The Court Jester (Melvin Frank, Norman Panama, 1955): USA

Reviewed by Robin Johansson at the AFI Film Festival, Hollywood.
This is a Hollywood classic that I had the privilege to watch for the first time at the AFI festival. The vivid colors and the merry tunes take your mind back to your childhood right from the start. In this movie, we get to follow Danny Kaye playing the incredibly charming and quick witted character Hubert Hawkins, a member of a group led by the Black Fox.

The Court Jester is based on the classic formula of a royal family who is fighting an outlaw band living in the woods. The similarity to Robin Hood is hard to ignore when you are introduced to this plot. King Roderick (Cecil Parker) has stolen the throne from the righteous King of England and The Black Fox (Edward Ashley) is planning to restore it. The plan is to let Hubert infiltrate the royal castle as the court jester named Giacomo, “The king of jesters and jester to the king”. Hubert runs in to various difficulties while trying to get the keys to the secret tunnel, so that the plan can be successful. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Hubert gets involved in a series of intrigues that makes the seemingly painless plan to be much more difficult.

The cheerful and funny songs are a great feature in this movie. The quick and smart lines are also one of the things that make this movie timeless. This movie won’t take your brain on a journey to discover a new dimension in time and that’s perfectly fine, because the essence is entertainment and playfulness.

As I was walking out from the theater I was wearing a smile on my face, but not just any smile, a true smile, like the one you would see on a little kid who just got his first guitar. If you want to watch a movie that sends you back to your best childhood memories, this is a movie for you!

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