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The Court Jester


dir: Norman Panama and Melvin Frank

with: Danny Kaye, Basil Rathbone, Glynis Johns, Angela Lansbury, Cecil Parker

Despite Danny Kaye's musical apologia at the beginning, this movie shows no sign that research of any nature was done at any point in the proceedings. Probably a good decision, since attention to authenticity would only weight down this delightful fantasy.

That said, we did find several things that appeared actually medieval:

two swords
a set of arches
the back views of two peasants (mostly)
the ironwork on several doors
Fergus's purse (mostly)

But don't let that distract you from Kaye & Johns as a doddering dolt and his mute granddaughter ... sparkly tights ... Lansbury in high pout ... swinging from vines, trees, and chandeliers ... Rathbone looking worried that Kaye's dueling antics will actually cause injury... on-and-off hypnosis ... knighting at double speed ... the purple pimpernel... and the vessel with the pestle ... or is it the chalice from the palace?... "Get it?" "Got it." "Good!"