It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (2004) Spencer Tracy; Mickey Rooney
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Spencer Tracy heads a hilariously zany cast that stars Hollywood's greatest comedians (Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas andJonathan Winters) and features cameo appearances by ever
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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 :-)
The people in the film are mostly, if not all, deceased by now....something that makes me wonder how today's kids can sort out the difference between reality of a story, reality of the actors, what was ever true and what was not, and that they were acting roles.
With some explanation from their parents and some speculation as to how all of these stunts were actually done...and the fact that today all of us can catch a back projection with the action in a car in front of it, and all of these stunts....this has to be about the best of the best. You have Smokey and the Bandit, you have The Wizard of Oz, you have the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland and Fantasia, you have Gone with the Wind. But right up there with these, in its own category, are these remarkable personalities of Spencer Tracy, Rochester, Peter Falk, Ethyl/Ethel? Merman, Dick Shawn, Jonathan Winters, Phil Silvers, Jimmy Durante, Sid Caesar, Milton Berle and Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hackett and vignette roles by Jerry Lewis and Jack Benny, and others that, surely, I have forgotten already to mention.
The reality of how corruption can possess a man of utter honesty and dedication, when his personal life becomes skewed as well...and how this film turns out because of a banana peel...well it is really hilarious.
It is priceless.
I occasionally get an opportunity to show this movie to someone that has never seen it. They ALL have a wonderful reaction. Children in particular love this movie.
It's an interesting commentary on our times, this movie is rated "G". Hollywood lacks the courage today to make a G rated movie for general audiences. ( I think the last one was "Star Trek the motion picture".)
I probably have about half the lines in this movie memorized, I only know "Casablanca" better.
Here are a few. (I'm going from memory so be kind.)
"Tell them you heard from agent X27".
"You're bugging man, you're bugging me"
" just a little 'boom', and were out"
"No! We tell them to 'hit the road', or we'll beat their brains in"
" Why are Americans are so obsessed with breasts. I say if American women stopped wearing braziers your entire economy would collapse overnight."
"So lets see, now, I got 1 share for being 1 person, 1 share for going down the hill, 1 share for the truck, and 1 share for being a person in the truck, but no matter how you figure it out, I still don't get as much as anybody else!"
"As far as I can see American men have been totally emasculated. They're like slaves! The die like flies from choleric thrombosis, while their women are sitting under hair dryers, eating chocolates, and arranging for every second Tuesday to be some sort of 'Mother's Day'! "
"Whad'ya mean, 'who's flyin' the plane?' Nobody's flyin' the plane!! "