Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was one of my favorite films as a kid.It was a 1963 American comedy about the madcap pursuit of $350,000 in stolen cash by a diverse and colorful group of strangers.

Why did I love it so much?
Well apart from the fact i loved treasure hunts and car chases, i also loved the strength of each character. Edie Adams as Monica Crump, wife of Melville Crump. There was Sid Caesar as the dentist Melville Crump. Mickey Rooney was a comedy writer known as Dingy ‘Ding’ Bell and Buddy Hackett as comedy writer. Who can forget the character played by Ethel Merman namely Mrs. Marcus. She was the battle-axe mother-in-law of J. Russell Finch.
Phil Silvers was the out-of-work piano player Otto Meyer and of course Terry-Thomas as Lt. Col. J. Algernon Hawthorne. Spencer Tracy as Captain C. G. Culpeper of the Santa Rosita Police Department. Jonathan Winters was the chubby truck driver Lennie Pike

Its a mad mad mad mad world – opening credits

Its a mad mad mad mad world was an incredible movie for so many reason. 182 minutes movie back in December 1963

1963 It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

1960s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World


The story kicks off with four vehicles that are passed by a speeding black sedan on a lonely highway in Southern California. The sedan falls over a cliff. They find the chap from the wreckage and under his dying breath, about $350,000 hidden in the state park in the fictitious city of Santa Rosita, less than a day’s drive away, under a mysterious “Big W”.

The story is now ready to play out as a true treasure hunt takes place over the coming 24 hours. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is the Magnificent men in there flying machines but on the road. Or more accurately it is the Wacky Races in the real world.

Similar to the story of chicken licken and henny penny, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World has a continuous introduction of new characters along the way as the secret of the treasure becomes known to further characters joining in the mad cap chase across to the national park.Bikes and Planes are involved, garages collapse, people get locked up in warehouses and others get incredibly side tracked. The buried money is eventually found under a group of four palm trees that have been planted to resemble the letter “W”.

Unfortunately the ending in my mind is a bit weak, its the getting there that made the film. often true in real life too. Ask Del and Rodney from only fools and horses.

Do you have any memories of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World?

9 thoughts on “Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

  1. One of the best movies EVER! Jonathon Winters on that girls bike makes me laugh my head off every time! Jonathon (as was EVERYONE) in this movie was absolutely hilarious!!

  2. Yeah, I watched it some 15-20 years ago and I remember laughing my head off too, I especially remember a scene with two gas station workers taking on one of the treasure hunt party, a hilarious scene. I’m gonna get this film and rewatch it.

  3. No..A remake of this film wouldn’t work..because..the comedy performers
    of today…couldn’t play those characters..the way that people like Ms.Adams,
    Ms.Provine,Ms.Mermen,Mr.Caesar,Mr.Silvers,Mr.Winters etc did back then.

    And..a remake would have the performers..saying alot of vicious and
    angry foul letter words and engage in violent assaults..that are not real
    slapstick forms of comedy. Mr.Kramer’s version of”I A MMMMW!”was
    done right back in’s probably best not to try and redo it again.

  4. This was a favorite movie of my father and I–over the years we ended up watching it several times. I hope they never remake it (since everything coming out of Hollywood today is a do-over) because it just wouldn’t be as funny, although I have wondered a few times which modern comics would fill some of the roles. Ethel Merman is one brutal mother-in-law, and Dick Shawn as her son Sylvester is hilarious! It’s definitely a classic in my book.

    • I agree it really was a classic movie for its time – it had everything – really hilarious, and it’s got a great story. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World has action and excitement, and even an intermission!

  5. Pingback: 1963 - The year of The Great Escape movie

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