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The Court Jester (1956)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 25
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 1

A witty spoof of medieval swashbuckler movies, The Court Jester showcases Danny Kaye at his nimble, tongue-twisting best.


Average Rating: 0/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

A witty spoof of medieval swashbuckler movies, The Court Jester showcases Danny Kaye at his nimble, tongue-twisting best.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 9,033

My Rating

Movie Info

Danny Kaye spoofs medieval swashbucklers in this classic musical comedy. While the infant King of England awaits his rightful 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, which is the job of a man named Hawkins (Kaye). The Black

Mar 30, 1999

Paramount Home Video

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July 13, 2005:
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All Critics (25) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (1) | DVD (2)

Costumed swashbucklers undergo a happy spoofing in The Court Jester with Danny Kaye heading the fun-poking.

January 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In The Court Jester, Funnyman Kaye takes all the laughs he needs, but he takes them when they do not stop the show.

January 28, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Some accomplished slapstick, but nothing special.

January 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Whether it's really watchable depends on what you feel about the charmless Kaye, whose vehicle this is from start to finish.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's good fun.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's as much horseplay as swordplay and, altogether, a witty delight.

March 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Rightly regarded as one of the peaks of Kaye's career.

December 16, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

A flawlessly executed, beautifully designed genre parody.

January 28, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A cracking jest, wonderfully enjoyable.

January 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Terrific family fun.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

With most comedies that were still reveling in the world of Vaudeville despite three decades of separation, The Court Jester throws the kitchen sink at the audience.

February 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

The cleverly written plot is suitable for Kaye's talent.

March 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

If Danny Kaye doesn't find you wishing you had a gun on you, this is one of his better efforts.

May 31, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

See Errol Flynn in Robin Hood — and then see Kaye in Court Jester. The former is the ultimate swashbuckler; the latter the ultimate swashbuckler spoof.

March 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

Comedy co-producers directors writers Frank and Panama gave Kaye his funniest role since The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

The film has a few classic moments.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Court Jester

Danny Kaye's mistaken identity comedy set on the medieval British court is nothing less than one of the funniest films of all times. Sure, it starts out slowly and with a couple of old-fashioned yet catchy musical pieces. But once things are moving and the innocent bard starts playing the court jester's role, it's a joy to watch the mix-ups, puns and jokes that come with it. That's so cleverly written and charming that you can't help but smile for 90 minutes. It also helps that Danny Kaye is simply incredibly funny, with the sped-up knighting process and poisoned goblet sequence being the outrageous highlights. The old castle and ramparts sets from the classic knight adventures of that era are oozing with nostalgia. During the hilarious showdown things get particularly wacky and hilarious. You just have to love a film where dwarfs juggle grown men on their feet and the hero's fencing skills depend on a snap of the fingers. And you know you've just watched a feel good film when even the evil king sings along to the happy ending tune. A timeless masterpiece of comedy.
November 29, 2011

Super Reviewer


I film I loved as a child and this is my first viewing since and was full of Nostalgia for me. No doubt about it that Danny Kaye was a great showman and he was very entertaining throughout. Clever witty songs, along with some great comical scenes such as the Vessel with the Pestle. A feel good film.
November 4, 2011

Super Reviewer

Good old fashion fun. They jump the shark a little when the midget circus comes to the rescue, but the final sword fight is makes up for it.

and Angela Lansbury used to be HOT!
March 23, 2010

Super Reviewer

the tongue twisters in one scene will keep you in stitches for awhile
July 18, 2007

Super Reviewer

    1. Hawkins: The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle. The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Der Hofnarr (DE)
  • Court Jester (1956) (UK)
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