Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in rural Alabama while on their way back to college, and one of their cousins--an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer not accustomed to Southern rules and manners--comes in to defend them.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For the intermission of the premiere engagement at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, the filmmakers recorded messages supposedly sent over police radios describing what was happening to various characters. These messages were played not only in the auditorium during the intermission, but out at the concession stand and even in the bathrooms. See more »
When Melville is driving the fork lift into the storeroom, the stunt double is clearly visible driving. See more »
[into a phone]
Mama, who's with you? Where are you talking to me... Where are you?
[into the phone]
I'm with this truck driver at Peterson's garage in a place called Plaster City. And will you just shut up a minute so I can tell you what happened!
Now listen, Mommy, you listen to me close. You stay right there, because I'm coming, Mom. I'm coming to get you right now, Mom.
Will you SHUT UP AND LISTEN?
Mama, it's all right. Everything's gonna be all right, Mama. Your baby's coming to get ya. You ...
[...] See more »
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 »
This was the first time a comedy got the "epic" film treatment and after getting increasingly pretentious in his previous two dramas, Stanley Kramer just went all out for simple old-fashioned fun with the largest ensemble of comic talent he could get his hands on. How big? Consider that this is a film in which both Jack Benny and Rochester appear, but not together (also true of Phil Silvers and his "Sergeant Bilko" nemesis Paul Ford). Just about every big name in TV comedy of the 50s and 60s is here and the results, while not the greatest of its kind ("The Great Race" is a funnier film in my opinion) still manages to deliver the laughs.
It's too bad the remaining ten minutes (plus the police bulletins intermission) of the road show version still is missing, because the expanded version helped me appreciate the film a lot more than I did the first time out when I saw it on TV as a faded pan and scan atrocity. This is one film that makes great use of the widescreen.
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