344 user 61 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.



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



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The money that fluttered away in the original 1963 film was counterfeit - "a red herring" - and the real treasure is still buried but down deeper in the ground. The sons, daughters and ... See full summary »



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 Rock The Screen With Laughter! 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
See  »

Did You Know?


After adjusting for inflation, the $350,000 treasure would be equivalent to $2,700,000 in 2015. See more »


In the final scene at the gas station, Pike backs up the truck into the water tower that falls on the bathrooms that were destroyed in an earlier scene. See more »


[Benjy is trying to fly an airplane]
Benjy Benjamin: Dingy, don't let this worry you- *We're gonna get killed*!
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 »


Referenced in Gossip Girl: It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World (2010) 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

Yes, It's Loud But It's An Incredible Comedy Classic
27 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Well, if I named all the famous comedians who were in this film it would a long, long review. Just check the credits - it's unbelievable! Suffice to say, it was an "all-star" cast of everybody you could think of who was a big-name comedian in 1963 including some old-timers like Mickey Rooney, Milton Berle, etc. Add a famous dramatic actor, Spencer Tracy, to the mix,, too, and you have one of the most famous comedies ever put on film.

When I saw this in the theater, and even in the '80s on tape, I liked it immensely, but now it's just a bit loud and too much for me in spots. I'm either getting too old or this film is getting to look dated and corny.....probably both. However, if you want three hours of pure lunacy and escapist fare, you could do a whole lot worse.

Despite all the shouting, this film has some of the all-time most memorable comedy scenes ever put on film. Plus, unlike today's comedies, there is no profanity, no sex, no blood....just silliness and one wild scene after another, with an unbelievable slapstick ending atop a building.

For anyone who collects movies, or enjoys a good laugh, this a "must" for your collection, and I don't say that very often. However, as I get older, all that yelling and screaming has made me downgrade my rating from 10 to 9 to 8 and now 7.

48 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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If it'd been made in 1953... holbrookp
What if Culpepper had gotten away joannabaroncelli
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