The Court Jester was a move that I grew up with that many people I meet don’t tend to know. It was released back in 1955 and stars Danny Kaye, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury, and Glynis Johns. It’s a comedy musical that has fun action scenes and is the source of several quotes used by me and my family. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend spending the 1 hour and 41 minutes to watch it. It’s a film that you can enjoy with the whole family.
Recently, the YouTuber Jill Bearup shared a video talking about the iconic sword fight between Kaye and Rathbone. Bearup has been doing stage combat for several years and shares some insights into the fight itself, why Rathbone used a stunt double despite being one of the best fencers of the time, and more. It’s a fun watch with great insights.
Bearup does a great job of introducing the fight, but I’ll do a quick rundown as well. Basically, Kaye’s character has gone undercover as a jester and assassin to help put the rightful heir of the throne back on said throne. Sadly, Kaye’s character is not very coordinated and is not one to perform well in combat. He gets hypnotized early in the fight by a witch so whenever someone snaps, he switches between being the awkward, bumbling character he normally is and a sword master. This creates a hilarious fight and you should go watch The Court Jester.