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The Mouse That Roared

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

If you happen to be perusing the Radio Times for the week beginning 1 June 1952, on page 22 you’ll find the listing for episode 19 of the second series of the Goon Show, broadcast on 3 June.

Meanwhile, on this day in 1959, The Mouse That Roared was released in UK cinemas. It starred a certain Peter Sellers, not once, but three times – five years before his critically acclaimed trio of roles in Dr Strangelove. It also starred Jean Seberg and future Dr Who Tardis occupant William Hartnell.

Based on a novel by Irish author Leonard Wibberley, The Mouse That Roared tells the story of a tiny European nation, Grand Fenwick, that declares war on the US in order to gain financially when it inevitably surrenders, due to the Americans’ perceived generosity. The plot is forged by the prime minister (Peter Sellers), supported by Duchess Gloriana (Peter Sellers), and enacted by a 20-strong army led by a game warden (Peter Sellers).

Clad in medieval chainmail and armed with bows and arrows, the army travels to New York and unexpectedly fails to surrender, accidentally returning victorious complete with hostages and a nuclear bomb.

It’s available on DVD and Blu-ray (and I think Google Play), and looks a lot of fun.

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