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Mouse on the Moon, The (1963, Terry-Thomas, Bernard Cribbins)



This lively sequel to 1959’s The Mouse That Roared is once again set in the minuscule middle-European state of Grand Fenwick, ruled by Grand Duchess Gloriana XIII (Margaret Rutherford). Bottles of wine, the country’s only export, start exploding and the country becomes bankrupt. Fortunately Prime Minister Rupert Mountjoy’s (Ron Moody) appeal for international aid, allegedly for space research, brings a billion dollars from the United States and a space rocket from Russia.

When scientist Professor Kokintz (David Kossoff) discovers the exploding wine makes an ideal rocket fuel, his son (Bernard Cribbins) volunteers to be Grand Fenwick’s first astronaut, to impress his girlfriend (June Ritchie). And, although British spy Maurice Spender (Terry Thomas) reports the space project is a hoax, it takes off and heads towards the moon…

The surreal comedy was ideally suited to the inventive style of director Richard Lester, who was making his first major feature film and would go on to put the Beatles through their paces in A Hard Day’s Night and Help!.

production details
UK | 82 minutes | 1963

Director: Richard Lester
Writer: Michael Pertwee, from the novel by Leonard Wibberley

Terry-Thomas as Maurice Spender
Bernard Cribbins as Vincent Mountjoy
Margaret Rutherford as Grand Duchess Gloriana XIII
Ron Moody as Prime Minister Rupert Mountjoy
David Kossoff as Professor Kokintz
June Ritchie as Cynthia