It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Restored 4K digital film transfer of the general release version of the film, with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray New high-definition digital transfer of a 197-minute extended version of the film, reconstructed and restored by Robert A. Harris using visual and audio material from the longer original road-show version—including some scenes that have been returned to the film here for the first time—with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray New audio commentary featuring It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World aficionados Mark Evanier, Michael Schlesinger, and Paul Scrabo New documentary on the film’s visual and sound effects, featuring rare behind-the-scenes footage of the crew at work and interviews with visual-effects specialist Craig Barron and sound designer Ben Burtt Talk show from 1974 hosted by director Stanley Kramer and featuring Mad World actors Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, and Jonathan Winters Press interview from 1963 featuring Kramer and members of the film’s cast Interviews recorded for the 2000 AFI program 100 Years . . . 100 Laughs, featuring comedians and actors discussing the influence of the film Two-part 1963 episode of the CBC television program Telescope that follows the film’s press junket and premiere The Last 70mm Film Festival, a program from 2012 featuring cast and crew members from Mad World at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, hosted by Billy Crystal Selection of humorist and voice-over artist Stan Freberg’s original TV and radio advertisements for the film, with a new introduction by Freberg, Original and rerelease trailers, and rerelease radio spots, Two Blu-rays and three DVDs, with all content available in both formats PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Lou Lumenick --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
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* A remastered 4K Bluray of the "general release version" which looks and sounds truly amazing. This Bluray is only available through this box set but hopefully it will be sold alone someday. There are several bonus features as well.
* A second remastered (but not 4K) Bluray of the 197-minute restored version. This is a main selling feature for those who originally saw the film in theaters because it's the longest restoration ever made available and a longer one is highly unlikely. The first showing of the film was just a bit longer than this but there was pressure to shorten to film, so it underwent a number of edits down to the "general release" version. Those who saw the first viewings may remember parts that were cut out and unseen for decades. Unfortunately, this restored version is a mixed blessing because the quality of the restored parts varies greatly and much of it is in poor shape. Sometimes only audio and sometimes only video exists. This extended version gives it all but in doing so the video goes from excellent to crappy throughout the entire film. Personally, I can't watch it like this and the restored bits do not really add anything to the film. No great gags were removed and the general release benefits from tighter editing, IMO. This Bluray has several different bonus features.
* A DVD with the 4K general release version and some bonus features.Read more ›
Because even if you are any kind of a movie fan, period, this 5 disc (2 BluRay and 3 DVD) Criterion edition is worth every one of it's forty dollars.
Sure, to get your money's worth for all the material here-including for the first time a 197 minute version that will have super-fans drooling-you will have to devote about 12 hours of your time, but trust me it will time well spent and rewarded.
The documentary material provided here includes original 1963 press junkets, TV&radio commercials, and several new superb mini-docs that are so full of facts and trivia that you will constantly be amazed at the skill of all those who participated in the making and marketing of the movie which had a near six month shooting schedule.
A must see and listen is the new commentary track on that 197 minute restored "extended cut" which by the way includes all but 5 minutes from the original "road-show" version that relatively few people saw back in the day, as director Kramer made substantial cuts to the film soon after it's November 7, 1963 opening.
The commentary track, by three film "aficionados" is perhaps the most all encompassing ever committed to a Criterion release and while it sometimes strays a bit into the "inside baseball" realm, for the most part it is simply fascinating and, unlike many such tracks, is well worth the time to pay attention to.Read more ›
So I am,what you might say,a convert to this film.The film,Tracy's motivation and the gags whose set ups were often cut to the point of pointlessness,now make sense to me.If one day we find the missing elements, this picture will finally make total sense and Kramer's original vision will finally be seen and fully justified.I hope that happens.
In the meantime this version will have to do...and it does its job.The story of course is about a group of five guys who happen upon a car crash and the driver,on his "deathbed",reveals the location of $350,000 just waiting for the taking.At first reason reigns,but in short order chaos descends and the five grows into almost two dozen as the rush to get the loot takes shape.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Every actor in the comedy universe appears in this roadshow as it is discovered that a trea$ure is buried under an object. They are all in a big race to get to the treasure. Read morePublished 6 months ago by ellison
One of the wackiest chase movies ever, just makes you giggle and guffaw from start to finish. If you're older like me you'll enjoy spotting all the cameos by famous film stars and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Snowy Angel's Mom
It's an old classic.
Nice to be able to find a copy to watch for old time sake