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

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Chase Movie, Ensemble Film, Farce  |   Release Date - Nov 7, 1963 (USA)  |   Run Time - 205 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Brendon Hanley

Only the super-wide screen Cinerama format could hold all of the comedy stars in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, not to mention the title itself. Just as the bloated Cinerama feature How the West Was Won sought to outdo any Western before it, World fancied itself the comedy to end all comedies. It paraded an unparalleled list of famous comics across the screen, in both feature roles and cameos: Jimmy Durante, Milton Berle, Buster Keaton, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Peter Falk, Jonathan Winters, Jack Benny, Carl Reiner, Jerry Lewis, Dick Shawn, The Three Stooges, and many more. The film operates under the belief that having all of these funny people on screen is enough to get laughs, and occasionally, World can't help but crash under the strain of its frenetic pace and oppressive running time. Director Stanley Kramer smartly puts the most solid of Hollywood stars, Spencer Tracy, at the heart of all the slapstick madness. This was quite a radical departure for Kramer and Tracy, considering their previous two films together had been the dramas Inherit the Wind and Judgment at Nuremberg.