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What's the story?
Hawkins (Danny Kaye) is a follower of the Black Fox, a Robin Hood- style rebel who hopes to put the royal heir on the throne in place of the usurper. Hawkins wants excitement, but is assigned to entertain the troops and care for the heir, a baby with the royal birthmark on his rear. He loves Jean (Glynis Johns), a smart, courageous, and tough Captain of the rebel forces. Hawkins disguises himself as Giacomo, the King's new jester, to get into the palace. He finds himself in the midst of intrigue, hypnotized into wooing the Princess (Angela Lansbury) and hired by Sir Ravenhurst (Basil Rathbone) to kill those who stand between him and the throne. Jean is captured by the King's soldiers, and Hawkins must battle a huge knight named Sir Griswold. Although he has trouble remembering that the pellet with the poison is in the pestle with the vessel, the good guys triumph, and "life could not better be."
Is it any good?
THE COURT JESTER is pure joy. This is Danny Kaye's best movie, and one of the funniest comedies ever, with a plot that is both exciting and hilarious. It's terrific family fun.
It is worth pointing out the scene in which Jean and Hawkins confess their love for one another. He asks shyly if she could love a man who was not a fighter, and she explains that tenderness and kindness are important to her. They are each proud of the other the way they are, almost revolutionary for a movie of that era.
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