IMDb > The Mouse That Roared (1959)
The Mouse That Roared
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The Mouse That Roared (1959) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 5 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Mouse That Roared -- In this clever satire featuring Peter Sellers in many roles, a tiny country declares war on the United States and wins.
The Mouse That Roared -- Trailer for this comedy starring Peter Sellers

Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   6,284 votes »
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Down 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Roger MacDougall (screenplay) &
Stanley Mann (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Mouse That Roared on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
November 1959 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Hilarious Story of How the Duchy of Grand Fenwick Waged War on the U.S. - and Won See more »
Plot:
An impoverished backward nation declares a war on the United States of America, hoping to lose, but things don't go according to plan. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
A British Comedy Classic, and A Relevant One- don't listen to the review above! See more (65 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Sellers ... Grand Duchess Gloriana XII / Prime Minister Count Rupert of Mountjoy / Tully Bascombe

Jean Seberg ... Helen Kokintz

William Hartnell ... Will Buckley
David Kossoff ... Doctor Alfred Kokintz

Leo McKern ... Benter
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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wally Brown ... Air Raid Warden (uncredited)
Jacques Cey ... Ticket Collector (uncredited)
Charles Clay ... British Ambassador (uncredited)
Henry De Bray ... French Ambassador (uncredited)
Guy Deghy ... Soviet Ambassador (uncredited)
Bill Edwards ... Army Captain (uncredited)
Richard Gatehouse ... Mulligan (uncredited)
Juba Kennerley ... Maybury (uncredited)
George Margo ... O'Hara (uncredited)
Lionel Murton ... American General at the Pentagon (uncredited)
Bill Nagy ... U.S. Policeman (uncredited)
Robert O'Neil ... Reporter (uncredited)
Stuart Saunders ... Cunard Captain (uncredited)
Ken Stanley ... Cunard Second Officer (uncredited)
John Tatum ... American Admiral (uncredited)
Mavis Villiers ... Telephone Operator (uncredited)
Fred Wood ... Bird Seller (uncredited)

Directed by
Jack Arnold 
 
Writing credits
Roger MacDougall (screenplay) (as Roger Macdougall) &
Stanley Mann (screenplay)

Leonard Wibberley (novel)

Produced by
Jon Penington .... associate producer
Walter Shenson .... producer
 
Original Music by
Edwin Astley 
 
Cinematography by
John Wilcox (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Raymond Poulton 
 
Art Direction by
Geoffrey Drake 
 
Costume Design by
Anthony Mendleson 
 
Makeup Department
Stuart Freeborn .... makeup
Joyce James .... hairdresser
 
Production Management
Leon Becker .... production supervisor
James H. Ware .... production manager (as James Ware)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Philip Shipway .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Red Law .... sound
Richard Marden .... sound editor
George Stephenson .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Gerald Endler .... mechanical effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Jack Cooper .... stunts (uncredited)
Nosher Powell .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Austin Dempster .... camera operator
John Winbolt .... second unit cameraman (as John Wimbolt)
 
Music Department
Edwin Astley .... conductor
 
Other crew
Maurice Binder .... titles designed by
Pamela Davies .... continuity
Carl Foreman .... presenter (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
83 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastman Color)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Finland:K-8 | Iceland:L | Netherlands:AL (orginal rating) | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #19205) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Peter Sellers modelled The Prime Minister on Alec Guinness' interpretation of Benjamin Disraeli in The Mudlark (1950).See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When the liner Ivernia encounters the ship carrying the Grand Fenwick troops returning from New York, the ship's officer calls "ship off the port bow" and points right (starboard). In the next shot, the troop ship is shown off the liner's starboard bow.See more »
Quotes:
Tulley Bascombe:There isn't a more profitable undertaking for any country than to declare war on the United States and to be defeated.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Unknown Peter Sellers (2000) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Frankie and JohnnySee more »

FAQ

Was this based on a novel?
Who were the Duchess and the Prime Minister based on?
Where exactly is Grand Fenwick?
See more »
48 out of 52 people found the following review useful.
A British Comedy Classic, and A Relevant One- don't listen to the review above!, 16 July 2004
Author: paybaragon from Cheshire, CT

An Exercise in Cold War Absurdity.

This is a true classic, with one of the wittiest scripts ever written, and hilarious performances from a perfect cast.

It's not slapstick, which is perhaps why some people not acquainted with British humor (at least before Monty Python), have been turned off. It's also a bit sophisticated for children. It's a satire which relies for its laughs on an absurd plot, absurd dialogue, and hilariously absurd caricatures.

Although it's considered a harmless entertainment, 'The Mouse That Roared' is chock full of satiric jibes at the dirty politics, international relations, and paranoid culture of The Cold War- its just that the jokes are so quick and subtle that you might miss them if you blink (one of my favorite touches concerns a radio report of 'aliens'- actually the chain-mailed soldiers of Grand Fenwick- sighted in Central Park. Upon hearing the report amongst a crowd of shocked New Yorkers, one well-dressed, perfectly normal looking gent mutters about the supposed alien invasion: 'I knew it it HAD to come to this!' This is the filmmakers' fairly accurate portrayal of how far some Americans had descended, by this time, into Atomic, Cold War and Space-Crazed paranoia).

It should be said that the diplomatic relations between America and the World, as portrayed in this film, are even MORE RELEVANT now than they were during the Cold War; except that the American statesmen seem so virtuous and well-meaning in comparison to some of our current ones. Rent it and you'll see what I mean.

This is also, all things considered, probably the best Peter Sellers vehicle produced in Britain- all the rest, of varying quality, were much shorter on laughs (also of note, however, are 'The Naked Truth' and 'Only Two Can Play'). Tully Bascombe is not an outrageous or demonstrative character like Inspector Clouseau. Instead, Sellers takes a fairly normal, if a bit pathetic, Everyman and manages to make him quite funny in nearly every scene. And as the Grand Duchess he is absolutely hilarious- it's impossible to watch this performance for a moment without laughing.

As someone who is very well acquainted with British film comedies, I can say without hesitation that this is one of the very best, even in a decade which produced 'The Lavender Hill Mob' and 'The Ladykillers' (directed by Alex MacKendrick, who was a cousin to Roger macDougall, the ingenious screenwriter of 'Mouse That Roared.' Even if the film's plot and dialogue were not so consistently funny, its undoubted charm, and its magnificent triple performance by Sellers, are more than worth the price of rental.

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