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It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)

Spencer Tracy , Milton Berle , Stanley Kramer  |  G |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle
  • Directors: Stanley Kramer
  • Format: Color, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: January 21, 2014
  • Run Time: 163 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00GBT61YS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,319 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Stanley Kramer followed his Oscar-winning Judgment at Nuremberg with this sobering investigation of American greed. Ah, who are we kidding? It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, about a group of strangers fighting tooth and nail over buried treasure, is the most grandly harebrained movie ever made, a pileup of slapstick and borscht-belt-y one-liners performed by a nonpareil cast, including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Jonathan Winters, and a boatload of other playing-to-the-rafters comedy legends. For sheer scale of silliness, Kramer's wildly uncharacteristic film is unlike any other, an exhilarating epic of tomfoolery. DUAL-FORMAT BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES New, 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 202-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 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. Aspect ratio: 2.76:1.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting new view of the movie January 27, 2014
Verified Purchase
This has been one of my favorite movies forever, and I own it on Laserdisc (either one or two versions, don't remember which) and DVD (at least two versions) already. So this edition was a must-have for me.

I got a kick out of the 197-minute extended version and I recommend it to anyone who knows and appreciates this movie already. I thought many of the added scenes in the really did bring value to the movie; some of them nicely filled in some continuity gaps that exist in the shorter releases.

However, I think that the extended version should NOT be the one you show to friends who have never seen the movie before - because of the variable quality of the material that Robert Harris and his team had to work with, some of the inserts are just too jarring if you're not already familiar with the movie. Show them the 154 minute, more polished version first.

Note that the extended version includes the original overture, intermission, entr'acte, and exit music. During part of the intermission, there is a time where the screen is totally black for several minutes, but police radio calls are played periodically on audio only. This was (and still is) intended to keep the audience posted on the action that is continuing to happen in the timeline of the film during intermission. It's great because, again, it provides better continuity - for example, you hear that Finch (Berle) and Hawthorne (Terry-Thomas) have stopped at an Avis location and rented a blue Chevy, which explains how they ended up with that that new blue car after intermission. (Ahh, product placement even back then! :-) But it is a bit unnerving, because there are longish periods of black screen with no sound at all, and your impulse is to think something went wrong with your Blu-Ray player or TV. Just relax, all is well :-)
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126 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Oh, sweet gods of cinema......" December 6, 2013
......IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD on Blu-Ray released on The Criterion Collection!!! Maybe it's my age, having first devoured this wacky masterpiece (starring more comedians than you can shake a shtick at) as a young lad in an actual theater, in Cinerama, no less, or maybe it's because of the dozens of views on the old boob tube, Dialing For Dollars, or holidays (usually New Year's), but this crazy cinematic comedy concoction is hot wired to my cerebral cortex. I've purchased this three times already, on VHS, LaserDisc and the Walmart "exclusive" Blu-Ray, but since this new release is from Criterion it will probably be my fourth and last, unless they come out with a hologram version in my lifetime! Criterion has restored the film to a length of 197 minutes, and their website states that there is material on the set not seen since the original "road show" version. As usual for Criterion, oodles of extra material is included. The price of the set is reasonable as well and they include both DVD AND Blu-Ray versions. I'm sure that sales figures for all the previous releases show there's a large audience who already own at least one of the older releases, so the lower price point makes a purchase more attractive. Just reading the product description is making me drool and crave Junior Mints! If you're reading this you probably are a rabid fan like me, so I don't think I have to go into a plot description, but since this film features a cornucopia of classic comics (and a couple of ringers like Spencer Tracy) I'm inclined to list them all, in alphabetical order...... Read more ›
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71 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion's Blu-Ray a Spectacular Restoration January 14, 2014
Though I don't classify it as the funniest film ever made, IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD is undoubtedly one of the biggest cinematic comedies ever mounted in terms of scale - offering a veritable who's who of classic Golden Age comedians in a picture that has long generated a love/hate relationship among viewers. While the movie's artistic merits are debatable, there's no denying that Criterion has produced one of the most praiseworthy restorations we've seen on home video in years with their new Blu-Ray/DVD edition of Stanley Kramer's gargantuan 1963 release.

The screenplay by William Rose and his wife, Tania (who had previously written the British car rally comedy "Genevieve"), opens with a group of motorists watching in awe as Smiler Grogan (Jimmy Durante) speeds off a highway overpass, crashing into a ravine where he reveals (prior to literally kicking the bucket) that a treasure is buried under a "Big W" in Palm Springs, California. With this hot tip, the motorists stage a frantic mad dash for the coast, splitting up into different groups and getting into every kind of predicament imaginable. Their progress is tracked by Captain T.G. Culpeper (Spencer Tracy), ready for retirement after spending years as an honest cop, wanting only to bring the situation to a close in order to round out his distinguished career.

The crazies he's after include J. Russell Finch (Milton Berle), his wife Emmeline (Dorothy Provine), her mother (Ethel Merman) and, eventually, brother (a funny Dick Shawn); Melville Crump (Sid Caesar) and his wife (Edie Adams); botanist J. Algernon Hawthorne (Terry-Thomas); Ding Bell (Mickey Rooney) and Benjy Benjamin (Buddy Hackett); and the irascible Lennie Pike (Jonathan Winters).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Restoration?
Some of the restoration is interesting, but then again, some of the dialogue in the restored scenes is missing, while in the version on TCM, that same dialogue is there. Read more
Published 1 day ago by M. Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to laugh...
This is a wonderfully clean movie. If you like to laugh this movie is for you. It has a cast of some of the greatest actors and actresses of old. Read more
Published 5 days ago by EO
1.0 out of 5 stars Inspect discs ASAP
Decided to play disc 2 of the 5 in this package. I opened the package and Disc 2 would not play. The disc appeared to have some adhesive that etched the DVD, and I has passed the... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Steiger
5.0 out of 5 stars Love our Collection
We got our product in record time, no problems with the disks and all sealed good.
We would buy from you again.
Thanks, Diana
Published 10 days ago by Diana Alegria
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
i'm so very happy to have this movie. i watched it when it came out and now mine forever. :)
Published 11 days ago by roseyd
5.0 out of 5 stars The Smiler's Treasure
It’s difficult to find middle ground on the subject of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”; people either love it or hate it. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Brent R. Swanson
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You Criterion For This Wonderful Release
I live in Australia and paid a fortune for a multi-zone Oppo -Ray player just so I could buy Criterion releases and this one release alone has made it worth it! Read more
Published 14 days ago by Robert Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny
You either love this movie or you don't like it at all....I love it. Very funny with many cameo appearances by many famous actors . and wonderful comedians. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Gary Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars You are "MAD MAD MAD MAD" if you dont buy this....!
Very good movie. Not overly funny but cant beat a movie with almost all of Hollywood comics (which I met a few), which I saw movie in theatres during re-release back in 1970. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Liz Maldonado-askedall
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray/DVD)
Zany and madcap. those were the good old days. It's great to see the cast. It looks like they had fun making the movie.
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Gal
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Topic From this Discussion
Cinerama version?
Although advertised as being filmed in Cinerama, by the early 1960s that process was being phased out by 70 mm and MAD WORLD was filmed in the new 70 mm process. A Smilebox version would distort the image.
Jan 31, 2014 by Ellwood J. Annaheim |  See all 5 posts
Extended version using 4K transfer?
The extended version has footage in various degrees of quality due to the condition of excised and later found image and audio. The extended version was only seen for about a month in late 1963 and afterward the film was trimmed.

The theatrical version is pristine with a much fuller surround... Read more
Feb 8, 2014 by Dee Zee |  See all 8 posts
extended version on the DVD disc?
Yes, everything on the Blurays are included on the DVDs.
Feb 8, 2014 by Dee Zee |  See all 2 posts
Is it the complete film?
This set contains everything that still exists. Some of the footage may have been destroyed.
Jan 15, 2014 by Galley |  See all 2 posts
It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World Criterion Blu-Ray
No, I don't think so. Weren't the curtains over the movie screen closed during intermission? If so, I imagine they remained closed during the entr'acte music, which signaled people to get back to their seats after the intermission, and didn't open until the second part of the film actually... Read more
Jan 22, 2014 by octobercountry |  See all 5 posts
missing scenes Be the first to reply
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