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The Mouse That Roared

4.4 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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(Jul 08, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

In this outlandish, sidesplitting tale of the fortunes of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a mythical land on the verge of bankruptcy because its one export, a fine wine, has been undercut by a US company. Grand Fenwick's prime minister (Peter Sellers) and female monarch (Sellers again) cook up a schemeto solve the problem: they will declare war on the States.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: David Kossoff, Jean Seberg, William Hartnell, Peter Sellers
  • Directors: Jack Arnold
  • Producers: Jon Penington, Walter Shenson, Carl Foreman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 8, 2003
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009MEKJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,936 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Mouse That Roared" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In 1959, a hilarious Cold War-inspired film entitled "The Mouse that Roared" was produced about a fictional tiny country named "The Duchy of Grand Fenwick". Grand Fenwick is no ordinary country. First, it's the smallest country in the world (about 15 square miles). Second, it's the only English-speaking country in continental Europe (located in the French Alps). Third, it's primary source of revenue is its wine; which was quite popular in the United States until a Californian winery started to bottle a cheaper wine with a similar name to the Grand Fenwick wine. Several letters of protest had been sent to the U.S., but no response had ever been received, except from the U.S. Department of Agriculture about growing grapes. To prevent bankruptcy, Prime Minister Count Rupert Mountjoy (Peter Sellers, 1925-1980) makes an unusual suggestion to the Grand Fenwick Parliament: declare war on the United States, then immediately surrender so that the U.S. will provide bountiful amounts of monetary aid. Grand Duchess Gloriana XII (also played by Peter Sellers) doesn't initially like the idea of going to war, but she acquiesces and the Prime Minister Mountjoy calls upon the Grand Fendwick military Field Marshal, Tully Bascombe (again, played by Peter Sellers), to lead Grand Fendwick's 20 (or so) man army (wearing chain mail from the Middle Ages) to invade the U.S. in New York City, where they can surrender to U.S. immigration authorities. Grand Fendwick's Declaration of War is perceived initially as a prank in the U.S., which is more interested in the development of a new super bomb (dubbed the Q-bomb) by the well-known scientist Professor Alfred Kokintz (David Kossoff, 1919-2005), who is also in New York City. Due to the potential destructiveness of the Q-bomb, New York City is evacuated.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
"The Mouse That Roared," directed by Jack Arnold, is an entertaining satire about the fictional Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a tiny European monarchy which may remind viewers of such real countries as Liechtenstein or Monaco. With his country facing bankruptcy, the prime minister of Grand Fenwick announces his clever plan to declare war on the United States of America; his intent is to lose the absurdly uneven contest and reap the benefits of post-war American aid. But things don't go quite as expected.

"Mouse" opens with a whimsical animated title sequence that effectively sets the tone for the rest of the picture. This is followed by a funny faux-documentary sequence about the fictional duchy, and then by the actual story. The film is a splendid showcase for the great Peter Sellers, who plays three characters, all citizens of Grand Fenwick: the scheming prime minister, the venerable duchess, and the mild-mannered commander of the duchy's pitiable army. Sellers is absolutely brilliant; he creates three wonderfully distinct characters, and it's especially fun to see the scenes where these characters interact with each other. His performance(s) alone make the film a classic in my reckoning.

I found "Mouse" to be an enchanting and enjoyable film, full of absurd images and amusing lines. The marvelous sets, costumes, and props are full of wonderful details that make the film a delight for the eye from start to finish. And despite its comic tone, the film touches on some very serious issues that remain timely. I think of "Mouse" as a gentler cousin to the classic "Dr. Strangelove," another military satire that stars Peter Sellers in three different roles; together I think the films would make a great double feature.
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Format: VHS Tape
Sadly Leonard Wibberley's hilarious satire, The Mouse that Roared seems to be making the slow sad transit from wildly popular bestseller and hit
movie in the 50s and 60s to cult classic in the 70s and 80s to largely forgotten in the 90s and 00s. The book, which was originally serialized in the
Saturday Evening Post from December 1954 to January 1955 as The Day New York Was Invaded, is no longer in print--despite the fact that the
tattered copy I'm holding is something like the 30th printing. And the film does not seem to have been transferred to DVD, though I did find a copy
of the equally funny sequel, The Mouse on the Moon. Our growing amnesia is unfortunate, both because this is just a funny story, and also because
current events reveal it to still be timely.
The tale concerns the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a tiny European nation which "lies in a precipitous fold of the northern Alps." It was founded in
1370 by British soldier of fortune Roger Fenwick, under not altogether honorable circumstances. Practically the only thing that is produced there,
and the only reason anyone has ever heard of it, is a fine wine called Pinot Grand Fenwick. Other than this one export, the nation remains happily
isolated, a medieval remnant in the modern world, ruled over by Duchess Gloriana XII--"a pretty girl of twenty-two" in the book, a more matronly
woman in the film, so that Peter Sellers can play her--and her prime minister, the Count of Mountjoy (also played by Peter Sellers).
As the story begins, crisis has descended upon the Grand Duchy in the form of revenue shortfalls.
Read more ›
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