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The Court Jester (Blu-ray) review

The Court Jester (Blu-ray) review
« on: January 17, 2021, 06:50:00 PM »
The Court Jester (Blu-ray) review

Studio: Paramount
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Rating: PG
Film: 3.5/5

In this swashbuckling comic farce, star Danny Kaye is kind-hearted entertainer Hawkins who disguises himself as the legendary king of jesters, Giacomo. Hawkins infiltrates the court of an evil villain (Basil Rathbone), but when a sorceress hypnotizes him, royal chaos ensues. Alternating identities at the snap of a finger, between swordplay and wordplay, Kaye’s comic genius shines through.  The stellar supporting cast includes Glynis Johns, Angela Lansbury, Mildred Natwick, Cecil Parker, and John Carradine. 

My Thoughts
My wife is a fan of the film White Christmas, which starred Danny Kaye, so when I saw his name on this film, I thought I’d give it a chance considering I’d never heard of it before. Frankly, there aren’t many films from the 1950s that are on my “must see” list because it was a little before my time. Most films from this era come off as a little flat and more like a stage production versus the modern feature films I grew up with.

Regardless, I went in with an open mind and generally enjoyed it. The first act is a bit slow, but once you get into the meat of the story it picks up the pace and it’s a lot of fun. If you aren’t a fan of slapstick comedy, then don’t bother, because the film is full of it. Kaye does a great job in the lead and the role shows off his comedic talent. It turns out, this is the film he's best known for and film historians say its his best performance. One other bonus of the film is seeing a really young—and quite attractive—Angela Lansbury, who I wasn’t acquainted to until she was late in life with Murder She Wrote.

The video quality during the credits made it look like it would be rough going for the film, but once that sequence was done the film looks marvelous for something shot in 1955. Colors are vivid and bold, there’s adequate depth, although the higher resolution of Blu-ray make the matte paintings stick out like a sore thumb. The audio is in its original mono and has very compressed dynamic range—as one would expect given its been 65 years!

Video 4.5/5

Audio 3/5 (DTS HD Mono)

Special Features:

  • Leonard Maltin on The Court Jester
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Digital Copy

The older I get the more I appreciate films that were made before I was born. This is another one of those cases where I had a fun time with a film I’d never heard of until I received the press release. The 1080p transfer is excellent and there were a lot of LOL moments along with some catchy tunes. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Reference Review System:
 JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
 (Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
 Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 88” 16x9 Fixed Screen
 Anthem AVM60 Audio/Video Processor
 ATI AT527NC Powering Bed ChannelsATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
 Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
 System Controller: URC MX-980M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
 Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
 SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
 HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
 SVS SB-3000 Subwoofer
 JL Audio Dominion D110 Subwoofer x 2 (configured as tandem mid bass modules)
 Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
 Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
 PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
« Last Edit: January 20, 2021, 01:32:19 PM by David Vaughn »
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine


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Re: The Court Jester (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2021, 11:11:35 AM »
I vaguely remember that film. Danny Kaye is a hoot ! 
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
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Re: The Court Jester (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2021, 10:08:26 AM »
Thanks for this review.  The Paramounts Presents collection has been a great addition to my library.  Ordered.  :)

Re: The Court Jester (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2021, 01:26:37 PM »

Thanks Dave. I am a Danny Kaye fan and like this one a bit more than you. Love the video quality on this restoration!


Re: The Court Jester (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2021, 01:32:53 PM »

Thanks Dave. I am a Danny Kaye fan and like this one a bit more than you. Love the video quality on this restoration!

Thanks for chiming in Ralph. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

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