7.6/10
34,324
367 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
1,915 ( 325)

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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:

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

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In 1962, when this picture was made, Pacific Coast Highway was US Hwy. 101A (Alternate), as it had been since July 20, 1935. On July 1, 1964, the highway became California Highway 1, because laws were enacted giving the responsibility for maintenance of many federal highways in California back to the state. This included US 99 (Golden State Highway) and US 466 (where James Dean was killed), which became State Highway 41. See more »

Goofs

As Culpepper slides down the cable on the palm tree branch, you can see the rigging inside the branch. 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

The cast members who are listed "in alphabetical order" are actually listed as such: Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas, and Jonathan Winters.

Then some hands (presumably the characters themselves) move their credit to the top of the list, causing a squabble and shuffle to occur.

The final order is Silvers, Rooney, Berle, Winters, Merman, Hackett, Terry-Thomas, Caesar, and Shawn. See more »

Alternate Versions

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 202-minute roadshow presentation 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 Jack of All Trades: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Opera (2000) 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
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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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