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The Mouse That Roared (1959)

Approved | | Comedy | November 1959 (USA)
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An impoverished backward nation declares a war on the United States of America, hoping to lose, but things don't go according to plan.

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(screenplay) (as Roger Macdougall), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Helen Kokintz
...
Will Buckley
David Kossoff ...
...
MacDonald Parke ...
General Snippet (as Macdonald Parke)
Austin Willis ...
United States Secretary of Defense
Timothy Bateson ...
Roger
Monte Landis ...
Cobbley (as Monty Landis)
Alan Gifford ...
Air Raid Warden
Colin Gordon ...
BBC Announcer
Harold Kasket ...
Pedro
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Storyline

The Duchy of Grand Fenwick, the smallest country in the world, is nestled in the French Alps. Being as isolated as it is, its life is a throwback to olden days. It is a happy, peace-loving country. Its economy solely rests on export of its only wine, Pinot Grand Fenwick, to the US. When a California vintner starts producing and selling a knock-off of the Pinot Grand Fenwick at a lower price, the Grand Fenwick economy goes into a crisis situation, the country on the brink of bankruptcy. Three protests to the US go largely unanswered. Grand Fenwick's Prime Minister, Rupert of Mountjoy, believes the solution is to declare war on the US, and promptly lose the war in less than a day with no casualties on either side, after which the US, which it has historically done, will provide vast financial aide to rebuild the country. Grand Fenwick's monarch, the Grand Duchess Gloriana XII, ultimately supports this concept. The plan is to send an official declaration of war to the US, have a small ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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The New Screen Scream! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

November 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El rugido del ratón  »

Box Office

Budget:

$450,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes in the ports of Marseilles and New York were both shot in Southampton. By luck, Queen Elizabeth was just landing there at the time, so Jack Arnold had extras on the Fenwick tugboat get as close to the luxury liner as possible and fire arrows at her. Later he added a scene with Stuart Sanders as the Queen Elizabeth's captain reacting to the attack. See more »

Goofs

The scene when Tully and his men return to Grand Fenwick was obviously shot in segments and pieced together. In the shots of Count Mountjoy and Bentner one can clearly see their breath (condensation) as they are speaking but not in the shots focusing on Tully or the Duchess, indicating that those scenes were shot at a time when the weather was colder. See more »

Quotes

Helen Kokintz: You can turn around right now and kiss me if you want to.
Tulley Bascombe: Really?
Helen Kokintz: Really.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The End. We Hope... See more »

Connections

Referenced in Call the Midwife: Episode #3.2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Romeo and Juliet Love Theme
(1868) (uncredited)
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A tiny Duchy decides to wage war on the United States , lose and accept a generous aid
16 September 2012 | by See all my reviews

Peter Sellers show with his particular talent playing three different and funny roles. Fun film with amusing screenplay by Roger MacDougall & Stanley Mann , from the novel by Leonard Wibberley , being well directed by Jack Arnold . The Hilarious Story of How the Duchy of Grand Fenwick , a tiny European nation devises a foolproof method of filling its depleted treasury as declaring war on the U.S. and winning , but collects reparations from generous Americans . An impoverished backward nation declares a war on the United States of America, hoping to lose, but things don't go according to plan . They send an invasion army to New York commanded by Tully Bascombe (Peter Sellers commander of their medieval force) which arrives during a nuclear drill that has abandoned the streets . In the megalopolis they discover a scientist , Professor Alfred Kokintz (David Kossoff), with a special ultimate weapon that can destroy the Earth and they capture him along with his daughter (Jean Seberg).

This is a funny and entertaining comedy with Peter Sellers as a real showman playing various characters . As Sellers acting as the scheming Prime Minister of Grand Fenwick, as the scheming Grand Duchess and as Tully Bascombe, commander of their medieval army . Sellers made this film in part as a means of emulating his intimate actor , Alec Guinness, by playing multiple roles in ¨Kind Hearts and Coronets¨ . Picture is a vehicle Peter Sellers , he's an authentic comic and real farceur . It's a pretty amusing farce with the master comic Sellers who displays efficiently his abilities. If you like Sellers's crazy interpretation ,you will most definitely enjoy this one . Colorful cinematography by John Wilcox , filmed in studios and on location as Marseilles and New York harbor sequences were filmed in Southampton, UK , the presence of the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner there was a lucky coincidence. The New York invasion sequence was filmed in Manhattan on a Sunday morning, accounting for the city's empty streets and good sets by production designer Geoffrey Drake . Atmospheric musical score by by Edwin Astley , among the musical quotations used in the film were excerpts from Felix Mendelssohn's "Hebrides Overture", "Rule Britannia", "A Life on the Ocean Waves", "Frankie and Johnnie", and a number of American marches . It is followed by a sequel ¨The mouse on the moon¨.

This well-edited motion picture is compellingly directed by Jack Arnold in his best foray into the comedy genre. He reigns supreme as one of the greatest filmmakers of 50s science , achieving an important cult popularity with classics as "The Creature from the Black Lagoon," and its follow-up titled "Revenge of the Creature" that was a nice sequel . "Tarantula" was likewise a lot of amusement and of course "The Incredible Shrinking Man" attained his greatest enduring cult popularity , it's a thought-provoking and impressive classic that's lost none of its power throughout the years . Arnold's final two genre entries were the interesting "Monster on the Campus" and the outlandish "The Space Children¨ . In addition to his film work, Arnold also directed episodes of such TV shows .


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