Genre Guesstimation – The Mouse That Roared (1959)


The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Allie of Often Off Topic and we will be reviewing our favorite British Comedies

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of April by sending them to funnyallie@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Allie!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of British Comedies.

“You must remember, the Americans are a very strange people. Whereas other countries rarely forgive anything, the Americans forgive anything. There isn’t a more profitable undertaking for any country than to declare war on the United States and to be defeated. ” – Prime Minster Count Rupert Mountjoy

Number of Times Seen – at least 3 times (video in the 80’s, 23 Jun 2001 and 3 Apr 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A small country located deep in Europe decides that in order to help their struggling economy, they must declare war on the United States since upon losing a war they will get reparations.  Unfortunately, things never go as planned.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall watching at a friend’s house as a kid since his father wanted us to see how funny it was.

Over the 30+ years since I originally saw this film, I’ve always had great memories of it and was very curious to see how I would view the concept especially after not having rewatched this in almost two decades.

The premise of this film is extremely clever and works on so many levels.

Peter Sellers is superb in this film and plays three different roles that are all done hilariously and keep things fun throughout.

Sellers’ ability to play numerous characters in this film so perfectly obviously opened the door for him to once again play various characters just a few years later in Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) where he once again deals with issues related to the Cold War.

This film takes elements of the Cold War and elements dealing with the fall of Fascism in Europe and blends them together to give us such a funny ride that works so well from the start to finish.

This also allows for the story to feel even more poignant because it does such a splendid job satirizing the concepts of war that still ring true after 60 years.

Bottom Line – Sellers does an amazing job making this film so much fun. The premise is extremely clever and they play things out in such a way that despite things being a bit far-fetched, they are still somewhat believable.  Sellers’ ability to play numerous characters help show how talented an actor he can be and the success of this ploy obviously led the way to him doing something similar in Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).  The fact that the world was in the midst of the Cold War when this film was made also helped to make things feel more poignant because the satire works extremely well from start to finish. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Jack Arnold did not ask the studio’s permission to make fun of the Columbia logo, convinced they would say no. At the film’s opening, “Miss Columbia” discovers a mouse under her skirts and runs off screaming. At the end she returns to her pedestal. Studio executives first heard of the joke when they attended the New York previews, where it got a huge laugh. After that, there was no thought of cutting it, though it is absent from some television prints. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Most Definitely! Hilarious film with such an amazingly clever premise that shines throughout.

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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2 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – The Mouse That Roared (1959)

  1. Pingback: Genre Guesstimation – The Mouse on the Moon (1963) | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1959 | MovieRob

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