Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

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

  • Release date:November 7, 1963

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Mack David Best Song 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ernest Gold Best Song 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ernest Gold Best Original Score 1963 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Jonathan Winters Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ernest Laszlo Best Color Cinematography 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Gene Fowler, Jr. Best Editing 1963 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Frederic Knudtson Best Editing 1963 Nominee

Cast

Spencer Tracy
as Capt. C.G. Culpepper
Milton Berle
as J. Russell Finch
Sid Caesar
as Melville Crump
Buddy Hackett
as Benjy Benjamin
Mickey Rooney
as Ding Bell
Ethel Merman
as Mrs. Marcus
Phil Silvers
as Otto Meyer
Dick Shawn
as Sylvester Marcus
Jimmy Durante
as Smiler Grogan
Buster Keaton
as Jimmy the Crook
Jonathan Winters
as Lennie Pike
Edie Adams
as Monica Crump
Dorothy Provine
as Emmeline Finch
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
as Cab Driver
Jim Backus
as Tyler Fitzgerald
Ben Blue
as Airplane Pilot
Alan Carney
as Police Sergeant
William Demarest
as Chief of Police
Peter Falk
as Cab Driver
Paul Ford
as Col. Wilberforce
Leo Gorcey
as Cab Driver
Edward Everett Horton
as Dinckler
Don Knotts
as Nervous Man
Carl Reiner
as Tower Control
Andy Devine
as Sheriff Mason
Sterling Holloway
as Fire Chief
Marvin Kaplan
as Irwin
Charles Lane
as Airport Manager
Charles McGraw
as Lieutenant
ZaSu Pitts
as Switchboard Operator
Madlyn Rhue
as Police Secretary
Arnold Stang
as Ray
Jesse White
as Radio Tower Operator
Lloyd Corrigan
as Mayor
Stan Freberg
as Deputy Sheriff
Louise Glenn
as Billie Sue
Ben Lessy
as George, the Steward
Bobo Lewis
as Pilot's Wife
Sammee Tong
as Chinese Laundryman
Norman Fell
as Detective
Barbara Pepper
Moe Howard
as Fireman
Terry-Thomas
as J. Algernon Hawthorne
Roy Engel
Mike Mazurki
as Sarge
Paul Birch
as Patrolman
Larry Fine
as Fireman
Chick Chandler
John Zaccaro
Allen Jenkins
as Police Officer
Doodles Weaver
as Salesman
Don C. Harvey
as Helicopter Observer
Joe E. Brown
as Union Official
Howard Da Silva
as Airport Officer
Eddie Ryder
as Tower Radioman
Harry Lauter
as Radio Operator
Jerry Lewis
as Mad Driver
Stanley Clements
Cliff Norton
Roy Roberts

Crew

Stanley Kramer
Director
Stanley Kramer
Producer
Tania Rose
Screenwriter
Ernest Laszlo
Cinematographer
Mack David
Songwriter
Ernest Gold
Composer (Music Score)
Ernest Gold
Songwriter
Gene Fowler, Jr.
Editor
Frederic Knudtson
Editor
Rudolph Sternad
Production Designer
Joseph Kish
Set Designer
Linwood G. Dunn
Special Effects
Advertisement