The Court Jester

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Court Jester Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Terrific family fun.
  • NR
  • 1956
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Violence & Scariness

Comic battles, jousting match, and swordfights.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is fine for the entire family and has no objectionable content.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byk125 July 28, 2013

One of Common Sense Media's really MISGUIDED reviews

This is a classic 1950s comedy, and for those who appreciate the subtle and broad humor of that genre, it works. But Common Sense Media's over-the-top glo... Continue reading
Adult Written byZ.q. September 6, 2020

Talented actors, unafraid to be silly...

Little people, being relied upon...righting a wrong...just a cute simple movie with a good result...
Kid, 12 years old May 20, 2014

Best Movie Ever

I loved this wit-filled comedy and found it to be incredibly enjoyable. I saw it a couple years ago and have seen it some times since. I only say seven as an... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old December 30, 2012


This movie is hilarious and one of the best I've ever seen. It has great quotes and is fine for everybody. The only reason that I wrote 7+ is that younge... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this movie is like The Adventures of Robin Hood and Ivanhoe. How is it different? Why did the soldiers cheat on Hawkins' tests for becoming a knight? Why did courts have jesters? Whose job is most like that today?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedies

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