Lloyd Nelson ... Knight (uncredited)
Nels P. Nelson ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Paul Newlan ... Soldier / Guard (uncredited)
John O'Malley ... Courier / Announcer (uncredited)
Tudor Owen ... Friar (uncredited)
Norman Papson ... Page Boy (uncredited)

Larry Pennell ... Novice Knight (uncredited)
Gerald R. Peters ... Forester (uncredited)

Joe Ploski ... Townsman (uncredited)
William Pullen ... (uncredited)
A.J. Buster Resmondo ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
'Little Billy' Rhodes ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Ronald R. Rice ... Knight Recruit (uncredited)
Thomas G. Royal Jr. ... Forester (uncredited)
Wallace Russell ... Forester (uncredited)
Joel Smith ... Forestry Officer (uncredited)
Robert E. Smith ... Priest / Forester / Guard (uncredited)
George Spotts ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Gary Stalley ... Infant (uncredited)
Larry Stalley ... Infant (uncredited)
Ed Stoddard ... Forester (uncredited)
Henry Lewis Stone ... One of Hermine's Midgets (uncredited)
Trevor Ward ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Leo Wheeler ... Specialty Dancer (uncredited)
Claud Wuhrman ... Knight (uncredited)
Stephen Wyman ... Forester (uncredited)

Directed by
Melvin Frank 
Norman Panama 
Writing credits
Norman Panama (written by) and
Melvin Frank (written by)

Produced by
Melvin Frank .... producer
Norman Panama .... producer
Sylvia Fine .... executive producer (uncredited)
Danny Kaye .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Walter Scharf (uncredited)
Vic Schoen (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Ray June (director of photography: VistaVision)
Ray Rennahan (director of photography) (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Tom McAdoo (edited by)
Art Direction by
Roland Anderson 
Hal Pereira 
Set Decoration by
Sam Comer 
Arthur Krams 
Costume Design by
Edith Head (costumes)
Yvonne Wood (costumes)
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
Willard Colee .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Gertrude Reade .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Hugh Brown .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
Frank Caffey .... production manager (uncredited)
Charles Woolstenhulme .... unit production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John R. Coonan .... assistant director (as John Coonan)
William Watson .... second unit director (as Wm. Watson)
Bernard McEveety .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Carl Coleman .... props (uncredited)
Dorothea Holt .... illustrator (uncredited)
Joe Keller .... props (uncredited)
Lew Vasquez .... prop shop (uncredited)
Sound Department
John Cope .... sound recordist
Harry Lindgren .... sound recordist
A.H. Barnett .... production sound mixer (uncredited)
A.H. Barnett .... recordist (uncredited)
Doug Grant .... boom man (uncredited)
Bill Wistrom .... sound editor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Farciot Edouart .... process photography
John P. Fulton .... special photographic effects
Irmin Roberts .... special photographic effects
Eric Alden .... stunt double: Basil Rathbone (uncredited)
George Dockstader .... stunts (uncredited)
Richard Elmore .... stunts (uncredited)
Ralph Faulkner .... fencing double (uncredited)
Lila Finn .... stunt double: Glynis Johns (uncredited)
Bob Herron .... stunts (uncredited)
Allen Pinson .... stunt double: Danny Kaye (uncredited)
Clint Sharp .... stunt double: Danny Kaye (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Alfred Cline .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Howard Kelly .... gaffer (uncredited)
William Schurr .... camera operator (uncredited)
Joe Schuster .... electrician (uncredited)
Mike Semenario .... grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Bert McKay .... casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bud Clark .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Hazel Hegarty .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Music Department
Sammy Cahn .... words and music
Sylvia Fine .... words and music
Vic Schoen .... conductor (as Victor Schoen)
Vic Schoen .... music scored by (as Victor Schoen)
Gerard Carbonara .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Van Cleave .... composer: title music (uncredited)
Franz Waxman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Victor Young .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
D.R.O. Hatswell .... technical advisor
Hal C. Kern .... assistant to the producers
Richard Mueller .... technicolor color consultant
James Starbuck .... choreographer
Bea Allen .... dance assistant (uncredited)
Robert Alton .... choreographer (uncredited)
Elmer Bernstein .... dance rehearsal pianist (uncredited)
Wilda Bieber .... dance instructor (uncredited)
Patricia Casy .... dance rehearsal: ballet dancer (uncredited)
George Chakiris .... dance instructor (uncredited)
Ralph Faulkner .... fight choreographer (uncredited)
Alex Goudovitch .... dance assistant (uncredited)
Sam Ledner .... dance assistant (uncredited)
Gregor Marijan .... dance rehearsal: ballet dancer (uncredited)
Joe Marino .... dance rehearsal pianist (uncredited)
Bob McElwaine .... publicist (uncredited)
Tim Taylor .... double: Danny Kaye (uncredited)
Dorothy Yutzi .... script clerk (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
101 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Australia:G | Finland:S | Netherlands:AL (original rating) | Netherlands:AL (original rating) (1956) | New Zealand:G | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #17501) | West Germany:6

Did You Know?

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 »
Crew or equipment visible: When the unconscious guards are being lifted up the staircase, the cords pulling them along are clearly visible.See more »
King Roderick:Rules of Chivalry be hanged! Ravenhurst, take that nincompoop, and knight that nincompoop by noon tomorrow!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Producers (2005)See more »
I'll Take You DreamingSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
26 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
Terrifically Entertaining Comic Adventure, 25 June 2001
Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio

"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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (105 total) »

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