[[caption-width-right:300:No, actually, we mean it -- it's mad.]]

->''"It's buried under a big W..."''

A classic madcap comedy, directed by Creator/StanleyKramer and starring several of the major comedians of the day (1963), with an additional host appearing in [[TheCameo cameos]]: Creator/BusterKeaton, Creator/JerryLewis, Film/TheThreeStooges, [[Radio/TheJackBennyProgram Jack Benny]], Creator/DonKnotts, Creator/StanFreberg...

When 'Smiler' Grogan (Creator/JimmyDurante) sails his car off a cliff in the Mojave Desert, he [[FinalSpeech tells]] the various strangers who gather to help him [[TreasureMap where to find $350,000 in cash]], hidden loot from an old robbery. [[VisualPun He then literally kicks the bucket]]. After a spirited "negotiation" session breaks down, the witnesses decide to race each other to Santa Rosita State Park, where the money is "buried under a big 'W'"... each hoping to find it and keep it all for him/herself.

[[AC:The initial racers are:]]
* Milquetoast edible-seaweed salesman J. Russell Finch, his voice-of-reason wife Emmeline, and her [[EvilMatriarch mother]], Mrs. Marcus (Creator/MiltonBerle, Creator/DorothyProvine and Creator/EthelMerman)
* Second-honeymooning dentist Melville Crump and his wife Monica (Creator/SidCaesar and Creator/EdieAdams)
* Vegas-bound friends Dingy Bell and Benjy Benjamin (Creator/MickeyRooney and Creator/BuddyHackett)
* Burly moving-van driver Lennie Pike (Creator/JonathanWinters)

They are eventually joined in their treasure hunt by an [[FunnyForeigner English officer]] (Creator/TerryThomas), a ConMan (Creator/PhilSilvers), and Russell's hair-triggered brother-in-law Sylvester (Creator/DickShawn).

Before long, all these characters are in deep trouble. The Crumps get locked in a hardware-store basement, and set it on fire trying to escape. Benjy and Dingy have to fly a plane after its inebriated pilot (Jim Backus) passes out. The van driver demolishes a gas station after the conman tricks two attendants into attempting to tie him up. The conman drives into a river. Mrs. Marcus starts multiple fights.

Meanwhile, the police are monitoring all this, and betting on who will win the race. The Santa Rosita police chief, Captain Culpepper (Creator/SpencerTracy), intends to confiscate the stolen money after it's found and presumably return it to its rightful owners, but after being buried under an ever-increasing mountain of bad news from his homelife ''and'' regarding his police pension (or lack thereof), he devises ASimplePlan to get the dough for himself and skip on down to [[SouthOfTheBorder Mexico]] for his "retirement".

Not to be confused with ''VideoGame/MadWorld'' by any means. You are, however, allowed to confuse it with its '00s {{Remake}} (of sorts), ''Film/RatRace''.
!!This film provides examples of:
* AgonyOfTheFeet: Russell Finch and Col. Hawthorne both fall victim to this while fighting each other during the pre-intermission montage.
* TheAlcoholic: Jim Backus as Tyler Fitzgerald, who we first meet suffering from a raging case of HangoverSensitivity.
-->'''Tyler Fitzgerald:''' ''(flying the plane!)'' You know what I need? I need a drink. There's some ice and stuff back there. Why don't you make us all some Old Fashioneds?
-->'''Dingy Bell:''' Old Fashioneds?! Do you think you oughta drink while you're flying? \\
'''Tyler Fitzgerald:''' Well stop kidding, will ya, and make us some drinks! You just press the button back there marked "booze". ''(laughs)'' It's the only way to fly![[note]]ShoutOut to the {{Slogan}} for Western Airlines, [[ActorAllusion which Backus voiced in many TV ads of the time]].[[/note]]
* [[TheAllegedCar The Alleged Plane]]: Which was built in 1916.
%%* AmusingInjuries
* AnimatedCreditsOpening: [[http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/its-a-mad-mad-mad-mad-world/ Designed by]] Creator/SaulBass, and animated by a team including Bill Melendez (of later ''{{Peanuts}}'' specials fame).
* BananaPeel: The very end of the movie, [[spoiler:which triggers Mrs. Marcus' much-deserved comeuppance]].
* BenchBreaker: Lennie breaks the chair that he was tied to after breaking himself free from the pillar and duct tape that the gas station attendants tried tying up him to.
%%* TheBigRace
* BigShutUp: At the end when all the men are hospitalized, Dingy gives one to Melville when the latter goes into mathematics again as he did at the beginning when trying to decide how to split the money.
** Mrs. Marcus does this to several people, including her own daughter.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Culpepper's wife and daughter, as well as the Finch/Marcuses.
* BittersweetEnding: Played for laughs, of course, courtesy of the [[BananaPeel banana peel]] reference above.
* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord: Subverted:
--> '''Police Chief Aloysius:''' "Now you know the word for this, your honor: it's called Blackmail."
* BrickJoke: Melville's insistence in divvying up the money.
* BriefcaseFullOfMoney: The object of the search.
* ButtMonkey: Everyone in the movie is a victim of this, but Lennie Pike and Melville Crump get the worst of it.
* TheCameo: It ''lives'' for cameos.
* TheChewToy: Ray and Irwin.
* ChineseLaunderer: The Crumps finally free themselves from the hardware store's basement by dynamiting their way through a wall and right into a Chinese laundry.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Sylvester employed this trope when Mrs. Marcus tried calling him. He ended up misinterpreting his mother's pleas to come over and help in the search for the money, believing that she was in trouble and needed his help. Even worse: she called him because he was already close to the place the money was buried, so his coming to her just adds a complication to no purpose.
** When Ding and Benjy are in the plane, Fitzgerald elects to make his own drinks, so he tells Benjy to take the controls. Benjy asks him, "What if something happens?" Fitzgerald replies, "What could happen to an Old Fashioned?"
* CoolCar: A whole bunch of them.
* CoolOldGuy: Culpepper [[spoiler:until [[FaceHeelTurn he double-crosses everyone, that is]]]].
* CoolShades: Dingy wears these for the first 15 minutes of the film.
* ContrivedCoincidence: How convenient for Otto Meyer that there is a gas station in the vicinity just as he gets a flat tire. Of course, things go from bad to worse for him when an enraged Lenny Pike catches up with him.
* CoveredInGunge: The Crumps fall victim to this. Mrs. Crump sustains some ClothingDamage, as well.
* CrashCourseLanding: Benjy and Dingy have to make one after the pilot passes out.
* Creator/TheCriterionCollection: As of January 2014, and it includes the most extensively-restored cut of the film yet (see Recut below).
* DestroyTheProductPlacement: Benjy and Dingy fly a plane through a Coca-Cola billboard
* DopeSlap: Dingy did this to Benjy a few times.
* DownerEnding / ShaggyDogStory: [[spoiler: Most of the main characters end up in traction, face criminal charges, and don't get any of the money, though they do get an EverybodyLaughsEnding out of it. The police department, who have been working on the case for 15 years, salvage little if any money, the bulk of it being rained down onto a large crowd of onlookers. The Captain misses news of his tripled pension, and loses everything, but at least he gets a laugh too.]]
* DumbMuscle: Lennie Pike. Also Sylvester.
** And the hitch-hiker Phil Silvers picks up at one point (played by veteran heavy Mike Mazurki) in a [[DeletedScene deleted scene]]: "Don't force me to get ROUGH!"
* EpicMovie: The comedy take on the genre -- it has a long run time to the point that it has an overture and intermission in the most complete cut, ''many'' more characters than usual for a comedy, an A-list cast, elaborate stunt sequences, and Ultra Panavision cinematography.
%%* EpicRace
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: Played straight, when the guys see Mrs. Marcus receive her much-deserved comeuppance, courtesy of a BananaPeel.
* EvilMatriarch: You know who it is.
* [[ExplodingCloset Exploding Moving Van]]: Justified in that it's involved in a wild high-speed chase and a collision before Pike opens it up.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: Everything happens over the course of a single day.
* EyePoke: Russell does this to Hawthorne during a fight.
* FatAndSkinny: Benjy and Dingy, respectively.
* FelonyMisdemeanor: After {{Jerry Lewis}}'s character drives his car over Culpepper's hat, Culpepper immediately starts yelling for someone to get his number.
%%* FinalSpeech
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler:After the intermission, when it's revealed at what state the other characters are in, Culpepper is seen staring at the Mexican border, with Mexican music playing softly on the soundtrack. As revealed later, he intends to steal the money for himself and escape to Mexico with it.]]
* FunnyForeigner: Terry-Thomas as J. Algernon Hawthorne.
* GambitRoulette: The banana peel.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: When Mrs. Marcus asks Hawthorne where she should put one of his cacti, Russell just scoffs and says [[AssShove "Oh boy..."]]
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Everybody is out for themselves in this race for the treasure[[spoiler: -- even Culpepper]].
* HairTriggerTemper: Mrs. Marcus.
* HiddenInPlainSight: The big W.
%%* HuddleShot
* ImpactSilhouette: Lennie Pike leaves a man shaped hole in the gas station wall during his rampage.
* ImprobablePilotingSkills: The great stunt pilot Frank Tallman actully flew a Beech 18 ''through a billboard'' for this film. He was going nearly 200 MPH and had less than one foot of clearance on either side. The plane was nearly wrecked by the stunt, too. The billboard was supposed to be balsa wood and paper, tough fabric was substituted by accident. The leading edge of the wings and windshields were torn up. Fortunately they had built the billboard right at the end of a runway and he could immediately land.
%%* {{Intermission}}
* {{Jerkass}}: Otto Meyer, a ConsummateLiar, and Mrs. Marcus, who was arguably the most shrewish character in the entire movie. [[spoiler:She gets her comeuppance at the end of the movie when she slips on the banana peel in the hospital.]]
* JerkassHasAPoint: It would have to be Mrs. Marcus who came up with the entirely sensible plan to simply split the money equally between everyone, so that it could get an ad hoc dismissal and we can have a movie.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Russell and Hawthorne grabbing Mrs. Marcus upside down and shaking her to get Hawthorne's keys back.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Ernest Gold's score features several, most notably for the Jonathan Winters and Phil Silvers characters.
* LaserGuidedKarma: Otto Meyer spends much of his time tricking and lying to various characters, but he receives a little comeuppance when he's directed by a boy into a river, losing his car in the process.
** This could pretty much apply to most if not ''all'' of the main characters in the movie. After hours of scamming, tricking, manipulating, and passing around the IdiotBall due to greed, [[spoiler:They end up losing ''all'' of the money entirely. They do get a cozy spot in the hospital, though]].
* LiteralMetaphor: Smiler figuratively and literally kicks the bucket.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: It's an ensemble comedy with about a dozen main characters and wall-to-wall cameos, so...
* MacGuffin: The money.
* MommasBoy: Sylvester.
* MsFanservice: Monica Crump, as well as Sylvester's [[TheStoic incredibly straight-faced]], bikini-clad, go-go dancing lady friend. And the police secretary, Schwartz.
* MurphysBed: During the climactic fire engine ladder sequence, Meyer (Phil Silvers) is catapulted from the ladder through a window onto a Murphy bed, which promptly folds back into the wall.
* NeverMyFault: Eventhough all the main characters are to blame for everything that went wrong prior to the climax, after all the men end up in traction, all the blame is put on Culpepper alone for his part in taking the money for himself. See WhatTheHellHero below for details.
* NiceHat: Lennie, Benjy, Russell, Mrs. Marcus, Meyer, Col. Hawthorne, the cab drivers, and Culpepper each have one.
* NoMacGuffinNoWinner
* OhCrap:
** Ding gets one when Fitzgerald falls in the plane and is knocked out. "It's making me-- TapOnTheHead --NERVOUS!"
** Dingy and Benjy both get one just before flying the plane through a Coca-Cola billboard.
** They all get one when find the buried money in Santa Rosita Park and Captain Culpeper identifies himself as a police officer after acknowledging Otto Meyer and Lennie Pike by name.
* OnlySaneWoman: Emmeline Marcus-Finch. Which makes her little talk with Capt. Culpepper surprisingly sad:
-->''(intercut with the rest of the cast arguing)'' \\
'''Emmeline:''' Who are you? Are you with the others, the ones that are looking? \\
'''Culpepper:''' I am, in a way. Aren't you? \\
'''Emmeline:''' No. I mean, I didn't want anything to do with it right from the start. And you know what? I know where it is. I'm the only one, and I wasn't even looking.\\
'''Culpepper:''' You know where it is? \\
'''Emmeline:''' Yes! What should I do? If you help dig it up, you can have half and I'll have half. Is that okay? I mean, is that fair? If I have half of the money... I can go away somewhere where nobody can find me. Not Russell or my mother or Sylvester, anybody. You don't know what that'd mean. And you know what? If I had enough money... I might be able to live in a convent or something. \\
'''Culpepper:''' I'm sorry, Mrs. Finch. I'm afraid it's too late. I think they've found it.\\
'''Emmeline:''' It was a nice dream. Lasted almost five minutes.
* [[CarMeetsHouse Plane Meets Restaurant]]
* PlotSensitiveLatch: At the end the suitcase carrying the money pops open, [[spoiler:dumping the cash into a crowd of people.]]
* PlotTriggeringDeath: Smiler Grogan's "kicking the bucket" definitely counts.
* PowderTrail: This is one of the many methods by which the Crumps attempt to escape from the hardware-store basement in which they have been accidentally locked.
* ProductPlacement: Lots of it for Coca-Cola, including a billboard asking to pause for a Coke, 30 seconds before the intermission. Also the Chrysler Corporation; see EverybodyOwnsAFord on the Trivia page.
* PunchParry: Russel and Hawthorne do this when they get into a scuffle. In a note of realism, it clearly hurts a lot.
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: As Otto prepares to try to drive across a river that's clearly too deep for his car, he looks heavenward and screams "Why? WHY?"
* RealityEnsues: After their death-defying stunt on the fire ladder, all the men end up in traction, lucky to be alive.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Hawthorne delivers one to the entire [[EagleLand country]]. He thinks they're America, the Boorish.
* {{Recut}}: The film ran a whopping 210 minutes in its original preview cut. This was trimmed down, in succession, to 192 minutes (for its world premiere at Hollywood's Cinerama Dome), 161 minutes (for its 70mm "roadshow" presentation in select theaters), and 154 minutes (for general theatrical release). The last cut cut is the standard version for home video, although a partially-restored 182-minute "special edition" was made for laserdisc and VHS in the early '90s and occasionally airs on Creator/TurnerClassicMovies. Film/TheCriterionCollection released a DVD/Blu-ray set including the general release cut ''and'' a restored, 197-minute cut in January 2014.
* RuleOfFunny: The movie runs on it.
%%* ShortCutsMakeLongDelays
%%* ASimplePlan
* SlapstickKnowsNoGender: Averted during the fire-engine ladder climax, in which only the men are involved. Otherwise the women suffer as much as them.
* TheStoic: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO5gKgjzsFw That chick Sylvester dances with.]] Made particularly funny since her deadpan expression is coupled with frenetic '60s go-go dancing.
* SureLetsGoWithThat: Col. Wilberforce is trying to talk Benjy and Dingy through landing a plane. Then he realizes he can't remember where the brakes are:
-->'''Wilberforce:''' "On second thought men, you won't need the brakes."
* {{Tagline}}: "Everybody who's ever been funny is in it!"
** In footage included in a "Making Of" video for the DVD, director Creator/StanleyKramer recalled that any time [[DonRickles Don Rickles]] happened to be in the audience of an event he was speaking at live he would heckle Kramer with something to the effect of "Why wasn't I in 'Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'?" With a tagline like that, its kinda hard to blame him.
* TapOnTheHead: Fitzgerald is knocked out with one of these and remains unconscious for the rest of the film.
* TemptingFate: Fitzgerald telling Ding and Benjy to take the controls of his plane so he can make more drinks for himself. Less than a minute later, the plane wildly moving about causes him to fall and hit his head, knocking him out, and is out cold for the remainder of his screen time.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Dingy Bell and Benjy Benjamin. Also, Ray and Irwin, the two nerdy-looking gas station attendants who inadvertently invoked the wrath of Lennie. And at the end, the two cabbie drivers.
* ThrowABarrelAtIt: While the two garage attendants are fighting the truck driver Lennie Pike (Jonathan Winters), on two separate occasions one of the attendants throws an empty barrel at Pike.
* TooDumbToLive: Fitzgerald tells Ding and Benjy, who have ''no flying experience at all'', to take the controls of his plane so he can make more drinks for himself. Less than a minute later, he's knocked out and remains so for the rest of the film. WhatAnIdiot.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The trailer gives away that [[spoiler:the money is lost to the crowd watching them fight over it]].
* TranquilFury: Mrs. Marcus slips into this when things go ''really'' bad for her.
* TreasureMap: Grogan's last words.
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: With new lines being added throughout.
* UnstoppableRage: Don't make Pike angry. You won't like him when he's angry.
** He ... ''kills'' ... a '''''gas station'''''.
** Sylvester nearly goes mad with rage when he believes Russell and Hawthorne may have raped his mother.
* VictoriasSecretCompartment: Mrs. Marcus wants to make sure the menfolk don't lay their hands on those keys.
** Subversion: They get the keys anyway by shaking her upside down until they fall out. Bravo, Ethel Merman.
* TheVoice: Culpepper's wife, voiced by Selma Diamond (of later ''Series/NightCourt'' fame). His daughter Billie Sue is one of these as well.
* WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong: See ComicallyMissingThePoint and TemptingFate examples above.
* WhatTheHellHero: In this case, it's rather "What the Hell, FallenHero?" when all the men end up in traction after losing the money and Culpepper, who didn't even plan to find the money himself until much later, is alone held responsible for the whole thing.
-->'''Benjy:''' It's all your fault, all your fault from beginning to end! \\
'''Col. Hawthorne:''' You know, even for a policeman, your behavior was ruddy outrageous! \\
'''Sylvester:''' You could have taken a fair share like the rest of us, but no! [[NiceJobBreakingItHero You just had to go and grab up the whole scene, baby]].
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Downplayed. When an angry Pike catches up with Otto at the gas station and becomes belligerent towards him, the latter attempts to pull this against the former. Otto falsely claims to the gas attendants that he is a psychiatrist, and then he manipulates them into subduing his attacker by claiming that Pike is a mentally deranged patient who has just escaped from an asylum, using that as explanation for his violent behavior. Granted, Pike DOES intend to do bodily harm to Otto, but only because he double crossed him earlier by leaving him stranded on the side of the road.
* YouGetMeCoffee: At one point Culpepper's assistant says this to his secretary, Schwartz... leading to a DistractedByTheSexy moment as he and the other cops admire the nubile young woman's egress.
* YouHaveNoIdeaWhoYoureDealingWith: Melville promises to show the others.
* YouSquared: Pike and Mrs. Marcus when she ends up trying to bum a ride from him.