The Court Jester


The Court Jester

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 26


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,178
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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 Fox travels with the little king and his rebels as they search for the key to a secret tunnel that will allow them passage 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 quickly hatch a plan: detain the jester and send Hawkins in his place; the king can then find the key and initiate the overthrow. Hawkins is able to persuade Roderick and his men that he is indeed a jester, but his espionage work 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. Court Jester features Kaye's famous "Pellet with the Poison" routine. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Danny Kaye
as Hubert Hawkins
Glynis Johns
as Maid Jean
Basil Rathbone
as Sir Ravenhurst
Angela Lansbury
as Princess Gwendolyn
Cecil Parker
as King Roderick
Robert Middleton
as Sir Griswold
Michael Pate
as Sir Locksley
Herbert Rudley
as Captain of the Guard
Edward Ashley
as Black Fox
Alan Napier
as Sir Brockhurst
Lewis Martin
as Sir Finsdale
Pat Aherne
as Sir Pertwee
Patrick Aherne
as Sir Pertwee
Richard Kean
as Archbishop
Larry Pennell
as Novice Knight
Charles Irwin
as Griswold Aide
Leo Britt
as Sir Bertram
Russell Gaige
as Chamberlain
Ray Kellogg
as Court Official
Eric Alden
as King's Man
Joel N. Smith
as Forestry Officer
Robin Hughes
as Black Fox's Messenger
Nels Nelson
as One of Hermine's Midgets
Edward Peter Gibbons
as One of Hermine's Midgets
Thomas J. Cotton
as One of Hermine's Midgets
Billy Curtis
as One of Hermine's Midgets
A.J. Buster Resmondo
as One of Hermine's Midgets
Irving Fulton
as One of Hermine's Midgets
Frank Delfino
as One of Hermine's Midgets
'Little Billy' Rhodes
as One of Hermine's Midgets
Henry Lewis Stone
as One of Hermine's Midgets
George Louis Spotts
as One of Hermine's Midgets
Irving Douglas
as One of Hermine's Midgets
Harry Monty
as One of Hermine's Midgets
James B. Jordan
as One of Hermine's Midgets
Floyd Dixon
as One of Hermine's Midgets
Robert Smith
as Priest/Forester/Guard
Paul Newlan
as Soldier/Guard
Phyllis Coghlan
as Hairdresser
John O'Malley
as Courier/Announcer
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News & Interviews for The Court Jester

Critic Reviews for The Court Jester

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (5)

Audience Reviews for The Court Jester

  • May 26, 2009
    Wonderfully deconstructing the swashbuckler genre, poking fun at the films of Errol Flynn in particular, and featuring one of Danny Kaye's best performances, a catalogue of satirical delights, highlighted by Kaye's "pellet with the Poison" bit.
    hawk l Super Reviewer
  • Sep 23, 2007
    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.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2007
    the tongue twisters in one scene will keep you in stitches for awhile
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 09, 2007
    I really liked it. The songs can be a little lengthy, but overall it's a good fun watch.
    Marion R Super Reviewer

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