It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, 1963

It’s tax time.

The ominous tax deadline is quickly approaching so I know there are a lot of people who agree with the title of this movie. People hate to give up whatever amount of money they are able to gather during the year. But it isn’t giving money to the government that gives the movie its title. The movie is about a lot of greedy people trying to get a large amount of someone else’s money. This is a great place to stop talking about tax time.

How about a simple movie review instead?

Jimmy Durante, as Smiler Grogan, sets the story rolling by kicking the bucket.

Milton Berle as Mr. Finch, Ethel Merman as his mother-in-law, Dorothy Provine as Mrs. Finch, Sid Caesar as Dr. Crump the dentist, Edie Adams as Mrs. Crump, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, and Jonathan Winters all stop to see if the wild-driving stranger (Smiler Grogan) is still alive after his car tumbled off the cliff side of the road. In their investigation, they all hear Grogan give directions to where he buried $350,000. After Grogan dies, the cast races off to see who will dig it up first.

Along the way, some of them encounter transportation troubles and need a lift to the park where the money is buried. Phil Silvers stops to help Jonathan Winters and becomes his nemesis. Terry-Thomas is the British guy who kindly offered to help, but ended up constantly fighting with Milton Berle and his mother-in-law.

Dick Shawn as Ethel Merman’s son provided an unexpected twist in more ways than one. Don Knotts and Jack Benny made appearances as friendly motorists offering a ride.

Spencer Tracy is the police chief in charge of the Grogan case, and thus the whole race. He prevents the other officers from arresting the desperate cast as they break law after law. However, nothing is easy for him, not even throwing his hat on the hat rack. It flies out the window and lands in the middle of the street. Jerry Lewis joins in the fun just long enough to run over Spencer Tracy’s hat.

Carl Reiner is the tower controller who tries to help Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hackett. The Three Stooges lend a hand as well. But according to, theirs is the shortest of the cameos: only five seconds.

The two cabbies who drove some of that group to the park were played by Eddie “Rochester” Anderson and Peter Falk.

Of the many nominations, the only Oscar this film won was for Best Sound Effects. The other Oscar nominations were for Color Cinematography, for Film Editing, for Original Song, for Best Substantially Original Score, and for Best Sound.

The Golden Globes nominations were for Best Motion Picture in a Musical or Comedy and for Best Motion Picture Actor in a Musical or Comedy (Jonathan Winters).

If you haven’t seen this movie in a while, maybe it’s about time for a fun movie rental. This one’s a classic!

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