It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
Stanley Kramer followed his Oscar-winning Judgment at Nuremberg with this sobering investigation of American greed. Ah, who are we kidding? It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, about a group of strangers fighting tooth and nail over buried treasure, is the most grandly harebrained movie ever made, a pileup of slapstick and borscht-belt-y one-liners performed by a nonpareil cast, including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Jonathan Winters, and a boatload of other playing-to-the-rafters comedy legends. For sheer scale of silliness, Kramer’s wildly uncharacteristic film is unlike any other, an exhilarating epic of tomfoolery.
-Restored 4K digital film transfer of the general release version of the film, with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
-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--with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
-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 humorist and voice-over artist Stan Freberg’s original TV and radio advertisements for the film, with a new introduction by Freberg
Original and rerelease trailers, and rerelease radio spots
-Two Blu-rays and three DVDs, with all content available in both formats
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Lou Lumenick
Donald Brown wrote:
It's a mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad world
Of course it must be It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
, but it is indeed a strange surprise. Yes, there's already the nice looking Blu-ray of the general release version for around ten bucks. It also wasn't among the titles known to be acquired from MGM. It seems more likely to be a one-off, rather than a harbinger of an additional batch of titles, since Criterion still has nine of the originals to go.
November marks the 50th anniversary of the film. All I can figure is that MGM and Fox were working on their own deluxe anniversary (roadshow?) edition and enlisted Criterion as production and distribution partner to split costs and help bring a little extra cache and nudge it into another market besides the usual fanatics for this film.
I will probably buy it, but will wear this expression when I do:Criterionforum.org user rating averages