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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
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...
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.
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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 »
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!
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