The Mouse on the Moon
Richard Lester’s first feature film was something called It’s Trad, Dad!, which is very hard to find. This is his second. The one following this one was A Hard Day’s Night, and he was off to the races. I’d sure like to see that earlier film, and a short he did called The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film, because something must have impressed the Beatles to hire him for their first movie, and it sure wasn’t this film. It’s a sequel to The Mouse That Roared, which starred Peter Sellers in three roles. This film desperately needed Sellers. Both movies are about the tiny Duchy of Grand Fenwick, an English enclave in Europe. This film has funny situations and some fairly funny moments, some of the political satire works, but the pacing is off, the comic timing is off, and in the end it fails to deliver. Amazing that Lester could move from this rather pedestrian exercise to the brilliant antics of the Beatles films and my personal favorite, The Knack … and How to Get It.