Directed by Melvin Frank & Norman Panama
Produced by Melvin Frank & Norman Panama
Written by Melvin Frank & Norman Panama
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s)January 27, 1956 (1956-01-27)
Running time 101 minutes
“The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true!”
Watching The Court Jester turned into quite a chore, not because it is a bad film, because it is a great musical comedy, but because my partner Priscilla kept interrupting me every time that I tried to watch the film. I am not sure why she kept interrupting me, other than the fact that she can sometimes take attention seeking to another level and make it difficult for me to do the things that I like doing. Sigh!
The movie itself is very enjoyable, with lots of amusing bits of action, music and of course the tongue twisting word play that everyone remembers. The film really is a lot of fun and it never takes itself too seriously. It was also great to see a guy like Basil Rathbone, who was known for his serious roles, having a lot of fun too.
It is amazing but even though Danny Kaye was a star he really only made a handful of really great movies. Of all of the films he made this is undoubtedly the best of all. When The Court Jester was released in 1956 it bombed at the box-office, although Danny Kaye was nominated for a Golden Globe award for best actor in a musical or comedy film. It has become viewed much more favourably thanks to TV, which is where I remember first watching the film on a Sunday afternoon on Bill Collins’ Golden Years Of Hollywood. (Sigh! Wouldn’t it be great if FTA TV would show the classic Hollywood films again?!)