Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Mouse that Roared (1959)

The tiny and impoverished nation of Fenwick declares war on America in order to lose and reap the benefit of war reparations. When they happen upon the only working prototype of the Q-Bomb (way more powerful than that wimpy H-Bomb), they accidentally win.

The real story here is Peter Sellers playing three rolls. The surprising thing is that he played them rather well. The ditsy Grand Duchess, the conniving prime minister, and the simple and good-hearted Tully Bascombe. Each character very different and well developed. This is his first foray into multiple screen personae (he was emulating Alec Guinness), and would make it something of a trademark. His real talent, in my opinion, was doing nuanced yet over the top characters in virtually every role. Sometimes very understated, sometimes Clouseau. He was a troubled comic genius whos art was built for longevity, if not his lifestyle.

Anything else of interest? Cutie Jean Seberg would take her own life twenty years later. Or was murdered by Nazi ninja alien bigfoots. The jury is still out on that one. She lived a life of drug abuse and infidelity. That's all I got this time. Amusing and well made, but no real LOL moments. Worth the time spent watching. AMRU 3. They made a sequel, but without Sellers, is it really worth watching?
"I warn you, madam - I know the entire Geneva Convention by heart!"
"Oh, how nice! You must recite it for me some evening; I play the harpsichord."

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