7.6/10
30,549
345 user 62 critic

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 2 December 1963 (UK)
The dying words of a thief spark a madcap cross-country rush to find some treasure.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,457 ( 1,122)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Biplane Pilot
Edit

Storyline

After a long prison sentence Smiler Grogan is heading at high speed to a California park where he hid $350,000 from a job 15 years previously. He accidentally careens over a cliff in view of four cars whose occupants go down to help. The dying Grogan gives details of where the money is buried and when the witnesses fail to agree on sharing the cash, a crazy chase develops across the state. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the biggest entertainment ever to hit the Cinerama screen! (Poster). See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 December 1963 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

It's a Mad World  »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,400,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$46,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(edited) | (restored video) | (extended re-edit) (Laserdisc) | (original) | (roadshow) | (extended)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (35mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.76 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Billing was a huge problem with such a large cast of famous names. Stanley Kramer finally decided to give Spencer Tracy top billing, since he was the biggest film name in the cast. He then billed the leading comedians in alphabetical order, followed by supporting players billed the same way. The only name which didn't conform to this credit ranking besides Tracy's was Jimmy Durante's. Kramer wanted to give him special mention to compensate for the brevity of his role. See more »

Goofs

When Otto Meyer has a blowout you can clearly see the dirt on the blacktop showing that the scene has been done more than once. See more »

Quotes

J. Russell Finch: And I give you my word. My wife wanted to stop for you, I wanted to stop for you, he wanted to stop for you. But tell him, tell him how my mother in-law made us drive right by him...
Lennie Pike: Listen, anything you got to say about your mother in-law, you don't have to explain to me. You know what I mean? Like if she were the star of a real crummy horror movie, I'd believe it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After Spencer Tracy's credit has been shown, the words "and in alphabetical order" appear, and the next group of credits is assembled below them by animated hands: Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas, and Jonathan Winters. But after a moment, the hands reappear to pull out Silvers' credit and move it to the top, then Winters', then Caesar's, and so on until everyone has had had a turn at top billing in the group. The hands then quickly shuffle the credits several more times for good measure, all the time with the "and in alphabetical order" label still in place. The final order is Silvers, Rooney, Berle, Winters, Merman, Hackett, Terry-Thomas, Caesar, Shawn. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hard & Ugly (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Thirty-one Flavors
(1963) (uncredited)
Music by Ernest Gold
Lyrics by Mack David
Played by The Four Mads
Sung by The Shirelles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Just push the button marked BOOZE!
30 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What can I say? It's an epic adventure and comedy rolled into one! It's been my #1 all-time favorite film since childhood, which says a lot. I was surprised to find out how underrated it is. Critics always talk about how it stars so many famous comedians. The novelty overshadows the movie itself. Like I said, I saw this at a very young age, and didn't know who all these actors were. This is the movie that introduced me to them.

It also gets downplayed, being labeled as "slapstick." But that's cutting it short. There's a lot of subtleness in there too. The performances are outstanding. I've never seen a movie that has so many memorable characters all in one.

Each of them go on their own adventure, inter-cutting along the way, as they each have to overcome their own obstacles and meet other characters on their journey. It's like several movies all intertwined together, and most of it happens in real time. The 2 1/2 hour run time feels appropriate and passes like nothing. Every second is entertaining, which is the greatest accomplishment for a motion picture to achieve.

The film resonates with me on a deeper level. All these characters met on the side of the road. They were just ordinary hard working people who had nothing in common, except for one dream. That unreachable fantasy. They all wanted the money so bad. They weren't happy with their lives. They wanted a change, and they would do anything to beat each other. They're overcome by greed which becomes their overlying problem.

Fantastic movie! Full of hilarious moments, and a great story!


45 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?