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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is it possible?
From the director Jack Arnold, who directed many great sci-fi movies such as "It Came from Outer Space (1953)", we are brought the tale about the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a small country in Europe. Their major economy is the production and export of wine. After being snubbed by the U.S. wine industry they declare war on the U. S. The plan is to surrender and then be...
Published on 8 Aug. 2005 by bernie

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pesky satirical rodent.
The Mouse That Roared is based on the novel by Leonard Wibberley, it's directed by Jack Arnold and stars Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg, William Hartnell & Leo McKern. It tells the delightful story of The Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a tiny tiny European country that goes to war with the United States. They do so because their number one source of income, Pinot Grand Fenwick wine...
Published on 2 April 2011 by Spike Owen


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is it possible?, 8 Aug. 2005
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
From the director Jack Arnold, who directed many great sci-fi movies such as "It Came from Outer Space (1953)", we are brought the tale about the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a small country in Europe. Their major economy is the production and export of wine. After being snubbed by the U.S. wine industry they declare war on the U. S. The plan is to surrender and then be compensated with the wine concession to the U.S.
Naturally they get a little enthusiastic and things do not go as planned. Looks like they may have won the war. Peter Sellers plays three different characters (Grand Duchess Gloriana XII/Prime Minister Count Rupert Mountjoy/Tully Bascombe.)
Someone gets the Q bomb. And you get a laugh.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars " But what if we win?....", 26 Sept. 2005
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Mouse That Roared [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
A fellow graduate school student and I saw this film in New Haven when it was first released and had no idea what to expect, except that it starred Peter Sellers whose work we both admired very much in earlier films such as The Ladykillers (1955), Tom Thumb (1958), and I'm All Right Jack (1959). So we settled back in our seats and were immediately enchanted by Grand Fenwick and its monarch, Grand Duchess Gloriana (Sellers). The best way to enjoy this film now is to see it as a whimsical fantasy rather than as a serious satire of the Cold War and the widespread concern then about thermonuclear weapons. Its greatest strength remains the same as it was 45 years ago: The talents of Peter Sellers. He plays three quite different characters, the aforementioned Grand Duchess as well as "Field Marshal" Tully Bascombe (who leads a 20-soldier invasion of the United States) and Count Mountjoy, the devious prime minister.
The plot (such as it is) consists of a series of humorous incidents prior to, during, and then following the invasion. As directed by Jack Arnold, the film focuses on the implications of a basic conceit: Declare war on the United States (as did Japan and then Germany), lose the war, and then have your economy restored to greater health than ever before (e.g. Japan and Germany). Count Mountjoy's strategy fails for reasons best revealed in the film. One of the several brilliant elements is Arnold's use of Professor Kokintz (David Kossoff) who has invented the "Q Bomb," a weapon whose nuclear power (he claims) is "approximately" equal to 100 hydrogen bombs. Better yet, it has the size and shape of an American football and thus can easily be tucked under an arm until activated. Presumably the straight-faced silliness throughout this film made a favorable impression on members of the Monty Python Flying Circus.
Regrettably, the DVD version I have offers no special features other than clearer image and sound. Those who enjoy this film are urged to check out Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) in which Alec Guinness plays eight different roles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rooting for the Little Guy., 21 April 2010
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Mouse That Roared [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Peter Sellers lived in Wiltshire for a period in the sixties. He lived in the picture postcard village of Ansty, in his picture postcard cottage. He used to get his fresh vegetables from the same old market gardener who I used in later years. The old gardener told me that Sellers was a very nice man indeed, although later published works have highlighted his personal struggles, which is not uncommon to comedians of his stature. That he was a man of uncommon talent is a fact that cannot be denied, and he showcases that wonderful talent to full effect in "The Mouse that Roared"(59).

Directed by Jack Arnold, the films story concerns the fictional world's smallest nation, the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, whose economy is based on the success of their own unique wine which is exported to the USA. When a rival American wine threatens the economy they decide to declare war on the USA in the hope of profiting from war reparations. To this end they send an invasion fleet across the Atlantic to New York. Their army's equipment consists of chain mail and the ever reliable long bow. They are meant to lose but unwittingly they manage to capture the deadly Q bomb and its inventor. Suddenly the world is thrown into turmoil, and "The Grand Duchy of Fenwick" has undreamed of political clout. Everyone wants to be their friend. Will it all end in disaster for the little guy?

In what was his fifth film Sellers plays three roles as GlorianaX11, reigning duchess of Grand Fenwick, Baron Mountjoy the crafty prime minister and Tully Bascombe the inept military commander. This hugely successful foray into multi identities ignited his career and led to similar roles. In "Lolita"(62) he was a playwright who underwent several hilarious character changes in order to pursue his passion. In Kubrick's famous "Dr Strangelove"(64) he again had three roles. Also in "The Great McGonagal"(74), he and his four fellow cast members played 34 parts between them. Perhaps the most famous example of multi roles was Alec Guinness in "Kind Hearts and Coronets"(49) where he played eight members of the d'Ascoyne family. But the record surely goes to Ralph Leslie's 27 parts in the 1913 biopic of Queen Victoria in "Sixty Years a Queen". A title that they might not get away with today!

The film was a sleeper hit in the USA. It is good to know that our American friends can laugh at themselves! The film was certainly a child of its cold war time, and the political satire does seem very dated now. It is not biting satire in the "Dr Strangelove" vein! Its charm lies in a much gentler humour and the old British tradition of supporting the little man. It contains many good gags, the opening one with the Columbia logo being perhaps the pick. There is also a very funny line where Gloriana mistakenly believes Coolidge is still the president of America. The film has that old Ealing comedy sense of fun which brings a smile to your face, and in achieving that it becomes an unqualified success
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mouse that roared...still alive and kicking!, 15 Oct. 2003
This review is from: The Mouse That Roared [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
"The Mouse That Roared" is the film by which Peter Sellers gained the international stardom. This DVD is a great release as, unlike others, features subtitles in many languages and it has picture and sound of great quality! A real "must" for Peter Sellers fans and fans of classic comedy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pesky satirical rodent., 2 April 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Mouse That Roared [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
The Mouse That Roared is based on the novel by Leonard Wibberley, it's directed by Jack Arnold and stars Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg, William Hartnell & Leo McKern. It tells the delightful story of The Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a tiny tiny European country that goes to war with the United States. They do so because their number one source of income, Pinot Grand Fenwick wine has stopped selling on account of a cheap imitation coming out of America, Pinot Grand Enwick. The plan is to quickly lose to America and thus accept the foreign aid that America is want to give to its stricken conquests. But all does not go according to plan as the Duchy's inadequate forces manage to take control of the "Q-Bomb," a new and deadly invention capable of global destruction.

A tidy and cheeky comedy from the late 1950s, The Mouse That Roared finds Sellers acting out three roles and director Arnold venturing away from the creature feature genre that made his name. Coming across as a sort of Ealing meets Dr Strangelove, it's nice to report that the film holds up well even today. This is down to the fact that its core pot shots are at politics and world situations, things that still exacerbate and annoy everyday followers of the worlds news. The performances are strong within the cast, while some scenes are comedy gold. Such as the Fenwickian army {numbering 20 soft souls} invading America dressed as Knights from yore, armed with bows & arrows!! Yes it's that sort of daftness that propels the visual comedy whilst the story deals in satirical smirks.

Tho not quite the British Comedy Classic some critics proclaim it to be, it is, however, hugely enjoyable and a film that rewards on repeat viewings. 6.5/10

Footnote; An inferior sequel called The Mouse On The Moon followed in 1963, Sellers and Arnold had bailed, and they were right to do so.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "There is only one way out of present crisis - declare war on USA and lose"...))), 12 Jun. 2013
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mouse That Roared [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This merry, cheerful, clever and hysterically funny movie is one of my all time favorite comedies. Below, more of my impressions with some limited SPOILERS!

The Duchy of Grand Fenwick is situated in the Alps between France and Switzerland. Created in 1370 by an English knight, it is the only English speaking country in continental Europe. With a surface of 39 square kilometres and a population of about 6000 it is also amongst the smallest independent countries in the world (in real world, only Vatican City, Monaco, Nauru and Tuvalu are smaller than this fictitious state). When this film begins, Grand Fenwick faces an unprecented crisis, threatening the very economical survival of the nation - but the Prime Minister presents to the Duchess and the Parliament a daring plan which should solve all the problems...

What follows is a wonderful comedy, full of gags and brilliant dialogs, with a stellar performance by Peter Sellers, who plays three different roles, including that of the Hereditary Field Marshal and High Constable Tully Bascombe, who is in command of all Grand Fenwick armed forces, and serves as local game warden in time of peace...))) Jean Seberg supports him valiantly in a secondary but important role. I was not familiar with other actors, but it seems that they were all skilled veterans of British cinema and theatre.

I saw this film at least four times in my life and it always cheered me up. This film uses a kind of intelligent, clever and merry humor without vulgarity - which is a rare thing in present day movies. Humor is also less cruel and vicious than in more modern comedies in which villains are sometimes crucified without any mercy - here, even when complete idiots are terribly mocked, it is still made with some humanity and kindness retained. And I always found this a very precious thing.

This film is a wonderful, precious thing - to buy, watch and keep. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Sellers at his best, 30 Nov. 2008
By 
R. Essery (Monmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mouse That Roared [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
One of my all time favourite movies with Peter Sellers playing multiple roles (as he did in the Goon Show). David Kosoff is brilliant as the Professor who invents the ultimate weapon but has no intention of using it.

A film that still creates a warm feeling
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 22 Aug. 2009
By 
Mr. R. Little - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mouse That Roared [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I hadn't seen this film for a long time and is even better than I remember. Peter sellers is as usual excellent in more than one part and the whole thing is superbly silly and at the same time a little believable. I can recomend this film highly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE GREAT TALENT OF PETER SELLERS, 8 Jan. 2014
By 
Roger Edward Deshon "Laudator Temporis Acte" (Brisbane, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mouse That Roared [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
The man who had so many voices in 'The Goon Show' and again showed his talents in 'Dr Strangelove' gives us another of his offerings playing multi part roles. It's a quirky little film but quite enjoyable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, good natured political satire, with a farcical tone., 22 April 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Mouse That Roared [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Sort of "Dr. Strangelove" without the deep, dark, cutting edge.

Peter Sellers, brilliant as always - plays three roles (including a
Duchess) as the smallest country in the world decides to declare war on
the US, because a California company is imitating the prize wine of
Grand Fenwick. Their express intent of losing the war instantly, and
then get rebuilding funds from the US, as the Germans and Japanese did
after WWII. But through a series of slightly creaky co-incidences, the
Duchy of Grand Fenwick ends up winning, not losing.

A genial and funny film, with some witty things to say about global
politics, but also just a touch dopey at times.
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The Mouse That Roared [DVD] [2002]
The Mouse That Roared [DVD] [2002] by Jack Arnold (DVD - 2002)
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