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   IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963) 

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CAST
Spencer Tracy
Milton Berle
Sid Caeser
Edie Adams
Buddy Hackett
Ethel Merman
Mickey Rooney
Dick Shawn
Phil Silvers
Jonathan Winters
Terry-Thomas

DIRECTED BY
Stanley Kramer

PURCHASE


DVD




Time: 188 mins.
Rating: G
Genre: Comedy

Won Academy Award for Best Sound Effects. Nominated for Best Film Editing, Score, Song, Sound and Cinematography.


SYNOPSIS: After a long prison sentence Smiler Grogan is heading at high speed to a California park where he hid $350,000 from a job 15 years previously. He accidentally careers over a cliff in view of four cars whose occupants go down to help. The dying Grogan gives details of where the money is buried and when the witnesses fail to agree on sharing the cash, a crazy chase develops across the state.

BOTTOM LINE: Despite it's all-star comedy cast, I wasn't really excited to see this picture. Part of my reluctance was due to the plot – group of vacationers race against each other to be the first and only to find a secret cache of cash – the rest was the 3 hour running time. Thanks to its enormously talented cast, amazing driving sequences and innovative stunt work, MAD WORLD is more enjoyable than it should be. I would have had a better time if it was an hour shorter. The plot is just too thin to sustain such a length. I realize they needed the time to give everyone their moment to shine, but the film really starts to drag in its' second hour. There's only so much double crossing, screaming and fighting one can take. That being said, all road pictures made since have stolen something from this flick. Berle, Caeser, Hackett and Rooney prove their comic genius in scene after scene. Though Jonathan Winters stole the show, consistently making me laugh out loud. Though Ethel Merman was funny, her constant bitching starts to wear on the nerves towards the end. Tracy is supposed to be the voice of sanity, but by the end he proves otherwise. The final half hour picks up the pace with a wild cab driving sequence and a fire engine ladder rescue one has to see to believe. A raucous comedy that doesn't know when to quit. Worthwhile just to see the world's best comedians at work.




"Even businessmen, who rob and cheat and steal from people everyday, even they have to pay taxes."

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