The Court Jester

Watch The Court Jester

"We asked Shakespeare and Francis Bacon would they declare which one wrote this and they both said, “Get outta here!”"
  • Approved
  • 1955
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 7.8  (13,826)

The Court Jester is a classic musical comedy from 1955 that stars the legendary Danny Kaye in one of his most famous roles. The movie is set in medieval England and follows the adventures of a hapless court jester named Hubert Hawkins, played by Kaye, as he inadvertently gets caught up in a plot to overthrow the kingdom. The story begins with the rightful heir to the throne, King Roderick (Cecil Parker), being overthrown by the evil sorcerer Sir Ravenhurst (Basil Rathbone) and his minions. In order to maintain his power, Sir Ravenhurst seeks to marry Roderick's beautiful daughter, Princess Gwendolyn (Angela Lansbury), and eliminate any other potential threats to his rule.

As fate would have it, Hawkins and his band of jester friends, led by the lovely maid Jean (Glynis Johns), find themselves in the middle of Sir Ravenhurst's evil plans. Hawkins is tasked with infiltrating the castle and stealing a secret key that will grant Sir Ravenhurst access to the princess' chambers. Along the way, Hawkins discovers his true identity as a member of the rightful royal family and becomes determined to put an end to Sir Ravenhurst's tyranny.

The Court Jester is a delightful romp filled with witty one-liners, slapstick humor, and some of the most memorable musical numbers in cinema history. Danny Kaye, known for his impeccable comedic timing and spontaneous wit, delivers one of his best performances as the bumbling and lovable Hawkins. His singing and dancing abilities are showcased in several of the film's standout moments, including the famous "The Pellet with the Poison" routine.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, with Basil Rathbone as the menacing Sir Ravenhurst delivering a masterful performance as the villain. Glynis Johns shines as the quick-witted Jean, who helps Hawkins navigate the castle's corridors and evade the guards. Even Angela Lansbury, in one of her early film roles, brings charm and beauty to the role of Princess Gwendolyn.

Directed by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, The Court Jester is a testament to the musical comedies of the 1950s. The film's lavish sets and colorful costumes transport audiences to a fantastical world of knights, jesters, and sorcerers. The elaborate dance numbers, choreographed by Roland Petit, are a visual feast for the eyes and add to the film's overall charm.

In addition to its whimsical nature, The Court Jester also has a notable political subtext. The film was made during the era of the Hollywood blacklist, when many filmmakers and actors were accused of communism and subsequently blacklisted from the industry. The film's witty dialogue and satirical jabs at political power imbalances, combined with its overall message of fighting for what is right, make it a timeless classic that still resonates with audiences today.

Despite being over 65 years old, The Court Jester remains a beloved classic of Hollywood cinema. Its timeless humor, memorable musical numbers, and talented cast make it a must-see for anyone who loves a good musical comedy or is looking for a lighthearted and enjoyable escape from reality.

The Court Jester is a 1955 music movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8.

The Court Jester
Where to Watch The Court Jester
The Court Jester is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Court Jester for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (13,826)