It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 American epic comedy adventure action film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer with a screenplay by William Rose and Tania Rose from a story by Tania Rose. The film, starring Spencer Tracy with an all-star cast, is about the madcap pursuit of $350,000 in stolen cash by a diverse and colorful group of strangers. It premiered on November 7, 1963.
The story begins with an accident on a lonely freeway in the Southern California desert: Ex-con Smiler Grogan (Jimmy Durante) loses control of his car and drives it off a cliff, In his last words, he mentions a cache of loot he hid under a big W at a park in Santa Rosita. The police arrive, but to get out of being held for questioning, all the motorists inform them Grogan was raving and didn't mention anything significant. Under the Big W. All of the motorists set out to find the fortune.
Why It Rocks
- While it is long, it has a good amount of comedy throughout despite being an almost three-hour film.
- Tons of great actors in an all-star cast film. Not only that, but Spencer Tracy as Captain T.G. Culpeper, Milton Berle as J. Russell Finch, and many others gave amazing performances.
- The movie's opening animation scene is very brilliant, featuring several funny parts to give off a great first impression for the audience.
- Amazing soundtrack that was performed by Ernest Gold.
- Many of the characters are absolutely funny and very memorable, such as Captain T.G. Culpeper and J. Russell Finch.
- Fantastic cinematography.
- The car crashes and chases are very epic to watch.
- There are tons of fun and cool action sequences throughout the movie, such as a scene where they chase around the highway, destroying the gas station in the middle of the desert, losing control on an airplane, and that "Everything goes Wrong" scene.
- The final chase scene that goes to the abandoned building and goes to a fire ladder cause the ladder loses control and spins around causing a lot of people to fall or fly off to the ground is very fun.
- The ending scene was very funny; Mrs. Marcus enters the room and begins loudly berating everyone. When she comically slips on a banana peel, the men roar with laughter, including Culpeper.
- The restoration edition wasn't as good as the original cut, due to the fact that there are several deleted scenes that the widescreen versions kept that look lazily unfinished unlike the future film with deleted scenes in any special edition.
The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and it was well-received by audiences alike. It has a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 37 reviews, with an average score of 6.92/10. The consensus states "It's long, frantic, and stuffed to the gills with comic actors and set pieces—and that's exactly its charm." According to Paul Scrabo, Kramer began thinking about his success with Mad World during the 1970s and considered bringing back many former cast members for a proposed film titled The Sheiks of Araby. William Rose was set to write the screenplay. Years later, Kramer announced a possible Mad World sequel, which was to be titled It's a Funny, Funny World.
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World featured at number 40 in the American Film Institute's list 100 Years...100 Laughs.
- The film contained many cameo appearances by various stars associated with comedy. According to some exhibitors--from both the original roadshow version shown in Cinerama venues and the 35mm general release version--the biggest audience reaction occurred during the airport sequence when the camera would come down to reveal Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Joe DeRita (aka The Three Stooges). Although they had no dialog or action, the image of the trio--dressed as firemen, complete with fire axes, waiting for the plane to land--not only resulted in laughter but often in applause from audiences.
- It became well known that Stanley Kramer was casting nearly every comedy performer he could think of. Some famous stars actually contacted Kramer to volunteer for the project or to inquire why they had not been contacted.
- It is James Rolfe's (The Angry Video Game Nerd) favorite movie.