7.9/10
10,189
111 user 35 critic

The Court Jester (1955)

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Noel Drayton ... Fergus
John Carradine ... Giacomo
Edward Ashley ... Black Fox
Alan Napier ... Sir Brockhurst
Lewis Martin Lewis Martin ... Sir Finsdale
Patrick Aherne 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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Hofnarr See more »

Filming Locations:

Palos Verdes, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,200,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dena Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the "Maladjusted Jester" sequence the king kicks Hawkins (Danny Kaye) every time he makes a mistake. It took 11 takes and afterward Danny said he had bruises all over his hip. See more »

Goofs

During the "They'll Never Outfox the Fox" number Hawkins finds a "most wanted" poster of the Black Fox. At 9:44 he begins ripping the paper and handing the pieces to his circus friends. On the first rip, the foley work is behind the action, so we don't hear the first rip until after Hawkins has started to tear it. On the third "rip", although we hear the sound of the rip, the paper does not actually tear. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hawkins: Life could not better be / Better be, better be / It could not possibly / No sirrah, sir-rah, sirree! / Songs could not gayer be / Sound your do-re-o-mi, re-mi-fa-so-la-see, fa-la-la-la follow me! / Why be gloomy? / Cut thy nose off to spite thy face? / Listen to me / A nose is hard to replace! / Skies could not bluer be / Hearts in love truer be / I say for you or me / Life couldn't possibly, not even probably / Life couldn't possibly better be! Life could not better be / On a ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the cast credits appear, Basil Rathbone's name slides onto the screen two more times, in large type used in ghost or horror films; and Danny Kaye each time knocks it off the screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Producers (2005) 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

Terrifically Entertaining Comic Adventure
25 June 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee 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.


27 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 111 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed