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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.

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 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:

Direct Hit to Your Funny Bone! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Maus, die brüllte See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The invasion of Manhattan was shot in a section of London that had been completely rebuilt after being bombed heavily during World War II. The glass and concrete high rises provided a perfect stand-in for New York. Jack Arnold also filmed background shots on the streets of New York early one Sunday morning, when traffic was at a minimum. See more »

Goofs

The stormy crossing of the Paladin transporting Grand Fenwick's invasion force to the US was achieved by simply tilting the camera, as exposed by the way the sky moves at exactly the same angle as the deck. See more »

Quotes

Tulley Bascombe: Remember, men. There is nothing wrong with surrendering to overwhelming powers, as long as it is done in a military manner.
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, are left behind hanging from the ceiling. The scene runs in reverse in the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Veep: Testimony (2015) 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

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User Reviews

 
I guess that the threat of nuclear annihilation always made for some great comedy with Peter Sellers in multiple roles!
27 September 2005 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Any film buff remembers Peter Sellers playing three roles in the Cold War comedy "Dr. Strangelove". Well, "The Mouse That Roared" was a sort of prequel to that.

A tiny, backwards nation on France's Mediterranean coast has no way of moving forward economically. So, the queen and prime minister (both played by Sellers) make a decision: the country will declare war on the United States, lose, and collect foreign aid. There's just one problem: when they arrive in New York, there's no one around - the threat of nuclear annihilation has driven everyone into hiding. The army decides that this calls for drastic measures - with hilarious results.

Some people might say: "If you've seen one zany comedy, you've seen 'em all." Be that as it may, you've still gotta see "TMTR". It's just so funny. And one scene that's likely to open any teenage boy's eyes is when Peter Sellers walks into Jean Seberg's room and she's...well, I won't spoil it for you, but I will assert that it seems like it would have been risqué for 1959. Classic.


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