7.9/10
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The Court Jester (1955)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, Family | 27 January 1956 (USA)
A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king.
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

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

The throne of rightful king of England, the small babe with the purple pimpernel birthmark, has been usurped by the evil King Roderick. Only the Black Fox 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 Hawkins, the gentlest member of the Fox's band. The Fox's lieutenant, Maid Jean, guards Hawkins and the babe 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 (and poison pellets) begins to interfere. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Musical Romantic Adventure Of This Or Any Year! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Court Jester See more »

Filming Locations:

Palos Verdes, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dena Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Jackson Michigan Zouave Drill Team was a U.S. Civil War re-enactment group. They performed the intricate high-speed marching maneuvers during the knighting ceremony. The US Army adopted the Model 1863 Zouave rifle, a percussion or "cap-and-ball" muzzle-loader, which was manufactured by Remington. Obviously the marching knights could not be armed with Civil War-era rifles in the movie. The original Zouave units were North African regiments of the French Army, beginning earlier in the 1800s and serving through both World Wars. See more »

Goofs

During Hawkins' swordfight with Ravenhurst, Hawkins runs offscreen. When he does, his sword is clearly in his hand, but when he slides down the stairs, it's gone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hawkins: 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 ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are a musical number where Hawkins dances around the credits as they appear. This is also the manner of a medieval theatre where an actor serves as a prologue to introduce the story. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Take You Dreaming
Performed by Danny Kaye
Written by Sammy Cahn and Sylvia Fine
See more »

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User Reviews

I love this movie!
26 March 2004 | by ShariRN3See all my reviews

I have seen this movie literally hundreds of times but everytime it is on TV, I sit and watch it again. This is a sweet, funny, light-hearted movie that the entire family can watch--no gratuitous sex, no four-letter words--just fun. They don't make them like this anymore. I still laugh about the "pistol with the poison is in the flagon with the dragon, the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true". Danny Kaye is a genius, no one can utter tongue twisters like he can. This movie also features a very young and beautiful Angela Lansbury (for you "Murder, She Wrote" fans). Of course there is Basil Rathbone, who is of course, suave and dashing. What more could you ask of a movie? Watch this movie--you'll be glad you did.


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