Sunday, June 23, 2013

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

One of my all-time favorite movies is 1963's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.  I have seen this dozens of times, and it's still funny every time.

So many big stars of the day were in it: Spencer Tracy, Jonathan Winters, Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Phil Silvers, Dick Shawn, Terry Thomas, Edie Adams.  Also, Dorothy Provine, Don Knotts, Jim Backus, Jimmy Durante, Peter Falk, Rochester, Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, The Three Stooges, William Demarest, Paul Ford, etc, etc.

I'm sure everyone of a certain age has seen it.  It's a must-see movie.

"It's under a big dubya, I tell ya"

"Okay, we all get a share for being a person, and another share for being a person in a car"

Ahh come on fellas, I'm starting to get mad now."

"Don't be silly.  What could go wrong with an old-fashioned?"

"I'll never understand you Americans' pre-occupation with BOSOMS"

"Hello down there on the ground.  It's us, up here in the plane"

"Drive on, you big stupid idiot!"

"Don't worry Momma, I'm coming to save you.  That's why you had me."

"When I get my hands on that weasel... wait, there he is!"

"Did ya all hear what Momma said?"

"Out baby, OUT!"



  1. My brief review of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World........

    The movie stars Milton Berle, who screams a lot, and isn't funny at all, Terry-Thomas, who screams a lot in a British accent, and isn't funny at all, and Ethel Merman, who screams a LOT and isn't funny at all.

    This film reminds me of a really hysterical silent film, except, instead of being silent, there are a lot of people constantly screaming at each other, and, instead of being funny, it isn't.

    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World will appeal to audiences of all ages who appreciate seeing and hearing people scream at each other, while simultaneously being incredibly unfunny

  2. Your review reminds me of many reviews that try to be funny/clever with their sarcasm, but fall woefully short.

    What do YOU find to be a funny movie? I suspect it's something starring Ashton Kutcher or Ben Stiller, with plenty of fart jokes.

  3. I certainly wasn't trying to ruffle your feathers, and I meant no personal disrespect, but I stand by my opinion that It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World really isn't very funny. At least, not as funny as it had the potential to be.It has an incredible cast of the best known comedic actors of the day, all of whom had track records of being funny, but in this film, they seem to be weighed down by a script that doesn't really let them shine. The endless bickering between the characters comes across to me as annoying rather than funny. I honestly believe with the talent Stanley Kramer had on hand, the final product had the potential to be a classic, but, instead being witty or clever, the whole thing comes across as shrill and frantic.

    As to what films that I think ARE funny, well, the list is long. Off the top of my head, and in no particular order, other than a stab at keeping the list chronological.... Buster Keaton's Sherlock, Jr. and Steamboat Bill.... W.C. Fields, particularly the movies where he plays a henpecked Casper Milquetoast type, like It's A Gift, or The Bank Dick.... Almost everything Laurel and Hardy ever did.... Dr. Strangelove.... Young Frankenstein.... Love and Death....This is Spinal Tap.... Airplane.... Raising Arizona.... Office Space.... And perhaps, in my humble opinion, the funniest movie ever made, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    I'm not a big fan of the overly broad, coarse, in-your-face Jerry Lewis/Jim Carrey/Adam Sandler type of comedy, and perhaps that's why I don't share your enthusiasm for It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

  4. Mark, I think the frantic contributes to the humor. Jonathan Winters destroys the gas station! How is that not a funny scene?

    I agree with you about Young Frankenstein, Airplane, Office Space, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Also many of the Woody Allen movies.

    I never watched much from the Buster Keaton/W.C. Fields era. My favorites from those days are The Marx Brothers and The Three Stooges.

  5. The movie wasn't just funny, it was a Scream!