Director: Melvin Frank
Screenwriter: Norman Panama
Based on: “The Maladjusted Jester” by Sylvia Fine
Starring: Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone
Looking for something funny, full of hilarious antics, singing, Danny Kaye, and Angela Lansbury looking quite young and beautiful? Look no further than The Court Jester. This is one of my childhood favorites, having seen it the first time when I wasn’t even in my teens. We borrowed it from an uncle and I’ve been in love with it ever since.
Danny Kaye plays Hubert Hawkins in his probably most memorable role in this little ditty. It’s the tale of a renegade group in the forest holding in their possession the last heir to the throne—the rightful heir to the throne, protecting the infant child from the tyrannical king that assassinated his entire family in order to claim the throne for himself. The two central characters are Hawkins and the Captain of the renegade group, Gene, who some might recognize as Mrs. Banks from Mary Poppins. You’ve got your formula—renegades trying to overthrow the king and put the rightful heir on the throne. Hijinks ensue.
And do they. The choreography in the swordfights is memorable, the wordplay is fast-paced and hilarious, and the acting top notch. You simply never stop laughing—from Danny Kaye pretending to shout German at a guard to the hypnotism sequence to Angela Lansbury’s portrayal as the snarky but romanticized Princess Gwendolyn to the side-splitting swordfight between Basil Rathbone and Danny Kaye, it’s a non-stop hilarious jig from one end to the other. It is a goofy, fun-filled romp and delightful watch for a family or just for you when you want to just sit down, eat some chocolate, and laugh a bit.
My rating: Five stars out of five for its genre. Romantic, hilarious, good singing, and witty.
Feel free to ask any other questions regarding the movie.