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The Mouse That Roared (1959)

Cast: Jean Seberg, Jean Seberg, David Kossoff, more...
Director: Jack Arnold, Jack Arnold
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Comedies, Foreign, British Comedy, Political Satire, UK
Running Time: 83 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French
    see additional details...

The economy of the teeny-tiny European duchy of Grand Fenwick is threatened when an American manufacturer comes up with an imitation of Fenwick's sole export, its fabled wine. Crafty prime minister Count Mountjoy (Peter Sellers) comes up with a plan: Grand Fenwick will declare war on the United States. Grand Duchess Gloriana (Peter Sellers again) is hesitant: how can meek little Grand Fenwick win such a conflict? Mountjoy explains that the plan is to lose the war, then rely upon American foreign aid to replenish Grand Fenwick's treasury. Bumbling military officer Tully Bascombe (Peter Sellers yet again) leads his country's ragtag army into battle. They cross the Atlantic in an ancient wooden vessel, then set foot on Manhattan Island, fully prepared to down weapons and surrender. But New York City is deserted, due to an air raid drill. While wandering around, Sellers comes upon atomic scientist David Kossoff and the scientist's pretty daughter Jean Seberg. Kossoff has been working on the deadly "Q Bomb," a football-sized weapon with the destructive capacity of a hundred hydrogen bombs. Suddenly seized with patriotic fervor, Tully captures Kossoff, his daughter and the bomb and brings them all back to Grand Fenwick. Tully has "won" the war-precisely what he'd been told not to do. The upshot of this "victory" is that every world power converges upon Grand Fenwick to claim the Q Bomb for themselves. The satire is heavy-handed at times, but The Mouse That Roared contains several unforgettably hilarious moments, including one startling "false ending." One of the best gags involves the Columbia Pictures logo--a bit frequently cut from TV showings, worse luck. Based on one of the many "Grand Fenwick" novels by Leonard Wibberly, The Mouse That Roared was a success, yielding a Peter Sellers-less sequel, 1963's Mouse on the Moon. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

The premise is funnier than the movie is... by Brockton October 30, 2003 - 5:14 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
It certainly is amusing, but seldom laugh-out-loud funny. Perhaps the humor's a bit dated. Good example of Europeans poking fun at the U.S.A.'s power, however. If you are looking for Peter Sellers slapstick, better stick to the Pink Panther movies.

Political and still relevant by thewooper October 29, 2003 - 4:20 PM PST
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Ah the 60's. Where would we be if that decade never happened? This movie takes a lot of stabs at the US as a super power and it's even more relevant today. This would make a cool remake.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.31)
49 Votes
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