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 »
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Popularity
3,107 ( 2)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

It's The Biggest Entertainment Ever To Rock The Screen With Laughter! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Picerni was originally cast as the second detective at Smiler Grogan's crash site. Picerni was unable to appear in the film, but he recommended fellow The Untouchables (1959) castmate Nicholas Georgiade for the role. See more »

Goofs

Smiler Grogan actually overtakes two more cars than just the four that actually stop at the crash site. In the very first shot, we see Smiler overtake Pike's van and approach Dingy and Benjy in their VW convertible, and we see the road curving back to the left again within the shot, and in the extension of the road further back in the shot we can actually see that Crump's station wagon and Finch's white Imperial convertible are the next two cars Smiler will reach and have to overtake. But in the shots in between overtaking the VW and Crump's station wagon, two additional cars - a white sedan, and a purplish-colored sedan - appear and disappear. Right before Smiler comes up to and overtakes the white sedan, they meet a Greyhound bus that honks. The overtaking of the purple-like sedan is then followed in two shots. Right after this has been overtaken, Smiler passes Crump's station wagon. However, in this shot we can clearly see a lonely driver with no passenger in it. Mere seconds later, Smiler passes Finch's car and goes off the cliff, and only four of the six cars we have just seen him overtake are there to stop at the site. 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: [...]
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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

While the 186-minute version is occasionally shown, it is important to remember that it is a patchwork job including footage never intended to be shown in any version. The 154 minute version (161 minutes including intermission and exit music) is the only version currently authorized by Kramer. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Password: Episode dated 31 July 1962 (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
(1963) (uncredited)
Music by Ernest Gold
Lyrics by Mack David
Sung by an offscreen chorus during the Overture
Variations in the score throughout the film
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User Reviews

 
Classic epic comedy with too much editing
23 May 2002 | by Ddey65See all my reviews

Having been born in 1965, it's safe to say that the first time I ever saw "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" was on network television. Every other user comment already reveals enough about the movie, so I'll just stick with my own experiences regarding the film.

If you must know, yes I do believe this film is a well-deserved comedy classic, but it's also loaded with breathtaking scenery (natural and contemporary) that's often overlooked by most critics. Many a fan wants to know where that mountain road is. Since I'm also a fan of big cars of the post-WW2 era I can easily spot every one. Mickey Rooney's Volkswagen must be worth a fortune if it's still around. And I don't care if this movie is over 3 hours long. As one commenter put it it has been edited to pieces. I envy those who saw the original 1963 version of this movie, but even they didn't see everything. The versions I've seen include the original television edit, the director's cut on 2 VHS tapes which contain some "lost scenes" and people I never even knew were in the movie, the DVD, and even a version on TV where some scenes were shown out of order. The director's cut VHS tapes is the best, partially because of those scenes such as additional police observations, as well as having the sense to keep the original overture, entr'acte, and exit music title cards. Unfortunately, the DVD removes those lost scenes and mixes them with a section of other deleted scenes, like a louder version of Buddy Hackett's "17 ways of figuring it" speech, and some riskier ordeals in Santa Rosita Park.

I've come to the conclusion that there's only one solution to this problem -- unless all footage is found and re-installed into the original version, the screenplay must be released into a book and sold to the public.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Chinese

Release Date:

7 November 1963 (Canada) 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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited) | (restored video) | (extended re-edit) (Laserdisc) | (premiere) | (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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