The Court Jester

The Court Jester

Synopsis of Movie

“The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.”

Hyperkinetic funnyman Danny Kaye turned his antics to spoofing Arthurian films in the 1956 classic The Court Jester. Switching personalities as deftly as he shuffled his dancing feet, Kaye used his comic gifts to tweak the notions of chivalry, magic and more.

Wicked King Roderick has usurped the throne from the rightful king, a baby with a purple birthmark. A gang of peasant warriors, led by the masked Black Fox, determines to restore the true monarch, by any means necessary.

As part of the plan, lowly peasant Hawkins (Kaye) disguises himself as the king’s new jester to gain access to the court. What follows is a nonstop barrage of comic bits, including a madcap swordfight, a ludicrous knighting ceremony and the famous “poison pellet” mix-up.

Kaye’s talent as a song and dance man served him well in the film, which included several memorable musical numbers. To give a bit of swashbuckling legitimacy to the proceedings, Basil Rathbone (Sir Guy in 1938's The Adventures of Robin Hood) took the part of the unlawful king, while Angela Lansbury (Queen Anne in 1948's The Three Musketeers) played the beautiful Princess Gwendolyn. The combination was a winner, as many fans consider this to be the best (and funniest) of Danny Kaye's film work.

Movie Release History

1956 - The Court Jester

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Hawkins Danny Kaye
Maid Jean Glynis Johns
Sir Ravenhurst Basil Rathbone
Princess Gwendolyn Angela Lansbury
King Roderick Cecil Parker
Griselda Mildred Natwick
Sir Griswold Robert Middleton
Sir Locksley Michael Pate
Captain of the Guard Herbert Rudley
Fergus Noel Drayton
Giacomo John Carradine
Black Fox Edward Ashley
Sir Brockhurst Alan Napier
Sir Finsdale Lewis Martin
Sir Pertwee Patrick Aherne

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