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The Court Jester (1955)

maverickEpisode 207 completes our two-week look at the films of the great Danny Kaye, with a review of what is likely his best-known film, 1955's "The Court Jester." This film netted Kay a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical (this film is both). Kay plays Hubert Hawkins, a former circus performer turned bandit, part of the crew under the lead of the infamous Black Fox. Hawkins wants nothing more than to be useful in the fight against the usurper King Roderick the First. Unfortunately, the Black Fox feels he's not manly enough, and assigns him to work with his Captain, Jean (Glynis Johns), in keeping hidden the rightful king, an infant with a telltale birthmark on his... cheek. He ends up meeting Giacomo, King of Jesters and Jester of Kings, who is headed for Roderick's court. Hubert and Jean waylay Giacomo and Hubert takes his place. Arriving at the palace, he meets both the evil Sir Ravenhurst (Basil Rathbone) and the beautiful Princess Gwendolyn (Angela Lansbury). Unfortunately for Hubert/Giacomo, things are not as simple as he'd hoped, and the story takes several turns before it's over. The film contains many scenes demonstrating both Kaye's singing and dancing talent and his abilities with physical comedy. A classic for the whole family, and a look at how beautiful both Lansbury and Johns were in their heyday! Plus, the trio reveal how they're trying to help the civil unrest in their own filmic way through their next pairing.

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