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It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  2 December 1963 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 27,862 users  
Reviews: 343 user | 60 critic

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:
Ben Blue ...
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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 »


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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?


Much of the film was shot on location in Palm Springs during a very hot summer. Stanley Kramer set up an air-conditioned truck filled with benches, stools and chairs where the cast could cool off between shots. See more »


As Smiler's car sails off the cliff, it starts to roll to the left. This roll continues in a second shot. However, when the car finally lands, the car is now back to a level position as if the roll never happened. See more »


Lennie Pike: Then what happens next? I'll tell you what happens: Then they all decide that I'm supposed to get a smaller share! That I'm somebody extra special stupid, or something! That they don't even care if it's a democracy! And in a democracy, it don't matter how stupid you are, you still get an equal share!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are set against an animated background that interacts with the credit lettering. See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Dead Talk Back (1994) See more »


It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
(1963) (uncredited)
Music by Ernest Gold
Lyrics by Mack David
Sung by an offscreen chorus during the Overture
Variations in the score throughout the film
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Just push the button marked BOOZE!
30 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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!

40 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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