The Court Jester
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Product Description

A medieval valet plays jester in a plot to oust a barons pawn and put the king back on the throne. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 05/23/2006 Starring: Danny Kaye Alan Napier Run time: 101 minutes Rating: Nr Director: Norman Panama Melvin Frank

Danny Kaye spoofs Robin Hood and Scaramouche in this inventive slapstick swashbuckler. Portraying the clownish but good-hearted entertainer Hawkins, he infiltrates the court of the corrupt Basil Rathbone (up to his usual brand of cruel villainy) disguised as the legendary king of jesters, Giacomo. After a court sorceress hypnotizes Hawkins into believing he is also a legendary assassin, Hawkins has more identities than he can keep straight, and Kaye zips back and forth between them at, literally, a snap of the fingers. Comic highlights include a wonderful sword fight with Rathbone in which he constantly switches identities, and the classic "chalice from the palace/vessel with pestle" wordplay as Hawkins plays "hide the poison" and forgets where it is. With comely Glynis Johns as his spy-in-arms love interest, Angela Lansbury as the scheming princess, and Mildred Natwick as the dotty spellcaster, this is Danny Kaye at his comic best. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews:

  • Fun, Relaxing, Safe Humor
    It is refreshing to see some TRUE comedy. Danny Kaye is great and some of the lines are hilarious - however - when a friend (not from USA) saw the DVD - he was lost. Too bad - so much talent going to be potentially forgotten. Much fun - and clean humor! At 65 am I too old to talk about 'how it used to be'?...more info
  • Court Jester
    Danny Kaye's ultimate best film. It is funny, romantic and empathic. He wants to be a hero type, but ends up hiding the baby King from the bad guy. He is enchanted by a court witch who convinces him he is a true hero with the snap of anyone's fingers. The most memorable line is "Get it? Got it? Good" -- Danny did his own sword fight, but the villian was in reality a great sword fighter and would not fight Danny when he was goofing off. --- A MUST SEE MOVIE...more info
  • Sylvia does Fine as usual
    I like Danny Kaye all right, but I'm a Sylvia Fine fan as well, and she shines here, not only in the very clever title sequence and even cleverer "Maladjusted Jester", but all the way through. I especially like the lullaby Kaye sings early in the film. Add first-rate songs to first-rate writing, spot-on performances, lush art direction and brilliant editing, and you've got one of the best comedies ever made for the screen. The swordfight, impeccably choreographed, is even better than the ones in "Princess Bride"; "Maladjusted Jester" is a delight you'll want to see over and over; the knighthood scene is a howler, and of course "the vessel with the pestle" is a classic of American culture. When they start considering film as literature in the schools, this classic should be in the basic overview. And kids, generations removed from its making, still love it.

    Personal note: I introduced my daughter to this when she was in her teens, when "Murder She Wrote" was her only exposure to Angela Lansbury. She sat up and shouted, "Mom! Mom! Angela Lansbury was a BABE!!!" ...more info
  • Danny Kaye is King!
    Danny Kaye is an artist. Of course, the writers have a lot to do with "what" he says, but "how" he says it is all Danny Kaye. "The vessel with the pestle" routine is priceless, and probably the reason my sister and I remember this movie so fondly. If you love humor, song and dance movies, you're gonna love this....more info
  • Fantastic old-time Movie
    The Court Jester is one of my favorite movies - using the good old hollywood-style of making movies. The DVD includes the movie and the trailer - things like having a "making of" were not frequent at that times. However, the dvd is a good alternative to having a video-tape that fades away....more info
  • Wonderful Comedy
    This is a sweet simple old fashioned comedy. I love the direct and indirect humor and the music. Great Family Fun !...more info
  • "Unmatched Verbal Hijinks"
    There are many excellent contemporary comedians, but few approach that area where Danny Kaye was a master, the one of verbal mixups. "The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle, but the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true" series of instructions, as delivered by the wonderful Mildred Natwick and subsequently butchered by the timid and nervous Kaye is rightly called a classic routine. Has there ever been anything quite this funny verbally on film?

    Kaye is fairly well represented on DVD, but, oddly, one of his best films has yet to appear. I refer to the unbeatable "Knock on Wood." His performance here includes superb physical comedy such as a remarkable under the table sequence where he engages in the rapid shifting of his own hands to prevent being discovered by a host of seated spies. Verbally, in this film, he is also at his peak. For instance, in a scene where he poses as a British car salesman recently returned from an Indian vacation, he is asked how he enjoyed the Himalayas. The momentary confusion on his face lets us know he has no clue what the Himalayas are. But his cluelessness, marvelously enough, is only momentary. With that instant arrogance and unearned sense of superiority which made Kaye's satiric targets so recognizable to the British, he trumps his questioner with the answer, "Loved him. Hated her."...more info
  • clever
    This movie is a classic! Constant witty entertainment. It's a great show for people of all ages. My seven year old boys even like watching it....more info
  • Enjoyable
    I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Danny Kaye is great with the speed and pronunciation of his specialty pieces. Fun story line....more info
  • Enjoying videos
    Not often can we really enjoy a video with grandchildren - or even by ourselves - but this was great with many laughs!...more info
  • Great
    This is one of my all time favorites! Danny Kaye is absolutely outstanding! Angela Lansbury is wickedly beautiful! This is an all time movie great! You will be completely entertained with this one!...more info
  • Danny Kaye is the best!
    This movie is just as great as I remember it from when I was a little kid!
    My mom and I, every Saturday would watch old movies on tv, and my favorites were always Danny Kaye movies, this one is by far my favorite!
    Danny plays the best part as the jester, his style is like no other!

    I recommend this movie to anyone who wants a lighthearted laugh!...more info
  • Court Jester
    This movie is hilarious, right up there with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Danny Kaye displays a wonderful performance and ability to make everyone laugh at his antics. The price was excellent for the worth of the performances and the age of the movie. With many other excellent supporting actors including Basil Rathbone, famous for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, and Angela Landsbury (Murder She Wrote, Bed knobs and Broomsticks). All combining to give a superior and humorous tale that will have you in stitches of laughter....more info
  • Outstanding Dialogue and Physical Comedy
    Amazingly funny. Incredibly physical. Written with precision and razor sharp wit. All of these accolades fit perfectly when discussing THE COURT JESTER.

    Making fun of British royalty in the 1700s, Danny Kaye pulls off a stunningly funny and physical performance. Much of this appreciation, however, must be placed firmly in the laps of writer/directors Melvin Frank and Norman Panama. The dialogue is masterful and shoots from the characters in rapid-fire succession. The infamous "Get it. Got it. Good." as well as the unforgettable "The vessel with the pestle has the pellet with the poison" routine which will most likely have you wetting yourself with laughter.

    The story, from the get-go, is light and intentionally so. We find young Hawkins (Danny Kaye) singing in the merry forest, pretending to be The Black Fox, a Robinhood-esque fighter against the royal crown. But Hawkins real job is to take care of the true heir to the throne, a baby born from royalty but saved from the slaughter of the now sitting King. And this baby has a birthmark on its royal bottom: the purple pimpernel. Hawkins job is to show the new recruits into The Black Fox's legions the royal bottom with this royal birthmark. But Hawkins craves more excitement, and he's going to get it ...whether its exactly what he wants or not.

    Trying to find a way into the castle via back-routes, Hawkins, along with his beautiful companion, Maid Jean (Glynis Johns), run across someone known as "The Incomparable Giacomo," King of Jesters and Jester of Kings. He's on his way to the castle to be the King's new court jester. But Maid Jean conks him on the head and Hawkins takes his place.

    But more trouble is brewing in the castle. Princess Gwendolyn (Angela Landsbury) desires a marriage of love and threatens to jump from the highest tower if she doesn't get it. The King wants her to marry a gruff and ugly German beast, but once Gwendolyn sets her eyes on Hawkins/Giacomo, she wants him. With the help of her hypnotizing consort Griselda (Mildred Natwick), Hawkins is snapped in and out of a dashing personality and back into his more mundane life so often it makes one dizzy to even think about it!

    Giacomo/Hawkins is also supposed to kill off the King and his advisors in a plan devised by Sir Ravenhurst (Basil Rathbone), so that Sir Ravenhurst can assume the throne. Hawkins knows nothing about this, but his alter-ego/hypnotized Giacomo does.

    Battling multiple personalities within himself, the love of Maid Jean, the advances of Princess Gwendolyn, the murdering schemes of Sir Ravenhurst, and his loyalty to the purple pimperneled bottomed baby, the story culminates as Hawkins battles the deadly German who's ten times his size in a show of knightly honor that is magnetic.

    The Court Jester and much of its crisp and hilarious dialogue are still heard today. Truly a credit to the writers of this now 52-year-old flick....more info
  • Laughs of the Court
    This classic is great for laughs. It is a movie that will stand the test of time in the comedy era....more info
  • Truly a CLASSIC
    I remember this movie from when I was a small child, how my whole family would sit around some Saturdays and watch movies. Laugh... till we had tears in our eyes. When the rerun would come on, we would all get 'excited' and again we would get together and laugh wholeheartedly again.

    Years later I purchased this movie and to my surprise, my family gathered in the living room and we all watched it and laughed. For teenage boys to watch a older movie is amazing but the nostalgia of family sitting together and watching a great movie..... priceless!

    This is truly a classic as you can watch it over and over and each time it just hits your tickle button and warms your heart!...more info
  • Great movie, great seller!!
    Ordered this DVD,"The Court Jester" with Danny Kaye, received it in record time, perfect condition! My whole family LOVED it!! Thanks!...more info
  • Very pleased
    I purchased this and Hans Christan Andersen for my seven year old daughter this Christmas. She was unfamilar with either the movies or Danny Kaye but not any more. She enjoyed both very much. There are so many old classics that need to be introduced to the children of today and these are two fine examples. ...more info
  • The Court Jester
    Danny Kaye did his part well and the film was alot of laughs for which we are always looking for. Swash buckling sword play which made the movie exciting. ...more info
  • Most enjoyable!
    I gave this film to my Mom for Christmas, but the whole family enjoyed it.
    Of course we have seen it before. Danny Kaye is very talented. The music is good, and it is very funny. Thank you....more info
  • Side Splitter
    Absolutely one of Danny Kaye's best. I laughed so hard that there were tears. Truly an enjoyable movie. I just don't think they make them like this anymore....more info
  • Great family film!
    I was very pleased with this movie and my kids loved it!...more info
  • Classic Movie!
    This is a wonderful old movie and is a Must See, Danny Kaye is a brilliant performer....more info
  • The Court Jester
    This is a delightful film, fulled with song, misadventure and one of the best and funniest scenes about finding a poisoned cup. The word play is superb; the acrobatics are marvelous and the swordplay is hilarious. Basil Rathbone, one of the most skilled actors at handling a sword, is a fantastic foil to Danny Kaye's zanny movements. It is not a sophicated film but it is genuinely funny and warm. There are no special effects in this movie so it may not appeal to the techno-wizards. If you want a good but slightly off kilter Robin Hood type movie, this is the one for you....more info
  • The Court Jester
    An old favorite of mine, so I highly recommend this movie. I also love working with Amazon, never been disappointed....more info
  • A wonderful classic!!
    I absolutely love this movie!! I am a huge Danny Kaye fan! This movie makes me laugh from start to finish. It is good family fun!! Pop it in the player, get some snacks, and sit the family down for a night of laughter! I love to watch this movie with my daughter. She dances to all of the music!...more info
  • Prep for Engineering Final Exam
    In 1958 I had to take an exam in Engineering Drawing from 2-5pm on a friday. I wanted to take my mind off of the exam in the morning so I went to the theatre to catch a matinee. It was the "Court Jester". It was the funniest movie I ever saw, and while taking the exam, the proctor was forced to move me into an adjacent room as I couldn't stop chuckling during the exam. I "aced" the test and was forever grateful to Danny Kay, Glynnis Johns (who was beautiful), Basil Rathbone ( the great) and Angela Lansbury who I forever after had a difficulty in seeing her in later films as a sweet lovable old lady....more info
  • The Court Jester
    The Court Jester

    Danny Kaye's role as the court jester was great. The movie is so clean that my own children and even grandchildren will enjoy it. What a great way to pass on the classics. I was very happy with the description on line. I had no questions about the movie being the same as I had seen and enjoyed as a child. ...more info
  • King of Jesters and Jester of Kings
    "The Court Jester" (my favorite movie in the whole world) makes a great gift. It is a romantic comedy with adventure and fencing. The all-star cast brings this Robin Hood-like story to life in a captivating manor. Whether sharing a movie night with family or hanging out with a group of friends, this is an ideal movie for everyone to enjoy....more info
  • The Court Jester
    Good Clean humor. The whole family likes to watch this movie over and over again. We have seen this movie more than a dozen times, and we do not get tired of it....more info