The Court Jester (1956)

Golden Globes

Danny was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in this movie.

Screencaps          Favorite Scene / Summary of the Movie          Newspaper Reviews          

Movie Trivia

This movie, above all others, is probably the one best-remembered by most of Danny's fans. So it might surprise some fans to learn that The Court Jester did not do very well at the box office. Danny's explanation for this, from Kurt Singer's The Danny Kaye Story, was this: "The picture didn't make money because its production cost too much in today's inflationary market. Expenses got out of hand." (pg 203) Today you'll find nothing but praise from people reflecting on this movie, and that's as it should be. To me, this is Danny's ultimate movie, and so far I haven't found anything else (by Danny or other entertainers) that can top this film. The dialogue in this movie is quite clever, and the supporting cast is superb. One of my personal favorites is Herbert Rudley as the Captain of Guard. His interaction with and reactions to Danny are hilarious! As others have said, this movie truly did provide a wonderful vehicle for Danny's talents. Could he possibly have done any more? He sang, swung on ropes, jousted, fenced, spoke in various accents and rattled off tongue-twister-like dialogue. He was charming, innocent, bold, sweet, and sexy! Credit should also be given, however, to Norman Panama and Melvin Frank for coming up with such a fantastic script in the first place. They were well aware of what Danny could do and certainly tailored this script to fit his various talents. The songs, written by Sylvia Fine and Sammy Cahn, are also wonderful and memorable. I sang the songs constantly as a young girl. This is certainly one of Danny's most memorable roles, and by far, one of his best movies!

Film Information

Filmed: Nov. 22, 1954 - Feb. 16, 1955; Feb. 25 - Mar. 12, Mar. 18, 1955

Released: January 27, 1956
(Koenig, David.
Danny Kaye: King of Jesters, pg 173)

Produced by Dena Productions, the company founded by Danny and Sylvia, as well as Norman Panama and Melvin Frank

Written, directed and produced by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, the same duo that wrote, directed and produced Knock on Wood

Songs by Sylvia Fine and Sammy Cahn

The Internet Movie Database has both Danny and Sylvia listed as uncredited Executive Producers for this film. Since it was produced by their production company, that is understandable. They most likely would have had producer status of all films produced by Dena Productions.

Ralph Faulkner, Danny’s trainer, stepped in as Basil Rathbone’s fencing double because Rathbone could not keep up with Danny’s speed.

The marching knights during the ceremony were actually a real drill team from Michigan.

According to The Danny Kaye Story, this movie cost 3 million dollars to make.


“Making Clothes For Danny Kaye” - article on Danny Kaye and costumes; Sept. 1959

“Kaye Has Ironic Day” - expanded version of the incident in the article “Metalworker Helps Free Danny Kaye”; Dec. 1955

“Behind the Hollywood Scene” - interview with Danny on the set of The Court Jester; Feb. 1955

“Metalworker Helps Free Danny Kaye” - brief article on an incident from the set of The Court Jester; Feb. 1955

“‘Knock on Wood’ Kaye Says ‘Entombment’ Over” - article written by Danny about his movies and television; Sept. 1954

In regards to The Court Jester - segments of books and/or articles relating to The Court Jester

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