Among everything else, we've got a lot of great comedy films to showcase in the upcoming months, and so, just to get everybody in a good mood for the end of summer, we're going to do nothing but side-splitting horror comedy films for the next two weeks, starting with tonight's feature. It's the sequel to the riotous and very popular "The Mouse That Roared," the equally zany, but also spacey, "The Mouse On The Moon."
If the man of the hour, Ron Grainer had done nothing more than compose the themes to the British TV shows, "Dr Who" and "The Prisoner," he probably could have retired!
Not one to rest on his laurels, this child prodigy would never have been satisfied with just those major accomplishments, and he went on to be one of the most beloved composers in British TV history!
They make great vino in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, there's only one problem, it's explosive!!
"Blithe Spirit" Margaret Rutherford is amazing in her portrayal of the Grand Duchess, Gloriana XIII. Margaret is probably remembered mostly as Miss Jane Marple, a role written by Agatha Christie, that Margaret would reprise a couple of times in her career. In fact, she was so perfect in the role that Agatha Christie dedicated her 1963 novel, "The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side" to Margaret!
So just exactly is going on here anyway? "The Mouse In The Moon" is a farcical flick about the 1960's Space Race, you gotta remember, this is way back even before John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and the United States and Russia were at each other's throats, so in this mouse tale, the small country of Grand Fenwick uses the keen competition between the two countries to get money donated to them for their own space program, but in reality they just want to fix up the plumbing in the royal palace!
These two photos show the missile that the USSR donated to the cause!!
The "Mouse" series was written by remarkable Irish author Leonard Wibberley. Three more entries, "The Mouse On Wall Street," "The Mouse That Saved The West," and "Beware The Mouse" were never made into films!!
June Ritchie had the role of Cynthia.....
....And Bernard Cribbins was the unlikely astronaut Vincent Mountjoy! Bernard's next role in a film would be "Carry On Jack" as Midshipman Albert Poop-Decker! Besides 94 acting credits, Bernard made quite a career out of playing himself, which he managed to do quite nicely in about 41 different TV shows!
The occasionally brilliant Terry-Thomas pops in as UK Spy Maurice Spender! You probably don't know that his real name was Thomas Terry Hoar Stevens!!
Director Richard Lester would end up directing two movies by The Beatles, "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!"
In the musical segment included, the band is torn back and forth between whether to hail the Russians or the Americans, and it makes for a pretty funny musical bit!
With the help of David Kossoff as Professor Kokintz Vincent Mountjoy is eventually on his way to the moon!!
Both the Russians and the Americans watch the proceeding attentively!
Grand Fenwick is the first to land on the moon!
A lot of people think that if Peter Sellers would have been in this second "Mouse" movie that it would have been a lot better, and more popular. Personally, I don't think it would have mattered, and Bernard Cribbins does a fine job as Vincent! Here he gazes wistfully at the Russian and American spaceships getting ready to land on the moon too!
The Americans and the Russians land at the same time in a tie for second place! More than the lack of star Peter Sellers, probably the real kiss of death for this flick was it's political commentary about the financial futility of the Space Race and the idiocy of politics in general! Remember, it would still be another six years before we actually did go to the moon!
It translates as "TOGETHERNESS - MOONWISE" - "Th, Th, Th, Th, That's All Folks!"