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"It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movies-Jan-2014-MAD

Best of 2014 Awards

Synopsis

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 and Jonathan Winters) and features cameo appearances by every joker and jester in the business, from Don Knotts and Jerry Lewis to The Three Stooges. Nominated* for six Oscars. On a winding desert highway, eight vacation-bound motorists share an experience that alters their plans - and their lives! After a mysterious stranger divulges the location of a stolen fortune, they each speed off in a mind-bending, car-bashing race for the loot - and the most sidesplitting laughfest in history.

Specifications

  • MGM/Fox
  • 2013 (1965),  Rated G, 2 hours 39 minutes
  • Aspect Ratio 2.76:1
  • 1080p AVC
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Milton Beryl, Sid Ceasar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney and a cast of dozens
  • Directed by: Stanley Kramer
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Slapstick
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

If the term “epic” can be given to a comedy, this movie would carry that moniker. It is true that you would had to have grown up in the 60’s to recognize all of these comedic stars, but even kids today will appreciate the zany chase scenes in this flick. There are more stars than I can list, but at every turn, a new face pops up. Ernie Kovacs was going to be in this, but he died a few months before production. Stan Laurel (Laurel and Hardy) backed out because he did not want to appear with out his beloved partner who also died a few years prior. Still, those that do star in this movie have a great time! If you have never seen this movie, you really need to see it now in all of its HD glory. I can not imagine this movie being made today because I can not even think of a dozen comedians to star in it…at least, comedians that had the acting chops of these from the past. This is the craziest "chase" movie ever put to celluloid and well worth your time to see! Many critics say this was the greatest comedy ever filmed, and I would not disagree.

Technical

The picture is outstanding. The opening aerial shot of the desert showed me that this disc was going to be awesome…and it really was. Colors and contrast are wonderful with plenty of “pop” and depth. The details are very sharp. Spencer Tracey’s blotched and sweaty face looks, well, natural for him. Only a few, occasional  flecks mark up the film, but the vast majority of the picture is absolutely pristine. The film got an Oscar for sound production, but even in surround, it’s nothing special by today’s standards. The dialog is clear and articulate and that is all that really counts. There is even a “singing” intermission half way through the film. When is the last time you saw a movie with an intermission?

Extras

Commentaries, theatrical trailers and a clip about the making of the movie.