For movie producers to match the cinematic appeal of the 1963 motion picture masterpiece It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, they’d have to break the bank. It would be financially impractical to blend that many world-renowned comedians into one screenplay. Trying to persuade a collection of superstar funny people to share equal credits and billing today would be essentially, ‘Mission Impossible’.
In the early 1960s, as color consumed the world of motion pictures across the big screen, and some of the greatest movies of all time were born, producer/director Stanley Kramer pulled off something that may never again be accomplished. The moment one of the era’s most noteworthy stars drove his 1957 Ford Fairlane airborne off a cliff, a cast of colossal cinematic clowns started a laugh-a-minute raucous race across Southern California in search of the proverbial buried loot.
With a dozen of the leading comedians in Hollywood during the early 60s taking on equal leading roles in some of the funniest movies, others who were not part of the final casting, literally begged Kramer for cameo appearances. The likes of Jerry Lewis, Jack Benny, Buster Keaton showed their faces for but a few seconds. A trio of black and white comedy clucks known as the Three Stooges, all had shorter parts than Jimmy Durante, who expired at the bottom of the cliff, less than 10-minutes into the film.
Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Phil Silvers and the hilarious Ethel Merman tried to outwit, out maneuver and out run one another to a spot only known as the ‘Big W’. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World goes beyond just a collection of the most acclaimed comedy characters in a single motion picture, it is without rival as a continuously hilarious spectacle about an insane pursuit of fortune.