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."
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The throne of rightful King of England, the small baby with the purple pimpernel birthmark, has been usurped by the evil King Roderick I (Cecil Parker). Only the Black Fox (Edward Ashley) 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 Hubert Hawkins (Danny Kaye), the gentlest member of the Fox's band. The Fox's Lieutenant, Maid Jean (Glynis Johns), guards Hawkins and the baby 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 (...Written by
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 »
During Hubert's big "out-fox the Fox" number with the little people, he leaps into a tree and then runs down a thinning branch which is clearly supported at its end by two metal struts. In the next shot, these struts are hidden behind the little people as they form a human pyramid, which Hubert is on top of. See more »
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 ...
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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 »
Every week I have the pleasure of (A) cooking my special burgers and (B) picking a movie for our family of six, ranging in age from Jonathan (2) to me (46). Finding something for everyone is increasingly challenging.
"The Court Jester" was a hit with everyone. It literally had something for everyone. Not every family member hung on every word, but some did, and all enjoyed one portion or another. The older of us enjoyed the Byzantine layers of intrigue, the younger enjoyed the hypnotism theme, the instant demeanor-changes, the clever dialogue twists, the great sword-fight scene, and of course the classic "The vessel with the pestle has the pellet with the poison..." interchanges.
Deep? Not a prayer! Fun? You betcha!
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