It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: It's long, frantic, and stuffed to the gills with comic actors and set pieces -- and that's exactly its charm.

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Tania Rose, William Rose
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 18, 2001
United Artists - Official Site


as Capt. C.G. Culpepper

as J. Russell Finch

as Melville Crump

as Benjy Benjamin

as Mrs. Marcus

as Ding Bell

as Sylvester Marcus

as Otto Meyer

as J. Algernon Hawthorn...

as Lennie Pike

as Monica Crump

as Emmeline Finch

as Tyler Fitzgerald

as Airplane Pilot

as Police Sergeant

as Mrs. Haliburton

as Chief of Police

as Col. Wilberforce

as Cab Driver

as Jimmy the Crook

as Cab Driver

as Nervous Man

as Tower Control

as Union Official

as Sheriff Mason

as Fire Chief

as Airport Manager

as Airport Officer

as Lieutenant

as Switchboard Operator

as Police Secretary

as Radio Tower Operator

as Deputy Sheriff

as George the Steward

as Pilot's Wife

as Truck Driver

as Laundryman

as Smiler Grogan

as Culpeper's Wife

as Police Officer

as Billie Sue

as Radio Operator

as Salesman

as Traffic Cop

as Tower Radioman

as Helicopter Observer

as Man on Road

as Detective

as Mad Driver

as Detective Outside La...

as Patrolman

as Reporter

as Policeman Outside Ga...

as Fireman

as Fireman
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News & Interviews for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

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Critic Reviews for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (4)

Stanley Kramer strikes out again with this elephantine 1963 attempt at uproarious comedy.

Full Review… | November 7, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The comic competition is so keen that it is impossible to single out any one participant as outstanding.

Full Review… | November 7, 2007
Top Critic

Kramer's 'comedy to end all comedy' stretches its material to snapping point but offers happy hours of star-spotting.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

So many excellent actors and stunt men do so much in this film that it is beyond my space allowance to begin to credit them.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

For every inspired set-piece, there are one or two that don't work, making this a frequently frustrating watch.

Full Review… | April 18, 2014
Creative Loafing

lives up to its intentions as an epic madcap farce, and it offers enough comic variation through the multiple characters and situations that it never feels overlong or monotonous

Full Review… | February 9, 2014
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

The movie version of one of those little clown cars that a hundred clowns get in and out of, it descends into pure over-the-top silliness with so many talents vying for the glory-hogging center stage, but nonetheless a landmark simply for the presence of so many talents. What's the best part of gumbo? Of beef stew? Its the combo that makes for sensation.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


The best American comedy ever made. A true epic of humor, with full of great comedians and unforgettable scenes.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer


This is the perfect example of an epic comedy, one that spans time, venues, and types of comedy. Other films of this genre include The Blues Brothers and Blazing Saddles, though unlike those this is far more tame. This was in the days of family humor, and epics were per usual with movie going crowds. Still, the characters are larger than life, using a lot of physical comedy, and the exclusively sixties plot device of misunderstandings. The best aspect of having watched so many films is the fact that so many big names came together to do this film, and naming them off as you see them is extremely entertaining. The entire film concerns a milieu of improbable characters who find a dying crook who tells them where he has buried hidden money stolen and untraceable. The band of misfits at first all decide to distribute the wealth accordingly, but after a series of fights they all strike out on their own, some chartering planes, others hitchhiking, all to the amusement of the watching police department in Santa Rosita. This surveillance team is headed by recently retiring and angst ridden Chief Culpepper, played by Spencer Tracy. The two larger than life characters are played by Ethel Merman, a busybody mother-in-law with the loudest yell I've ever heard, and Jonathan Winters, who single handedly destroys an entire gas station through sheer force. Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hackett are the comic foils, oftentimes saying boneheaded phrases, and crashing into things. There's even a very brief yet memorable cameo by Don Knotts, who interacts with Phil Silvers, famous for portraying Sgt. Bilko. There are some great effects, and though it's long for a comedy the full fledged character development and longwinded comedy work with this vehicle. It's zany fun, it's certainly a mad world.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Quotes

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