7.0/10
6,916
70 user 24 critic

The Mouse That Roared (1959)

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

Director:

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Helen Kokintz
...
Will Buckley
...
...
MacDonald Parke ...
General Snippet (as Macdonald Parke)
Austin Willis ...
United States Secretary of Defense
...
Roger
Monte Landis ...
Cobbley (as Monty Landis)
Alan Gifford ...
Air Raid Warden
...
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

Taglines:

The Hilarious Story of How the Duchy of Grand Fenwick Waged War on the U.S. - and Won 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Arnold did not ask the studio's permission to make fun of the Columbia logo, convinced they would say no. At the film's opening, "Miss Columbia" discovers a mouse under her skirts and runs off screaming. At the end she returns to her pedestal. Studio executives first heard of the joke when they attended the New York previews, where it got a huge laugh. After that, there was no thought of cutting it, though it is absent from some television prints. See more »

Goofs

General Snippet (MacDonald Parke) and the other US Army officers wear the WWII-era olive drab uniform that was replaced by the green Class A uniform in 1956 (which has only just recently been phased out) See more »

Quotes

Pedro: How did the war with the United States go, eh?
Tulley Bascombe: We won!
See more »

Crazy Credits

An animated mouse roars like a lion as the title appears onscreen. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982) 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

Three Sellers equals one very funny film
2 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

THE MOUSE THAT ROARED was Peter Sellers' first starring film, and he would succeed beyond all expectations. This became a huge "sleeper hit" when it was shown in the States, and deservedly so. Its brand of satire still holds up today.

The story is about a miniscule European state, the duchy of Grand Fenwick, which sees a way out of bankruptcy by declaring war on the US (to be followed by a quick surrender, and rehabilitative aid from the generous victor). An invasion force, with 12th century chainmail and crossbows, is thereupon dispatched to New York. But by mistake, the commander captures the nuclear "Q-Bomb", along with its inventor and his beautiful daughter, and brings them back to Grand Fenwick.

Sellers plays three roles: Gloriana XII, the old reigning duchess (believe it or not); Baron Montjoy, the crafty prime minister; and Tully Bascomb, the inept army commander. For my money, the third role is the best. Absent any sort of disguise, except for a pair of glasses, Tully is the central character. The first scene of Grand Fenwick's part-time commander, and full-time gamekeeper, has him caught in a trap and unable to scare away the fox that just sits there looking at him. As the bumbling hero, he is funny in his own right, and we're all rooting for him to save the day at the end.

The one and only Sellers does a great job in all departments, the state of Grand Fenwick is expertly brought to the screen with a unique sense of humor, and this MOUSE still roars plenty loud even after forty some years. Four out of five stars.




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