It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)
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The film, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, opened in Chicago on Tuesday, November 19, 1963, at the McVickers Cinerama Theatre (Madison and State). The premiere was for the benefit of the Chicago Youth Centers.
Chicago Tribune, Tuesday, November 19, 1963:
by Herb Lyon
" . . . . Atty. Gen. Bobby Kennedy turns 30 tomorrow. [He's growing up!] . . . . Most of the Kennedy clan arrived in buses for the New York benefit premiere of Stan Kramer's "Mad, Mad, etc. World" Sunday night. Missing: The President and Mrs. Kennedy and the ailing patriarch, Joseph Kennedy. . . . Same flicker kicks off at the McVickers tonight with Kramer and Scene Stealer Jonathan Winters on deck . . . . " Edit
The turbulent comedy directed by Stanley Kramer in 1963 can certainly be considered one of the big classics in history of motion pictures. Like many other movies, this one is relevant for our page due to the enormous cuts.
While a so-called Preview Version with a length of 210 minutes resulted from a 5-hour-long workprint, Kramer himself made further cuts for its theatrical release (192 minutes). But that still wasn't enough for United Artists because they intended to show the movie in theaters as often as possible on one single day. As a result, the studio made further cuts on their own and the "final" Theatrical Version was only 154 minutes, almost the only option to watch the movie, even these days. Almost the only option because MGM and United Artists made the effort to edit a "Special Edition" in 1991.
This Special Edition contains footage found in the archives. Unfortunately, only 20 minutes of the footage could have been reconstructed but not any missing minute. So technically, the Special Edition isn't the original Director's Cut but Kramer was involved in the process, and so was screenwriter Tania Rose. The resulting version runs more smoothly and should be preferred. Admittedly, the new footage often differs from the rest and it's been reinserted roughly. Nevertheless, the positive impression overbalances.
Unfortunately, the longer version has only been released as US-VHS and US-LD so far. The DVDs and the recently released US-BD (which looks pretty amazing by the way plus it contains the correct aspect ratio 2.76:1 for the first time) only contain the Theatrical Version. Besides the US-VHS and US-LD, the only possible but rare option would be the US-TV. Though the US-DVD/BD contains "Extended Scenes" as bonus but that's not the real deal either.
However, in October 2013, it was announced that the Criterion Collection will be issuing a restored and reconstructed combo Blu-Ray/DVD of the Roadshow Version, though it will still be three minutes shy, and a few scenes will be audio-only with stills. This was an effort supervised by Robert Harris, who helped restore of "Lawrence of Arabia," "Spartacus," "My Fair Lady," and "Vertigo." It will be released in January, 2014. Edit