7.5/10
35,236
376 user 71 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
1,338 ( 1,021)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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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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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:

$46,332,858

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final gas station collapse did not go quite as planned. The water tower crashed into the small building behind the station, which was rigged to collapse but was accidentally triggered before the water tower actually hit it. Special-effects technician Linwood G. Dunn was called in to optically fix the scene. Dunn took the scene and split-screened the small building, first freeze-framing it then catching the collapsing action up to the water tower strike. All this took place on the right side of the frame. See more »

Goofs

When Pike arrives at Santa Rosita Park in the pick-up truck with the Marcus-Finch party, he is particularly seeking Mr. Meyer. When they pull up next to the pale-blue convertible that Meyer stole from Nervous Motorist. Pike says, "That's his car!" but he could not have known this as Meyer stole the car long after he parted company with Pike. 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 opening credits are a sequence of gags all related to a globe of the world. See more »

Alternate Versions

The MGM lion was never seen in the original film. The movie was made when both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists were both still separate - and quite successful - companies, so only the old United Artists logo appeared in the credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Riding with Death (1997) 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
See more »

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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