Blu-ray, DVD Release: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Jan. 21, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $49.99
Studio: Criterion


It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World movie scene

The comedy legends of yesteryear come together for It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Stanley Kramer followed his Oscar-winning Judgment at Nuremberg with the much-loved 1963 comedy spectacular It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Concerning about a group of strangers fighting tooth and nail over buried treasure, the film is the most grandly harebrained movie ever made, featuring a pileup of slapstick and borscht-belt-y one-liners performed by a nonpareil cast, including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Ethel Merman, Dick Shawn, 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.

Criterion’s release features a 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.

Here’s a complete list of the Blu-ray/DVD Combo’s features:

• New, 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
• A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Lou Lumenick

Buy or Rent It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.