The Court Jester (1955)


In my top 10 funniest movies of all-time, to describe how funny this movie is is impossible without seeing it.  One of the best screenplays ever written for a comedy.  This movie has so many interesting characters who all have an agenda…some for good, and some for bad.  Unfortunately, the lowly Court Jester has no idea who is out to get him, and who is helping  him!

What makes this film work the most is that this movie combines PURE HILARITY in Danny Kaye’s performance with a really interesting and complicated plot.  There are many characters in this films, there are bands of “free men” of the Black Fox,  trying to save the empire, bands of a King who gained the throne by deceit and treachery.  Also, Sir Ravenhurst and his clan of noblemen, as well as a group of midgets who entertain, dance, and sing.  This cast rivals “The Wizard of Oz” in terms of memorable and funny characters.

Basically this movie is a farce, but one of the few movies that is “laugh out loud” funny, but with an equally great story…this movie is along the same vain of say, “The Princess Bride” or maybe to a lesser extent “Liar Liar.”

Danny Kaye makes this movie entertaining, because of his great facial expressions, his way with words and sounds, and of course his body motions and contortions…this is a comedian on his A game, in the prime of his brialliance–this is one of the few movies where everything works…and works masterfully.

This is one of those movies where there are no wasted scenes…like I said EVERYTHING WORKS brilliantly in this film. There are tender moments, there are musical moments, there are crazy funny moments, there are adventurous moments, and there are lover’s interest moments….There is sword fighting, rebel rousing, and of course, jousting…and all along the way there is comedy.

The whole film is a hoot.  A great performance by Danny Kaye, but also by all of the supporting characters.  Glynis Johns, Danny’s lover and his superior officer in the resistance, plays a seemingly innocent and dumb character, that has more smarts then appears on the surface..I love her acting and her character…I wish she would have made more movies…I would probably watch every one.

It is hard to imagine how truly beautiful Angela Lansbury was in her younger years…she is simply stunning in this movie.  She is very petulant and playful in this movie, and she plays her character very well.  Basil Rathbone, is Sir Ravenhurst–a bumbling brute, who wants to marry the Princess but has absolutely no charm whatsoever.  His gruff performance makes the film even funnier.

A 10 star movie and on the MUST SEE list.  This movie is hard to find probably because owners never want to sell it or give it away, my advice to you is to BUY IT at any cost up to $50…it is that good.  This is a movie you will want to keep in your library for many, many years to come.  One of my top 10 comedies of all time…including past and present films!  I have rated well over 1,000 films on IMDB.

Todd Morgan
About Todd Morgan 56 Articles
Todd is one of nation's top classic movie experts, with a passion and determination to help the younger generation discover some of the truly greatest movies ever made. Todd reviews 2-3 movies every week and also prepares classic movie trivia, lists, writes books, and develops games all on Classic Movies. Contact him at

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