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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.



(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Biplane Pilot


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


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


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 December 1963 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

It's a Mad World  »

Box Office


$9,400,000 (estimated)


$46,300,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

2.76 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film features several pairs of actors known for working together who ironically share no scenes--among them, Jack Benny and Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Phil Silvers and Paul Ford, Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner, Alan Carney and Wally Brown, Leo Gorcey and Stanley Clements, and Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante. See more »


Dingy is seen from the back wearing headphones when he's frantically trying to call the airport from the airplane, but the headset disappears in a front view. See more »


Tower Controller at Rancho Conejo: In another couple of minutes, we'll have them in position, Colonel.
Col. Wilberforce: In another couple of minutes, men, we'll have you in position.
Tower Controller at Rancho Conejo: [Sarcastically] You're doing a great job, Colonel.
Col. Wilberforce: Thank you.
Radio tower operator at Rancho Conejo: Why don't we just shoot them down and be through with it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The animators who animated the opening title sequence were technically uncredited on film, but they did get their names in during the shot where the giant globe "explodes" and there is a shower of name credits strewn over the screen. Freeze-frame reveals the names of all the animators. This is the same animation team who did A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965). See more »


Spoofed in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) See more »


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

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User Reviews

A Comedy Classic that Still Holds Up...
28 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A couple of years ago, I finally managed to get IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD on video. I saw it as a kid and remember enjoying it but watching it again for 40 years later, I still found myself LMAO. This is still the granddaddy of all comedy/adventures directed by Stanley Kramer, who up to this point had only directed serious dramas like THE DEFIANT ONES and JUDGMENT AT NUREMBURG. A dying man (Jimmy Durante) who was thrown from a car that careened over a cliff, tells a group of witnesses to the accident (Sid Ceasar, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Hackett, Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters) that there is $350,000.00 hidden under a big "W" in a nearby town, which sets off one of the wildest, craziest chase comedies made in the history of cinema. A rather tired and haggard looking Spencer Tracy heads the cast as the cop on the trail of these greedy money-mongers and just about every comedian or comic actor alive in 1963 appears in this film, either in a starring role or cameo and despite this impressive gathering of the best comedic talent in the business, towering over all of them in one of her few film performances, is Broadway legend Ethel Merman, who gives the performance of a lifetime as Berle's shrew of a mother-in-law. Her performance alone makes IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD worth seeing. Check out this classic if you've never seen it.

70 of 83 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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