The Mouse on the Moon (1963) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Mouse on the Moon (1963)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

From Richard Lester, the director of 1980's Superman II and the 1964 A Hard Day's Night, comes this less-successful sequel to the The Mouse that Roared. The Prime Minister of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick (Ron Moody) is in a bind because he has no money to renovate his castle and there is a serious problem with his small country's main export, wine. The stuff tends to explode. So the Prime Minister asks the U.S. for aid to develop space research, knowing full well they are not going to give him money to remodel his castle. Once the U.S. grants a cool million to the country, Russia adds in a used rocket, and things start popping. Like it or not, the Duchy is suddenly involved in space research and contributing to the madness is the discovery that its unique wine makes good rocket fuel. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

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Cast

Margaret Rutherford
as Grand Duchess Gloriana
Bernard Cribbins
as Vincent Mountjoy
Ron Moody
as Mountjoy
David Kossoff
as Prof. Kokintz
Terry-Thomas
as Spender
June Ritchie
as Cynthia
John Le Mesurier
as British Delegate
Michael Trubshawe
as British Aide
John Phillips
as Bracewell
Tom Aldredge
as Wendover
Peter Sallis
as Russian Delegate
Jan Conrad
as Russian Aide
Hugh Lloyd
as Plumber
Archie Duncan
as American General
Richard Marner
as Russian Air Force General
John Bluthal
as Von Neidel
Clive Dunn (II)
as Bandleader
Kevin Scott
as American Journalist
Guy Deghy
as German Scientist
Frankie Howerd
as Fenwickian
Gerald Anderson
as Members of Whitehall Conference
Robin Bailey
as 5th Member
Ed Bishop
as 1st U.S. Astronaut
Bill Edwards
as American Astronaut
Laurence Herder
as 1st Russian Astronaut
Harvey Hall
as Russian Cosmonaut
George Chisholm
as Wine Waiter
Stringer Davis
as 1st Councillor
Frank Duncan
as News Announcer
Bruce Lacey
as Bandleader
Frank Lieberman
as American Civilian
Graham Stark
as Standard Bearer
John Wood
as Countryman
Gordon Phillott
as Civil Servant
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Critic Reviews for The Mouse on the Moon

All Critics (6)

Still funny follow-up to classic "The Mouse That Roared.

February 21, 2008
Video-Reviewmaster.com

good fun

September 19, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

Early Richard Lester film that suggests the fireworks to soon come with his Beatle films

August 14, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Mouse on the Moon

½

No Peter Sellers in this sequel to The Mouse That Roared so they're already fighting an uphill battle, but still managing to produce a pleasing return to the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. This time the 5x3 mile principality enters the space race with foreign aid money from the United States, procured by the crooked Prime Minister wonderfully played by Ron Moody who intends to use the funds to install indoor plumbing in the royal castle! But his starry-eyed son and the head scientist have other plans for the rocket donated by the Soviet Union, who have to appear equal to the Americans in generosity. Playful political humor satirizes the superpowers' preoccupation to conquer space, and this English production enjoys poking fun at it's own country's impotence in the matter. There's a completely useless romantic subplot and the sight gags dry up after an hour, but overall the film achieves successful reentry.

Doctor Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

There's Always the Girl, Isn't There? The romances in this sort of movie are never necessary from a purely storytelling perspective. Indeed, Our Hero in this is rather weighted down with motivations. He has always longed to be an astronaut; great. He wants to prove his worth to his country in general and his father in particular; of course he does. And, what's more, we must once again show the might of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. Yes, lovely. But do we need to add a girl on top of that? A girl who is described, curiously enough, as a beatnik despite showing basically no beatnik tendencies. (And 1963 was a bit late for beatniks as well.) In a few years, she would be a hippie, in fact, as she and various others are shown picketing every important event in the country over the course of the movie. But no, what matters is that we must have a romance shoehorned in. Otherwise, what would be put on the poster? Yes, we have returned to the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, that tiny little European country which managed to defeat the US in war a few years earlier. Some time since then, Gloriana XII (Peter Sellers as was) has been replaced by Gloriana XIII (Margaret Rutherford), another daft old biddy. The Prime Minister is still Rupert Mountjoy, but he's now played by Ron Moody. And he decides, sod it all, he wants a proper bathtub. So he sends off a letter to the US asking for aid with which to build a Moon program. The US knows that Grand Fenwick can't hope to send anyone to the Moon, but it suits their interests to look like they're encouraging other countries to have space programs, so they double the request and send one million dollars. [Dr. Evil gesture.] The Soviets, not to be topped, send an actual rocket. And Professor Koknitz (David Kossoff) from the first movie has realized that the thing making Pinot Grand Fenwick explode is [ludicrous technobabble], which means their Moon program will work after all! In general, I was disappointed. Oh, it's not as bad as some movies I've seen, and for an unnecessary sequel which kind of undermines most of what happened in the original, I've seen worse. But the plot of the first one makes relatively explicit that most of the plot of this one shouldn't be happening. For one thing, no one should ever underestimate Grand Fenwick ever again. They saw how that went the first time around, and even though that was a ridiculous fluke, well, the only person in this movie who's still played by the same actor as last time is the scientist who was kidnapped away from America as a major plot point. The Americans, at least, should know exactly the sort of thing he is capable of. Or perhaps more accurately that he's capable of just about anything, and if Grand Fenwick has an improbable proposal, you might as well just assume that it's going to work out for them. That's even leaving aside that the previous movie ended with harmony and goodwill among nations. Naturally, the science is ridiculous. Astonishingly, however, the whole thing about how you don't actually need to achieve escape velocity in order to leave the Earth is true. There's a lot of physics behind it, but the rocket is explicitly said to have the power, and that's the main requirement. With enough fuel, you can go at walking pace and still get out of orbit. The fact that I don't understand quite how doesn't minimize that. It's also quite pleasing that the movie states that the Grand Fenwick ship can go faster with no strain on the engines and that the reason they aren't doing so has to do with the fear of micrometeorites. Well done. And I believe at the time, there was still speculation that a ship landing on the Moon could sink deep into the regolith and never be seen again, though that view was obsolete by the time of Apollo, because probes had actually reached the Moon by then. Still, for all the silliness of most of the science, the movie gets surprising amounts right. Clearly, what I am going to have to do is build up a huge backlog of movies before the true heat of summer hits. I'm running out of movies in the right range of silly. I know I'm hard to peg that way; I have given low ratings to quite a lot of generic dumb comedies, but there are many others that I love for nostalgic reasons. Or even no good reason but that they strike me as amusing. Today, I could have watched [i]National Lampoon's Vacation[/i], but I'm terrified that I'll hate it and make all sorts of people angry again. There's something more personal about what makes us laugh than what makes us cry, for all you wouldn't necessarily think that's true. Comedy is hard, one of the hardest things to do well. Especially when you're walking the razor edge of "dumb enough so that I'll watch it when it's hot but not so dumb that I can't stand it even when it's hot." Not that any filmmaker, even my friends in film, sees that as their goal. At least, not me personally. But the point stands for a lot of people, and it's why I have a harder time with this journal in summer than any other season.

Edith Nelson
Edith Nelson
½

Excellent British comedy with Margaret Rutherford superb as always. Great droll humor, excellent screenplay. Wonderfully done and very entertaining.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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