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The Mouse That Roared (1959)

Approved | | Comedy | November 1959 (USA)
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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 Smallest Country in the World Invades the U.S.A.! 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 »
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

Peter Sellers modelled the Grand Duchess on his grandmother. He also used shtick he had developed for the radio series Ray's a Laugh, in which one of the characters he played, was an eccentric old woman named Crystal Jollibottom. See more »

Goofs

Whilst Tully crossed the Atlantic to New York, We see a newspaper with the day/date Thursday February 11 1958. In 1958, the 11th fell on a Tuesday. See more »

Quotes

Pedro: How did the war with the United States go, eh?
Tulley Bascombe: We won!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits include an animation of a big mouse coming out of a castle on its drawbridge. However, it is drawn as if it walks off the side of the drawbridge. See more »

Connections

References The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

U.S. Marine Corps Hymn
(1859) (uncredited)
(also called "The Marines' Hymn")
Music by Jacques Offenbach from "Genevieve de Brabant"
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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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