Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Court Jester

The King of England has been overthrown and the rightful infant heir to the crown lies with a band of merry revelers led by the rebel outlaw the Black Fox. Plotting to take back the castle and reinstate the proper successor, he leaves the babe in the charge of his calamitous but resourceful minstrel (Danny Kaye) and a beautiful fellow rebel (Glynis Johns). Soon though the plan becomes altered as they happen upon the castle bound court jester and, after his detention, the minstrel takes his place and attempts himself to infiltrate the palace. "The Court Jester" is a delightfully and lively Technicolor romp centering on a wonderful comic performance from Kaye, who in addition to his difficult role contributes several memorable songs to the picture. A wonderful cast also assists Kaye including the luminous Johns, Cecil Parker as the clueless pretender to the throne, Basil Rathbone as the malevolent brains behind the takeover, Angela Lansbury as a lusty princess, and John Carradine as the duped jester. The film contains many memorable sequences, including a boudoir scene between Kaye and Lansbury, in addition to a knight training one which features the famous pellet with the poison bit. "The Court Jester" is a disarming film, made at a time when comedies could actually contain thought, inspiration, life, and o yeah, actual laughs.