Snuggled up in a B&B on the Isle Of Arran after dark, my girlfriend and I ran our fingertips over the limited video selection in our room and picked out 'Mousehunt'. What a great selection - we laughed ourselves silly.
Certainly on one level 'Mousehunt' is a loving homage to Laurel and Hardy and isn't shy about it - in one scene Nathan Lane's Oliver Hardy-like character simpers at some ladies and flickers his tie at them. But even if you think you don't like Laurel and Hardy, I would be surprised if you didn't love this film.
Two brothers inherit their dead father's long established string making factory. The cynical, world-weary older brother (Nathan Lane) can't wait to be rid of it, but the younger, more naive and trusting brother (Lee Evans) is more loyal to family tradition.
It transpires that they have also been left a house - but they go to look at it and it turns out to be a crumbling mansion in desperate need of repair. Things look black until they discover that the house is a shining (if shabby) example of a much-revered architect's work. All they have to do is fix it up and sell it to the highest bidder.
There's only one problem:-
To be fair to the mouse, all he's doing initially is living in the house and minding his own business, but once the brothers discover him, they make it their ill-advised mission to remove what they see as a potentially undesirable non-period feature.
In one incident, the younger brother walks into the string factory and sets the machinery going. A thread from his clothing gets hooked onto part of the moving machinery. When he notices he's hooked, he tries to free himself and in doing so gets hooked onto something else, and then onto something else, until... well, you'll have to see it for yourself. This is a masterful dialogue-free silent-movie moment which is not only a brilliant opportunity for Lee Evans to showcase his famous skills as a physical comic - it's also a mini pre-run of the main mouse plot, as the apparently simple task of ridding the house of a mouse escalates into a disaster of titanic proportions.
I was actually reminded of this film when a work colleague mentioned that he too was trying to outwit a mouse, and I tried to buy the film when I next ventured out to the high street. To my amazement, I couldn't find it anywhere and ended up having to come here to Amazon to find it. There's no telling how much longer it will be available for, so, I suggest you buy it while you can.