The Court Jester (1955) Script

Life Could not better be Better be Better be It could not possibly No, sirrah-sirrah, siree

Songs could not gayer be Sound your do, re or mi Re, mi, fa, so, la, si Follow me Why be gloomy?

Cut thy nose off to spite thy face Listen to me A nose is hard to replace

Skies could not bluer be Hearts in love, truer be I say for you or me Life couldn't possibly, not even probably Life couldn't possibly better be

Life could not better be On a medieval spree Knights full of chivalry Villains full of villainy You'll see as you suspect Maidens fair in silks bedecked Each tried and true effect For the umpteenth time we resurrect We did research Authenticity was a must Zooks! Did we search And what did we find?

A lot of dust

After the dust had cleared Half the cast had a beard And I'm the one, as you can see For whom the bell tolls merrily

We asked Shakespeare And Francis Bacon would they declare Which one wrote this And they both said, "Get out of there!"

Which brings us to the plot Plot we've got quite a lot As it unfolds, you'll see What starts like a scary tale Ends like a fairy tale And life couldn't possibly Better be

This is the story of how the destiny of a nation was changed by a birthmark.

A royal birthmark, on the royal posterior of a royal infant child.

Here, returning to his castle, is King Roderick.

Roderick the Tyrant who, some months before, seized the throne by a massacre of the entire royal family.

But uneasy lies Roderick's crown.

For rumor hath it that an infant, the rightful heir to the throne, had survived the massacre, and even now, was being cared for by a group in the forest.

A group led by an elusive, dashing outlaw known only as the Black Fox.

"The child lives. Death to the Tyrant. The Black Fox."

The Black Fox again.

To the castle, quick.

My kingdom seething with revolt.

Cutthroats and assassins in every tree.

Why must I be surrounded by fools?


Ravenhurst. Sire.

Could you have been so incompetent, bungled so horribly, as to have permitted that child to live?

Sire, there is no child.

My men assure me that none of the royal family escaped alive.

Believe me, Sire, this is nonsense.

Nonsense? You call it nonsense, Ravenhurst?

Is it nonsense that I cannot ride in my own domain without being murderously attacked?

My child, I came within an inch of my life.

Oh, Father.

Each day, some new insurrection.

Who is this Black Fox?

Oh, just some ridiculous adventurer with a handful of rabble.

Rabble today, but an army tomorrow.

We need help to wipe them out, men and arms.

Aye, an alliance with our good friend Griswold of the North.

Aye, alliance, and quickly.

He arrives tomorrow for the great tournament.

Alliance with Griswold? Sire, this rabble can be crushed.

Griswold has men and arms.

We need no uncouth interloper from the north.

Uncouth, yes, but Griswold is strong.

Perhaps too strong.

Perhaps our friend Ravenhurst fears an alliance would put Griswold and not himself at the King's right hand.

You shall die for this. One of us will.

Stop. Stop, I say.

Put up your sword, you fool.

Sire. But, Sire. Silence. Silence.

Come, Sire. And you, too.

Must we quarrel amongst ourselves?

Do you think I could make alliance?

Griswold is rich.

What could I offer him?

That which he desires most in the world.

Marriage, Sire.

With your daughter, the Fair Gwendolyn.

Marriage with Griswold?

Never. What's that you say?

He's a brute and a lout.

Brute or not, lout or not, if I so decide, you will marry Griswold.

I will not.

I am the king.

If it pleases me, you will marry Griswold.

If it pleases you so much, you marry Griswold.

When I marry, I marry for love.

Someone dashing and romantic who will carry me off as a princess should be carried off.

Who fills your head with this childish fiddle-faddle?

I know.


She of the evil eye. Take the witch out and burn her.

Harm one hair of her head, and I throw myself from the highest turret.

Gwendolyn, you go too far.

Dire news, Sire.

I've just come from the forest.

The child lives.

The child lives? Aye, Sire.

How know you this is the royal child and not some outrageous impostor?

Because, Sire, disguised as a member of their group, I saw him, and I can assure you that, like his royal ancestors, and on the same spot as his royal ancestors, he bears the royal birthmark.


Purple pimpernel?

The purple pimpernel.

Then why stand you here, you incompetent jackanapes?

To horse. To the forest. Hunt them down.

Kill the infamous child who claims to be the rightful king.

And destroy, forever, this traitorous fiend who calls himself the Black Fox.

Only the sharpest eye, the keenest nose The quickest ear and the fleetest toes Can ever outfox the Fox They'll never outfox the Fox Only the stoutest arm, the bravest heart With a magic charm and a good head start Will ever outfox the Fox They'll never outfox the Fox Those who try to tangle with my derring-do Wind up at the angle that herring do They hold their head like very dead herring do Only a sprightly sprite, the nimblest elf The wickedest witch or the devil himself Can ever outfox the Fox They'll never outfox the Fox Whenever they try to find me They find me where I am not I'm hither and yon, I'm there and gone I'm Johnny-Not-On-The-Spot

I'm out on a limb, they think

I'm down on the ground in a wink My enemies say, "Gadzooks, it spooks!"

Shivering in their socks They know that they'll never I'm far too clever They'll never outfox the Fox The Fox, there's only one of me Till suddenly, there's two of me When two is what you see of me Gadzooks!

Three of me That's the proper score of me Three of us is the core of me And we can tell you Sorry! Four of me

There's one of me, two of me, three of me, four of me Five, six, seven Sorry, no more of me Each as strong as ten are we Very stout-hearted men are we We're off to right a wrong And we'll right it right or wrong I'm hither and yon, I'm there and gone I'm Johnny-Not-On-The-Spot Only the sharpest eye, the keenest nose The quickest ear, the fleetest toes Can ever outfox the Fox Can ever outfox, can ever outfox Can ever outfox the Fox Any one of us can be At any time the Fox But I tell you confidentially That I'm the Fox No, I'm, no, I'm, no, I'm the Fox!

- Oh, I'm the Fox No, I'm the Fox

- Is he the Fox? No, me the Fox

- If he's the Fox Don't squeeze the Fox

- I'll choose the Fox Don't lose the Fox Because no matter who's the Fox They'll never, never, never, never Never, never, never, never, never, never

- Never outfox the Fox Never outfox the Fox

- Never outfox the Fox Never outfox the Fox Never outfox the Fox

Hawkins. Hawkins.

Come here.

You hurt yourself? Hawkins, you all right?

Hope you're all right, Hawkins. Come here.


Hawkins, how many times have I told you to stay out of my clothes?

And who are these little people?

Well, these are my friends, sir. They used to work with me at the carnival.

They're the finest troupe of acrobats and tumblers in all of England.

But why did you bring them here?

Well, they too, would be part of our group, sir.

They feel strongly as we do about the tyranny and would join in our worthy cause.

Sir. Well, Captain?

The new recruits are arriving, sir.

Good. Hawkins, I don't mean to be disparaging to your little friends, but weapons are limited, and...

Oh, I didn't intend for them to fight, sir.

I merely thought that they would take over my chores of entertaining the men.

Then perhaps, I'd be free to bear arms myself, sir, and come to grips with the enemy face to face, and steel to steel.

Fist to fist, sir.

Little friends, I'm sorry, but food and weapons are limited, so, you see...

We'll do anything for Hawkins, sir.

He always was our friend.

I'm sorry. There's no time to discuss it.

Please go. Quickly and without detection.

Well, if you ever need us, call us.

Thank you. I shall.

Bye, Hawkins. Bye, Hawkins.

Hawkins, the recruits will be here in a moment. Get the child.

The child.

I hate to keep mentioning this, sir...

Just get the child.

Well, sir, you know I'd do anything for His Majesty, but don't you think it would look better if a woman...

Tend to your duty.

And get out of my clothes. Yes, sir.

Your Majesty.

Your Majesty.

Your Majesty.

Your Majesty.

Sir, don't you think it really would look better if this kind of thing were done by a woman?

I've told you repeatedly, Hawkins, each one serves as best he can.

I know, sir, but when I ran away from the carnival and joined your group, I thought I'd be in the thick of it.

Robbing the rich and giving to the poor.

Sir, our presence is known. The King's men are on their way.

We must disperse. Maid Jean.

Yes, sir. You will see that the child is transported to the abbey in Dover. The usual method?

The usual method. Come, Hawkins.

Yes, Captain.

The rest of you men, disperse.

Hawkins, hurry.

I'm putting the last touches on right now.

Don't just stand there, man. Make haste.


Why do you stare?


Beg pardon, Captain.

But I'm... I'm sorry, Captain. I didn't mean to stare.

Each time I see you as a woman, sir, I... I...

I mean, with your flowing hair...

Conceal the child.

Quickly. Yes, Captain.

The King's men.

You know what to do, Hawkins.

Yes, Captain. I'll try.

Hold there.

Hold, I say.

Come down, old man. We would talk to you.

You too, wench.

What's that? Hurry along. This is King's business.

Hey, what's the meaning of this? Come on.

What's the meaning of this? What do you want of us?

Where go you, ancient one? Who are you?

What's that? Who are you?

What's that? Who are you?

Fine, thank you. No, no, no. Who?

Who? Who?


I'm Foutzingdale, the wine merchant, and this is my little granddaughter.

Poor child, she's a mute.

She neither speaks nor hears except through my fingers.

Child. No, no. Here.

Child... These... These are the King's men.

Men of the King.

She says, "Long live the King, and down with his..."

Long live the King, and down with...


A little harder, dear.

Long live the King, and down with his...

Not quite so hard.

Long live the King, and down with his enemies.

Enough. Have you seen a group in the forest with a child?

What's that? What? A child. A child.

A child. Child.

Lovely child. Pretty little creature, isn't it?

But you stay away from her.

No, no. A child so big.

With a little mark on...

You do, and I'll break every bone in your body.

Ask the... Ask the girl if she's seen a group in the forest.

What's that? What?

Ask the girl if she's seen a group in the forest.

What do you... What? Ask the girl if she's seen a group in the forest. There's no need to holler, sir, for I hear very well indeed.

Well, ask her. Ask her what?

If she's seen a group in the forest.

Child, have you seen a group in the forest?

She says, "No." What took her so long?


Oh, we waste time with these dolts.

On your way. Off with you.

Oh, he's quite all right.

You were excellent, Hawkins.

You too, Captain.

We played our parts extremely well, I thought.

You know, we should spend a lot more time together.

For rehearsal, I mean.

There's a storm brewing.

We'll spend the night in the woodman's hut.

Yes, Captain.

There, there.

I'll take you dreaming Through the rainy night To a place behind the raindrops Where the stars are bright You may not find gold or silver But a richer prize waits for you Behind the raindrops If you'll close your eyes Tonight Tonight When all the world's asleep We will tiptoe home with a wondrous star A star you can always keep

And years from now, when you go dreaming When you're very old Though your crown be rich with rubies Diamonds set in gold None will shine as bright As the star we'll find Tonight

Tonight Tonight When all the world's asleep We will find a star That you can always keep

His Majesty's asleep now.

We better get some sleep, too.

Over there.

There's only room for one. I think you'd better take it.

We can both lie there.

If you get wet and ill, you'll be no use to His Majesty at all.

Lie down.

Yes, Captain.



There'd be more room if you raised your arm.

The other one.



Yes, Captain?

I'm sorry I... I spoke in the manner I did.

I was wrong.

Yes, Captain.

There's something else I'd like to say.


I am a woman.

And I do have feelings.


I find it hard to believe that the Captain could ever be fond of a man who isn't a fighter.

Sometimes, tenderness and kindness can also make a man.

A very rare man.

Could the Captain ever...

Could the Captain ever entertain thoughts of marriage with such a man?

Yes, Hawkins.

I think she could.

And would.

If things were different.

How different?

The infant on the throne and our fight for freedom won.

Why does such a little girl have to do such a big job?

It's the way I was brought up.

My father's influence.

You see, my father made me everything I am.

He does beautiful work.

He taught me how to love freedom, hate injustice.

The use of weapons and how to fight.

In fact, I think he... He really wanted me to be a boy.

Too bad. You'd have made a wonderful girl.

No. We daren't think of ourselves until our fight is won.

Yes, but that could take 20 years or more.

Or 20 hours.

If only we could put our plan into operation.

Plan? Do we have a plan?

A handful of men could overthrow the castle in a matter of hours.

You see, there's a secret passage that starts in the forest and tunnels underneath the walls of the castle.

A secret passage.

But it's locked at both ends, and the key is in the King's possession.

In the King's possession.

If only we could have someone inside the castle.

An intimate of the King with access to his chambers.

With access to his chambers.

But that's impossible.


Good evening.

A thousand apologies for this intrusion, but may I beg shelter and warmth from this miserable storm?

Who are you?

A stranger in this land, young woman, but not for long.

I'm Giacomo of the continent, the King's new jester.

The court jester. Giacomo?

Giacomo the Incomparable. King of jesters and jester of kings.

Well, where are you from?

Most recently, the Italian court.

But I've entertained in all the courts of Europe and speak a ready wit in their every tongue.

Hawkins, we are, indeed, honored that our humble hut should shelter one who, tomorrow, will be an intimate of the King.

With access to his chambers.

But how will they know you?

Are you sure that no one at the castle has ever seen your face?

Not yet, but I assure you, ere another sun has set, the entire court of England will succumb to the charm, wit, and song of the Incomparable Giacomo, King of jesters.

And jester to the King.

I'll take the child to the abbey. You must go to the castle at once.

Quickly, into his clothes.

What are we gonna do about him? I'll notify the Fox.

He'll be taken care of.

Now listen. Listen carefully.

Once inside the castle, you must get to the King's chamber and find the key to the secret passage.

Key to the passage. Then you must give it to the one man inside the castle who's our confederate.


You mean we already have somebody inside the castle, one of our own? You will contact him by whistling our secret call.

Whistle it, hum it, sing it.

But I don't understand.

If we already have somebody inside the castle, why doesn't he get the key? You'll understand when you see him.

Now, he'll hear that and identify himself.

Can't you tell me his name? Should they discover you, they might force you to reveal his identity.

I'd like to ask you one question.

After months of pleading for just this kind of action, what makes you think anybody, anybody could force me to reveal the identity of my confederate?

Because they'd put you on the rack, crack your every bone, scald you with hot oil, and remove the nails off your fingers with flaming-hot pincers.

I'd like to withdraw the question.

Hawkins, the future of England depends on this.

You cannot fail.

I will not. Oh, heaven help you.

Now, remember, from this moment on, you're no longer Hubert Hawkins, the carnival entertainer.

You're the Incomparable Giacomo, King of jesters and jester to the King.

Jester to the King.

Jester to the King.

To the King?

The child escapes. You hear that, Ravenhurst?

The child escapes.

Gwendolyn, dear, do stop picking that thing.

The revolt spreads.

Brockhurst here says alliance with Griswold.

Finsdale says alliance. Pertwee says alliance.

And yet, you, Ravenhurst, you of all my ministers... Sire... if milords Brockhurst, Finsdale and Pertwee plead so strongly for alliance, then, by all means, let us have such alliance.

A marriage between Sir Griswold and the Princess Gwendolyn.

You're quite right.

Never. Never marriage with Griswold.

Be sensible. Sensible?

I've seen this monster.

And it's not for nothing he's called the "Grim and Grisly Gruesome Griswold."

Grim, grisly, or gruesome, you marry Griswold.

I'll die first. Go to your chambers.

Good. It is done.

Arrange for the wedding directly after the tournament.

We'll make a show of this.

You there, go hence.

Scour the countryside, bring in the fairest wenches in the land.

Mind you, see that they are the fairest.

Wenches, laughter, song... That's what this court needs.

Indeed, Sire, and the good Giacomo will provide it.

Giacomo? Who's Giacomo?

He's the new jester I've sent for.

By reputation, the gayest and wittiest entertainer in Europe.


What a festival this will be.

Jousting by our boldest knights, wenches at our beck and call.

My daughter married to Griswold, who will take her to a castle up north.

Way up north.

My gentle lords, you make me very happy.

They have won.

For the moment, yes, but the King is guided by the last voice he hears, and that voice shall be mine.

Giacomo will see to that.

Giacomo? A mere jester?

With one special talent, for which my agent has bargained dearly.

In addition to his brilliance as an entertainer, the jester Giacomo also happens to be the world's most skillful, devious and subtle master of the art of assassination.

So Hawkins becomes the Incomparable Giacomo.

And heads towards the castle, while the Maid Jean, with the infant King still hidden in the wine cask, journeys towards the abbey, and safety for the child.

Their plan seemed simple enough, but the simplest plans so often go amiss.

For at the very moment Hawkins was delayed on the road, the Maid Jean was to run afoul of the King's men, who were scouring the countryside for the fairest wenches in the land.

And so Jean and the precious wine cart were taken and sent to the castle before Hawkins had even completed repairing his wheel.

Hold there.

What's that?

Welcome, Giacomo.

We have come to escort you to the castle. We...

Haven't we met before?

It's not very likely, my good man.

You see, I'm on my way back from the Italian court.

How speak you the King's English with no trace of accent?

My dear sir, Giacomo is the master of many, many tongues, indeed.




Which means, in any language, "Why tarry? Let us off to the castle."

Off to the castle? Off to the castle.

To the castle.

Quick. The infant. The infant? Where?

Hustle them in. Hustle them in.

The child is in the cask.

In the cask?

You must get him to the jester.

But the jester hasn't arrived yet.

Well, something must have gone wrong.

You look after the child.

I'll have to get the key myself.

But how? I don't...

Come along there, wench.

My heart knows a lovely song...

So this is the Incomparable Giacomo.

He looks not at all like what I expected.

And this singing peacock will still the voices of Brockhurst, Finsdale, and Pertwee?

Before midnight, if he fulfills his bargain.

You sent for me, milady?

Lock it.

What is it, child?

Something wrong, milady?


A brew of your own concocting.

Before I marry Griswold, I will die, and so will you.

Drink. No.

Don't despair, child. You will not marry Griswold.

I've told you, it was written in the stars.

Your true love will come yet, I promise you.

Drink. You lie.

Would I lie to you, child? Your own Griselda?

Look at me. Look in my eyes.

Try not your wiles on me, witch.

Too often, have I seen people look in those eyes and fall under your evil spell. You will die for your deceit.

Filling my head with fairy stories of a romantic lover, a lover who would carry me away from this monstrous castle.

And so he shall.

He comes even now.

You lie. I swear it, Your Highness. Look.

If this be another one of your tricks...

Trust me. Look.

Look. Near the drawbridge.

It whistles it all day long...

"King of jesters. Jester of kings."

He is most fair of countenance. He is.

Handsome of bearing. Like Apollo of the Greeks.

A figure of romance. Sent by the gods, and for you alone.

Now, mark this, creature of evil, if this be not my true love, and I am faced with marriage to Griswold, you will die, and by my hand.

Fear not, milady.

Your lover will be here, in this room, within the hour.

And he will prove that his is a mission of love.

For your sake, dear Griselda... he had better.

I'm Giacomo Giacomo My fame before me rings the King of jesters And jester of kings

My heart knows a lovely song

It whistles it all day long

Giacomo is my nom de plume I whistle and hum, but I hum to whom?

To whom do I hum?

To whom?

My song of love, let the whole world hear Until that sweet moment, that moment When you appear I'll whisper it in your ear

I bid you welcome. I am Ravenhurst.



The real Ravenhurst? What?

I mean, does the King know? Does the King know about you being the real Ravenhurst? Keep your jests for the King.

Don't stand there gaping.

You, Fergus, and the others, get the jester's bags.

You've arrived not a moment too soon.

When do we start? Tonight.

Good. I'd like to get in, get on with it, get it over with, get out. Get it?

Got it. Good.

That was an interesting song you sing.

Thank you. I'm glad you liked it, old man.

Did it go like this?

Hostler, about your business.

What is the first step?

Get me to the King's chambers.

King's chambers? Yes.

Very well, if you say so.

That may be the key to the whole plan. Get it?

Got it. Good.

Yes, yes. I'll see Griswold's emissaries.

But for the moment, there are other matters.

I understand the wenches have arrived. Where are they?

What have we here? Sire, may I present the Incomparable Giacomo?

King of jesters and jester of kings.

Oh, yes. From Italy. I haven't been there for years.

Tell me. How go things at the Italian court?

Very well indeed, Sire. Splendid, splendid.

What about all those stories we've heard?

Wasn't it awful about the Duchess of Erba?

Oh, just... Just awful, Sire.

I ask you, how could a thing like that happen?

Well, Sire, you know the Italian court.

What better place to court Italians?

Italian court. Court Italians.

Oh, Ravenhurst, the fellow has wit.

I must say, I was shocked to hear about the Duchess.

What did the Duke do?

Pardon? The Duke. What did the Duke do?

The Duke do? Yes. And what about the doge?

The doge. Well, what did the doge do?

The doge do? Yes, the doge do.

Well, the doge did what a doge does...

When the doge does his duty to a Duke, that is.

What? What's that? Oh, it's very simple, Sire.

When the doge did his duty and the Duke didn't, that's when the Duchess did the dirt to the Duke with the doge.

Who did what to what? They all did, Sire.

There they were in the dark.

The Duke with his dagger, doge with his dart, the Duchess with her dirk.

Duchess with her dirk? Yes.

The Duchess dug at the Duke when the Duke dove at the doge.

The Duke ducked, the doge dodged, and the Duchess didn't.

So, the Duke got the Duchess, Duchess got the doge, and the doge got the Duke.

Curious. I... I... I...

What... All I heard was that the Duchess had a siege of rheumatism.

She's 83. Come next summer, Sire.

So is the Duke? So is the Duke.

Remarkable, those Italians.

Made the whole thing up, didn't you?

Very witty, very clever.

Just what this court needs, laughter, gaiety, song, wenches.

Oh, yes, wenches.

I'm just on my way to inspect the lot of them.

Who knows? I may find some luscious...

Sire, if I may suggest, it ill befits the propriety of your high office to be seen with these unkempt wenches.

What? It is said the Incomparable Giacomo has a discerning eye for beauty.

Why not let him select a suitable companion for Your Majesty?

Excellent, excellent.

I trust the jester's reputation is based upon many years of accomplishment?

Why do you think they call me "Incomparable," Sire? Get it?

Got it. Good.

Bring her to my chambers.

Within the hour? Within the hour.

Finish with the King, and come to my chambers.

Within the hour.

About that song, sir... Some other time, my good man.

Fergus, get on with your work.

Good Captain will escort you to your quarters.

Very well.

Are you sure we haven't met before? Quite sure.

Within the hour.

Your Giacomo seems more the fool than the assassin.

Or perchance, a brilliant combination of both.

We shall see.

I'm Giacomo, Giacomo My fame before me rings King of jesters and jester of kings What are you doing here? I'm Fergus, the hostler.

Who-gus the what-sler? Fergus, the hostler.

It is I, not Ravenhurst, who is your friend.

Look, my good man, you pick your friends, and I shall pick mine.

At the moment, I have a very important mission with the King.

After all, I'm the Incomparable Giacomo, King of jesters and jester of kings.

I've entertained in all the courts of Europe and speak a ready wit in their every tongue.

Who are you? I am Griselda.

Gri-who-Ida? Griselda.

I bring you a message from the princess.

The royal princess? She finds you most attractive and would like to meet you. Me?

Yes. She finds you passing fair, passing graceful.

Well, tell her thank you very much, but I'm just passing through.

One does not ordinarily refuse a princess.

One doesn't ordinarily, but you see...

Is it possible there's someone else of whom you are fond?

Yes, as a matter of fact, there is. Giacomo, would you look in my eye?

Eye? Yes, it's been troubling me, and I thought that the great Giacomo would have a knowledge of science.

Science. Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I've a great deal of scientific knowledge.

We have... Which eye? Both.

Look at them both.

Closer, closer. Deeper, deeper.

Deeper, deeper.

Tails of lizards, ears of swine, chicken gizzards soaked in brine, now thine eyes and mine entwine, thy will is broken, thou art mine.

Repeat after me, "I am craven, and thou art my master."

I am craven, and thou art my master.

Stand there, fool. Stand there, fool.

Silence. Silence.

You are in my power and will obey my every command.

Every command. And remember, any time I choose, a mere snap of the fingers can bring you out of the spell like this and back like that.

Do you understand, fool? Yes, master.

You can snap me in and snap me out.

Now, listen closely.

First and foremost, you must convince the girl that this is a miracle, that you've been sent by the gods.

To do that, you must go to her room and make love.

Go and make love to the princess.

The princess. At once.

Wait, not like that.

You are a figure of romance, of spirit and action, but at the same time, humble and tender.

You are a man of iron with the soul of a poet.

You are adventurous, gay, but with a lover's brooding melancholy.

And above all, you must show passion.

Show passion. Not me, you fool.

Now go. Make love.

Climb the vine to the tower where your love awaits you.

But above all, remember, you must be cavalier, dashing.

Fear not, master. Once I'm up the thorny vine, the regal maiden shall be mine.

Fear not, master.


You got here.

Well, of course I got here, my silly little goose.

Thank heaven.

You'll have to wait your turn like the others.

Good, good. You're doing it well. Have you heard the change of plan?

Here. Take this. I just told you, dear, you'll just have to wait your turn. Now, don't overdo it.

Fergus will bring you the infant. Well, well, Giacomo.

Successful so soon.

Truly as dainty a dish as ever was set before a king.

About your business. I would have a word with the maid.

Your Majesty.

What is your name, child?

Jean, Sire. Jean.

A lovely name for a lovely face.

See that she's jeweled and gowned.

She shall sit next to me at the banquet tonight.

You. You've come.

At your service, milady.

So this is Giacomo, King of jesters and jester of kings.

Not today, milady.

Today, I am Giacomo, a lover of beauty.

And a beauty of a lover.

Can this be true, or is it merely a dream?

Dream? Is this a dream?

Or this? Or this?

Or this? Or this? Oh, no, no, no.

We are strangers, hardly met.

What manner of man are you, Giacomo?

What manner of man is Giacomo?

I shall tell you what manner of man is he.

He lives for a sigh. He dies for a kiss.

He lusts for a laugh.

He never walks when he can leap.

He never flees when he can fight.

He swoons at the beauty of a rose, and I offer myself to you.

All of me, my heart, my lips, my legs, my calves.

Do what you will. My love endures.

Beat me. Kick me.

I am yours. Oh, Giacomo, you are so ardent.

With your permission, milady, I'd like to go around again.

Oh, no, Giacomo. We must be discreet.

Discretion is for fools and simpletons.

This cannot be.

Miracles are things of fancy, and lovers are not sent by the gods.

Speak not too lightly, my love.

Who are we to say nay to miracles?

But one doesn't find love in one moment, one kiss.

That key, where did you find it?

Key? It is a miracle.

The gods who sent you have also provided a means to our escape.

This is the key to the secret passageway.

Grand. We leave at midnight. Get it? Got it.

Good. Very good.

Oh, no, my precious.

I'll keep it next to my heart. A sweet symbol of your love.

And take this, a sweet symbol of mine.

I'll wear it, always, next to my heart.

Gwendolyn, are you there? I would have words with you.

My father. You must hide. Hide?

Giacomo hides for no man.

But you must. He'd kill any man found in my chambers.

Be he king or peasant, my ready blade shall find its mark.

I'll... I'll... I live for a sigh.

I die for a kiss. I lust for a laugh.

Quickly... What?

...or our lives aren't worth that.

Don't be frightened.

Are you alone, my dear? I thought I heard voices.

Yes, I'm quite alone, Father. Listen, my child.

The King. I've just met Griswold's emissary, and the marriage is approved. You know very well, Father, that when I marry, I marry only for love.

I knew you'd say that. Now, Gwendolyn, do be reasonable.

Don't you realize that without this alliance, our prestige, our power, our position could go like that?

Well, then, let it go like that. I wish you to marry Griswold.

And suppose I do not wish to marry Griswold?

I don't give a fig for your wishes. And I don't give a fig for yours.

No one snaps at the king. Don't snap at me.

I'll snap if I choose. Don't you dare snap at me.

I will snap. You won't.

Understand this, my child.

This castle has walls high and strong, with massive gates under lock and key.

Whilst you remain within those walls, and I am the king, you will obey my commands.

Very well, Father.

Perhaps I have been selfish and thoughtless.

Oh, my child.

I knew I could depend upon you, because you are a princess.

A true princess, loyal to the crown.

Sympathetic, sensitive, faithful...

The key to the secret passage.

Let me have it. So, you'd run away?

Well, you trick me not. This key will never leave my person.

You will marry Griswold upon the morrow.

And I promise you, daughter or not, princess or not, one move, one false move, and your neck will snap like a twig.

Where is he? Giacomo hides not behind drapes.

No, no, no. You must go. I'll cut him to ribbons.

No, we'll escape tonight after the banquet.

Very well, my sweet. Until tonight.

Very good. Do be cautious, sweet Giacomo.

Caution is for popinjays and cockatoos.

Begging your pardon. Until tonight, my sweet.

But you heard what my father said.

If caught, our necks will snap like twigs.

Like what? Twigs.

Twigs? Speak not of twigs when you look at an oak.

Until tonight, my little sapling.

If Giacomo says he'll be here within the hour, he will be here within the hour.

At your service, milord.

Your arrival, good Giacomo, shows imagination and brilliance.

Did you expect less?

Are you now prepared to fulfill the bargain arranged by my agent Sir Bertram of Allenberg?

Quite. Very well, then.

There are two plans. Two plans.

Plan one, the untimely demise of milords Brockhurst, Finsdale and Pertwee. These three must die tonight.

Three for tonight. Proceed.

The method I leave to you, but die they must.

They shall drop like flies. Precisely.

Like flies.

Do you have some sort of twitch? Twitch?

I twitch only for action.

I live for a sigh. I die for a kiss.

I like that very much. Thank you. I lust for a laugh.

Yes, but... I never leap when I can walk.

I never flee when I can fight. Pardon?

But listen carefully.

If plan one fails, you must execute plan two.

Plan two? Take the princess from the castle before midnight, by whatever means you may devise.

For murder or abduction, I'm your man.

You've paid the price, name your plan.

First, plan one.

Are you sure you can dispose of milords Brockhurst, Finsdale and Pertwee?

Are they married? Yes.

Order flowers for the widows. Get it?

Got it. Good.


Master, I am back. Well?

I have climbed the thorny vine, and the regal maiden is mine.


Now, when I release you from the spell, you will fall into a deep sleep and remember nothing.

Nothing. Look into my eye.

Deeper, deeper.


I understand the marriage of the Princess Gwendolyn to Sir Griswold will be announced tonight.

My congratulations.

There's something afoot.

He's far too confident.

If this alliance fails, we are lost. It must not fail.

Let us solemnly pledge that we will permit nothing to interfere with the marriage of Griswold to the Princess Gwendolyn.

I so pledge. And I.

Though it cost our very lives.

Our very lives. Our very lives.

Please stop your picking and fussing. I must breathe some air.

But, madam... All afternoon without a moment's peace.

I just learned of your whereabouts. What happened?

Never mind that. You must take the child to the jester.

To the jester? Immediately. He has the key.

He's under the spell of... Silence. Take him the child at once.

It's my command. But... But...

The jester. Where is the jester? Summon him immediately.

Very good, Sire.

Jester. Coming.

Come quickly, man. The King is waiting.

Yes, sir. Have you seen Ravenhurst about?

He's somewhere about, yes.

I was supposed to see Ravenhurst on some rather urgent business, but I fell asleep. I don't quite remember what happened.

Giacomo, a striking costume, indeed.

From the Italian court, I presume. Yes, Sire, Italian court.

What better place to court Italians. Court Italians.

This will be a festive evening.

Noble knights to joust at my tournament...

Come along... And by my side, a lovely little wench who I'm sure will fulfill every promise of your discerning eye.

Look at her.


Charming, Giacomo, charming.

A tribute to you, my dear Giacomo.

Come here, my child.


Your Majesty.

Was there ever more beauty?

More radiance?

Rise, child.

The sweetness of your smile outshines the elegance of your gown.

Thank you, Sire.

Would you attend me?

You're most gracious, Sire.

Quickly, use the key. Key?

Remember, plan one, Brockhurst, Finsdale and Pertwee.

Brockhurst, Finsdale and Pertwee.

Midnight. Horses at the north gate.

Horses at the north gate.

Summon the jester.

Where are you going? Didn't you hear the King?

Cover your head.

Get in there.

Come, come, Giacomo. Let us be gay. I would have a song.

Song? Has the cat your tongue?

No, I...

What do you carry there? Why the basket?

Basket? What basket, sir?

What basket, indeed.

Come, boy, come. Show me what you have in the basket.

Well, I...

Come on. Show me what you have in the basket.

Basket? Yes, and what about that song?

The song, Sire? The song?

If Your Majesty doth ask it I will tell about the basket With a willow, willow, wailey and a nonny, nonny

What's that? With a what?

With a willow, willow, wailey and a nonny, nonny

What are you "loo-loo-looing" about? I'm not "loo-loo-looing," Sire.

I'm "willow, willow, waileying." Oh, all right. All right.

Willow away, willow away.

We will willow it away With a willow, willow, willow We will willow it away With a willow, willow, wailey we will sing about it gaily With a willow, willow, wailey and a hey, nonny...


Come back here.

What have you there? What have you in the basket?

The basket? Oh, Sire, it's nothing, Sire.

Merely a jester's bag of tricks, Sire.

It's a secret, Sire. Yes.

A deep, dark secret, which has never before been revealed to anybody in the world, Sire, but I...

I... I am prepared to make a statement.

When I was a lad, I was gloomy and sad As I was from the day I was born When other babes giggled and gurgled and wiggled I, proudly, was loudly forlorn My friends and my family looked at me clammily Thought there was something amiss When others found various antics hilarious All I could manage was this Or this Or this Or this My father, he shouted, "He needs to be clouted

"His teeth on a wreath I'll hand him"

My mother, she cried as she rushed to my side

"You're a brute, and you don't understand him"

So they sent for a witch with a terrible twitch To ask how my future impressed her She took one look at me and cried


What else could he be but a jester?

A jester, a jester A funny idea, a jester No butcher, no baker, no candlestick maker And me with the look of a fine undertaker impressed her As a jester?

But where could I learn any comical turn?

It was not in a book on the shelf No teacher to take me to mold me and make me A merry man, fool, or an elf But I'm proud to recall that in no time at all With no other recourses but my own resources With firm application and determination I made a fool of myself

I found a bow and arrow and I learned to shoot.

Found a little horn and learned to toot.

Now I can shoot and toot. Ain't I cute?

I started to travel to try to unravel My mind and to find a new chance When I got to Spain It was suddenly plain That the field that appealed was the dance The Spanish were clannish, but I wouldn't vanish I learned every step they had planned The first step of all wasn't hard to recall

'Cause the first step of all is to stand And stand And stand And stand

...His Majesty, please.


I was badly abused But the King was amused And before his siesta he made me his jester And I found out soon that to be a buffoon Was a serious thing, as a rule For a jester's chief employment Is to kill himself for your enjoyment And a jester unemployed Is nobody's fool

Tend to your duties. Serve your drinks.

Hold it with that basket. Let's have a look.

A toast.

A toast. A toast to His Most Royal Highness.

To Roderick I for all that he has done, for this great England of ours.

May providence provide a true and just reward.

To the King.

To the King. To His Majesty.







Brockhurst, Finsdale, Pertwee.

They're all dead, Sire.

As you said, flowers for the widows.

Dead? Murdered?

And by whose hand? And who may be next?

Sir Griswold of McElwaine is approaching the castle.

And just in time.

He comes not a moment too soon.

Bid Sir Griswold enter.

Plan two.

Plan two?

Plan two.

Get those bodies out of here.

Quick, take him to safety.

Get those goblets away.

No, not you, jester. Not you.

Come here. Come here, boy. Come here. Sit here by me.

Sir Griswold of McElwaine.

Approach, Sir Griswold.

Lighten the mood, jester. A note of welcome for Sir Griswold.

My liege lord.

Sir Griswold of McElwaine, I bid thee welcome.

Oh, welcome, Sir Griswold, your beard is full of hair But do I say welcome Or do I say...

Sire, my emissary did report, and I proudly accept your terms.

The terms, the terms He doth accept the terms He looks not smart, but...

Excellent, excellent. Members of the court, know you that the crown would make a most felicitous announcement concerning the defense and security of our great kingdom.

I would have you know that, today, was an alliance consummated between the crown and our honored and valiant baron, Sir Griswold of McElwaine.

And the terms, the terms...

We've already had the terms. Oh, yes.

To cement this alliance, I have decreed a royal marriage, between Sir Griswold of McElwaine and Gwendolyn the Fair.

Rejoice, rejoice Although his brain is brief For when the larder's empty, she'll have her ton of beef Would you like to try the other side, Sire?

Thank you, Sire.

What say our gallant Griswold?

Sire, princess fair.

From this moment on, this hand, this steel, this heart, will exist for naught but the love of the lady...

Save your breath, Griswold.

There will be no alliance and no marriage.

What's that?

I cannot marry Griswold, Father.

I love another. Another?

Another, another...

What is this nonsense? What do you mean, you love another?

Simply that, Father.

A miracle has happened to fulfill my every dream.

I have found my love, Father.

My true love.

Who is this man? One to whom I have given both my heart and my hand.

He who, even now, wears my silken handkerchief next to his heart.

What's that? What's that?

Her heart, her hand She holds for joy or grief But he who holds her hand, holds her heart-kerchief The handkerchief, her handker-heart Heart-kerchief... hand...

Who is this man? His name.

The man I love is a simple man but noble of heart.

My beloved Giacomo. What?

She's named his name and now his blood must flow Light up the oil, this man must boil This man named Giacomo?

Oh, no.

Seize this wretch and search him.

I'm... This is all a mistake, Sire.

I don't have a heart-kerchief.

A handker-heart. I don't have... This...

A handkerchief. "G."

Gwendolyn. No, Sire. "G," Giacomo.

Shield me not, sweet Giacomo, our love makes me strong.

Love for a common jester?

Take the swine out and hang him. Harm one hair of that majestic head, and I throw myself from the highest turret.

Enough of this.

How much insult must I endure? Come, men.

Hold, Sir Griswold. Your honor will be avenged.

How? Were that wretch of noble rank, I would challenge him to combat mortal.

But I would not deign to soil my blade with his miserable common blood.

He's right, you know, Sire? Rules of chivalry, you know?

Rules of chivalry be hanged, and so will you.

She'll jump.

Come, men. Hold, Sir Griswold.

You will stay until the morrow. It is my command.

Till the morrow, Sire. You, Gwendolyn, to your chambers.

Be brave, sweet Giacomo.

Throw this blackguard in chains.

Is he not fabulous?

To go from plan one to plan two without a moment's pause.

The man is pure genius.

Sir Griswold will never tolerate this insult.

Milords, to your chambers. Ponder this problem.

A solution must be found ere we meet in council tomorrow.


Welcome home, Sir Bertram.

You saw the jester's performance?

When I sent you to negotiate with Giacomo, I never expected results like this.

Was he not brilliant?


With one slight discrepancy.

This man is not Giacomo.

What? I know not this pretender, but I assure you, he is not the Giacomo I met and negotiated with in Europe.

I tell you I've seen this man before, and somehow, that maid.

What did I tell you?

What plan now?

To my chambers immediately.

But if he's not Giacomo, who can he be, and what does he want?

Why would he do our every bidding?

Why work to destroy the alliance?

Why would he murder with the cunning of a fox?

A fox.

But of course, a fox. A black fox.

But you don't think that... Why not?

Who else would oppose Griswold and want the alliance destroyed, but that rabble in the forest?

The forest...

That's where I saw him, dressed as an old man riding into the forest with the very wench who sat beside the King tonight.

My lords, what a prize.

The Black Fox himself.

Expose him. You'll get all the credit.

Not so fast.

Not until the Fox pays us one last service.

He'll rid us, forever, of the barbaric Griswold.

Kill Griswold? But how?

Whose is the deadliest blade in England?

Who is the only man alive who can best Griswold in mortal combat? Only the Black Fox.

But the Fox is a commoner and cannot fight in tournament.

We shall see.

No, Ravenhurst, I do not understand.

What do you mean, Griswold, himself, suggested a solution?

You, yourself, heard him, Sire. He said were the jester of noble rank, he'd challenge him to combat.

But the jester cannot fight in tournament. He's a commoner.

Then, Sire, knight the jester. Knight the jester?

Griswold can then challenge him for the hand of the Princess Gwendolyn, and by the rules of chivalry, she must wed the victor.

Knight the jester.

Sir Griswold will challenge him. He dare not refuse.

They meet at the tournament tomorrow, Sir Griswold's lance runs the jester through, and the marriage and the alliance proceed.


Magnificent. Thank you, Sire.

But Your Majesty, knighthood is an arduous ritual.

It would take three years to knight the jester.

Three years? Nonsense.

Ravenhurst, take that nincompoop and knight that nincompoop by noon tomorrow.


"By order of His Sovereign Majesty, the jester Giacomo shall enter upon

"a series of tests of manhood, skill and courage, "requisite to his becoming a knight of the realm."

Me, a knight? But why?

To make you eligible for the hand of the Princess Gwendolyn.

Marry the princess? When?

Upon your passing each and every test.

Oh, well, that's different. It takes four or five years to become a knight, doesn't it? We shall see. Let the tests begin.

Wait. What's the hurry? I'm...

"He must scale a stone wall in full armor."

The candidate passes.

I didn't...

"With longbow, he must slay a hawk in full flight."

He passes. But I didn't even shoot...

The candidate passes. But I didn't shoot the arrow...

I didn't pass...

"The candidate must conquer a wild boar with his bare hands."

Release the boar.

He passes.

No one enters, by the King's command.

But this is the King's command.

Maid Jean, welcome.

What brings you here at this hour?

Concern for you, Sire.

You were so distressed last evening that I thought, perhaps, I could comfort you, ease the burdens of state.

Don't tug it, idiot.

That's very considerate of you, my dear.

I shall take advantage of your delightful offer.

Perhaps, this evening?

Why tarry, Sire?

I am most accomplished on matters of appearance and would gladly free these young men for more important chores elsewhere.

Well, that's very kind of you, but...

Oh, yes.

Pages, I'm sure you have some very important business to attend.

Now then, Sire, we have to get you ready for the ceremony.

But, my dear... Now, there.

You can't imagine my feelings when I touch the head of a man who calls himself the King of England, who is the King of England, and very handsome too, Sire.

On the day of your first tournament.

There you are.

Where? Now I must go, Sire.

Now, wait, dear. Wait. You have to get to your ceremony.

But there's no hurry.

We can't start until the jester's been made ready.

The jester? Yes.

Haven't you heard? We're knighting the poor fool.

Knighting the jester? Yes. You'd never guess why.

So that he can marry the princess. Well, that's what the fool thinks, but the moment I dub him knight, Griswold will challenge him for the hand of my daughter. In mortal combat?

Yes, isn't it delicious?

He dare not refuse, they meet at lists, and Sir Griswold's lance runs the jester through as a fitting climax to a glorious day.

Oh, my dear, you are a delicate, lovely creature.

Tell me, does it bother you that I may be a few years your senior?

Oh, no, Sire. Not really.

In fact, you remind me so much of my dear and recently departed father.

Your father, yes. Was he a handsome figure of a man, dashing, attractive? Oh, yes, Sire.

Till the scourge brought about his untimely end.

Come here, my dear. What a horrible death.

A little closer. I can see him now, writhing on the floor in agony, like so many of his brothers and cousins and uncles and aunts.

Would you grant the King a little kiss?

Oh, certainly, Sire. And don't worry.

They say it isn't catching.

Oh, you are a little...

Catching? Just because it runs in the family doesn't mean that everyone has it.

Kiss me, Sire. Has it? Has what?

Don't I please you, Sire? Oh, yes, yes, but these brothers and cousins and uncles...

And aunts. Let us not talk about their swollen, twisted, pain-ridden bodies.

Hold me. Take me in your arms.

Tell me I am yours.

But this... This writhing on the floor...

In agony. Yes. What's...

How does one catch this thing?

Oh, the touch of a hand, the brush of a lip, but let us not spoil this moment, Sire.

Hold me. Hold me close.

What's this monstrous thing called?

Breckenridge's scourge.

Who's Breckenridge?

My father.

You must excuse me, dear, I'm feeling... Feeling rather poorly.

Sire, the ceremony is ready.

Oh, very well. I must go now, my dear, and so must you.


And dear, don't touch anything.

Where's the jester? Get the key?

Yes, here it is. It must be sent by pigeon to the Black Fox at once. Let the jester take it and escape.

They plan to kill him. It would never get there in time.

The bird's our only chance.

He who approaches, deem you him worthy of noble knighthood?

Yea, verily, yea.

How many more before the jester? Just this one, Sire.

...fealty, loyalty, moisten his lips with the vigorous wine.

Yea, verily, yea.

Yea, verily, yea.

Now as the symbol of honor and dignity, let us beplume him and helmet his brow.

Yea, verily, yea.

Yea, verily, yea. Sire, this storm bodes ill.

It might drench the field and delay the tournament.

Fetch the jester and run him through the ritual as quickly as possible.

But, Sire, custom... Custom be hanged.

Fetch him and run him through.

Let him prepare...

A message for the jester.

From the King.

He requests you do this at once.

At once.

He who approacheth, deem you him ready for noble knighthood?


Yea, yea.

Hath he passed all tests of valor?

Yea, verily, yea.

Now doth he flower with true nobility?

Yea, verily, yea.

Reveal him now to his sovereign liege.

Yea, verily, yea.

Yea? Faster.

Faster. Faster.

Provide now as a symbol of fealty, loyalty, moisten his lips with the vigorous wine.

Yea, verily, yea.

Now hath he pledged all fealty, loyalty, courage and vigor and valorous strength. Yea.

Now as a symbol of honor and dignity, let us beplume him and helmet his brow.

Yea, verily, yea.

Yea, verily, yea.

He who is girded and plumed and helmeted, let him prepare be now for his vow.

Yea. Let him encircled be now by his peers with whom he will share all his glorious years.

Considering the virtuous fidelity you have shown and the honorable exploits that you have done.

Having given proof of that honor... But, Sire, I didn't...

And always, as is the part of a good and faithful subject, I hereby dub thee knight of the realm, defender of the soil, protector of the crown, and a fit consort for the Princess Gwendolyn the Fair.

Arise, Sir Giacomo.

Now, if any knight present objects to this marriage, let him now step forward or forever hold his tongue.


I, Griswold of McElwaine, do so object.

Very good. You hear that? I, too, love the princess and would fight for her hand.

I hereby challenge in mortal combat, Giacomo.

Giacomo. Knight to the realm, defender of the soil, and protector of the crown.

You won't have to fight. I'll send a message.

The Black Fox will come and fight in your place.

Black Fox? Get up. Accept the challenge.

Black Fox, huh? Yes.

He'll come and fight in my place? Yes.

You're sure he'll come? Yes.

Well, if it's mortal combat you want, then mortal combat you shall have.

And at the hands of Giacomo, knight of the realm, defender of the soil, protector of the crown...

Protector of the crown.

Good stock.

Good battle. Goodbye.

Your escorts, to see you safely to the lists.

To the lists?

Very clever, Father.

Well, chivalry is chivalry, you know.

Yes, I know.

May the best man win.

Remember this.

If he dies, you die.

To the Fox, at once.

We have bigger game.

Get him.


Griswold has challenged the jester to mortal combat.

The jester? Yes. The Maid Jean requests that you come and fight in his stead.

The timbers have fallen, and great rocks block the passage.

Can it be cleared? Impossible.

With no passage, we can make no diversion.

And with no diversion, no attack.

Is there any opening? No more than that, sir.

Barely enough for a child.

A child. A child, or...

Or perhaps... My horse.

Where go you, to save Hawkins? No, to save England.

Then Hawkins must die. Yes.

But if my plan succeeds, I assure you, Hubert Hawkins will not have died in vain.

By order of His Sovereign Lord Highness, King Roderick I, this royal tournament is officially begun.

Where's the Black Fox? What's delayed him?

There's rain in the hills. Perhaps the river is swollen.

He'll be taking the coast road. You'd better have a look.

Good stock.

The first contest will be a battle to the death for the hand of the Fair Gwendolyn.

It will be fought by Sir Griswold of McElwaine and Sir Giacomo of Italy.

These two bold knights will choose weapons, and enter upon the field of honor, and fight in mortal combat until one of them lies dead.

You must run for your life.

No. They'd... They'd only catch me and kill me.

Can you ever forgive me?

There's nothing to forgive.

Dear Hawkins.

Sir Giacomo, you should be in armor.

And you, Maid Jean, in the stands.

If I die, just pray that I die bravely.

You will not die. You'll not have to fight him.

Griswold dies as he drinks the toast.

What? Listen.

I have put a pellet of poison in one of the vessels.

Which one? The one with the figure of a pestle.

The vessel with the pestle? Yes.

But you don't want the vessel with the pestle.

You want the chalice from the palace.

I don't want the vessel with the pestle, I want the chalice from the what?

The chalice from the palace.

It's a little crystal chalice with the figure of a palace.

Does the chalice from the palace have the pellet with the poison?

No, the pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.

The pestle with the vessel. The vessel with the pestle.

What about the palace from the chalice?

Not the palace from the chalice, the chalice from the palace.

Where's the pellet with the poison? In the vessel with the pestle.

Don't you see?

The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.

The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.

It's so easy, I can say it. Well, then you fight him.

Listen carefully.

The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.

The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.

The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.

The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.

Good man. Just remember that.

Sir Giacomo.

Sir Giacomo, into your armor.

And you, to your place in the pavilion.

The pellet with the poison...

The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.

The chalice from the palace has the true that is brew.

Brew that is true.

The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.

The chalice from the palace has the true that is brew.

Brew that is true.

The "chestle" with the palace...

Palace with the... Look out.

Hurry now. Get into your armor.

The pestle with...

The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.

The palace from the chalice has the brew that is blue.


The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.

The chal...

The pellet with the "plip"...

The pellet with the "poisel's" in the vessel with the "placel"...

The "placel" with the "vlessel"... The "vless"...

The vessel with the "poisel"... Come along, Sir Giacomo.

His Majesty's waiting.

The pestle with the "poilet"... And take your helmet.

Thank you. And the pellet...

The pellet with the "poisely" is from the chalice with the "pasley."

Oh, hello, my dear. It's nice to see you.

I've got it.

I've got it.

The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle.

The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true, right?

Right, but there's been a change.

They broke the chalice from the palace.

They broke the chalice from the palace?

And replaced it with a flagon. A flagon.

With the figure of a dragon. Flagon with a dragon.

Right. But did you put the pellet with the poison in the vessel with the pestle?

No, the pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon.

The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.

The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon.

The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.

Just remember that. Yes, thank you very much.

The pellet with the "chasley"...

The pellet with the poison is in the pasley with the "chassel"...

Just remember that.

Beware of the drinks. One of them is poisoned.

Poisoned? Are you sure? I heard the witch.

The "poisel" with the "plassley" is the "chacel"...

The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon, the pestle with the pizzle... Pizzle with the...

The... The... The... No, no, no.

The pellet with the "poisley" is the chalice with the...

The vessel with the pestle.

The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.

Right. Don't forget it.

Pellet with the dragon. No, no, no.

The knights will approach each other.

The pellet with the "poisel" is in the "flagel" with the chalice.

The poison's in the dragon with the pestle.

The "chassel" is in the "poisley" with the palace...

With the "flam"... The "flaglace."

The pellet with the dragon's in the pestle with the poi...

The "pessley" with the "poisel"... The pizzle with the dragon.

The "poisley" with the "placel." The "flaggley" with the pizzle.

The chalice with the... The "flagon" with the chalice.

The poison with the "flagon" is the chalice with the "poisley."

The knights will face the King.

The "poisley" with the "passley."

The palace with the poison is the chalice...

The poison with the chalice is the...

They will approach the royal pavilion.

The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon.

The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.

Oh, you've got the wrong one.

Stop this mockery. There will be no toast.

Put them to horse. Let them choose weapons and fight.

This is the Black Fox?

And still playing the fool.

Sir Griswold, declare a choice of weapon.

Mace and chain.

Sir Giacomo, declare a choice of weapon.

I'll take one of those, one of those, a couple of those, and...

I better take them all.

Mace and chain for him, too.


Take that horse and put it back under that idiot.

Unfasten that girth.


All right, Sir Griswold, prepare to die.

Go ahead, Sir Knight. Slay me.

You won in fair combat. Strike.

Let rivers of blood wash away the stain of my disgrace.

Go on. Spew the field with my dishonored guts.


No, I cannot slay a man whose only crime is that he loved not too wisely but too well.

I grant your life. Take your men and go.

Fergus is dead.

Did he talk?

The child in the castle?

Now listen carefully. There's little time.

Oh, no.

Sir Giacomo, I declare you winner of this combat.

And I hereby decree that you shall marry the Princess Gwendolyn.

Hold, Sire. Seize this traitor.

Traitor? What's this?

How say you, Ravenhurst? I say traitor, Sire.

And I shall prove to you that this man who stands before us is neither Giacomo nor jester, but your deadly enemy, the leader of the rabble who have sworn to have your head.

The Black Fox himself. Black Fox?

And this demure maid, his foul accomplice.

Ravenhurst, are you mad? Have you proof of this treachery?

I have, Sire. Then repair to the court.

Summon the judges. If what you say be true, the headsman's ax will not only rid us of this jabbering popinjay, but will sever this lovely little head from this delicate little neck.

To the castle.

Hurry along, little friends.

Hurry along.

Keep your heads down.

Hurry along there, men. All of you.

We'll take the coast road, but stay close to the trees.

And I say, again, Sire. Never, Sire.

Never was there such infamous treason.

Not only is this man the Black Fox, but he and his despicable accomplice had the shameful effrontery to shelter in this castle the miserable child they would put on your very throne.

What's this? What say you, Ravenhurst?

I repeat, Sire. The child they would put on your throne.

The child.

With the purple pimpernel? The very same, Sire.

Bring forth the basket.

Let me see this fraud, this charlatan.

Hurry up, hurry up. Bring it here.

In a moment, Sire.

But first, let me hear you pronounce sentence on this unholy pair.

I know how anxious you are to dispose of this villainous scum, so that you may proceed with the feast and the revelry.

Sire, I accuse these impostors of the foulest and most loathsome crime against the crown.

And I demand that they be given the full measure of your righteous wrath.

And shall be disposed of before another hour is passed.

I tell you, Sire, the headsman's ax is too kind a fate for these foul traitors.

They should be put on a spit and roasted like yon boar.

Yes, yes. Death to both of them.

Father, I say Ravenhurst lies.

This is Giacomo, King of jesters. Never the Black Fox.

Nay, fair lady.

For once, Ravenhurst is right. I am.

I am the Black Fox.

Guard that exit. Seize her.

Seize that traitor.

Ravenhurst. Ravenhurst, do something.

Do something.

Quickly, fetch Griswold. Bring him back.

Take him to safety.

Our men. I must raise the gate.

Stop him.

Quick. Lower the gate. The gate is lowered.

No, it isn't. Look.

If he dies, you die.

Tails of lizards, ears of swine, chicken gizzards soaked in brine.

On your feet, be not afraid. You're the greatest with the blade.

Hey, hey.

Play games with the Black Fox, will you?

At this very moment, my dear Ravenhurst, your life isn't worth that.

Oh, hey, hey. Oh, hey.

Now, my gallant Fox, we'll see whose life isn't worth that.

We shall indeed.

With your permission.

Why, you swine.

To your health.

Oh, you...

And now, Ravenhurst, you ratcatcher.

Oh, you... Oh, you...

Well, my dear Ravenhurst, our little game draws to an end.

I have toyed with you long enough.

You shall die, and die like that.

Hurry, help the Fox.

Jean. Oh, Hawkins, are you all right?

Never mind me. Where's the child?

Safe. Good.

You've been wonderful.

How convenient.

The Fox and his mate. So my friends, the tables have turned yet again, but this time, for the last time.

And not only for one, but for two.

What a prize.

Hey. Hey.


They'll cut us to ribbons. We've lost.

Hold, men. Hold.

Let no more English blood be spilled.

Victory is ours.

Not so fast.

Unhand the King.

Surrender. Never.

Then die, a traitor to the crown.

Hold, Sir Griswold.

Hold your men.

Sir Griswold, I speak to you as knight to knight.

When you were dubbed, you pledged your hand, your heart, and your sword to defend the true King of England.

Is that right? Well?

This man is not the true King.

He has usurped the throne from the legitimate heir.

Heir? What heir?

He who bears the mark of the royal bloodline.

The purple pimpernel. Purple pimpernel?

Balderdash. No such person exists.

Your Majesty.

Your Majesty.

Your Majesty.

Your Majesty.

Life could not better be The real King is on the throne Jean is my very own And life couldn't possibly Not even probably Life couldn't possibly Better Be