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The Mouse That Roared 1959

Subtitles

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.

Starring:
Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg
Runtime:
1 hour, 22 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director Jack Arnold
Starring Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg
Supporting actors William Hartnell, David Kossoff, Leo McKern, MacDonald Parke, Austin Willis, Timothy Bateson, Monte Landis, Alan Gifford, Colin Gordon, Harold Kasket, Wally Brown, Jacques Cey, Charles Clay, Henry De Bray, Guy Deghy, Bill Edwards, Richard Gatehouse, Juba Kennerley
Studio Sony Pictures International
BBFC rating Universal, suitable for all
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By Sebastian Palmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 May 2016
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
By and large I avoid writing or posting negative reviews. But, having very recently just ended an otherwise pleasant family evening with this film on DVD, I feel compelled to register a critical view.

My dad's a fairly enthusiastic Sellers fan, without being an ardent devotee. So the choice of this movie on that occasion was largely in his honour. This said, it had been suggested we watch The Party. But, all of us present at the soirée having seen that highly enjoyable film many times, I prevailed upon the company to try something different. Oops!

Having just seen and enjoyed another multiple-role Sellers film (Soft Beds & Hard Battles) I'd hoped this would be fun. But I think all of us were 'unonymously' agreed, this was just plain lame. I think each of the four of us might've let out the faintest of chortles about once each during the entire film, which - for a film purporting to be a comedy - ain't saying much.

The plot is silly, but has potential (and is reminiscent of the far better - but itself not brilliant - Ealing Comedy, 'Passport to Pimlico'), as the tiny English-speaking Central-European nation of Grand Fenwick takes America on militarily, hoping for defeat and a lucrative post-war aid package, but accidentally winning.

Sellers manages the job of multiple roles superbly in Dr Strangelove, and pretty well in Soft Beds & Hard Battles, but here he plays three equally unengaging charisma-free nonentities. His turns here just reminded me how much better Alec Guiness did the same sort of thing in Kind Hearts & Coronets.
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By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Aug. 2005
Format: DVD
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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By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Sept. 2005
Format: 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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A good idea fairly well executed.
Acting is good, Sellers great and a joy to see David Kossof.
Prob is that it is more like an excellent pantomime less like a film.
I remember being a bit disappointed when I saw it all those years ago. We had already watched the Mouse on the Moon and perhaps that even in black and white stole it's thunder.
Or maybe "mouse" is just better. Not so easy to get a copy of that tho.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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