7.6/10
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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 »
Reviews
Popularity
1,200 ( 166)

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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 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

The role of Col. Algernon Hawthorne was originally written for Peter Sellers, but he asked too much money and the role went to Terry-Thomas. See more »

Goofs

When Ding and Benjy are at the airport's outdoor counter and first spot Tylor Fitzgerald's airplane its propellers are pointed in the 1 and 7 o'clock position, and the boarding ladder is down. However in the next scene, inside the billiard room, when the curtains are pulled back revealing the (carefully placed) Twin Beach in the background, the propellers are pointed to the 10 and 4 o'clock position and the ladder is gone. See more »

Quotes

Ding Bell: You see our grandmother lives in Rosita Beach, see, and she's dying and she kinda like to have us be with her when she goes.
Benjy Benjamin: Otherwise she won't go.
[Bell bumps him]
Benjy Benjamin: Uh, she'll go!
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 70mm roadshow version ran 192 minutes (excluding overture and entr'acte music). This 70mm version was then re-edited to 162 minutes, and in the subsequent 35mm general and worldwide release it was cut further to 154 minutes. The original video version was mastered off the 35mm negative and also ran 154 minutes. In the early 1990s, 20 minutes of additional 70mm footage was found in the form of an old theatrical print in an old film warehouse slated for demolition and was transferred to video which was then combined with the 35mm footage video transfer to create the new "video restoration" The original 192-minute, 65mm camera negative print has not been restored and it would appear that the missing original negative segments and the additional scenes, which include a musical dance number, Culpepper and Jimmy's phone conversation, plus a few more scenes involving a TV news anchorman detailing news about the race for the buried money, have been irretrievably lost. The new "video restoration" runs approximately 186 minutes which includes both parts, as well as the overture and entr'acte music, as well as the intermission and closing music. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lost in America (1985) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Epic Comedy
4 September 1999 | by Eric-62-2See all my reviews

This was the first time a comedy got the "epic" film treatment and after getting increasingly pretentious in his previous two dramas, Stanley Kramer just went all out for simple old-fashioned fun with the largest ensemble of comic talent he could get his hands on. How big? Consider that this is a film in which both Jack Benny and Rochester appear, but not together (also true of Phil Silvers and his "Sergeant Bilko" nemesis Paul Ford). Just about every big name in TV comedy of the 50s and 60s is here and the results, while not the greatest of its kind ("The Great Race" is a funnier film in my opinion) still manages to deliver the laughs.

It's too bad the remaining ten minutes (plus the police bulletins intermission) of the road show version still is missing, because the expanded version helped me appreciate the film a lot more than I did the first time out when I saw it on TV as a faded pan and scan atrocity. This is one film that makes great use of the widescreen.


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