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

tomatometer

75

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 8

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

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1

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

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 21,780

My Rating

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

G,

Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics, Comedy

Tania Rose

Sep 18, 2001

United Artists - Official Site External Icon

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Cast

Latest News on It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

April 29, 2010:
Dorothy Provine: 1935-2010
Dorothy Provine, a film and television veteran who appeared in "The Bonnie Parker Story" and "It's a...
February 14, 2007:
Zombie Keeps Adding Bodies to His "Halloween" Cast
At this point it feels like Rob Zombie is doing a remake of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad...

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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (8) | DVD (15)

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

November 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (3)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comment (1)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
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

February 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World remains a technological and creative marvel for reasons beyond its sometimes fitful ability to make audiences laugh.

February 7, 2014 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

There's a documentary-like pleasure in watching so many legends of comedy share the screen... along with the disappointment of watching so many very funny people fail to be funny at all.

January 23, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

[VIDEO ESSAY] A classic example of the Screwball Comedy genre.

January 22, 2012 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

What can you say about a comedy where the Three Stooges are the most sedate people on screen?

December 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Film Snobbery
Film Snobbery

Spencer Tracy, Sid Caesar, Mickey Rooney and host of good-old-fashioned-comedy chums cram in the action, but miss the laughs in this frantic bank caper comedy.

November 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

This comic extravaganza starts off funny, but exhausts rather than delights.

November 7, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This movie defines the words "comic romp."

December 5, 2005 | Comment (1)
ColeSmithey.com

Bloated mega-comedy best for its many cameos

February 11, 2005
Film Journal International

Still the funniest star packed comedy ever.

January 2, 2005
Kansas City Kansan

An overblown elephant of a comedy. Not very funny and dated.

August 21, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

We just lauged and laughed -- in Cinerama, no less.

August 13, 2002
Your Movies (cleveland.com)

A huge cast wasted in this interminable mess

July 30, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Funny and energetic, but a long way from Kramer's best work.

July 27, 2002
Matinee Magazine

Favorite line: "Why don't we just shoot 'em down and be through with it.

October 2, 2001 | Comment (1)
Movie Metropolis

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.
May 20, 2013
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

The best American comedy ever made. A true epic of humor, with full of great comedians and unforgettable scenes.
December 5, 2012
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.
October 21, 2011
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

Don't hesitate to see this movie just because it's extremely long, it's worth it. This movie is really hilarious, and it's got a great story. It has action and excitement, and an intermission! This movie is enjoyable, I really liked it, and I highly recommend it.
November 24, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

Movies Like It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

    1. Benjy Benjamin: So, now, there's only one way to figure it. And that is every man for himself [points to Mrs. Marcus] Except you, old lady. May you just ...DROP DEAD!
    – Submitted by Jared B (2 years ago)
    1. Ding Bell: We're never gonna get anywhere if we keep listening to this old bag.
    – Submitted by Jared B (2 years ago)
    1. J. Algernon Hawthorne: Why Americans are so obsessed with breasts. I say if American women stopped wearing braziers your entire economy would collapse overnight.
    – Submitted by Brian R (2 years ago)
    1. Capt. C.G. Culpepper: Billie Sue? Billie Sue where are you?
    2. Billie Sue: I'm at the bus station.
    3. Capt. C.G. Culpepper: Sweetheart what are you doing at the bus station?
    4. Billie Sue: I'm waiting for the bus!
    – Submitted by Brian R (2 years ago)
    1. Mrs. Marcus: What kind of an attitude is that? 'These things happen.' The only reason why these things happen is because this whole country is filled with people, that when these things happen they just say 'these things happen,' and that's why they happen.
    – Submitted by Brian R (2 years ago)
    1. Police Officer: Is something wrong?
    – Submitted by Forrest P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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