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The Mouse That Roared Review

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The Duchy of Grand Fenwick decides that the only way to get out of their economic woes is to declare war on the United States, lose and accept foreign aid.

★★★★

A priceless comedy from the late 50s, with Peter Sellers in a triple role as the royal family of Grand Fenwick, a tiny European country which declares war on the United States hoping to lose speedily and qualify for massive aid under the Marshall Plan but, thanks to a bungling Sellers accidentally getting hold of a super-atomic weapon, defeats the superpower and becomes the centre of a global conflict.

Directed by Jack Arnold, who is better known for his 3-D monster movies, this stands poised in the canon of British humour between Ealing and Dr Strangelove. It’s gentler than its successors, but it does apply the chintzy 50s comic style to an international setting. With a cult cast including Jean (Breathless) Seberg, Leo (Rumpole) McKern and William (Dr Who) Hartnell.

Classic cold war satire.