The funniest sword fight scene in the history of cinema.
BEST. SWORD FIGHT. EVER.
Let’s be honest, this is how I would sword fight.
@warmageragnar Lewis Vs Otranto, a realistic version.
The Court Jester starring Danny Kaye, Basil Rathbone, and the amazing
Glynis Johns, and Angela Lansbury and it is all around a fun time.
All kidding aside, watch Basil Rathbone’s foot work. He knows fencing, and sets up the form even though he’s still playing up the stage blows for Danny Kaye to flail at for comedic effect.
Okay, but I need to talk about this because it’s even funnier if you know the context... Basil Rathbone was one of the greatest swordsmen in Hollywood history. Which is why he almost never won any of his onscreen fights–he was good enough that he knew how to effectively make the other guy look even better. That’s why the swordfight in The Adventures of Robin Hood looks so awesome even though Errol Flynn is nowhere near Rathbone’s level.
But this fight, right here? Was one of the only fights where he needed a stunt double. Because while he was able to keep Danny Kaye from being seriously injured, Rathbone himself nearly got skewered a few times by Kaye’s flailing around. So in a bizarre way, this is probably the closest to an even match Rathbone had in his career… just not for the reasons you’d expect.
“Don’t you know, there are some things that can beat smartness and foresight? Awkwardness and stupidity can. The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to.”
–Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)
The origin of a saying I’ve seen quoted in various works of fiction – “The best swordsman does not fear the second best, he fears the worst since there’s no telling what that idiot is going to do.”
Always Loved this photo.