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It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)

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Stanley Kramer's sprawling 1963 comedy about a search for buried treasure by at least a dozen people--all played by well-known entertainers of their day--is the kind of mass comedy that Hollywood hasn't made in many years. (Another example from around the same time is Blake Edwards's The Great Race.) After a number of strangers (including Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters, Sid Caesar, Phil Silvers, and others) witness a dying stranger (Jimmy Durante) identify the location of hidden money, a conflict-ridden hunt begins, watched over carefully by a suspicious cop (Spencer Tracy). The ensuing two and a half hours of mayhem has its ups and downs--some bits and performers are certainly funnier than others. But Kramer, who is better known for socially conscious, serious cinema (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?), is in a mood for broad comic characterization, and some of his jokes are so intentionally obvious (Durante literally kicks a bucket when he dies), they'd have a place in Airplane! Watch for lots of cameo appearances, including Jerry Lewis (who had called Kramer and asked him why he hadn't been invited to participate). --Tom Keogh

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT"S A FUNNY,FUNNY.FUNNY,FUNNY MOVIE Feb. 23 2004
By JohnK
watching MAD WORLD now is like walking through a conignment shop full of curious old things that were the hight of fashion then but are a little odd now. It's like a top of the line enormous Cadilac out of place today because it is too big and too classy.
MAD WORLD was a big event when it was first released and I don't think any star studded comedy since has matched it for talent on either side of the camera. It's a big movie ( that's movie - not special effects convention ) the likes of which can never be made again because the world has junked clean humor and replaced movie stars with "Celebs".

If you know anything about the stars of the past the list of names here will astound you. The best part is that they are all on top of their game at the same time in this film. They are a vanished breed : the incredibbly seasoned pro. There are no wasted words, no flat gags and no throw away scenes. Even the shots of the cars driving from point to point are spectacular.
The plot concerns a group of motorists who witness an accident and stop to help. They learn from the crash victim that he was on the way to recoup a burried treasure of stolen loot. The race is on to be the first to locate the prize and assorted situations lead to comic results before the wild climax RAT RACE is based on the same idea if not an out and out remake so if you liked that movie you should try this one.
Now . . . none of this will work for you if you are tunnel visioned on the present. This is from an era when studios did not offend audiences. This is a movie that was made to be seen not just by you but by you and your son or daughter. There are no winks - no nods.
If you won't watch Citizen Kane because it's in black and white - see ya!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Uh oh! This Movie Has Been Sliced & Diced! Oct. 21 2001
"Mad World" is one of my all-time favorite comedies...but this DVD left me somewhat dissapointed. I have been watching a VHS copy of this movie for years, and know every line by heart. But when I first watched this DVD, I quickly noticed that lines of dialogue, and even entire scenes are MISSING! When the movie was over, I discovered that all of these "missing pieces" are now located in the Out-takes section of the DVD. So...I guess the "Whole Movie" IS on the DVD...but not in one continuous piece. If you're not already familiar with the movie, then I'm sure you'll enjoy this DVD version. But it distracts me greatly when scenes I know by heart are now truncated or absent. I would not have bought this DVD if I had known that it was sliced up like this. On the brighter side, the bonus materials are quite interesting, especially the interviews with the surviving cast members.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Comedy from the Best March 22 2007
By Mr. D
This video features the biggest collection of classic comedians in movie history. Many later comic movies have copied this theme and story, but with little success compared to this original.

Great camera work, fantastic scenery and "classic humour" are all featured in this "road race" for hidden treasure.

A great gift for someone who grew up with great stars like Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Ceaser and Phil Silvers. Hilarious!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie---my least favorite DVD March 19 2004
I was greatly disappointed when I sat down to watch this DVD release of It's A Mad ... World. Scenes that I knew should be there were missing. Then I looked at the DVD case and noticed the run time (something I should have done before I bought it). This is NOT the full 182 minute, extended scenes version! Even the overture is missing. Thankfully, I kept my 2-cassette video copy that is the full 182 minute cut. Now I'm hoping MGM releases the extended cut version on DVD.
One thing this DVD does have is the hilarious and informative documentary "Something A Little Less Serious." If MGM releases the extended version on DVD, I hope they remember the documentary, too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best, Most Memorable Comedy Ever Made !! June 23 2004
By A Customer
I originally saw the movie in '63. I was 8. Dad started my Birthday party with it. After the movie, Dad drove the route of the Santa Monica portion of the car chase(yes, there really was a "Big W").
Just finished watching the movie on Turner TV. The narrator came on after the movie and said that THE ORIGINAL WAS 5 HOURS long(Just too much "good stuff"). The movie studio had it edited to the shortened current version of three hours.
Back in '63 it was a terrific movie-In '04 it is still a terrific movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Wonderful March 7 2003
"It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I dunno, there's something that's just plain funny about the whole enterprise. Could it be that deep down inside, I think explosions and car crashes are funny? Maybe I like watching over-the-hill celebrities beat each other up. Or the abundance of cameos (Don Knotts, The Three Stooges, Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, Jimmy Durante, Rochester, Buster Keaton, a million others) or the stellar leading cast (Milton Berle, Dick Shawn, Terry-Thomas, Phil Silvers, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Ethel Merman, Sid Caeser). There's just something funny about this movie.
There's something wonderful about this DVD, too. It's presented in an absolutely gorgeous widescreen (2.35:1) trasfer. Great colours, sharp picture, almost no scratches. It beats the heck out of my old, faded, pan and scan videotape.
It's also got several extras that fans might like. "Something A Little Less Serious" is a one hour documentary about the making of the film, with interviews from important folks like Milton Berle, Buddy Hackett, Sid Caeser and Stanley Kramer, as well as people like Jerry Lewis and Arnold Stang (who made very short guest appearances). There are also some fairly worthless extended scenes (which were all cut for a reason.) Rounding out the extras are a very good theatrical trailer and a very good re-release trailer.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Très bon service et produit.
Gabriel Daniel
Published 3 months ago by Gabriel Daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars It.s A Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World is Still Mad
The movie holds up very well. The collection of comedians, each providing their bit of "stic" is still as funny as when I watched it back in the 1960's. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ralph Hubele
3.0 out of 5 stars DVD: Mad, mad....
This was o.k., did not really stand the test of time, but glad I finally saw the complete film, have seen bits of it over the years.
Published 8 months ago by linda
5.0 out of 5 stars I saw this movie when I was 10 years old
They sure don't make movies like this today. Great cast of characters with a nice story line. I was never bored or critical and had a great many chuckles throughout the movie. Read more
Published 9 months ago by poupon
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
I watch this almost once every week. Its such a good film and very well done for everything. Just awesome.
Published 10 months ago by md
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great find
I was very excited when I saw that this movie was available on DVD. I received it in less than a week so excellent service! And the quality was great.
Published 18 months ago by Pauline Sandy
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
My family and I really enjoyed this movie - the cover was in French but in the movie was in English so we are ok with that
Published 19 months ago by Cathy Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a wonderfully funny Comic Classic!
I'd forgotten what good humour and comedy is like when it's NOT laced with profanity for the mentally challenged. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2009 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad DVD
I would give this DVD 5 stars if all the movie was here, but it isn't, hence 3 stars. There's no excuse for this considering that no major restoration has been attempted here, the... Read more
Published on July 11 2004 by Bliggick
5.0 out of 5 stars An all star cast of comics, great comedy
Director: Stanley Kramer
Format: Color
Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Video Release Date: September 26, 1995
Spencer Tracy ... Capt. T.G. Read more
Published on June 23 2004 by Joseph H Pierre
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