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The Scroll

No. 74: The Court Jester

The king of comedy

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1956, dir. Melvin Frank, Norman Panama. The Court Jester should be a serious movie. You have a medieval setting with real attention to period detail. You have palace intrigue and actors with impeccable English accents, including the most impeccable of them all in Basil Rathbone’s snide baritone. But then this jester shows up, and he has a really big nose, and is funnier than any English person has ever been in history and, oh yeah, he’s played by Danny Kaye. All of a sudden, you’re watching a comedy.


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Mr. Tracy,
Are you anti-Semitic? Seriously. To write that a drama became a comedy because the court jester shows up with a really big nose? Would you talk about Jews being penny pinchers if there was a scene involving money in the film?


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No. 74: The Court Jester

The king of comedy

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