7.9/10
10,669
113 user 37 critic

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

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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 Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Little Martha Jane, aka Little Miss Marker (Temple) is left with the bookmaker Sorrowful Jones by her dad as part of a bet on a horserace. Sorrowful (Menjou) and his group of fellow bookies... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Hall
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Dorothy Dell, Charles Bickford
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Adventure | Family | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Johnny Tremain is drawn into the Revolutionary War, and becomes a patriot fighting to free the colonies from England. Along the way he learns about life and about himself.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Hal Stalmaster, Luana Patten, Jeff York
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After the animal communicating veterinarian goes too far for his clientele, he and his friends escape their hometown to the sea in search of the Great Pink Sea Snail.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A university professor leaves his job to become a theater critic, creating problems with his family and friends.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Doris Day, David Niven, Janis Paige
Johnny Lingo (1969)
Drama | Family | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Johnny Lingo, one of the sharpest traders in the south pacific islands decides to bargain for a wife, and offers a record price of eight cows for Mahana, a plain girl who shuns contact. ... See full summary »

Director: Judge Whitaker
Stars: Makee K. Blaisdell, Naomi Kahoilua, Francis L. Urry
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

"Cheaper By the Dozen", based on the real-life story of the Gilbreth family, follows them from Providence, Rhode Island to Montclair, New Jersey, and details the amusing anecdotes found in ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Clifton Webb, Myrna Loy, Jeanne Crain
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Tom the Piper's Son is about to marry Mary Quite Contrary. On the eve of their wedding, evil miser Barnaby hires two henchmen to drown Tom and steal Mary's sheep, cared for by Little Bo ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Donohue
Stars: Ray Bolger, Tommy Sands, Annette Funicello
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Director: George Seaton
Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne
Lamb Chop's Play-Along (1992–1997)
Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An enthusiastic singing lady and her puppet animal friends go on a variety of adventures.

Stars: Amy Castle, Brian Ito, Shari Lewis
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 ... 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:

The Court Jester See more »

Filming Locations:

Palos Verdes, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
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

Some songs that were written but not heard in the film are "I Live To Love" (sung by Danny Kaye to Angela Lansbury when he swings into her bedroom) and an extended "Pass the Basket" number when Kaye appears before the King (just prior to the famous "Maladjusted Jester"). Both songs were, however, recorded and released on the film's companion record. See more »

Goofs

During Hawkins' swordfight with Ravenhurst, Hawkins runs offscreen. When he does, his sword is clearly in his hand, but when he slides down the stairs, it's gone. 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

The opening credits are a musical number where Hawkins dances around the credits as they appear. This is also the manner of a medieval theatre where an actor serves as a prologue to introduce the story. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gamera vs. Gaos (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Maybe the All-Time Funniest Film
26 September 2000 | by markoSee all my reviews

If you can watch this movie without laughing, please seek immediate medical attention -- you may not have a pulse!

Much is made of Danny Kaye's outstanding performance in this film; it is clearly his best. Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury, and Mildred Natwick also do some of their finest work.

A word about the writing: this is not an adlib fest, a la Robin Williams. It is not a cornucopia of bodily functions, as in "Something about Mary." What it is, is a finely crafted example of comic writing that meshes like a fine Swiss watch. But you'll hardly notice as the cast and script click, because you'll be laughing too hard.

Note: "Princess Bride" aside, this movie also contains the finest swordplay ever captured on film.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 113 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

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