7.5/10
36,154
393 user 73 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.

Directors:

Stanley Kramer, William T. Hurtz (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

William Rose (story), Tania Rose (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
719 ( 1,686)
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
Learn more

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Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and 2 more credits »
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Comedy

The money that fluttered away in the original 1963 film was counterfeit - "a red herring" - and the real treasure is still buried but down deeper in the ground. The sons, daughters and ... See full summary »

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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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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

The police units (including Capt. Culpepper's black '62 Dodge) have private license plates on them (a year sticker is visible). They should have an "E" circumscribed by an octagon preceding six numerals (no letters). No year sticker for exempt plates on publicly-owned vehicles, such as police cars. 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

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 2014 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 Rat Race (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

You Satisfy My Soul
(1963) (uncredited)
Music by Ernest Gold
Lyrics by Mack David
Played by The Four Mads
Sung by The Shirelles
See more »

User Reviews

Just push the button marked BOOZE!
30 January 2009 | by TheCinemassacreSee 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!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

$46,332,858

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,332,858
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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