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The Mouse That Roared (1959)

 -  Comedy | Romance | War  -  November 1959 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 6,062 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 27 critic

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), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Mouse That Roared (1959)

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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
Wally Brown ...
Air Raid Warden (uncredited)
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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

Taglines:

The Hilarious Story of How the Duchy of Grand Fenwick Waged War on the U.S. - and Won See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | War

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 New York invasion sequence was filmed in Manhattan on a Sunday morning, accounting for the city's empty streets. See more »

Goofs

General Snippet (MacDonald Parke) is wearing a World War II-era US Army uniform that was abolished in 1956. The Army Green Class A uniform was worn by Army personnel in 1959 (still worn today). See more »

Quotes

[There is an explosion and we see a huge mushroom cloud on the horizon]
Narrator: Ladies and gentlemen, this is not the end of the film. However, something like this might easily happen, and we thought we should put you in the proper mood. And now, back to our story.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Columbia lady (played by a live actress) runs out of the logo when a mouse enters the scene. Her torch, and its electric cord, is left behind hanging from the ceiling. The scene runs in reverse in the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kate & Allie: The Mouse That Squeaked (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(1740) (uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Played in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
a very disarming little comedy
10 June 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is one of the strangest movies of the 1950s--starting BEFORE the opening credits and lasting until the final seconds! Just plain weird! It seems the insignificantly small Duchey of Grand Fenwick is in crisis--the nation is nearly bankrupt and there appears to be no way out of their financial dilemma. Untimately they hit upon a plan--they will declare war against the United States and quickly surrender. Then, based on how the US treated its defeated foes after WW2, the US is sure to pour mountains of financial aid into Grand Fenwick! The first problem is they don't have an army. What they do have are some old medieval suits of armor and some bows and arrows, so with these they set off for America! What happens next, you'll just have to see to believe!

This movie is very interesting because Peter Sellars appears in the movie in many different roles (apparently the gene pool in Grand Fenwick is rather limited)--ranging from the hero of the story, Tully Bascombe to the conniving prime minister to even the queen! It reminds me very much of the Alec Guinness film KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS, in which Guinness played multiple roles.

The down side is that occasionally the plot lags and becomes a bit too silly. However, considering the risks they take and the overall weirdness and how funny the movie is in general, I think these lags can easily be over looked.

This movie had a sequel, MOUSE ON THE MOON, about the space race. I didn't particularly care for that--it was very silly but the magic just wasn't there.


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