The Court Jester

A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an usurper who has overthrown the rightful king of England.


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  • ★★★★ review by george 🎅 on Letterboxd

    The Court Jester is a delight. This is my introduction to Danny Kaye and he gives a brilliant comedic performance that made me smile to the brim.

    The songs were fun and the plot was wonderfully insane.


    Lansbury and Rathbone and Johns, oh my!


    This nice little watch (and embarrassingly lazy review) has prompted me to start Musical Mondays. Through my love of musicals and alteration, if I can watch a film on the worst day of the week, it'll be a musical. Classic or modern I don't mind, if you have any suggestions feel free to drop some in. ^_^

  • ★★★★ review by Kerry Maxwell on Letterboxd

    A perfectly silly Robin Hood-esque parody; with silly wordplay, silly songs, silly sight gags, and lot's of colorfully costumed little people. Danny Kaye is delightful and charming, Glynis Johns makes my knees wobble, and it's mid-50's Technicolor is gorgeous. Delightful family fun.

  • ★★★★★ review by Timcop on Letterboxd

    Danny Kaye's masterpiece, if you'll allow that Danny Kaye can star in a comedy masterpiece. A tour-de-force performance if there ever was one, Kaye plays the oft-hypnotized, mostly competent member of a rogue band plotting to overthrow the king and restore England to its rightful heir. He and his commanding officer, played with cunning precision by the wonderful Glynis Johns, stumble upon the opportunity to infiltrate the castle as the king's bumbling court jester, after hitting John Carradine on the head with a 2x4, of course. Hijinks with a capital "H" ensue.

    Also, the vessel with the pistol and the flagon dragon brew true pazzel wazzle.

  • ★★★★ review by Holger Haase on Letterboxd

    Danny Kaye is one of my cultural black spots. I must have watched some of his movies at some stage but drawing a total blank. (OK, just checked and there is of course WHITE CHRISTMAS.) Based on THE COURT JESTER he is definitely someone I want to watch more of. Kinda miss comedies that rely on crazy word play and swashbucklers where the swashes genuinely buckle.

    Nobody these days could even perform these kinds of acrobatics anymore. This was to be Basil Rathbone's last fencing scene in a movie. Ironically in his films, being the baddie, he often had to succumb to the hero's fighting talents, yet in real life he was Hollywood's best fencer having previously won a number of fencing championships.

    Also look out for John Carradine as Giacomo, King of Jesters and Jester of Kings.

  • ★★★★ review by Melissa W on Letterboxd

    My parents taped this off cable when I was a child and we watched it over and over simply to hear Danny Kaye completely talk himself into then out of the correct rhyme to remember the right cup to drink (They broke the flagon with the dragon!). And there was singing and dancing. And I'm pretty sure my brothers had the hots for Angela Lansbury and Glynnis Johns (who were probably around 19 or 20 when the movie was shot).

    And Basil Rathbone skulks about.

    Now that I'm a grownup I have it on DVD and can watch as much as I like!

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