It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray]

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Synopsis

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 husband (Milton Berle) accompanied by his mother-in-law (Ethel Merman) and his beatnik brother-in-law (Dick Shawn); a pair of comedy writers (Buddy Hackett and Mickey Rooney); and a variety of assorted nuts including a slow-wit (Jonathan Winters), a wheeler-dealer (Phil Silvers), and a pair of covetous cabdrivers (Peter Falk and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson). Monitoring every move that the fortune hunters make is a scrupulously honest police detective (Spencer Tracy). Virtually every lead, supporting, and bit part in the picture is filled by a well-known comic actor: the laughspinning lineup also includes Carl Reiner, Terry-Thomas, Arnold Stang, Buster Keaton, Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, and The Three Stooges, who get one of the picture's biggest laughs by standing stock still and uttering not a word. Two prominent comedians are conspicuous by their absence: Groucho Marx refused to appear when Kramer couldn't meet his price, while Stan Laurel declined because he felt he was too old-looking to be funny. Available for years in its 154-minute general release version, the film was restored to its roadshow length of 175 minutes on home video; the search goes on for a missing Buster Keaton routine, reportedly excised on the eve of the picture's premiere. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Product Details

Release Date
10/10/17 
Studio
Fox Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating
G -- General audience
Length
2 hours, 39 minutes
Sound
  • DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Dolby Digital w/ sub-woofer channel
Region
  • Blu-ray region A (North America, Central America, South America, Japan, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia)
Subtitles
  • English
Video Features
  • Restored 4k digital transfer of the general release version of the film, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio Soundtrack
  • 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, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  • 2013 Audio Commentary featuring It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World afcionados Mark Evanier, Michael Schlesinger, and Paul Scrabo
  • 2013 documentary on the film's visual and sound effects, featuring interviews with Visual-Effects Special Craig Barron and Sound Designer Ben Burtt
  • Excerpt from a 1974 talk show hosted by Director Stanley Kramer and featuring Mad World actors Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, and Jonathan Winters
  • Press Interview from 1963 featuring Kramer and cast members
  • Excerpts about the influence of the film from the 2000 AFI program 100 Years...100 Laughs
  • Two-part 1963 episode of the TV Program Telescope that follows the film's press junket and premiere
  • The last 70 min Film Festival, a 2012 program featuring Mad World cast and crew, hosted by actor Billy Crystal
  • Selection of humorist and voice-over artist Stan Freberg's original TV and radio ads for the film, with a 2013 introduction by Freberg
  • Trailers and radio spots
  • Plus: An essay by film critic Lou Lumenick and illustrations by legendary cartoonist Jack Davis
Number of Discs
2

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