THE COURT JESTER Danny Kaye spoofs Robin Hood and Scaramouche in this inventive slapstick swashbuckler. Portraying the clownish but good-hearted entertainer Hawkins, he infiltrates the court of the corrupt Basil Rathbone (up to his usual brand of cruel villainy) disguised as the legendary king of jesters, Giacomo. After a court sorceress hypnotizes Hawkins into believing he is also a legendary assassin, Hawkins has more identities than he can keep straight, and Kaye zips back and forth between them at, literally, a snap of the fingers. Comic highlights include a wonderful sword fight with Rathbone in which he constantly switches identities, and the classic "chalice from the palace/vessel with pestle" wordplay as Hawkins plays "hide the poison" and forgets where it is. With comely Glynis Johns as his spy-in-arms love interest, Angela Lansbury as the scheming princess, and Mildred Natwick as the dotty spellcaster, this is Danny Kaye at his comic best.
THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY Danny Kaye stars as the mild-mannered mouse who imagines himself to be a number of daredevil heroes in this whimsical adaptation of James Thurber's short story. It's a fantasy tale the entire family will love. Year: 1947 Director: Norman Z. McLeod Starring: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo.
WONDER MAN is one of the earlier and, in many ways, perhaps the most effective Danny Kaye major motion-picture vehicle, showcasing the entertainer's rare mix of comedic and musical talent. This big Technicolor production's storyline is an interesting one, reminiscent of TOPPER and BALL OF FIRE, as it features Kaye portraying identical twin brothers Buzzy and Edwin (who, although impossible to tell apart physically, are utterly different in personality: Buzzy is an extroverted, effervescent nightclub entertainer while Edwin is a retiring bookworm). Throw in murder, confusion, romance (starring the lovely Virginia Mayo), and, throughout, Kaye's zany humor and you have a fast-paced film classic whose tempo and laughs never fail; the cinematic special effects winning an Academy Award.
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN In the story, Hans Christian Andersen, a shoemaker, is booted out of his own village by the Town Council at the request of the local schoolmaster, who would rather the children of the village attend school than listen to Hans's fairy tales. Not wishing Hans to undergo any humiliation, his apprentice Peter convinces him to go to Copenhagen, before Hans can find out what the Town Council has decided. Peter goes with him. In the final scene, we see the now celebrated Hans, surrounded by the children and all the adults (including the schoolmaster), having even more success than before telling stories.