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I watched this movie because of two men: Peter Sellers, and my Dad.

I was watching Dr. Strangelove one night and Dad asked if I’d ever seen this one. I said no, nor had I ever heard of it. He said if I liked Dr. Strangelove, I’d probably like it. Which makes sense, as The Mouse That Roared seems almost like the little brother to Dr. Strangelove’s more accomplished big brother. It’s as if the movie knows that people want it to be a political satire, but in its heart just wants to be a silly romp.

The story concerns a tiny duchy called Grand Fenwick, whose pinot-based economy is threatened by the pinot being made in California. As they near bankruptcy, the country decides its only remaining option is to declare war on America, which goes much better than they expected. Peter Sellers plays several characters, which goes better than it should simply because Peter Sellers was a genius.

I’m not sure I’d recommend this to someone who isn’t a huge Sellers fan, though I do think it could make for an interesting remake.

Apparently there was a sequel, directed by Richard Lester. I like him, too. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll watch it.

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