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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
|Series||Criterion collection ; 692.|
Action and adventure films.
Screwball comedy films.
|Publisher|| [Irvington, N.Y.] :2014
|Edition||Blu-ray and DVD, Widescreen.|
|Other Titles|| It is a mad, mad, mad world
Rose, Tania, 1920-2015, screenwriter.
Kramer, Stanley, producer, director.
Tracy, Spencer, 1900-1967, actor.
Berle, Milton, actor.
Caesar, Sid, 1922-2014, actor.
Hackett, Buddy, 1924-2003, actor.
Merman, Ethel, actor.
Rooney, Mickey, actor.
Shawn, Dick, actor.
Silvers, Phil, 1911-1985, actor.
Terry-Thomas, 1911-1990, actor.
Winters, Jonathan, actor.
Gold, Ernest, 1921-1999, composer.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, production company.
United Artists Corporation, production company.
Criterion Collection (Firm), publisher.
Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas, Jonathan Winters.
Music, Ernest Gold.
Rated G; for all ages.
In English; with optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired (SDH).
Blu-ray and DVD include two versions: General release version (163-minute) and new high-definition digital transfer of 197-minute extended version.
"Dual format edition"--Container.
Title from container.
Originally produced as a motion picture in 1963.
Blu-ray and DVD special features: New audio commentary featuring It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world aficionadoes Mark Evanier, Michael Schlesinger, and Paul Scrabo; New documentary on the film's visual and sound effects, featuring interviews with visual-effects specialist Craig Barron and sound designer Ben Burtt; Excerpt from a 1974 talk show hosted by director Stanley Kramer and featuring Mad world actors Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, and Jonathan Winters; Press interview from 1963 featuring Kramer and cast members; excerpts about the influence of the film from the 2000 AFI program 100 years ... 100 laughs; two-part 1963 episode of the TV program Telescope that follows the film's press junket and premiere; The last 70 mm Film Festival (a 2012 program featuring Mad world cast and crew, hosted by actor Billy Crystal; Selection of humorist and voice-over artist Stan Freberg's original TV and radio ads for the film, with a new introduction by Freberg; Trailers and radio spots.
Blu-ray Disc; region A; widescreen presentation; 5.1 surround; DTS-HD master audio.
DVD; NTSC; region 1; widescreen (2.76:1 aspect ratio) presentation; Dolby digital.
Blu-ray Disc requires a Blu-ray Disc player.
2 Blu-ray Discs (163 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 3 DVDs (163 min. : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.)