7.0/10
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72 user 25 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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A (highly shortened) version of the classic British comedy of the same name about a poor and undeveloped country which declares a war on the US, with the hope of losing - but things go wrong almost from the start.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Sid Caesar, Richard Deacon, Joyce Jameson
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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:

The New Screen Scream! 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

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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The palace band includes a double flageolet, a 19th century wind instrument. See more »

Goofs

In the map of Europe showed at the beginning of the film, Sardinia and Corsica are missing. See more »

Quotes

Prime Minster Count Rupert Mountjoy: I move we declare war on the United States of America.
Benter: As leader of the party of the common man, I say that war is reprehensible, barbaric, unforgivable, and unthinkable. And I second the motion.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80
(1880) (uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
In the score when the Prime Minister announces the degrees he garnered
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Three Sellers equals one very funny film
2 March 2002 | by grstmcSee 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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