It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

4.8 25
Director: Stanley Kramer

Cast: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar

     
 

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With this all-star Cinerama epic, producer/director Stanley Kramer vowed to make "the comedy that would end all comedies." The story begins during a massive traffic jam, caused by reckless driver Smiler Grogan (Jimmy Durante), who, before (literally) kicking the bucket, cryptically tells the assembled drivers that he's buried a fortune in stolen loot, "under the Big W… See more details below

Overview

With this all-star Cinerama epic, producer/director Stanley Kramer vowed to make "the comedy that would end all comedies." The story begins during a massive traffic jam, caused by reckless driver Smiler Grogan (Jimmy Durante), who, before (literally) kicking the bucket, cryptically tells the assembled drivers that he's buried a fortune in stolen loot, "under the Big W." The various motorists setting out on a mad scramble include a dentist (Sid Caesar) and his wife (Edie Adams); a henpecked husband (Milton Berle) accompanied by his mother-in-law (Ethel Merman) and his beatnik brother-in-law (Dick Shawn); a pair of comedy writers (Buddy Hackett and Mickey Rooney); and a variety of assorted nuts including a slow-wit (Jonathan Winters), a wheeler-dealer (Phil Silvers), and a pair of covetous cabdrivers (Peter Falk and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson). Monitoring every move that the fortune hunters make is a scrupulously honest police detective (Spencer Tracy). Virtually every lead, supporting, and bit part in the picture is filled by a well-known comic actor: the laughspinning lineup also includes Carl Reiner, Terry-Thomas, Arnold Stang, Buster Keaton, Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, and The Three Stooges, who get one of the picture's biggest laughs by standing stock still and uttering not a word. Two prominent comedians are conspicuous by their absence: Groucho Marx refused to appear when Kramer couldn't meet his price, while Stan Laurel declined because he felt he was too old-looking to be funny. Available for years in its 154-minute general release version, the film was restored to its roadshow length of 175 minutes on home video; the search goes on for a missing Buster Keaton routine, reportedly excised on the eve of the picture's premiere.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Only the super-wide screen Cinerama format could hold all of the comedy stars in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, not to mention the title itself. Just as the bloated Cinerama feature How the West Was Won sought to outdo any Western before it, World fancied itself the comedy to end all comedies. It paraded an unparalleled list of famous comics across the screen, in both feature roles and cameos: Jimmy Durante, Milton Berle, Buster Keaton, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Peter Falk, Jonathan Winters, Jack Benny, Carl Reiner, Jerry Lewis, Dick Shawn, The Three Stooges, and many more. The film operates under the belief that having all of these funny people on screen is enough to get laughs, and occasionally, World can't help but crash under the strain of its frenetic pace and oppressive running time. Director Stanley Kramer smartly puts the most solid of Hollywood stars, Spencer Tracy, at the heart of all the slapstick madness. This was quite a radical departure for Kramer and Tracy, considering their previous two films together had been the dramas Inherit the Wind and Judgment at Nuremberg.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/18/2001
UPC:
0027616865915
Original Release:
1963
Rating:
G
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, Surround Sound]
Time:
2:34:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Spencer Tracy Capt. C.G. Culpepper
Milton Berle J. Russell Finch
Sid Caesar Melville Crump
Buddy Hackett Benjy Benjamin
Mickey Rooney Ding Bell
Ethel Merman Mrs. Marcus
Phil Silvers Otto Meyer
Dick Shawn Sylvester Marcus
Jimmy Durante Smiler Grogan
Buster Keaton Jimmy the Crook
Jonathan Winters Lennie Pike
Edie Adams Monica Crump
Dorothy Provine Emmeline Finch
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson Cab Driver
Jim Backus Tyler Fitzgerald
Ben Blue Airplane Pilot
Alan Carney Police Sergeant
Barrie Chase Mrs. Haliburton
William Demarest Chief of Police
Peter Falk Cab Driver
Paul Ford Col. Wilberforce
Leo Gorcey Cab Driver
Edward Everett Horton Dinckler
Don Knotts Nervous Man
Carl Reiner Tower Control
Andy Devine Sheriff Mason
Sterling Holloway Fire Chief
Marvin Kaplan Irwin
Charles Lane Airport Manager
Charles McGraw Lieutenant
ZaSu Pitts Switchboard Operator
Madlyn Rhue Police Secretary
Arnold Stang Ray
Jesse White Radio Tower Operator
Lloyd Corrigan Mayor
Selma Diamond Culpeper's Wife
Stan Freberg Deputy Sheriff
Louise Glenn Billie Sue
Ben Lessy George, the Steward
Bobo Lewis Pilot's Wife
Nick Stewart Truck Driver
Sammee Tong Chinese Laundryman
Norman Fell Detective
Nicholas Georgiade Detective
Paul Birch Patrolman
Chick Chandler Actor
Stanley Clements Actor
Howard Da Silva Airport Officer
Roy Engel Actor
Don C. Harvey Helicopter Observer
Allen Jenkins Police Officer
Tom Kennedy Traffic Cop
Harry Lauter Radio Operator
Cliff Norton Actor
Barbara Pepper Actor
Roy Roberts Actor
Eddie Ryder Tower Radioman
Doodles Weaver Salesman
Terry-Thomas J. Algernon Hawthorne
Joe E. Brown Union Official
Mike Mazurki Sarge
Jerry Lewis Mad Driver
Minta Durfee Actor
Larry Fine Fireman
Moe Howard Fireman
Curly Joe DeRita Fireman
John Zaccaro Actor

Technical Credits
Stanley Kramer Director,Producer
Mack David Songwriter
Linwood G. Dunn Special Effects
Walter G. Elliott Sound/Sound Designer
Gene Fowler Editor
Ernest Gold Score Composer,Songwriter
Gordon Gurnell Art Director
Robert Jones Editor
Joseph Kish Set Decoration/Design
Frederic Knudtson Editor
George Lane Makeup
Ernest Laszlo Cinematographer
Danny Lee Special Effects
Carey Loftin Stunts
Lynn Reynolds Makeup
Tania Rose Screenwriter
William Rose Screenwriter
Rudolph Sternad Production Designer
Bill Thomas Costumes/Costume Designer
Marvin Willens Stunts

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