|The Mouse That Roared|
Original British quad format film poster
|Directed by||Jack Arnold|
|Produced by||Walter Shenson|
|Written by||Leonard Wibberley|
|Screenplay by||Roger MacDougall
|Based on||The Mouse That Roared|
|Music by||Edwin Astley|
|Edited by||Raymond Poulton|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||83 minutes|
|Box office||$2,000,000 (US & Canada)|
The Mouse That Roared is a 1959 British satirical Eastman Color comedy film based on the 1955 novel The Mouse That Roared by Leonard Wibberley. It stars Peter Sellers in three roles: Duchess Gloriana XII; Count Rupert Mountjoy, the Prime Minister; and Tully Bascomb, the military leader. It also co-stars Jean Seberg. The film was directed by Jack Arnold, and the screenplay was written by Roger MacDougall and Stanley Mann.
|This section requires expansion. (December 2013)|
The economy of the teeny-tiny European duchy of Grand Fenwick (which measures 3 by 5 bowshots) is threatened when an American manufacturer comes up with a similarly-named imitation of Fenwick's sole export, its fabled Pinot Grand Fenwick 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. Unfortunately for Grand Fenwick, Tully Bascome, the Duchy's general, captures Dr. Alfred Kokintz, his invention the Q Bomb, and Kokintz's daughter...and wins the war!
- Peter Sellers as Grand Duchess Gloriana XII / Prime Minister Count Rupert Mountjoy / Tully Bascombe
- Jean Seberg as Helen Kokintz
- William Hartnell as Will Buckley
- David Kossoff as Doctor Alfred Kokintz
- Leo McKern as Benter
- MacDonald Parke as General Snippet
- Austin Willis as United States Secretary of Defense
- Timothy Bateson as Roger
- Monte Landis as Cobbley
- Alan Gifford
- Colin Gordon as BBC Announcer
- Harold Kasket as Pedro
Liberties were taken in the film adaptation to display Peter Sellers' versatile comedic talents. The lead character of the book is the Duchess Gloriana XII, an attractive young royal in the manner of the young Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Grace of Monaco. In the film version, however, Peter Sellers plays the role as a parody of an elderly Queen Victoria (who thinks the President of the United States is Calvin Coolidge), whilst his Mountjoy is a parody of Benjamin Disraeli. The Marseilles and New York harbour sequences were filmed in Southampton, England. The presence of the RMS Queen Elizabeth ocean liner there was a lucky coincidence. In addition, in the novel an encounter with the New York Police Department leads to bloodshed that complicates peace negotiations. This does not appear in the movie. In addition, both Tully and Helen are with Dr. Kokintz when he discovers the bomb is a dud and it is Tully who suggests that they keep that fact a secret. However, a mouse emerges from the bomb's casing and it apparently resumes its normal function as an active weapon. At this, the film displays the title, "The End... We hope."
In 1964 Jack Arnold obtained exclusive television rights for The Mouse That Roared from Leonard Wibberley. He produced and directed a colour television pilot with ABC Television and Screen Gems called The Mouse That Roared, starring Sid Caesar as the Duchess, Mountjoy and Tully. It co-starred Joyce Jameson, Sigrid Valdis and Richard Deacon. However, the pilot was not picked up for production. It was filmed by Richard H. Kline.
- "Rental Potentials of 1960", Variety, 4 January 1961 p 47. Please note figures are rentals as opposed to total gross.
- Reemes, Dana M. Directed by Jack Arnold McFarland, 1988. p.140
- The Mouse That Roared at the Internet Movie Database
- The Mouse That Roared at AllMovie
- The Mouse That Roared at the TCM Movie Database
- The Mouse That Roared at the American Film Institute Catalog
- The Mouse that Roared at Trailers from Hell
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