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George At 

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It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

In 1963, producer/director Stanley Kramer threw everything at the Cinerama screen, including every kitchen sink in view into IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD.

Massive in scale and pretty hilarious from start to finish, this screwball comedy holds up very well almost sixty years later!

The story at it's heart is small.

A group of motorists on a winding highway watch a car go sailing through the guard rails into the desert. The dying man (Jimmy Durante) they find next to the car tells them all about a treasure of stolen loot along with cryptic clues where to find it.

Buddy Hackett, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney and Jonathan Winters immediately begin figuring out ways to divide the cash.

Soon, a madcap race to be the first to find the money breaks out and physical comedy on a grand scale begins.

Jonathan Winters and Buddy Hackett are timeless, nailing every punch line in sight with bullseye after bullseye.

Terry Thomas and Phil SIlvers soon join the chase, as does Dick Shawn as Merman's mad son who loves his momma.

The great Spencer Tracy stars as a police detective tracking the group as they lead him toward the mob money. He's clearly having fun in one of his last film roles.

Everything in sight explodes and the stunt team delivers. An airplane flying through a billboard and many cars becoming airborne as they launch out of dips pre-date "Bullitt" and offer up some laugh out loud moments.

Sid Caesar and Edie Adams trying to escape the hardware/fireworks store is a favorite scene, along with Winters single-handedly destroying a gas station with his bare hands.

Somehow, Kramer and his cast manage to top it all with a huge finale.

As a video record of the greatest comedians of the 20th century, it stands alone, with cameos filling every inch of the ultra-wide screen. Jerry Lewis, The Three Stooges, Jack Benny, Buster Keaton, George Raft, Jim Backus and Peter Falk are among the many that pop in during a three hour run time that never flags.

It's old fashioned, slapstick, stupid comedy. If you loved "The Naked Gun" movies, you'll love this granddaddy of the formula.

Steven Spielberg clearly found much of his inspiration for his under appreciated, huge comedy "1941" in this classic.

Fans of Peter Bogdanavich's excellent "What's Up Doc" will see many moments that inspired that 1972 hit.

I watch this every couple years for a great laugh and some nostalgic memories. The Criterion Collection Roadshow version includes the original Overture, Intermission and Final Curtain music, along with may reconstructed scenes that haven't been seen since it's original run in theatres.

It really captures a time when the theatres were big, the screen enormous and folks dressed up to attend reserved seat engagements.

While that era may be lost, Kramer's vision of collecting every major comedian in one huge film remains as funny as the day it was released.

It gets a MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD A.

"Here I come Momma!!!"

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