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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.

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(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

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Ben Blue ...
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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:

Everybody who's ever been funny is in it! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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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:

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spencer Tracy worked on the film for a total of nine days. Aware of Tracy's poor health, director Stanley Kramer only allowed him to work for three to four hours a day and did not let him appear in any of the desert exterior scenes. A stunt double was used in a few action scenes, including the chase scene where he runs up the building stairs. See more »

Goofs

In the long shots showing the entire firetruck ladder, the ladder sways from the ground level. But during close-ups, the ladder's pivot point is just off the bottom of the screen, indicating a much-shorter ladder was used. See more »

Quotes

Melville Crump: The man said there was a certain amount of money buried down in this park.
Lennie Pike: That's right. It was under a big W. Say what is a big W?
Ding Bell: If we find out, we'll send you a wire.
Melville Crump: It's only a possibility now, it's only a possibility that this man was telling the truth. And if it was the truth, then it is a fact that this place is almost 200 miles away. Now I suggest that we quietly get into our cars and drive down there at a safe, sound speed, keeping each other in sight of each other. And then when we ...
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 »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 26 January 1964 (1964) 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
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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.


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