I used to hate Danny Kaye and I'm not sure why. Sure the man was enormously talented, but for whatever reason every time he danced across the screen I wanted to trip him. Yet for all my misguided loathing there was still one film that holds a warm place in my infantile heart and that's 'The Court Jester'.
Films produced in the 40s and 50s that were set in medieval times showed a luster to the era of how the time period arguably should've been. Clean shaven men, women with perfect skin, and clothes finely tailored are all apparent while depicting an age where people died of hemorrhoids and dentistry was all but non existent.
Like many of those films what 'The Court Jester' lacks in realism it makes up for it in charm. It is a comedy and looking for historical accuracy in such a form of entertainment is like hearing a lecture on abstinence from an NBA player.
The movie stars the already mentioned Kaye as a buffoon of sorts hired by a Robin Hood like rebel (The Black Fox) to infiltrate the evil monarchy by posing as a jester, gathering information, and help ascend the rightful heir, an infant, to the throne. A comedy of errors doth ensues and hijinks are abound as Kaye bumbles his way as a lackluster spy.
The cast does an excellent job from the villains on up and really this fun film succeeds by never taking itself too seriously. What you find is a mostly clever little comedy with quotable dialogue. While most films that take place in that era are hardly the brutal realism of Flesh and Blood sometimes it's good to have an escapist spoof such as this, cause after all it is entertainment.
Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.
"See Errol Flynn in Robin Hood — and then see Kaye in Court Jester. The former is the ultimate swashbuckler; the latter the ultimate swashbuckler spoof." - Steven D. Greydanus