7.6/10
34,578
368 user 70 critic

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)

A group of motorists hear about a crook's hidden stash of loot, and race against each other across the country to get to it.

Director:

Stanley Kramer

Writers:

William Rose (story), Tania Rose (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,480 ( 191)

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

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... Capt. T. G. Culpepper
Milton Berle ... J. Russell Finch
Sid Caesar ... Melville Crump
Buddy Hackett ... Benjy Benjamin
Ethel Merman ... Mrs. Marcus
Mickey Rooney ... Ding Bell
Dick Shawn ... Sylvester Marcus
Phil Silvers ... Otto Meyer
Terry-Thomas ... J. Algernon Hawthorne
Jonathan Winters ... Lennie Pike
Edie Adams ... Monica Crump
Dorothy Provine ... Emeline Marcus-Finch
Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson ... Second Cab Driver
Jim Backus ... Tyler Fitzgerald
Ben Blue ... Biplane Pilot
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Storyline

The story begins during a massive traffic jam, caused by reckless driver Smiler Grogan, who, before kicking the bucket, cryptically tells the assembled drivers that he's buried a fortune in stolen loot, under the Big W. All of the motorists set out to find the fortune. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 December 1963 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$46,300,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,000,000, 31 December 1970
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Casey Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System) (35mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.76 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main part of the film was shot during summer 1962 because many cast members were on hiatus from television series they were working on. See more »

Goofs

When the Sgt. is updating Culpepper on the characters' progress, he mentions Sylvester, Hawthorne, and Meyer. But since all three of them became involved after the events were set into motion, there is no way the police could have known about them yet. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
J. Russell Finch: [as all the cars pull over one by one, the men quickly jump out in shock at having just witnessed Smiler Grogan pass them recklessly fast, careen off the side of the hilly road, and terribly crash down below] Whoa! Hey d-did ya see it, the way he went sailing right out there? D-d he just went *sailing* right out there.
Melville Crump: It was terrible, I m-a-mean just terrible. He musta been doin' over 80 ya know.
J. Russell Finch: An ambulance; we better, we oughta call an ambulance.
Ding Bell: Oh... oh look at that car.
J. Russell Finch: [...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the globe explodes and credits fall everywhere, the credits of the animators who worked on the title sequence can be seen. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original roadshow presentation, including overture, entr'acte, and exit music, ran 202 minutes. Using most of the footage included in the extended version released in 1991 on VHS and laserdisc, as well as newly found footage (some with foreign subtitles or without audio), still photos or additional audio (such as the police calls run during the intermission), the 197-minute reconstruction by film preservationist Robert Harris (included in the 2013 Criterion blu-ray release) is the closest rendition of the original roadshow release that we are ever likely to see. About 5 minutes of roadshow material in any format (live action footage, still photos, or audio) remains lost, presumably forever. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wonder Years: It's a Mad, Mad, Madeline World (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A Comedy Classic that Still Holds Up...
28 December 2005 | by ijonesiiiSee 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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