The Mouse That Roared

( 3 )

Overview

The Columbia-TriStar DVD of Jack Arnold's The Mouse That Roared (1959) looks infinitely cleaner, brighter, sharper, and more inviting than the movie looked in television showings of the middle-late 1960's. The movie was the first big budget success of publicist-turned-producer Walter Shenson -- who was later responsible for A Hard Day's Night -- and drew from the tradition of the Ealing comedies of mid-1950's England, but with a few important twists and variations. Through the use of split-screen effects and ...
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Overview

The Columbia-TriStar DVD of Jack Arnold's The Mouse That Roared (1959) looks infinitely cleaner, brighter, sharper, and more inviting than the movie looked in television showings of the middle-late 1960's. The movie was the first big budget success of publicist-turned-producer Walter Shenson -- who was later responsible for A Hard Day's Night -- and drew from the tradition of the Ealing comedies of mid-1950's England, but with a few important twists and variations. Through the use of split-screen effects and careful editing, Peter Sellers plays a triple role that was one of the best comedy showcases of his career (and an eerie precursor to his work in Dr. Strangelove), as well as recalling Alec Guinness's work in the Ealing-produced Kind Hearts And Coronets. There were some differences from the Ealing movies, however, mostly as a result of the American influence in the creation of The Mouse That Roared -- Walter Shenson was an American, of course, as was his chosen director, Jack Arnold, and their approach imparted more energy to go with the script's satirical elements; Arnold, who was known as an action director with a solid record in suspense movies, crime films, and science fiction (best known for It Came From Outer Space,Creature From The Black Lagoon, Revenge Of The Creature, Tarantula and The Incredible Shrinking Man, at Universal; and the classic teen exploitation movie High School Confidential), proved equally adept at comedy, intermingling live action and cartoon images and showing a special flair for visual humor and sight gags. He managed to work jokes into just about every corner of the screen, in a way that was closer in spirit to, say, Monty Python's Flying Circus than to the Boulting Brothers at Ealing. This all comes to life in the crispest transfer the movie has ever had in a home video format. The letterboxed image of 1.85-to-1 is so sharp that the chain mail worn by the troops that "invade" New York shimmers in the close-ups, and the masking frames the humor and the action very tightly. The care taken with the picture and the sound -- which is a little low in volume but not obtrusively so -- is matched by the chapter encoding, which gives us a whopping 28 plot-point markers in an 83 minute movie. There are no other special features,apart from a selection of Columbia trailers and option English and French subtitles, all accessible through a simple menu that opens automatically on start-up.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The mouse of the title is really Peter Sellers, and what roared was Sellers' uniquely anarchic comic talents: he plays three roles, demonstrating his breathtaking acting range, in this somewhat dated but dead-on political satire. In the main one, he is the leader of a tiny country called Grand Fenwick that declares war on the United States in order to receive post-war aid that would rescue it from bankruptcy. In 1959, with Europe still nursing its wounds from World War II and envying the United States' prosperity, the topic was a winning one for both British and American audiences. Based on a novel by Leonard Wibberley, the archly preposterous script supposes that 20 soldiers invade New York clad in chain-mail armor. Sellers is the leader of the invading force as well as the prime minister, but his most hilarious turn involves cross-dressing as the grand duchess. The Mouse That Roared is indispensible for Sellers fans.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/8/2003
  • UPC: 043396100657
  • Original Release: 1959
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:23:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Sellers Tully Bascombe, Grand Duchess Gloriana XII, Prime Minis
Jean Seberg Helen Kokintz
David Kossoff Prof. Kokintz
William Hartnell Will Buckley
Timothy Bateson Roger
Leo McKern Benter
Macdonald Parke Snippet
Colin Gordon BBC Announcer
Austin Willis Secretary of Defense
George Margo O'Hara
Robin Gatehouse Mulligan
Jacques Cey Ticket Collector
Bill Nagy US Policeman
Mavis Villiers Telephone Operator
Charles Clay British Ambassador
Henry DeBray French Ambassador
Bill Edwards Army Captain
Larry Cross Chester Beston
Guy Deghy Soviet Ambassador
Monte Landis Cobbley
Robert O'Neill Reporter
Harold Kasket Pedro
Stuart Saunders Cunard Captain
Technical Credits
Jack Arnold Director
Edwin T. Astley Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Geoffrey Drake Art Director
Carl Foreman Producer
Roger MacDougall Screenwriter
Stanley Mann Screenwriter
Anthony Mendleson Costumes/Costume Designer
Jon Penington Producer
Ray Poulton Editor
Walter Shenson Producer
John Wilcox Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [4:39]
2. A State of Absolute Crisis [4:14]
3. "We're at War With America." [2:00]
4. Conscripting the Troops [1:05]
5. A Royal Send-Off [5:26]
6. The queen Elizabeth [4:21]
7. Invading New York [1:54]
8. "Everybody's Underground." [1:48]
9. Papa's working Model [3:39]
10. Men From Outer Space [5:45]
11. "We've Come to Capture You." [2:41]
12. Prisoners of War [4:21]
13. The Voyage Home [1:38]
14. Seducing Tully [3:00]
15. Welcoming the Conquerors [2:16]
16. The Museum of Ancient Tortures [4:13]
17. The News [2:47]
18. Differing With Bobo [4:30]
19. "Be Prepared to Escape." [2:15]
20. Helen in A Barrel [1:51]
21. The General Carries the Bomb [2:23]
22. The Battle of the Sexes [1:01]
23. Escaping With the Bomb [2:45]
24. Tully in Pursuit [1:51]
25. Too Much Push [2:10]
26. Passing the Bomb [1:19]
27. Peace Treaty Terms [1:06]
28. "You Are A Dud." [3:26]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
      English
      French/Français
      Subtitles Off
   Trailers
      The Mouse That Roared
      Dr. Strangelove
      Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River
   Scene Selections
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome Sellers

    A very funny Peter Sellers satire! Will have you roaring with laughter!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews