7.0/10
8,053
73 user 27 critic

The Mouse That Roared (1959)

Approved | | Comedy | November 1959 (USA)
Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
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:

Jack Arnold

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
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 MacDonald Parke ... General Snippet (as Macdonald Parke)
Austin Willis ... United States Secretary of Defense
Timothy Bateson ... Roger
Monte Landis Monte Landis ... Cobbley (as Monty Landis)
Alan Gifford ... Air Raid Warden
Colin Gordon ... BBC Announcer
Harold Kasket 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 New Screen Scream! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Marseilles and New York harbor sequences were filmed in Southampton, UK. The presence of the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner there was a lucky coincidence. See more »

Goofs

The size of the Grand Fenwick Army changes. Not including Tully and Will, there are 15 seen marching from the Duchy but 17 seen grouped on the boat. Later, Will states there are 22 men when they arrive at the institute. However, when Tully buys bus tickets to return to Grand Fenwick, there would only be enough for 20 soldiers after accounting for Will, Tully and the hostages. 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.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in L.A. Law: The Mouse That Soared (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
In trhe score in France
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User Reviews

 
A tiny Duchy decides to wage war on the United States , lose and accept a generous aid
16 September 2012 | by ma-cortesSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mouse That Roared See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$450,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Highroad Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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