Tagline – The Musical Romantic Adventure Of This Or Any Year!
Starring – Danny Kaye (Hubert Hawkins), Glynis Johns (Maid Jean), Basil Rathbone (Sir Ravenhurst), Angela Lansbury (Princess Gwendolyn).
Released – January, 1956
Directed By – Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
Produced By – Dena Enterprises
Distributed By – Paramount Pictures
Description – These are dangerous times in medieval England, as King Roderick has stolen the throne and disposed of the rightful King and his entire family. Or, so he thinks. There is one member of the family left… a baby. And that baby should be king.
A plot is underway to regain the throne. The Black Fox and his band of rebels enlist the aid of ex-carnival entertainer Hubert Hawkins. It is Hubert’s job to carry the baby across the country to safety when King Roderick’s men threaten to discover the rebels.
King Roderick, in an effort to gain the help of Sir Griswold of MacElwain in his fight against the rebels, has offered the hand of his daughter Princess Gwendolyn. The Princess refuses the marriage insisting that she will only marry for love.
Disguised as an old man, Hubert, and The Black Fox’s lieutenant, Maid Jean, who just happen to be in love, cross paths with Giacomo, the King’s new jester. Hubert and Maid Jean knock him unconscious and Hubert assumes his identity. This will gain them entrance into the castle where they hope to steal the key to a secret passage into the castle from which The Black Fox could attack.
One thing they did not count on was the fact that Giacomo was also an assassin that Sir Ravenhurst wishes to use to get rid of his enemies. Things get a little out of hand when the King’s daughter, Princess Gwendolyn, falls for Hubert, now Giacomo, and the King falls for Maid Jean. Also seriously complicating matters is a witch with some very effective spells and some poison pellets that are a threat to everybody.
And if that’s not enough, Sir Ravenhurst starts to believe that Hubert, posing as the court jester, is The Black Fox. Ravenhurst wants to eliminate Hubert, without revealing who he believes he is to the King, by having the King make Hubert a night. This would follow with a fight that would surely end with Hubert’s death.
NOTABLE: In 2004, The Court Jester was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
The time setting for the film required Danny Kaye to wear tights. The films produces, unhappy with the way Kaye looked in them, insisted that he wear “leg falsies” to improve the shape of his legs.