CRITERION COLLECTION ITS A MAD,MAD,MAD,MAD,MAD WORLD BLU RAY REVIEW

Seeing as the Christmas season is upon us, we have decided to look at 10 great gifts for film fans. Number 10 : Best for the Family! The caper classic, about a group of people lusting over a stash of cash buried under an X, returns in glorious Blu Ray for you to snap up over Xmas! Smiler Grogan (Jimmy Durante) is a robber and wanted by the police. He is also a reckless driver and crashes into a valley on a desert road. Five motorists witness is, they are Melville Crump (Sid Ceaser) a gentle dentist, Lonnie Pike (Jonathan Winters)a removal man, Ding Bell (Mickley Rooney what a name, what a man) on his way to Vega with beastie Benjy Benjamin (Buddy Hackett) and J Russell Finch (Milton Berle) a businessman. Going to his aid, Grogan tell s them a story about a wad of cash hidden under a big W. As he breathes his last, all present get an idea. But will they get to it? And will they spilt it?

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad (you get it and the less I write it, the more trees saved!) is a comedy of the screwball variety. It might be unexpected from its various parts but it’s right up there. Even with an ensemble cast, filled with vicarious talent (including Spencer Tracy, Phil Silvers and Peter Falk), a serious film director (in Stanley Kramer no less.) And a high end production feel in Panavision film stock. So you get humour, shades of which can be droll, pointed and sardonic. You get Over The Top everything. From absurd situations to even more absurd characters. Remember though this was made in the 6 years after Around the World in 80 Days! Maybe director Kramer felt this was his only way to get award recognition for himself?! I doubt it. However this argument still prevails, the plot is so 1 dimensional that Kramer must have intentionally been trying to achieve something else. Who know. Maybe it’s very nearly the ultimate comedy film.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
  • Restored 4K digital film transfer of the general release version of the film, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack.
  • New high-definition digital transfer of a 197-minute extended version of the film, reconstructed and restored by Robert A. Harris using visual and audio material from the longer original road-show version—including some scenes that have been returned to the film here for the first time.
  • New audio commentary featuring It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World aficionados Mark Evanier, Michael Schlesinger, and Paul Scrabo.
  • New documentary on the film’s visual and sound effects, featuring rare behind-the-scenes footage of the crew at work and interviews with visual-effects specialist Craig Barron and sound designer Ben Burtt.
  • Talk show from 1974 hosted by director Stanley Kramer and featuring Mad World actors Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, and Jonathan Winters.
  • Press interview from 1963 featuring Kramer and members of the film’s cast.
  • Interviews recorded for the 2000 AFI program 100 Years . . . 100 Laughs, featuring comedians and actors discussing the influence of the film.
  • Two-part 1963 episode of the CBC television program Telescope that follows the film’s press junket and premiere.
  • The Last 70mm Film Festival, a program from 2012 featuring cast and crew members from Mad World at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, hosted by Billy Crystal.
  • Selection of humourist and voice-over artist Stan Freberg’s original TV and radio advertisements for the film, with a new introduction by Freberg.
  • Original and re-release trailers, and re-release radio spots.
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Lou Lumenick and illustrations by legendary cartoonist Jack Davis.

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