AFI Movie Club: THE COURT JESTER
THE COURT JESTER, a classic musical comedy starring Danny Kaye, shows up on AFI’s 100 YEARS…100 LAUGHS – the American Film Institute’s lists of the art form’s funniest films!
Watch Carl Reiner and Martin Short talk about THE COURT JESTER in this exclusive video from the AFI Archive:
Trivia about THE COURT JESTER
DID YOU KNOW? THE COURT JESTER features Basil Rathbone’s final sword fight on film.
DID YOU KNOW? Danny Kaye was trained by a U.S. Olympic coach for his fencing scenes.
DID YOU KNOW? THE COURT JESTER was co-written, co-produced and co-directed by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank – a duo who collaborated on many film projects, including WHITE CHRISTMAS.
DID YOU KNOW? The producers of the film were unimpressed with how Danny Kaye looked in tights, so they made him wear “leg falsies” to improve the shape of his legs.
DID YOU KNOW? Costume designer Edith Head worked on nearly 500 feature films over the course of her prestigious career. Head leads all other female filmmakers with the most Oscars® of all time, winning eight Academy Awards® over the course of 49 years. On the set of THE COURT JESTER, Head famously told star Danny Kaye: “Oh quit fussing, women go through this all the time.”
DID YOU KNOW? Danny Kaye was the very first host of the AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony in 1973. The honoree for the evening was director John Ford!
Learn more at the AFI Catalog.
The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions
-With Basil Rathbone poking fun at his own screen persona – have you seen any of his earlier iconic film roles?
-Can you recite it the rhyme from the movie – without looking it up online?
-What are the common fairy tale conventions that you see parodied in this classic comedy?
-What is a pestle?
-What is a chalice?
-How do you rate THE COURT JESTER?
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