The Mouse that Roared
, a 1959 film starring Peter Sellers, based on the book by Leonard Wibberley
, tells the story of the tiny, mostly forgotten country of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick
In the opening segment of the film, the narrator is trying to find the tiny country. Measuring no more than five miles (8 km) long and three miles (5 km) wide, the Duchy and lies in a fold in the Northern Alps, adjacent to France and Switzerland.
In order to resolve a budget deficit, the government of Duchess Gloriana XIII decides to declare war on the United States. They expect to lose of course, but expect their defeat to be followed by millions of dollars in foreign aid.
When the declaration of war is ignored, they send an invasion force to New York.
The filmmakers intersperse the scenes of this journey with map animations of their misadventures at sea. I just had some fun clipping these stills out of the video.
Without rehashing the entire plot, instead of losing, as ordered, the expiditionary force wins the war! Hilarity ensues. While not a map, this scene late in the film also caught my fancy. Regular readers of this blog know of my love for boardgames
, so I was tickled by this scene where diplomats from Britain, France, the USSR and the United States, while waiting to cross the border, kill time by playing a boardgame:
The Mouse That Roared is an amusing little farce that showcases Peter Sellers understated comedic talent. Recommended.
Labels: books, europe, imaginary countries, movies