7.6/10
33,237
357 user 67 critic

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)

The dying words of a thief spark a madcap cross-country rush to find some treasure.

Director:

Stanley Kramer

Writers:

William Rose (story), Tania Rose (story) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
1,034 ( 789)

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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:
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:

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

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Of all the accidents that happen throughout the film, blood only occurs twice. The first time is when Russell punches Hawthorne in the nose. The second time is when Mrs. Marcus crashes in the tow truck. Both times the blood isn't even seen. See more »

Goofs

Until the ladder truck shows up for the rescue from the fire escape, the crowd is trying to grab the money that was scattering through the air and onto the ground. In all of the subsequent scenes the money is absent and the crowd reacts as if the rain of cash had never happened. See more »

Quotes

Third Cab Driver: They're up to something funny, you hear what I'm telling you? Now, did you see the blonde I brought? All covered with paint and her dressed ripped. Now what was that all about?
Second cab driver: Yeah. And what about the picks and shovels?
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits are a sequence of gags all related to a globe of the world. 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

 
Greatest comedy of all time, period.
5 March 2005 | by Chromium_5See 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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