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The Court Jester--Kaye's Best


slaytonf
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King Roderick: What did the duke do?

Hubert Hawkins: Uh, the duke do. . .

Roderick: Yes. And what about the doge?

Hawkins: Ohfff, the doge. . .

Roderick: Yeh. What did the doge do?

Hawkins: The doge do. . .

Roderick: Yes, the doge do.

Hawkins: Well, uh, the doge did what a doge does. When a doge does his duty to a duke, that is.

Roderick: What, what's that?

Hawkins: Oh it's very simple, sire. When the doge did his duty and the duke didn't, that's when the duchess did the dirt to the duke with the doge.

Roderick: Did what to what?

Hawkins: Oh, they all did, sire. There they were in the dark. The duke with his dagger. The doge with his dart. And the duchess with her dirk.

Roderick: The duchess with her dirk?

Hawkins: Yehs. The duchess dug at the duke just when the duke dove at the doge. Now, the duke ducked, the doge dodged, and the duchess didn't. So the duke got the duchess, the duchess got the doge, and the doge got the duke.

Roderick: Curious. I, I, I,--

Hawkins: Hm, hm.

Roderick: What, what's that? All I heard was that the duchess had a siege of rheumatism. She's eighty-three, you know.

Hawkins: Oh, come next Summer, sire.

Roderick: So is the duke.

Hawkins: So is the duke. Remarkable, those Italians, what? Huhu.

Roderick: Huhu.

Hawkins: Haha.

Together: Hahahahaha. . . .

 

This, and Glynis Johns, too. O my.

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It definitely is Kaye's best.

 

 

*Griselda*: Listen. I have put a pellet of poison in one of the vessels.

 

 

*Hawkins*: Which one?

 

 

*Griselda*: The one with the figure of a pestle.

 

 

*Hawkins*: The vessel with the pestle?

 

 

*Griselda*: Yes. But you don't want the vessel with the pestle, you want the chalice from the palace!

 

 

*Hawkins*: I-I don't want the vessel with the pestle, I want the chalice from the what?

 

 

*Jean*: The chalice from the palace!

 

 

*Hawkins*: Hm?

 

 

*Griselda*: It's a little crystal chalice with a figure of a palace.

 

 

*Hawkins*: Th-the chalice from the palace have the pellet with the poison?

 

 

*Griselda*: No, the pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.

 

 

*Hawkins*: Oh, oh, the pestle with the vessel.

 

 

*Jean*: The vessel with the pestle.

 

 

*Hawkins*: What about the palace from the chalice?

 

 

*Griselda*: Not the palace from the chalice! The chalice from the palace!

 

 

*Hawkins*: Where's the pellet with the poison?

 

 

*Griselda*: In the vessel with the pestle!

 

 

*Jean*: Don't you see? The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.

 

 

*Griselda*: The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true!

 

 

*Jean*: It's so easy, I can say it!

 

 

*Hawkins*: Well then you fight him!

 

 

*Griselda*: Listen carefully. The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.

 

 

*Hawkins*: Where the pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.

 

 

*Jean*: Good man!

 

 

*Griselda*: Just remember that.

 

*...*

 

 

*Hawkins*: The pellet with the poison... the pellet with the poison is in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice from the palace has the true that is brew. Eh... brew that is tru- The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice from the palace has the true that is brew. Eh, eh, brew that is true. Eh. The chestle with the pal- eh, eh, palace with the...

 

 

*..*

 

*Hawkins*: I've got it! I've got it. The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true, right?

 

 

*Griselda*: Right. But there's been a change. They broke the chalice from the palace.

 

 

*Hawkins*: They broke the chalice from the palace?

 

 

*Griselda*: And replaced it with a flagon.

 

 

*Hawkins*: Flagon.

 

 

*Griselda*: With a figure of a dragon.

 

 

*Hawkins*: Flagon with a dragon.

 

 

*Griselda*: Right.

 

 

*Hawkins*: Did you put the pellet with the poison in the vessel with the pestle?

 

 

*Griselda*: No! The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon, the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true!

 

 

*Hawkins*: The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon, the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.

 

 

*Griselda*: Just remember that.

 

 

 

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I don't know if it's Kaye's best either, but it IS Kaye AT his best!

 

Which leaves me to wondering...IF you were to remake this movie, WHO could you possibly get to cast it? Considering you want to use all the same costumes, the same script, same music, sets and the like.

 

WHO in this day and age could HANDLE Kaye's part? Robin Williams could possibly handle the rapid-fire delivery as well as Kaye, but doesn't LOOK the part. And probably doesn't carry a tune as well.

 

Kaye was among those in the industry that marked an era that today has sadly long passed. there aren't many alive today that remain. Mickey Rooney, perhaps. But who these days are the "triple threats" that movie makers had back in the '30's, '40's and '50's? Garland's gone. Miller's gone. Astair is gone. Kelly's gone. Powell is gone. Keeler is gone. I have NO idea if either Ryan Gosling and Scarlette Johannson can sing and dance. PLUS act! That aspect of movie making died with those who made it great. Many genre's have been revived, like noir-type plotlines, and westerns keep popping up from time to time. Too sadly, movies made from today's crop of Broadway so-called "musicals" are too "cookie cutter" in their musical scores. "Rent" was a pretentious, vapid waste of time( and name ONE SONG besides that ridiculous "however many minutes" tune you can walk out humming from it?), and don't even GET me started on Andrew Viod Blather! Oh, but for another Harry Warren!

 

I-I've said too much. Any dissenters?

Sepiatone

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How about Hugh Jackman, who can sing, dance, and do action/stunt work? I think he's completely wasted under all the hair and claws in Wolverine. 50 years ago, he would have been a top musical-comedy and swashbuckling star, kind of like Gene Kelly in the The Pirate.

 

"The Court Jester" is my favorite Danny Kaye movie. Another bonus besides Glynnis Johns and her delicious voice is the deliciously evil, but still skillfull swordsman Basil Rathbone.

> {quote:title=Sepiatone wrote:}{quote}I don't know if it's Kaye's best either, but it IS Kaye AT his best!

>

> Which leaves me to wondering...IF you were to remake this movie, WHO could you possibly get to cast it? Considering you want to use all the same costumes, the same script, same music, sets and the like.

>

> WHO in this day and age could HANDLE Kaye's part? Robin Williams could possibly handle the rapid-fire delivery as well as Kaye, but doesn't LOOK the part. And probably doesn't carry a tune as well.

>

> Kaye was among those in the industry that marked an era that today has sadly long passed. there aren't many alive today that remain. Mickey Rooney, perhaps. But who these days are the "triple threats" that movie makers had back in the '30's, '40's and '50's? Garland's gone. Miller's gone. Astair is gone. Kelly's gone. Powell is gone. Keeler is gone. I have NO idea if either Ryan Gosling and Scarlette Johannson can sing and dance. PLUS act! That aspect of movie making died with those who made it great. Many genre's have been revived, like noir-type plotlines, and westerns keep popping up from time to time. Too sadly, movies made from today's crop of Broadway so-called "musicals" are too "cookie cutter" in their musical scores. "Rent" was a pretentious, vapid waste of time( and name ONE SONG besides that ridiculous "however many minutes" tune you can walk out humming from it?), and don't even GET me started on Andrew Viod Blather! Oh, but for another Harry Warren!

>

> I-I've said too much. Any dissenters?

> Sepiatone

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> {quote:title=Sepiatone wrote:}{quote}I don't know if it's Kaye's best either, but it IS Kaye AT his best!

>

> Which leaves me to wondering...IF you were to remake this movie, WHO could you possibly get to cast it? Considering you want to use all the same costumes, the same script, same music, sets and the like.

>

> WHO in this day and age could HANDLE Kaye's part? Robin Williams could possibly handle the rapid-fire delivery as well as Kaye, but doesn't LOOK the part. And probably doesn't carry a tune as well.

>

> Kaye was among those in the industry that marked an era that today has sadly long passed. there aren't many alive today that remain. Mickey Rooney, perhaps. But who these days are the "triple threats" that movie makers had back in the '30's, '40's and '50's? Garland's gone. Miller's gone. Astair is gone. Kelly's gone. Powell is gone. Keeler is gone. I have NO idea if either Ryan Gosling and Scarlette Johannson can sing and dance. PLUS act! That aspect of movie making died with those who made it great. Many genre's have been revived, like noir-type plotlines, and westerns keep popping up from time to time. Too sadly, movies made from today's crop of Broadway so-called "musicals" are too "cookie cutter" in their musical scores. "Rent" was a pretentious, vapid waste of time( and name ONE SONG besides that ridiculous "however many minutes" tune you can walk out humming from it?), and don't even GET me started on Andrew Viod Blather! Oh, but for another Harry Warren!

>

> I-I've said too much. Any dissenters?

> Sepiatone

Nope, no dissenters here...well at least not me. I think you're absolutely correct here. But, don't forget it was the old Vaudeville circuit where most of your great aforementioned talents honed their craft and gained those abilities to be, as you said, "Triple Threats".

 

And regarding who MIGHT have the ability to presently step into a Danny Kaye type of role, the only name that comes to my mind is the equally "rubber-faced" comedian Jim Carrey, though as you stated about Robin Wiliams, I don't know if Carrey can carry a tune or dance.

 

Btw, in his prime, I think Dick Van Dyke probably came as close to being "the next Danny Kaye" as anyone ever has. And, he might have possibly been the last of the comedic "Triple Threats" we've had.

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> Which leaves me to wondering...IF you were to remake this movie, WHO could you possibly get to cast it? Considering you want to use all the same costumes, the same script, same music, sets and the like. WHO in this day and age could HANDLE Kaye's part? Robin Williams could possibly handle the rapid-fire delivery as well as Kaye, but doesn't LOOK the part. And probably doesn't carry a tune as well.

This all rather misses the point. THE COURT JESTER was developed and tailored by writer-directors Norman Panama and Melvin Frank, and lyricist Sylvia Fine (Kaye's wife) specifically for Danny Kaye and his unique talents and screen persona. For this reason it couldn't have been made anywhere near as well before there was a Danny Kaye, and can't be made now that he's gone. The window opened, and then it closed (remember that Kaye, whom we think of a fixture of Golden Age Hollywood, made only seventeen movies). It's one of a relative handful of films that are truly the result of a unique alignment of stars and planets, a confluence of existing talents, as well as a market existing for such a movie that would persuade a major studio to make it when, in an earlier or later era (such as now), they would not.

 

Not only has Kaye (not to mention Panama and Frank) departed, but so has that market. The only way one can approach this kind of material nowadays is in the form of wink-and-a-nod condescension, such as the spoofs of Mel Brooks (compare THE COURT JESTER with Brooks's ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS sometime). The biggest difference is that in these modern takes on this kind of material, the characters all have some sense that they're in a movie, hence the winking and nodding, whereas in Kaye's film they merely inhabit the world in which they've been placed. A comedy played straight, if you will.

 

Even a film like THE PRINCESS BRIDE had to adopt the grandfather-as-storyteller framing device to kind of explain away the characters' general sense that their world exists to entertain someone outside of it.

 

 

It's one of the reasons I love THE COURT JESTER as much as I do. It's no more tongue-in-cheek or inappropriately self-aware than the straight swashbucklers, like THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, it's based on.

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For this reason it couldn't have been made anywhere near as well before there was a Danny Kaye, and can't be made now that he's gone. The window opened, and then it closed (remember that Kaye, whom we think of a fixture of Golden Age Hollywood, made only seventeen movies). It's one of a relative handful of films that are truly the result of a unique alignment of stars and planets, a confluence of existing talents, as well as a market existing for such a movie that would persuade a major studio to make it when, in an earlier or later era (such as now), they would not.

 

You're right, of course. Didn't stop those who remade the endless string of garbage movies (like Goldblum in The Fly) that were better left alone in their original form.

 

Hopefully there isn't now an exec at 20th Century wondering how Tom Cruise would roll that tricky dialogue around in his mouth.

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Great thread, wonderful analysis from commenters its posts like these that makes these message boards so unique and draws us back day after day always hoping yet another like it will appear and frequently one does. Wonderful thread confirming yet another wonderful movie unavailable for viewing anywhere except TCM.

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> {quote:title=willbefree25 wrote:}{quote}

>

> You're right, of course. Didn't stop those who remade the endless string of garbage movies (like Goldblum in The Fly) that were better left alone in their original form.

>

>

> Hopefully there isn't now an exec at 20th Century wondering how Tom Cruise would roll that tricky dialogue around in his mouth.

>

1. I strongly disagree....the Goldblum version of The Fly is one of the few GREAT horror/sci-fi remakes that is as god as, if not better than, the original.

 

2. HUH??? Tom Cruise? if anything, someone like Jim Carrey would be far better suited to a COURT JESTER remake...I have no doubt he could handle that dialogue extremely well.

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I would have to agree that The Court Jester is Danny's best. I would never have guessed he was 43! Where did he get all that energy? I love him being snapped in and out of being suave, especially when he's sword fighting. Love the songs, too. "I'm not loo loo loo-ing, sire, I'm willow willow wailing."

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Whuke I can't think of anyone who could take Kaye's place (though I like that suggestion of Hugh Jackman), I can thnk of one person who would be great in the Glynis Johns role. Amy Adams. And she can sing. She can be all-business one moment, then soft and romantic the next. And Jeremy Irons for the Basil Rathbone part.

 

Edited by: filmlover on Jan 20, 2012 3:45 PM

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Yikes! People are actually talking seriously about remaking this. I see from the internet that a remake of Walter Mitty is in the works (I don't know how serious that is). I don't care so much for that movie, but still, it's hitting uncomfortably close to home.

 

I see that Sammy Cahn is also listed in the credits for lyrics. But the best song (The Maladjusted Jester) still is credited to Fine:

 

I foud a bow and arrow,

And I learned to shoot.

I found a little horn,

I learned to toot.

Now I can shoot and toot,

Ain't I cute?

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Well, to each their own I guess. I really can't think of any movie Kaye has done I didn't like. I know not all of his features were top-notch. But he was very good in all of them. And I happen to LOVE *Walter Mitty*! Maybe it's due more to Virginia Mayo than the overall story, I can't be sure. (Incidentally, I have an old friend who's wife, Dianne, I STILL call "Virginia" due to her astonishing resemblance!).

 

 

I suppose a remake of JESTER is pointless. Given as to how many remakes of older, classic films have been ruined by miscasting, sophmoric attempts at "updating" and loss of appeal of the material to begin with has ruined the good name of too many fine films, it's best to leave things alone. But, Hugh Jackman?? Good Godfrey! He's too damned good looking! Much of what made the movie work was Kaye's "everyman" appeal. Not really ugly, but not really handsome. Slim, but not skinny. But not "hunky" as well. Just the average guy overcoming the odds. And still maintaining his humility and humanity.

 

 

You don't see too much of THAT in movie making lately.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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> Yikes! People are actually talking seriously about remaking this. I see from the internet that a remake of Walter Mitty is in the works (I don't know how serious that is). I don't care so much for that movie, but still, it's hitting uncomfortably close to home.

Bear in mind that a new MITTY would be a direct adaptation of James Thurber's story, and not a remake of the Kaye movie in any sense. It's an entirely valid undertaking and, frankly, I hope they get closer to the bone of Thurber's intent than the (agreeably) silly Goldwyn film did.

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> {quote:title=LonesomePolecat wrote:}{quote}I would have to agree that The Court Jester is Danny's best. I would never have guessed he was 43! Where did he get all that energy? I love him being snapped in and out of being suave, especially when he's sword fighting. Love the songs, too. "I'm not loo loo loo-ing, sire, I'm willow willow wailing."

What about Basil Rathbone, who was 63 when he fought that duel? Just think Rathbone's most famous dueling partners were 6 feet under by that age -- Errol Flynn (at 50) and Tyrone Power (at 45)!

 

Edited by: rosebette on Jan 21, 2012 1:34 PM

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I agree with you that the Goldblum version of The Fly is a very good movie and in many ways better than the original. There is a really humanistic vibe in the movie and one really feels the pain of what the characters are feeling, similar to how one see 'the monster' in Bride of Frankenstein.

 

While the vast majority of remakes are inferior to the original one shouldn't paint too wide of a brush.

 

 

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