The Court Jester - One of My Favourite Things

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A long time ago, on Sunday mornings, I used to watch old movies with my mom on the PBS channel. There were a ton of old, black and white movies, with stars like Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.

One of the movies I always remembered was the Court Jester, with Danny Kaye.
There's the famous scene with the "The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true" is not to be missed. And don't forget about the "flagon with the dragon", and the baby with the purple pimpernel.

What I love doing when watching these old movies, is looking at how movie stars, sets, scripts, etc. have changed. Danny Kaye, was as nimble a dancer as you can imagine, but I just can't see him being a famous star today. The costumes in the movie were very stage-y, in that they had the silhouette and bright colours you might expect, with less of the finesse and details you see in today's period movies. The script, while very similar to Robin Hood, was so aptly delivered by Danny Kaye. In the scene when a snap of the fingers releases or returns him to a spell placed upon him, he alternates between confident and bumbling, literally with a snap of the fingers. Hilarious!


Mark September 10, 2009 at 7:49 PM  

You bet, "The Court Jester" is a stellar film. I think Danny Kaye would be a successful actor today, but maybe not as successful as he was because there are not as many musical movies now. It's too bad that today's actors don't "give back" as much as the previous generations did - like Danny Kaye did with UNICEF, etc.

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