Trivia & Fun Facts About IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD
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In the animated opening titles of It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, the world explodes in a cascade of letters that become the cast list. Just before that, for only three frames, they spell out the names of the animators, the same team that made A Charlie Brown Christmas.
B>It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World marked Jonathan Winters' film debut.
In his cameo, Jack Benny drives a Maxwell, the same out-of-date car he drove on his radio and television series. Fans don't look on the car as the real thing, however, because Kramer neglected to have cartoon voice artist Mel Blanc provide the sounds of the car's motor as he had on the radio.
Leo Gorcey's cameo as a cab driver was his first film appearance since he left the Bowery Boys series in 1956.
Stan Laurel turned down an offer to appear in the film because after Oliver Hardy's death in 1957 he had sworn never to perform again.
Some actors who turned down roles in It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World included Judy Garland, Bob Hope, George Burns and Red Skelton.
When It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World was completed, Spencer Tracy told Stanley Kramer it was the most fun he had ever had on a film set.
With $10 million in grosses in 1964, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World was the second highest-grossing film of that year, just behind The Carpetbaggers. As of 1970, it had made $60 million worldwide.
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World opened on November 7, 1963, as the premiere presentation at Hollywood's new Cinerama Dome.
The day before the film's November 17, 1963 New York premiere -- the film was shown in a special charity preview to benefit the Kennedy Child Study Center and the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Institute. It was the last public screening ever attended by the Kennedy family before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy shortly thereafter.
In addition to Cinerama showings, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World was also released in a 35mm version for regular movie theatres. The 35mm version was actually shorter than the 70mm Cinerama version, which included a prelude, an intermission and special news inserts reporting the characters' progress in searching for the buried loot.
The only version of the film available is the 35 mm print that runs 154 minutes. The 70 mm negative, with additional scenes and music, has been lost.
Allegedly, the 197-minute version of It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World includes a dance sequence featuring the voices of The Shirelles, one of the most popular girl groups of the sixties..
A 1970 reissue used the tagline, "If ever this mad, mad, mad, mad world needed It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World it's now!".
Memorable Quotes From IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD:
"Even businessmen, who rob and cheat and steal from people everyday, even they have to pay taxes." -- Jonathan Winters as Lennie Pike
"Now look! We've figured it 17 different ways, and each time we figured it, it was no good, because no matter how we figured it, somebody don't like the way we figured it! So now, there's only one way to figure it. And that is, every man, including the old bag, for himself!" -- Buddy Hackett, as Benjy Benjamin, starting the competition.
"But this is a girl's bike. This is for a little girl." -- Winters, as Lennie Pike, having to find some form of transportation when he loses his truck.
"Now what kind of an attitude is that, 'These things happen?' They only happen because this whole country is just full of people who, when these things happen, they just say, 'These things happen,' and that's why they happen! We gotta have control of what happens to us." -- Ethel Merman, as Mrs. Marcus.
"Trouble? Having any trouble?"
"Yes, and we don't need any help from you!"
"Well!" -- Jack Benny, as Man in Car, offering unsuccessfully to help Merman, as Mrs. Marcus, and her family.
"I'm coming. That's what I'm here for. That's why you had me, Mama, to save you." -- Dick Shawn, as Sylvester Marcus, riding to the rescue.
"Exactly like your father: a big, stupid, muscle-headed moron!" -- Merman describing Shawn, as her son, Sylvester.
"You know, I'm not entirely uncertain you haven't damaged this machine." -- Terry-Thomas, as J. Algernon Hawthorne.
"As far as I can see, American men have been totally emasculated -- they're like slaves! They die like flies from coronary thrombosis while their women sit under hairdryers eating chocolates and arranging for every second Tuesday to be some sort of Mother's Day! And this infantile preoccupation with bosoms. In all my time in this godforsaken country, the one thing that has appalled me most of all is this preposterous preoccupation with bosoms. Don't you realize they have become the dominant theme in American culture: in literature, advertising and all fields of entertainment. I'll wager you anything you like that if American women stopped wearing brassieres, your whole national economy would collapse overnight." -- Terry-Thomas, as Hawthorne.
"Old fashioneds? Do you think you oughta drink while your flying?"
"Well stop kidding willya, and make us some drinks! You just press the button back there marked 'booze.' It's the only way to fly!" -- Mickey Rooney, as Ding Bat, and Jim Backus, as Tyler Fitzgerald, discussing air safety.
"Dingy, don't let this worry you. We're gonna get killed." -- Hackett, as Benjy Benjamin, trying to fly the plane.
"Even if it is a democracy, in a democracy it don't matter how stupid you are, you still get an equal share." -- Winters, as Lennie.
"Listen, anything you got to say about your mother-in-law, you don't have to explain to me. You know what I mean? Like, if she were the star of a real crummy horror movie, I'd believe it." -- Winters, on Merman.
"My wife is divorcing me, my daughter is applying to the courts to have her name changed, my mother-in-law is suing me for damages, my pension has been revoked. And the only reason you ten idiots will very likely get off lightly, is that the judge will have me up there to throw the book at....I'd like to think that sometime, maybe ten or 20 years from now, there could be something I could laugh at. Anything." -- Spencer Tracy, as Capt. C.G. Culpepper, bemoaning his involvement in the plot.
Compiled by Frank Miller