7.6/10
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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.

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Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,708 ( 353)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ben Blue ...
Biplane Pilot
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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:

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

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 »

Goofs

As the Fire Department tries to rescue the men on the fire escape, one shot shows an extra in the crowd jumping up and down/clapping her hands in reaction while the extras around her show no reaction. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Marcus: [holding a planter containing several cactus] Well, where should I put this?
J. Russell Finch: [scoffing] Oh, boy.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in 1941 (1979) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Greatest comedy of all time, period.
5 March 2005 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

I never planned to write a review for this movie, until I took a stroll through the user comments, and was shocked at all the people who think it is.... God help us... overrated. No way. If anything, it is UNDERrated. I see people complaining about the endless shouting, the over the top slapstick, the brashness, the loudness, the length. I can only conclude that these people are a bunch of humorless dorks.

First of all, you can't just sit down to watch a three hour movie without knowing what you're in for. This is not your typical comedy--this is an EPIC comedy, the first of its kind, that inspired other such epics as "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines" and "The Great Race" (which happens to be my favorite comedy--in fact, I'd like to say it's the better movie, but props go to this one for inventing the genre). And I can't speak for everyone else, but this movie leaves me laughing from start to finish.

Yes, it is very long, but it NEVER has a dull moment. Even if the amazing car stunts aren't particularly funny, you can't tell me they aren't wildly entertaining. I have yet to see an action movie with better car chases than these. And yes, the slapstick is ridiculously over the top, although I can't see how that's a problem (the gas station scene is one of the funniest in movie history, in my opinion). But underneath all the slapstick and shouting, holding the whole movie together, is that incredibly cynical message. It is a movie about kind, decent folks turning into law-breaking lunatics and ruining their lives for the sake of money. The subplot with Spencer Tracey realizing his entire life has been a waste, and then ruining what life he has left, is one of the most tragic story lines I have seen. But it's also pretty darn funny.

All the critics need to lighten up and see this for the absurd, delirious, hysterical farce it is.

10/10 stars.


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