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

Theatrical poster by Jack Davis
Directed by Stanley Kramer
Produced by Stanley Kramer
Written by William Rose
Tania Rose
Starring Spencer Tracy
Milton Berle
Sid Caesar
Jonathan Winters
Mickey Rooney
Buddy Hackett
Buster Keaton
Jimmy Durante
Terry-Thomas
Phil Silvers
Dick Shawn
Edie Adams
Barrie Chase
Ethel Merman
Dorothy Provine
Music by Ernest Gold
Cinematography Ernest Laszlo
Editing by Gene Fowler Jr.
Robert C. Jones
Frederic Knudtson
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) November 7, 1963 (1963-11-07)
Running time 161 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $9.4 million
Gross revenue $46,332,858

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 American comedy film directed by Stanley Kramer about the madcap pursuit of $350,000 in stolen cash by a diverse and colorful group of strangers. The ensemble comedy premiered on November 7, 1963.

Contents

Plot

"Smiler" Grogan (Jimmy Durante), a suspect in a long ago tuna factory robbery and on the run from the police, careens his car off a twisting, mountainous road in the Southern California desert and crashes. Five motorists stop to help him - Melville Crump (Sid Caesar), a dentist, Lennie Pike (Jonathan Winters), a furniture mover, Dingy Bell (Mickey Rooney) and Benjy Benjamin (Buddy Hackett), two friends on their way to Las Vegas, and J. Russell Finch (Milton Berle), who owns an edible seaweed company. Just before he dies, Grogan tells the five about $350,000 (Equivalent to $3.2 million in 2010 US Dollars) buried in the (fictitious) Santa Rosita State Park, near the Mexican border, under a mysterious "big W". Initially, the motorists try to reason with each other and share the money, but it soon becomes an all-out race to get the money first.

Unbeknownst to them all, Captain Culpepper (Spencer Tracy) of the Santa Rosita Police Department has been patiently working on the Smiler Grogan case for years, hoping to someday solve it and retire. When he learns of the fatal crash, he suspects that Grogan may have tipped off the passersby, so he has them tracked by various police units. His suspicions are confirmed by their behavior.

Everyone experiences multiple setbacks on their way to the money. Crump and his wife Monica (Edie Adams) charter a World War I biplane and barely make it to Santa Rosita, but are almost immediately locked in the basement of a hardware store. They eventually free themselves with dynamite. Bell and Benjamin charter a modern plane, but when their alcoholic pilot (Jim Backus) knocks himself out, the terrified friends are forced to fly and land the plane themselves. Finch, his wife Emmeline (Dorothy Provine), and his loud and obnoxious mother-in-law, Mrs. Marcus (Ethel Merman), get into a crash with Pike. The three enlist the aid of a British army officer they meet, Lt. Col. J. Algernon Hawthorne (Terry-Thomas), to get them to Santa Rosita. After many arguments, most caused by Mrs. Marcus, she and Emmeline refuse to go any farther, and Finch and Hawthorne leave them behind. Pike tries to get motorist Otto Meyer (Phil Silvers) to take him to Santa Rosita, but Meyer betrays Pike and races for the money on his own. Pike is outraged over this and destroys a service station; after the rampage, he steals the station's tow truck and meets up with Mrs. Marcus and Emmeline and picks them up. Mrs. Marcus calls her beatnik son Sylvester (Dick Shawn), who lives near Santa Rosita, to get the money for them, but he instead races hysterically to the defense of his mother. Meyer experiences his own setbacks, including losing his car and nearly being drowned. All the while, Culpepper and the police department secretly track their activities. Around this time two cab drivers (Peter Falk and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson) get in on the hunt.

Eventually, all the characters meet up at the state park and search for the W. It is Emmeline, who wants no part of the money, who first finds the W, composed of four palm trees. Pike finds it next and informs everyone else. Culpepper orders all policemen to leave the area, and goes in solo to retrieve the money. However, he actually plans to take the money to Mexico to escape a dysfunctional family and a job with a very small pension. After everyone digs up Smiler Grogan's $350,000, Culpepper identifies himself and orders the now-stunned group to turn themselves in, saying the jury will be more lenient. But when the group sees Culpepper leaving with the money, they follow him. After a long and frantic chase sequence, all the men in the group end up stranded on the fire escape of an old building slated for demolition. While trying to keep from falling off, they lose control of the suitcase containing the money, and all $350,000 flutters down to the crowd watching below. The men then all try to climb down a fire ladder, but their combined weight makes the firemen lose control of the ladder, causing the ladder to fling them everywhere, causing many injuries and landing everyone in the hospital awaiting arrest.

In the hospital, the dejected group criticizes Culpepper for taking the money, but he says they will get off easy with the police because he will have the harsh sentence. He adds that nothing will ever make him laugh again. At that moment Mrs. Marcus enters, begins to scold everyone, and promptly slips on a banana peel. Everyone, including Culpepper, begins to laugh hysterically.

Cast

Main characters

  • Edie Adams as Monica Crump, wife of Melville Crump
  • Milton Berle as edible seaweed company owner J. Russell Finch
  • Sid Caesar as dentist Melville Crump (a role originally meant for Ernie Kovacs before his death in a car accident)
  • Buddy Hackett as comedy writer Benjy Benjamin
  • Ethel Merman as Mrs. Marcus, the battle-axe mother-in-law of J. Russell Finch, and mother of Emmeline and Sylvester
  • Dorothy Provine as Emmeline Marcus-Finch, wife of J. Russell Finch
  • Mickey Rooney as comedy writer Dingy 'Ding' Bell
  • Dick Shawn as Sylvester Marcus, Mrs. Marcus' son and Emmeline's brother
  • Phil Silvers as the out-of-work piano player Otto Meyer
  • Terry-Thomas as Lt. Col. J. Algernon Hawthorne
  • Spencer Tracy as Captain C. G. Culpepper of the Santa Rosita Police Department
  • Jonathan Winters as trucker Lennie Pike

Secondary characters

Cameo appearances

Judy Garland, Groucho Marx, Stan Laurel, George Burns, Bob Hope, Jackie Mason, Don Rickles, Judy Holliday, and Red Skelton were among the many celebrities offered or considered for roles in the film.[citation needed] However, Marx demanded more money and was crossed off the list. Laurel did not want to be seen in his old age, especially without Oliver Hardy.

Background

In the early 1960s, screenwriter William Rose, then living in the UK, conceived the idea for a film (provisionally titled Something a Little Less Serious) about a comedic chase through Scotland. He sent an outline to Stanley Kramer, who agreed to produce and direct the film. (The setting was subsequently shifted to America and the working title changed to One Damn Thing After Another and then It's a Mad World, with Rose and Kramer adding additional Mads to the title as time progressed.)[2]

Although well known for serious films such as Inherit the Wind and Judgment at Nuremberg (both starring Spencer Tracy), Kramer set out to make the ultimate comedy film with It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Filmed in Ultra Panavision 70 and presented in Cinerama (becoming one of the first Cinerama films originated with one camera), it also had an all-star cast, with dozens of major comedy stars from all eras of cinema making appearances in the film.

The film followed a Hollywood trend in the 1960s of producing "epic" films as a way of wooing audiences away from television and back to movie theaters. Box-office revenues were dropping, so the major studios experimented with a number of gimmicks to attract audiences, including widescreen films.

The title was taken from Thomas Middleton's 1605 comedy A Mad World, My Masters. Kramer considered adding a fifth "mad" to the title before deciding that it would be redundant, but noted in interviews that he later regretted it.[citation needed]

The film's theme music was written by Ernest Gold with lyrics by Mack David.

In the 1970s, ABC broadcast the film on New Year's Eve. The last reported showing of the film on major network television was on May 16, 1978.

Production

The opening scenes in which "Smiler" Grogan goes off the road, and subsequent scenes when the four vehicles briefly speed down the mountain before slowing down and stopping so that the drivers can talk, were filmed on the “Seven Steps” section (also known as "Seven-Level Hill") of the Palms-to-Pines Highway (California State Highway 74), a generally east-west route mostly south of, and west of, the city of Palm Desert, California. Culpepper predicts that the vehicles — going east — will turn south (a right turn), but in the movie they actually turn left. The rocky point at which Durante's car sails off into space, known by Mad World fans as "Smiler's Point," can easily be spotted today on Highway 74, minus the man-made, temporary ramp that was constructed to help launch the car airborne and then was removed after the stunt was completed.

Many of the actors performed some of their own stunts, including some crashing falls by Caesar, physical antics by Jonathan Winters, and Phil Silvers' drive into a flowing river where he almost drowned. Caesar severely injured his back while filming the hardware store scene and was unable to return to the film for some time. Silvers injured himself shortly before the shooting of the scene (one of the last) where the male characters chase Culpepper up several flights of stairs and onto fire-escape ladders. As shot, the scene features Silvers' stunt double.

The gas station scene with Jonathan Winters, Marvin Kaplan, and Arnold Stang was filmed at a specially constructed set built on composer Jimmy Van Heusen's property near Palm Springs, California. Van Heusen first saw the completed gas station on his Friday drive from Los Angeles out to his weekend retreat. He did not know the gas station was a movie set, thinking instead that his business manager had leased a portion of his property for an actual service station. The destruction scene with Winters, Kaplan, and Stang was filmed that weekend, with the site cleanup scheduled for the next week. On Monday morning's return trip to Los Angeles, Van Heusen saw the destroyed gas station and thought something terrible had happened. As the property owner, he believed he might be sued by injured parties.

During shooting of the gas station's destruction, the water tower began to collapse too soon because of a special-effects miscue. A combination of a split-screen effect and use of the optical printer repaired the scene. Jonathan Winters, whose character was the one who toppled the water tower with a tow truck, asked to be the one who backed the truck into the tower. Director Kramer overruled Winters, saying that they couldn't be certain in which direction the tower would fall and thus couldn't guarantee the actor's safety.

Many of the scenes that take place on what look like lonely stretches of road were filmed in areas of Southern California that have become heavily urbanized in the decades following the movie's production. In the scene where Jack Benny encounters Milton Berle's character and his group, the entire area, which was practically open desert in the movie, is now a modern suburban neighborhood in Yucca Valley.

Likewise, the scene in which motorist Sid Caesar is momentarily blinded by an unfurled road map, which results in all four vehicles zig-zagging behind one another on a desolate desert road, was filmed as the cars traveled northbound on Rio del Sol Road in Palm Desert. This stretch of roadway is now populated with numerous residences, condominium complexes, and retail businesses, and has been widened into a four-lane boulevard. Its name was changed from "Rio del Sol Road" to "Bob Hope Drive" several years after filming took place.

In yet another desert highway scene, the four speeding vehicles travel westbound down a slight incline to a "T" intersection and begin to make sweeping right turns (southbound) onto the cross street. The moving van driven by Jonathan Winters avoids the turn entirely by cutting diagonally across a sandy patch of desert adjacent to the intersection. This stunt was performed at the southeast corner of Ramon Road and Bob Hope Drive (again, Rio del Sol Road at the time) in Palm Desert. The sandy, barren terrain that the moving van cuts across is now the paved and landscaped parking lot of the Agua Caliente Indian Resort & Casino.

The airport terminal scenes were filmed at the now-defunct Rancho Conejo Airport in Newbury Park, California, though the control tower shown was constructed only for filming. Other airplane sequences were filmed at the Sonoma County Airport north of Santa Rosa, California; at the Palm Springs International Airport; and in the skies above Thousand Oaks and Camarillo, California.

In one scene, a Beech model C-18S flies through a highway billboard advertising Coca-Cola. The plane was flown by stuntman Frank Tallman, but a communications mix-up resulted in the use of linen graphic sheets on the sign rather than paper, as planned. Linen is much tougher than paper, and the plane was nearly destroyed on impact. Tallman managed to fly it back to the airstrip, discovering that the leading edges of the wings had been smashed all the way back to the wing spars. Tallman considered that incident the closest he ever came to dying on film. (Both Tallman and his business partner and fellow flyer on Mad World, Paul Mantz, would eventually die in separate air crashes over a decade apart.)

In the movie the airplane is shown crashing through an airport restaurant's plate glass window and stopping abruptly. Careful viewing will show an arresting cable that was tied to the tail of the airplane at just the right length to make the aircraft stop as it hits a curbing.

"Santa Rosita State Park" was actually the park-like grounds of a private residence located in Rancho Palos Verdes. By 2008 the last of the four palm trees forming the "Big W" had disappeared.

The final chase scene was filmed in Santa Monica, most notably on Pacific Coast Highway, at the California Incline, and in downtown Long Beach, California. The cars can be seen passing The Pike amusement park in Long Beach, with its wooden roller coaster, and traveling around the neavy Rainbow Pier. The Arcade under Ocean Boulevard near Pine Avenue also is part of the scene.

Part of the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital retirement community, in Woodland Hills, is visible in the background of the scene where characters Lenny Pike and Mrs. Marcus (in the tow truck Pike stole from the service station he destroyed in his rampage) stop at an intersection (of present-day Mulholland Drive, Valley Circle Boulevard, Avenue San Luis, and Calabasas Road) before making a U-turn. Director Stanley Kramer died in the hospital of this retirement community in 2001.

Silvers, a compulsive gambler, had a running craps game going during the production. Jerry Lewis, who has a cameo appearance in the film, reportedly stopped by the set and left $500 poorer, according to Something a Little Less Serious: A Tribute to 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World', a 1991 documentary included on the DVD version.

Veteran stuntman Carey Loftin was also featured in the documentary, explaining some of the complexity as well as simplicity of stunts, such as the day he "kicked the bucket" as a stand-in for Durante.[3]

The fire escape and ladder miniature used in the final chase sequence is on display at the Hollywood Museum in Hollywood. Also, the Santa Rosita Fire Department's Ladder Truck was a 1960's Seagrave Fire Apparatus open-cab Mid-Mount Aerial Ladder.[4] Portions of the life-size building and fire escape were constructed on the Universal Studios back lot.

Although the fictional city of Santa Rosita was really shot in Long Beach, California Rancho Palos Verdes, and Santa Monica, California, the fictional city Santa Rosita was (supposedly) located on a map in the police station scenes as south of San Diego, California, and north along the coast from Mexico, hence Culpepper's attempted to flee there. In reality, San Diego's southern city limits border Mexico.

Interesting to note that Marvin Kaplan, Dorothy Provine, and Peter Falk all appeared in the Blake Edwards comedy The Great Race two years later.

Versions

The film ran 210 minutes in its preview showing. Kramer cut the film to 192 minutes for the premiere release. During its roadshow 70mm run, United Artists, seeing that it had a mammoth hit on its hands, cut the film to 161 minutes without Kramer's involvement in order to add an extra daily showing. The general release 35 mm version runs 154 minutes, with overture and exit music excised. At the film's premiere, radio transmissions between the film's fictional police played in the theater lobby and rest rooms during the intermission. The police transmissions featured Detective Matthews (Charles McGraw) and the police personnel that follow the group. These three reports (each approx. one minute in length) may have added to the 210-minute length.

Some of the cut footage remains missing, although 20 minutes of material was not found. MGM/UA also located a 20-minute 70 mm preview reel which contained a few scenes in their entirety. These two 70mm reels provided the extra scenes for the "Special Edition version with restored footage" project of 1991. No out-take footage was used, with the exception of a two-second wide shot of the Beechcraft aircraft, needed to bridge a highly sought-after bit of Buddy Hackett being doused with a bucket of water.

While not officially referring to it as a director's cut, Kramer helped oversee the re-incorporation of this missing footage into a 182-minute "special edition" video version for VHS and Laserdisc. Screenwriter Tania Rose was also contacted by the Special Edition team and after viewing the footage gave her endorsement to the project. Because of the quality of the missing scenes, the lack of a large budget for a film restoration, and a lack of interest at the time by restoration experts, it was decided that a digital tape reconstruction for presentation on Laserdisc would at least be a venue for film fans to finally see the footage. Years later, the improved quality of DVD would make the poor quality of the restored footage more jarring, so the standard edited version is presented instead. The special edition version has aired on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Comparisons between the two show that the extended version is of inferior video quality to that of the DVD, since film transfer techniques and formats have improved.

Currently, the best existing footage is in the form of original 70 mm elements of the general release version (recent restored versions shown in revival screenings are derived from these elements). However, some, if not all of the remaining footage does exist in some form, although it has deteriorated over time. A restoration effort currently is under way by preservationist Robert A. Harris in an attempt to bring the film back as close as possible to the original roadshow release.

The official release from MGM is the 161-minute general release version, taken from its original 35 mm elements. Because of this, it is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, as opposed to the full 2.75:1 in anamorphic 70 mm form. Two versions of the film have been released on DVD. The first, from 2001, is a double-sided disc containing an hour of missing scenes on the second side, along with the original documentary "Something A Little Less Serious", and trailers and TV spots. In 2003, the film was released on DVD as a movie-only edition, with disc art on the disc as opposed to being dual-sided. It should be noted that the 2001 release had a blue spine and is now hard to find, while the 2003 release had a yellow spine and is relatively easy to find in stores. Interestingly, the colors in the cartoon credits sequence are incorrect (too red) in the current DVD version. The older Special Edition Laserdisc version is surprisingly more accurate, with the green background in the opening, and the subtle color changes occurring later on. The Special Edition team (consisting of volunteer "Mad World" experts from around the country) had MGM/UA pull a 70mm print for the correct colors.

Fans on message boards such as us.imdb.com have listed the differences between the TCM and DVD versions, since the DVD's deleted scenes are not properly organized to explain their context and some scenes are essentially the same as seen on the DVD, only extended with a bit of material. However, even without the deleted scenes the current DVD version contains what general audiences saw in 1963.

According to one fan's analysis of the TCM extended version (70mm 2.55:1 aspect ratio) and the DVD theatrical version (35mm 2.35:1 aspect ratio):

  • The DVD does not contain the overture, and the main titles are in red, as opposed to the original multi-colored sequence.
  • The TCM version opens with the 1980s animated MGM/UA logo, while the DVD version opens with the familiar MGM Leo the Lion logo (United Artists releases are now part of the MGM library).
  • Part One of the TCM extended version has 14 minutes and 2 seconds of added footage.
  • Part Two of the TCM extended version has 3 minutes and 49 seconds of added footage.
  • The longest stretch of time in the film without added material is 25 minutes and 3 seconds, from timecode 1:53:45 to timecode 2:18:48.

It has been rumored that Kramer's original cut lasted more than five hours, which has been verified by Kramer's widow, Karen Sharpe Kramer, who has been involved in locating the original 192-minute premiere version for release on VHS.

Widescreen process

The film was advertised and promoted as the first film made in "one-projector" Cinerama (Cinerama normally filmed scenes using three cameras and three film reels. The three processed strips were then shown via three projectors which were electronically synchronized, and shown on a huge curved screen). However, there was never actually any such thing as one-projector Cinerama. What was really shown was an image photographed in the Ultra Panavision process and projected by one projector onto a Cinerama screen. This misleading ad campaign, labeling Ultra Panavision and Super Panavision 70 films as being in Cinerama, persisted throughout the 1960s with such films as Ice Station Zebra, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Khartoum. The latter two films even went so far as to include the Cinerama credit on the actual film.

Release and reception

Reception

The film won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing and received Oscar nominations for its cinematography, film editing, sound recording, music score and title song. It received Golden Globes Awards nomination for Best Picture (Comedy) and for Jonathan Winters' performance as Best Actor.

American Film Institute recognition

Home media

The film was first released on VHS and LaserDisc by CBS/FOX Video in 1985. In 1990, MGM/UA Home Video released a "restored" video version of the film on VHS and LaserDisc. In 2001, MGM Home Entertainment released the film on two-sided DVD with extras. In 2003, MGM Home Entertainment released another DVD of the film but has a one-sided disc containing no extras. In 2007, it was released on DVD, again, but this time, in Fox Family Fun since MGM Home Entertainment was merged by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment since 2006. And like the 2001 DVD, the 2007 DVD shows off a familiar MGM logo from 2001.

In popular culture

  • Mad magazine compiled a paperback book in 1965 titled It's a World, World, World, World Mad, published by Signet Books. It was reprinted (also in paperback form) by Warner Books in 1973.
  • The films Scavenger Hunt (1979) and Rat Race (2001) were influenced from and patterned after It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, with the eventual large sum of money, however, as a prize instead of buried stolen treasure.[citation needed]
  • The 1987 film Million Dollar Mystery has a similar basic premise.
  • A 1994 episode of The Simpsons, "Homer the Vigilante", contains many references to the movie. At the end, a group of people makes a wild race to recover a stolen treasure buried under a “Big T”, after hearing a clue from the burglar. The cartoon reproduces and parodies many scenes from the movie, including some characters, using the same music and camera angles. Also, one of the episode from the eleventh season was named It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge.
  • The plot of the 1999 novel Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey is an homage to the film, with a wide variety of characters chasing after a suitcase containing $5 million in stolen drug money, which was hidden by the thief before he died. There is even a direct reference to the movie, in a scene in which a man drives over a turtle "like Jerry Lewis running over Spencer Tracy's hat in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."
  • There is a 2008 Phineas and Ferb episode called "It's a Mud, Mud, Mud, Mud World."
  • In 2008, the last episode of Total Drama Island, "Total Drama, Drama, Drama, Drama, Island", has the ex-22 campers searching for a case containing $1,000,000.
  • A season 3 episode of the teen drama Gossip Girl is titled Its a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World.
  • The season six finale of Charmed was called It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World Part 1 and 2

See also

References

External links


It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Directed by Stanley Kramer
Produced by Stanley Kramer
Written by William and Tania Rose
Starring Spencer Tracy
Milton Berle
Sid Caesar
Jonathan Winters
Mickey Rooney
Buddy Hackett
Buster Keaton
Jimmy Durante
Terry-Thomas
Phil Silvers
Dick Shawn
Edie Adams
Paul Ford
Ethel Merman
Dorothy Provine
Music by Ernest Gold
Cinematography Ernest Laszlo
Editing by Gene Fowler Jr.
Robert C. Jones
Frederic Knudtson
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) November 7, 1963 (1963-11-07)
Running time 161 minutes (most commonly)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $9.4 million
Gross revenue $46,332,858

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 American comedy film directed by Stanley Kramer.[1] It is about the madcap pursuit of $350,000 in stolen cash by a diverse and colorful group of strangers. The ensemble comedy premiered on November 7, 1963.

Contents

Plot

"Smiler" Grogan (Jimmy Durante), a suspect in a long ago tuna factory robbery and on the run from the police, careens his car off a twisting, mountainous road in the Southern California desert and crashes. Five motorists stop to help him - Melville Crump (Sid Caesar), a dentist; Lennie Pike (Jonathan Winters), a furniture mover; Dingy Bell (Mickey Rooney) and Benjy Benjamin (Buddy Hackett), two friends on their way to Las Vegas; and J. Russell Finch (Milton Berle), who owns an edible seaweed company. Just before he kicks the bucket (quite literally), Grogan tells the five about $350,000 (equivalent to $2.5 million in 2010 US dollars) buried in the (fictitious) Santa Rosita State Park, near the Mexican border, under a mysterious "big W". Initially, the motorists try to reason with each other and share the money, but it soon becomes an all-out race to get the money first.

Unbeknownst to them all, Captain T. G. Culpepper (Spencer Tracy) of the Santa Rosita Police Department has been patiently working on the "Smiler" Grogan case for years, hoping to someday solve it and retire. When he learns of the fatal crash, he suspects that Grogan may have tipped off the passersby, so he tracks by various police units. His suspicions are confirmed by their behavior.

Everyone experiences multiple setbacks on their way to the money. Crump and his wife Monica (Edie Adams) charter a shabby World War I biplane and harrowingly make it to Santa Rosita but get stuck in the basement of a hardware store. They free themselves with the help of some dynamite conveniently located in the basement.

Dingy and Benjy charter a modern plane, but after their alcoholic pilot (Jim Backus) lets the two fly the plane, erratically, and consequently gets knocked unconscious while he attempts to make a drink in the back of the plane, the terrified friends are forced to land the plane themselves. On the ground, two cab drivers, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, whisking Dingy and Benjy away from the airport, and Peter Falk, in a separate cab driving Crump and Monica away from the hardware store, thus also get in on the hunt.

Pike's furniture truck crashes into the vehicle containing Finch, his wife Emmeline (Dorothy Provine), and his overbearing dictatorial mother-in-law, Mrs. Marcus (Ethel Merman). The three persuade Pike to ride off for help on a girl's bicycle, then flag down a British army officer, Lt. Col. J. Algernon Hawthorne (Terry-Thomas), to get them to Santa Rosita, and drive past Pike when he attempts to thumb Hawthorne's vehicle down. After many arguments, most caused by Mrs. Marcus, she and Emmeline refuse to go any farther, and Finch and Hawthorne leave them behind.

Pike tries to get motorist Otto Meyer (Phil Silvers) to take him to Santa Rosita, but Meyer betrays Pike and races for the money on his own. Pike, outraged over Meyer, destroys a service station at which Meyer has been forced to stop due to a tire blowout. After the rampage, Pike steals the station's tow truck and picks up Mrs. Marcus and Emmeline. Mrs. Marcus calls her beatnik son Sylvester (Dick Shawn), who lives near Santa Rosita, to get the money, but the almost Oedipally obsessed Sylvester races hysterically to the defense of his mother, running out on his beautiful bedroom companion (Barrie Chase). Meyer experiences his own setbacks, including losing his car and nearly being drowned. All the while, Culpepper and the police department secretly track their activities.

Eventually, all the characters meet up at the state park and search for the Big W. Culpepper orders all policemen to leave the area and goes in solo to retrieve the money but actually plans to take the money to Mexico to escape his dysfunctional family and unsatisfying job after the police department tells Culpepper that his pension won't change. Emmeline, alone and wiping her face at a water fountain, ironically the only one who wanted no part in any of the matter, is the first to recognize the Big W, composed of four palm trees standing at odd angles. Culpepper comes out of the bushes as Emmeline makes the discovery. Emmeline offers to split the money evenly with Culpepper and openly states her wishes to leave all her troubles behind, and maybe even live in a convent (reminding the audience that both Tracy and Provine are Roman Catholic in real life), but in saying so, unwittingly reveals to Culpepper the location. Minutes later, however, Pike, then the others, notice the palm trees and frantically began digging, while Culpepper quietly mixes in with the others and watches. Eventually Sylvester is the only one left in the resulting hole, and his attempts strike the suitcase containing the money. After the suitcase is opened and the group unsuccessfully attempts to strike deals with each other on the money's distribution, Culpepper identifies himself and orders the now-stunned ensemble to turn themselves in, saying a jury may be more lenient. The ensemble climb into the two taxis (Falk's cab had Caesar, Silvers, Adams, Hackett, and Rooney, and Rochester's cab had Berle, Merman, Winters, Provine, Terry-Thomas, and Shawn) and drive out of the park, initially intending to turn themselves in.

But when the two taxicab groups see Culpepper traveling out of the park's exit in the opposite direction with the money, they reverse direction and follow him. Meanwhile, after a number of unsuccessful attempts to reach Culpepper to tell him that his pension would be trebled, the police department revokes his pension and orders his arrest. After a long and frantic chase sequence, all eleven men in the group end up stranded on the fire escape of an old building slated for demolition. While trying to keep from falling off, the men lose control of the suitcase containing the money, and all $350,000 flutters down to the crowd watching below after the suitcase opens. The men then all attempt to climb down a Santa Rosita Fire Department aerial ladder truck, but their combined weight makes the firemen lose control of the ladder, causing the ladder to pivot and rotate wildly and fling the men in many different directions, resulting in many injuries and landing all the men in the hospital awaiting arrest, and eventually to crash into the ground.

In the hospital, the dejected group, in casts and with varying degrees of immobility and pain, criticize Culpepper for taking the money, but he says they will get off easy with the justice system because he will have the harsh sentence. He adds that maybe ten or twenty years from now, there'll be something he can laugh at, but the rest remain unsympathetic. The three women then enter, with Mrs. Marcus (in the middle) scolding all of the hospitalized men. Mrs. Marcus promptly slips on a banana peel that Benjy had thrown on the floor moments before and is carried off on a gurney by interns. Everyone, even Culpepper, begins to laugh hysterically.

Cast

Main

  • Spencer Tracy as Captain T. G. Culpepper, Chief of Detectives Division, Santa Rosita Police Department
  • Milton Berle as edible seaweed company owner J. Russell Finch
  • Sid Caesar as dentist Melville Crump
  • Edie Adams, Kovacs' widow, played Crump's wife, Monica
  • Ethel Merman as Mrs. Marcus, the battle-axe mother-in-law of J. Russell Finch, and mother of Emmeline and Sylvester
  • Jonathan Winters as trucker Lennie Pike
  • Mickey Rooney as comedy writer Dingy Bell
  • Buddy Hackett as comedy writer Benjy Benjamin
  • Phil Silvers as the out-of-work piano player Otto Meyer
  • Dorothy Provine as Emmeline Marcus-Finch, wife of J. Russell Finch
  • Dick Shawn as Sylvester Marcus, a lifeguard at Santa Rosita Beach, Mrs. Marcus' son, and Emmeline's brother
  • Terry-Thomas as Lt. Col. J. Algernon Hawthorne

Secondary

Cameo appearances

Film and television comedian Ernie Kovacs was originally scheduled to play the character "Melville Crump" before his untimely death in an automobile accident on January 13, 1962. Director Kramer subsequently filled the role with comedian Sid Caesar. Kovacs' wife, Edie Adams, remained on board as Caesar's screen wife, in part due to the enormous tax obligations that Ernie left behind.

Of the film's many actors and actresses, as of September 2010 only Caesar, Chase (youngest), Clarke, Falk, Freberg, Georgiade, Kaplan, Lewis, Reiner, Rooney (oldest), and Winters were still alive, evident from the cast members' biographies.

Judy Garland, Groucho Marx, Stan Laurel, George Burns, Bob Hope, Jackie Mason, Don Rickles, Judy Holliday, and Red Skelton were among the many celebrities offered or considered for roles in the film.[citation needed] Ethel Merman's role was originally written for Groucho (as Finch's father-in-law), who reportedly demanded too much money; so the part was rewritten. Laurel did not want to be seen in his old age, especially without Oliver Hardy.

Background

In the early 1960s, screenwriter William Rose, then living in the UK, conceived the idea for a film (provisionally titled Something a Little Less Serious) about a comedic chase through Scotland. He sent an outline to Stanley Kramer, who agreed to produce and direct the film. (The setting was subsequently shifted to America and the working title changed to One Damn Thing After Another and then It's a Mad World, with Rose and Kramer adding additional Mads to the title as time progressed.)[3]

Although well known for serious films such as Inherit the Wind and Judgment at Nuremberg (both starring Spencer Tracy), Kramer set out to make the ultimate comedy film with It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Filmed in Ultra Panavision 70 and presented in Cinerama (becoming one of the first Cinerama films originated with one camera), it also had an all-star cast, with dozens of major comedy stars from all eras of cinema making appearances in the film.

The film followed a Hollywood trend in the 1960s of producing "epic" films as a way of wooing audiences away from television and back to movie theaters. Box-office revenues were dropping, so the major studios experimented with a number of gimmicks to attract audiences, including widescreen films.

The title was taken from Thomas Middleton's 1605 comedy A Mad World, My Masters. Kramer considered adding a fifth "mad" to the title before deciding that it would be redundant, but noted in interviews that he later regretted it.[citation needed] Evidently an underlying premise of the movie is that there are no purely altruistic mortals, in contradistinction to films such as Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.

The film's theme music was written by Ernest Gold with lyrics by Mack David. In the 1970s, ABC broadcast the film on New Year's Eve. The last reported showing of the film on major network television was on CBS on May 16, 1978.[4]

Production

The opening scenes in which "Smiler" Grogan goes off the road, and subsequent scenes when the four vehicles briefly speed down the mountain before slowing down and stopping so that the drivers can talk, were filmed on the “Seven Steps” section (also known as "Seven-Level Hill") of the Palms-to-Pines Highway (California State Highway 74), a generally east-west route mostly south of, and west of, the city of Palm Desert, California. The rocky point at which Durante's car sails off into space, known by Mad World fans as "Smiler's Point," can easily be spotted today on Highway 74, minus the man-made, temporary ramp that was constructed to help launch the car airborne and then was removed after the stunt was completed.

Many of the scenes that take place on what look like lonely stretches of road were filmed in areas of Southern California that have since become urbanized or suburbanized in the decades following the movie's production. Culpepper predicts that the vehicles — generally going east — will head south (a right turn). Not so long after, in a desert highway scene, the four speeding vehicles travel (presumably) somewhat westbound down a slight incline to a "T" intersection and begin to make sweeping left turns (southbound) onto the cross street. Contrary to popular belief, these two statements do not necessarily conflict with each other. The map in the police station — if the highly improbable path (including through at least two mountain ranges and "Smiler" Grogan's portion along the southern part of the Los Angeles Aqueduct) marked were to be believed at face value — illustrates that the location for the turn Culpepper predicts (in reality, just east of Barstow, California) is a considerable distance from the location of the left turn that the vehicles make later. Also, the map later shows that the cars instead continued traveling generally east before making the right turn, then proceeded southwest before making the left turn to travel south. The moving van driven by Jonathan Winters avoids the left turn entirely by cutting diagonally across a sandy patch of desert adjacent to the intersection. This stunt was performed at the southeast corner of Ramon Road and Bob Hope Drive (Rio del Sol Road at the time) in Palm Desert. The sandy, barren terrain that the moving van cuts across is now the paved and landscaped parking lot of the Agua Caliente Indian Resort & Casino.

In the scene in which Jack Benny encounters Milton Berle's character and his group, the entire area, which was practically open desert in the movie, is now a modern suburban neighborhood in Yucca Valley. Likewise, the scene in which motorist Sid Caesar is momentarily blinded by an unfurled road map, which results in all four vehicles zig-zagging behind one another on a desolate desert road, was filmed as the cars traveled northbound on Rio del Sol Road in Palm Desert. This stretch of roadway is now populated with numerous residences, condominium complexes, and retail businesses, and has been widened into a four-lane boulevard.

Many of the actors performed some of their own stunts, including some crashing falls by Caesar, physical antics by Winters, and Silvers' drive into a flowing Kern River, where he almost drowned. Caesar severely injured his back while filming the hardware store scene and was unable to return to the film for some time. Silvers injured himself shortly before the shooting of the scene (one of the last) where the men chase Tracy up several flights of stairs and onto fire-escape ladders. As shot, the scene features Silvers' stunt double.

The gas station scenes with Marvin Kaplan and Arnold Stang, first with Berle, Merman, Provine, and Terry-Thomas, and later with Silvers and Winters, were filmed at a specially constructed set built on composer Jimmy Van Heusen's property near Palm Springs, California. Van Heusen first saw the completed gas station on his Friday drive from Los Angeles out to his weekend retreat. He did not know the gas station was a movie set, thinking instead that his business manager had leased a portion of his property for an actual service station. The destruction scene with Winters, Kaplan, and Stang was filmed that weekend, with the site cleanup scheduled for the next week. On Monday morning's return trip to Los Angeles, Van Heusen saw the destroyed gas station and thought something terrible had happened. As the property owner, he believed he might be sued by injured parties.

During shooting of the gas station's destruction, the water tower began to collapse too soon because of a special-effects miscue. A combination of a split-screen effect and use of an optical printer repaired the scene. Winters, whose character was the one who toppled the water tower with a tow truck, asked to be the one who backed the truck into the tower. Director Kramer overruled Winters, saying that he couldn't be certain in which direction the tower would fall and thus couldn't guarantee the actor's safety.

The airport terminal scenes were filmed at the now-defunct Rancho Conejo Airport in Newbury Park, California, though the control tower shown was constructed only for filming. Other airplane sequences were filmed at the Sonoma County Airport north of Santa Rosa, California; at the Palm Springs International Airport; and in the skies above Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, and Orange County.

In the Orange County scene, a Beech model C-18S flies through a highway billboard advertising Coca-Cola. The plane was flown by stuntman Frank Tallman, but a communications mix-up resulted in the use of linen graphic sheets on the sign rather than paper, as planned. Linen is much tougher than paper, and the plane was nearly destroyed on impact. Tallman managed to fly it back to the airstrip, discovering that the leading edges of the wings had been smashed all the way back to the wing spars. Tallman considered that incident the closest he ever came to dying on film. (Both Tallman and his business partner and fellow flier on Mad World, Paul Mantz, would eventually die in separate air crashes over a decade apart.)

In the movie the airplane is shown crashing through an airport restaurant's plate glass window and stopping abruptly. Careful viewing will show an arresting cable that was tied to the tail of the airplane at just the right length to make the aircraft stop as it hits a curbing.

Part of the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital retirement community, in Woodland Hills, is visible in the background of the scene where characters Lenny Pike and Mrs. Marcus (in the tow truck Pike stole from the service station he destroyed in his rampage) stop at an intersection (of present-day Mulholland Drive, Valley Circle Boulevard, Avenue San Luis, and Calabasas Road) before making a U-turn. Director Kramer died in the hospital of the retirement community in 2001.

Although the fictional city of Santa Rosita was really shot in Long Beach, California; Rancho Palos Verdes, California; San Pedro, California; and Santa Monica, California; Santa Rosita's location on a map in the police station scenes was (supposedly) south of San Diego, California, and north along the coast from Mexico, hence Culpepper's attempt to flee there. Since San Diego's southern city limits border Mexico, the southernmost "X" on the police station map would coincide with somewhere between the eastern part of Imperial Beach, California and the southern part of Chula Vista, California.

The YMCA at Long Beach Boulevard at 6th Street in Long Beach stood in for the police station. In one shot near the YMCA, a sign for Cormier Chevrolet appears. Neither the YMCA nor Cormier Chevrolet currently exist in the area.

"Santa Rosita State Park" was actually the park-like grounds of a private residence located in Rancho Palos Verdes. By 2008 the last of the four palm trees forming the "Big W" had disappeared.

The final chase scene actually started in Santa Monica, most notably on Pacific Coast Highway, at the California Incline. At the intersection, the cabs turned left, briefly heading east, then parked, while the police car turned right, heading west, on Pacific Coast Highway. The cabs chased the police car west to Malibu, past Corral Canyon Road and Solstice Canyon Road to Puerco Canyon Road, down to and along Malibu Road (although the shots which were implied as coming at the end of Malibu Road actually occurred at the end of Victoria Avenue in Oxnard, California), then back up Puerco Canyon Road, east past Corral Canyon Road and Solstice Canyon Road, and south to Long Beach, California, where the cars passed The Pike amusement park with its wooden roller coaster, and traveled around the Rainbow Pier. (In reality, Puerco Canyon Road is east, not west, of Corral Canyon Road and Solstice Canyon Road. What is left of the southern branch of Puerco Canyon Road still intersects with Malibu Road, but the part just to the west of Cher's residence that connected to Pacific Coast Highway no longer exists.) The Arcade under Ocean Boulevard near Pine Avenue is also part of the scene. Near the end of the chase scene, in Long Beach, the vehicles turn by the Farmers & Merchants Bank branch at or near Long Beach Boulevard and Anaheim Street (that branch no longer exists) and, not long after, head east on East 10th Street, turn south onto Long Beach Boulevard (against one-way traffic heading north, with the first cab running over a fire hydrant just outside an auto repair garage immediately south of the Fabric Outlet, all on the east side of the street), then turn west onto the 200 block of East 9th Street (identified by a street name sign, initially visible to the viewer's left). The abandoned building was on East Broadway in downtown Long Beach.

The fire escape and ladder miniature used in the final chase sequence is on display at the Hollywood Museum in Hollywood. Also, the Santa Rosita Fire Department's Ladder Truck was a 1960's Seagrave Fire Apparatus open-cab Mid-Mount Aerial Ladder.[5] Portions of the life-size building and fire escape were constructed on the Universal Studios back lot.

Many modern photos exist of the areas used for the filming.[6]

Silvers, a compulsive gambler, had a running craps game going during the production. Jerry Lewis, who has a cameo appearance in the film, reportedly stopped by the set and left $500 poorer, according to Something a Little Less Serious: A Tribute to 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World', a 1991 documentary included on the DVD version.

Veteran stuntman Carey Loftin was also featured in the documentary, explaining some of the complexity as well as simplicity of stunts, such as the day he "kicked the bucket" as a stand-in for Durante.[7]

Kaplan, Provine, and Falk all appeared in the similarly-themed Blake Edwards comedy The Great Race two years later.

Versions

The film ran 210 minutes in its preview showing. Kramer cut the film to 192 minutes for the premiere release. During its roadshow 70mm run, United Artists, seeing that it had a mammoth hit on its hands, cut the film to 161 minutes without Kramer's involvement in order to add an extra daily showing. The general release 35mm version runs 154 minutes, with overture and exit music excised. At the film's premiere, radio transmissions between the film's fictional police played in the theater lobby and rest rooms during the intermission. The police transmissions featured Detective Matthews (Charles McGraw) and the police personnel that follow the group. These three reports (each approx. one minute in length) may have added to the 210-minute length.

Some of the cut footage remains missing; 20 minutes of material was not found. MGM/UA also located a 20-minute 70 mm preview reel which contained a few scenes in their entirety. These two 70mm reels provided the extra scenes for the "Special Edition version with restored footage" project of 1991. No out-take footage was used, with the exception of a two-second wide shot of the Beechcraft aircraft, needed to bridge a highly sought-after bit of Buddy Hackett being doused with a bucket of water.

While not officially referring to it as a director's cut, Kramer helped oversee the re-incorporation of this missing footage into a 182-minute "special edition" video version for VHS and Laserdisc. Screenwriter Tania Rose was also contacted by the Special Edition team and after viewing the footage gave her endorsement to the project. Because of the quality of the missing scenes, the lack of a large budget for a film restoration, and a lack of interest at the time by restoration experts, it was decided that a digital tape reconstruction for presentation on Laserdisc would at least be a venue for film fans to finally see the footage. Years later, the improved quality of DVD would make the poor quality of the restored footage more jarring, so the standard edited version is presented instead. The special edition version has aired on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Comparisons between the two show that the extended version is of inferior video quality to that of the DVD, since film transfer techniques and formats have improved.

Currently, the best existing footage is in the form of original 70 mm elements of the general release version (recent restored versions shown in revival screenings are derived from these elements). However, some, if not all of the remaining footage does exist in some form, although it has deteriorated over time. A restoration effort currently is under way by preservationist Robert A. Harris in an attempt to bring the film back as close as possible to the original roadshow release.

The official release from MGM is the 161-minute general release version, taken from its original 35 mm elements. Because of this, it is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, as opposed to the full 2.75:1 in anamorphic 70 mm form. Two versions of the film have been released on DVD. The first, from 2001, is a double-sided disc containing an hour of missing scenes on the second side, along with the original documentary "Something A Little Less Serious", and trailers and TV spots. In 2003, the film was released on DVD as a movie-only edition, with disc art on the disc as opposed to being dual-sided. It should be noted that the 2001 release had a blue spine and is now hard to find, while the 2003 release had a yellow spine and is relatively easy to find in stores. Interestingly, the colors in the cartoon credits sequence are incorrect (too red) in the current DVD version. The older Special Edition Laserdisc version is surprisingly more accurate, with the green background in the opening, and the subtle color changes occurring later on. The Special Edition team (consisting of volunteer "Mad World" experts from around the country) had MGM/UA pull a 70mm print for the correct colors.

Fans on message boards such as us.imdb.com have listed the differences between the TCM and DVD versions, since the DVD's deleted scenes are not properly organized to explain their context and some scenes are essentially the same as seen on the DVD, only extended with a bit of material. However, even without the deleted scenes the current DVD version contains what general audiences saw in 1963.

According to one fan's analysis of the TCM extended version (70mm 2.55:1 aspect ratio) and the DVD theatrical version (35mm 2.35:1 aspect ratio):

  • The DVD does not contain the overture, and the main titles are in red, as opposed to the original multi-colored sequence.
  • The TCM version opens with the 1980s animated MGM/UA logo, while the DVD version opens with the familiar MGM Leo the Lion logo (United Artists releases are now part of the MGM library).
  • Part One of the TCM extended version has 14 minutes and 2 seconds of added footage.
  • Part Two of the TCM extended version has 3 minutes and 49 seconds of added footage.
  • The longest stretch of time in the film without added material is 25 minutes and 3 seconds, from timecode 1:53:45 to timecode 2:18:48.

It has been rumored that Kramer's original cut lasted more than five hours. This has been verified by Kramer's widow, Karen Sharpe Kramer, who was involved in locating the original 192-minute premiere version for release on VHS.

The film was broadcast in high definition for the first time on April 1, 2010 on MGM HD. This version contained the full overture and exit music, but no intermission music (it only used the music leading into the intermission).

The film was shown on TCM & TCMHD on July 6, 2010. This version contained the full overture, intermission music, and exit music.

Home media

The film was first released on VHS and LaserDisc by CBS/FOX Video in 1985. In 1990, MGM/UA Home Video released a restored video version of the film on VHS and LaserDisc incorporating all of the deleted footage that was available at that time, and including a documentary about the making of the film. The same company again released the movie on VHS 5 years later in stereo, letterbox, with a running time of 182 minutes, bonus trailer, but without the documentary. In 2001, MGM Home Entertainment released the film on two-sided DVD with the deleted scenes included as extras. In 2003, MGM Home Entertainment released another DVD of the film, a one-sided disc containing no extras.

Widescreen process

The film was promoted as the first film made in "one-projector" Cinerama. (The original Cinerama process filmed scenes using three separate cameras and three film reels. The three processed strips were then shown via three projectors which were electronically synchronized, and shown on a huge curved screen.) One camera Cinerama was essentially the Ultra Panavision process with an extra anamorphic compression at the edges of the image. When projected by one projector this expanded 70mm image would fill the very wide Cinerama screen. Other Ultra Panavision and Super Panavision 70 films promoted as being in Cinerama include Ice Station Zebra, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Khartoum.

Premieres

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World had its world premiere at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California on November 7, 1963, on the Dome's own opening night. The East Coast premiere was on November 17, 1963 at the Warner Cinerama Theatre in Times Square, New York City.[8] Many of then-President John F. Kennedy's family (but not JFK himself), friends, fans, and followers attended the New York premiere, just five days before JFK would be assassinated.[9]

Awards

The film won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing and received Oscar nominations for its cinematography, film editing, sound recording, music score and title song. It received Golden Globes Awards nominations for Best Picture (Comedy) and for Jonathan Winters' performance as Best Actor.

American Film Institute recognition

The film was recognized by the American Film Institute.

In popular culture

  • In-N-Out Burger features two palm trees crossing each other, in front of most of its locations, in homage to the big W's middle two palm trees, since the film was founder Harry Snyder's favorite movie.
  • Mad magazine compiled a paperback book in 1965 titled It's a World, World, World, World Mad, published by Signet Books. It was reprinted (also in paperback form) by Warner Books in 1973.
  • James Brown reached #8 on the Hot 100 with "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" on 4 June 1966.
  • The films Scavenger Hunt (1979) and Rat Race (2001) were influenced from and patterned after It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, with the eventual large sum of money, however, as a prize instead of buried stolen treasure.[citation needed]
  • The 1987 film Million Dollar Mystery has a similar basic premise.
  • A 1994 episode of The Simpsons, "Homer the Vigilante", contains many references to the movie. At the end, a group of people makes a wild race to recover a stolen treasure buried under a “Big T”, after hearing a clue from the burglar. The cartoon reproduces and parodies many scenes from the movie, including some characters, using the same music and camera angles. Also, one of the episode from the eleventh season was named It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge.
  • The plot of the 1999 novel Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey is an homage to the film, with a wide variety of characters chasing after a suitcase containing $5 million in stolen drug money, which was hidden by the thief before he died. There is even a direct reference to the movie, in a scene in which a man drives over a turtle "like Jerry Lewis running over Spencer Tracy's hat in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."
  • There is a 2005 episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody called "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Hotel," in which the characters search for hidden treasure in the hotel.
  • A comedy Bollywood remake of this film was made in 2007, named Dhamaal.
  • There is a 2008 Phineas and Ferb episode called "It's a Mud, Mud, Mud, Mud World."
  • In 2008, the last episode of Total Drama Island, "Total Drama, Drama, Drama, Drama, Island", has the ex-22 campers searching for a case containing $1,000,000.
  • A Season 3 episode of the teen drama Gossip Girl is titled "It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World".
  • The Season 6 finale of Charmed was called "It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World Part 1 and 2".
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "No Toon is an Island", Buster, Babs, Plucky, and Hampton search for treasure on an island and are looking for an "X". After they discover a bird was making x-shaped foot prints, Plucky finds two palm trees crossed together to form the letter X to the delight of the quartet, referencing the trees making the big W. All four of them try to split the treasure and eventually do. But like Culpepper, all four try to get the treasure themselves. After a volcanic eruption, and making it on the boat they are forced to throw the treasure off the boat to prevent sinking, referencing the $350,000 raining down on the crowd at the end of the film.
  • What Mama Said, a song on Jeff Beck's album Who Else, ends with Dick Shawn's "Did y'all hear what mama said. Yeah" - a sound byte directly from the movie.

See also

References

External links








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