Court Jester, The (1956): Vintage Danny Kaye

Danny Kaye spoofs the genre of medieval swashbucklers in the musical comedy, The Court Jester, one of his more popular vehicles.

While the infant King of England awaits his place as leader of the British Empire, his rule is usurped by Roderick (Cecil Parker), an evil pretender to the throne.

Brave rebel leader The Black Fox (Edward Ashley) intends to remove Roderick from the palace and bring the crown back to its true owner, but in the meantime the baby king needs to be looked after.

The job is assigned to Hawkins (Kaye), while the Black Fox, who travels with the little king and his rebels as they search for the key to the secret tunnel that will allow them entry into the castle.

Maid Jean (Glynis Johns), one of the rebels, meets a man en route to the Castle who is to be Roderick’s new jester.

The rebels plan to detain the jester and send Hawkins in his place, which will enable the king to find the key and initiate the overthrow.

Hawkins is able to persuade Roderick and his men that he is indeed a jester, but his alibi gets complicated when Princess Gwendolyn (Angela Lansbury) falls in love with him, and he runs afoul of Sir Ravenhurst (Basil Rathbone), the evil genius behind Roderick.

The Court Jester features Kaye’s famous “Pellet with the Poison” routine.

Running time: 101 minutes.

Directed and written by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama

DVD: Mar 30, 1999

Paramount Home Video