THE MOUSE ON THE MOON (1963)
Article 2745 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-11-2008
Posting Date: 2-17-2009
Directed by Richard Lester
Featuring Margaret Rutherford, Ron Moody, Bernard Cribbins
A miniscule country in Europe decides to get money for plumbing by asking the United States for money for rocket research, a grant that is given under the belief that this small country provides no real threat to the space race. However, when it is discovered that the local wine contains properties that make it a powerful rocket fuel, the country acquires a rocket from Russia and plans a trip to the moon.
This sequel to THE MOUSE THAT ROARED could well have been disastrous; after all, the absence of Peter Sellers from this sequel must have seemed like a real setback. At worst, though, the movie is merely uneven; the three performers who more or less replace Peter Sellers in his respective roles (Bernard Cribbins as a bumbling ne’er-do-well, Ron Moody as a wily Prime Minister, and Margaret Rutherford as the dotty queen) are all well cast, and the satirical aspects of the story (in which the governments of various concerned countries all play diplomatic games to make the best of the situation) are a lot of fun. It’s an early movie for Richard Lester, who would really come into his own with his next film, A HARD DAY’S NIGHT. The script is a little clumsy in the more overt comedy, but the movie is far from an embarrassment. My favorite laugh: a joke about the privy council.