Other mistake: The catapult on the battlements Jean uses to evict the castle guards is rather curious. First, there is neither a bow nor any torsion to 'power' the weapon, and secondly it just seems to cock itself, right after each shot. All that Jean does is pull the lever and none of her diminutive helpers stand by for any cocking work whenever the catapult arm is shown.
The Court Jester (1955)
Directed by: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
Starring: Angela Lansbury, Basil Rathbone, Cecil Parker, Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns
Other mistake: Before the joust, Griselda tells Hawkins that she has put a pellet of poison in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace remains unpoisoned. Later, she tells him that the chalice has been broken, and replaced with a flagon with the dragon, in which she has put a pellet of poison. Both cups are poisoned.
Suggested correction: That might be a deliberate joke by the filmmakers, a reflection of just how far the confusion had gone.
Continuity mistake: When Ravenhurst and Princess Gwendolyn keep snapping their fingers, the snapping causes Hawkins to alternately fall under and return from his hypnotized state of mind (as conditioned by Griselda). Hawkins has been hiding behind a closed curtain, and upon each of his flashes of bravery, he opens it, only to be snapped back into hiding. Watch the internal and external shots - he opens the curtain in both of them, as if for the first time upon each occasion.
Trivia: For the rest of his life, according to his daughter Dena, if someone recognized Danny Kaye in public, they would approach him and recite the film's "pellet with the poison" rhyme.
Princess Gwendolyn: Marry Griswold? Never.
King Roderick: What was that?
Princess Gwendolyn: He's a brute and a lout.
King Roderick: Brute or not, lout or not, if it pleases me you will marry Griswold.
Princess Gwendolyn: If it pleases you so much, you marry Griswold.
King Roderick I: What are you loo-loo-looing about?
Hubert Hawkins: Oh, I'm not loo-loo-looing, Sire, I'm willow-willow-wailing.
King Roderick I: All right, all right. Willow away, willow away.
King Roderick: Rules of Chivalry be hanged! Ravenhurst, take that nincompoop, and knight that nincompoop by noon tomorrow.
Question: I saw the theatrical release of The Court Jester in 1980. I remember a character being tortured to reveal information, but he refuses and dies. This scene was not in the VHS or DVD versions. No one else seems to remember it. Can anyone confirm it? I believe (but can't be certain) that the unfortunate character tortured was Fergus the Ostler.
Answer: Fergus was indeed the unfortunate one being tortured to death, although this is off-screen; the Captain mentions it to Ravenhurst and his compatriot right after Hawkins wins the tournament. However, as far as I can remember, that he had died was mentioned in all the versions I've seen up to date. And also, Fergus did reveal the critical information which caused the arrest of Hawkins and Maid Jean, and the revelation of the child's presence in the castle.
Question: When Griswald knocks the helmet off Hawkins and it appears his head is knocked off, you can actually see a face in the helmet on the ground. But why? Hawkins is supposed to be hiding his head in the armor. So why did the filmmaker put a face in the helmet after it was knocked off?
Answer: I watched the clip on YouTube, stopping and rewinding it, but I cannot see what looks like a face inside the helmet. Maybe it's just the way light and shadows are reflecting on the metal.
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