Blu-ray Shopping Bag: Its A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Criterion Blu-ray - Mania.com



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Blu-ray Shopping Bag: Its A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Criterion Blu-ray

We can all agree on that

By Robert T. Trate     January 28, 2014
Source: Mania.com


Its A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (spine #692)
© Criterion Collection
According to Stanley Kramer’s widow, Kramer was challenged by a friend in the press to make It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. No one could possibly believe that the man who gave us The Defiant Ones, Inherit the Wind, and Judgement at Nuremberg could do a comedy. The challenge was accepted and the proof of his success is It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Now, there have been many special editions and re-releases, but none, and I mean none, will compare to that of Criterion Collection’s recent release of the 1963 classic. This week the Blu-ray Shopping Bag takes a look at the mega release, spine #692, of Criterion Collection’s It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

This edition has everything. Most importantly, it contains the 197 minute newly restored edition of the film. When the film was released initially in 1963, the theatrical cut was 202 minutes. This included the overture, the intermission, and the exit music. The film was cut to 163 minutes for a general release. That’s nearly 40 minutes of footage! Now if you have ever seen It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, you might not think that is much. Upon viewing the new cut of the film, I was blown away by how many side characters had much larger parts. If you look at the film, story-wise, as a whole it might not matter. However, the sheer star power and cameos that reside in the monstrosity that is It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World...well, you might as well cut off your arm and take solace in knowing you have a another one. The biggest treat for this film aficionado was seeing Buster Keaton’s role expand from cameo to accomplice. Criterion delivered an edition that should reside in every film lover’s collection. 

One of the best things about Criterion Blu-rays and DVDs are their special features. Their restoration and preservation of such classics like this are always bar none. It is what true film lovers pay for and expect when they pick up a title with the Criterion “C” on the package. Here, again, Criterion has given you every cut of the film, just in case you only have 163 minutes instead of 197 to watch it. They have also supplied everything from old documentaries to recent screenings as well as Q&A’s of the surviving cast and crew. After watching the film, I had numerous questions about what went into the restoration and how they assembled footage that has been lost for decades. Criterion lets you in on the process and thus heightened the value of not only what you just watched, but purchased as well.

I don’t often mention the packaging in which a film is encased. It is a superfluous thing and the spine is all that really matters. Here, Criterion has given us the original film poster illustrations by Jack Davis, plus a map of the cast’s crazy race from Idyllwild all the way to Santa Clarita. This map is complete with a legend that highlights the actual locations the film used. This not only accents the film, but further illustrates how movies like this just aren’t made anymore.   

I did something I rarely do when I watch a film as a critic. I invited some friends over to watch it with me, one of which first introduced me to It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. We were sure to prep new comers that this was a long film. A total commitment was needed. One friend even bought his own teenage son to watch it with us. I wondered if it could keep his attention. He would probably know no one in the film. Modern day quick editing and constant scene changes might have ruined him on long shots and big group scenes of just people talking. To my surprise, he was thrilled. He was laughing and pointing out the obvious. It then occurred to me that despite this movie being as long as it is, it’s packed with multiple story lines, tons of action, and jokes that appeal to everyone. I knew it was a classic and now he does, too. 

 

I have often said here on Mania that a Criterion Collection release is a fine bottle of wine. It should be savored and cherished. It simply won’t get any better than that release. This is very true of their edition of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. This time I recommend having a few friends over and sharing the fine Kramer vintage from 1963.  
 

It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Special Features Include: 

Restored 4K digital film transfer of the general release version of the film, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD 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 DTS-HD 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 interviews with visual-effects specialist Craig Barron and sound designer Ben Burtt

Excerpt from a 1974 talk show hosted by director Stanley Kramer and featuring Mad World actors Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, and Jonathan Winters

Press interview from 1963 featuring Kramer and cast members

Excerpts about the influence of the film from the 2000 AFI program 100 Years . . . 100 Laughs

Two-part 1963 episode of the TV program Telescope that follows the film’s press junket and premiere

The Last 70mm Film Festival, a 2012 program featuring Mad World cast and crew, hosted by actor Billy Crystal

Selection of humorist and voice-over artist Stan Freberg’s original TV and radio ads for the film, with a new introduction by Freberg

Trailers and radio spots

PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Lou Lumenick and new illustrations by legendary cartoonist Jack Davis, along with a map of the shooting locations by artist Dave Woodman.
 

 

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Frankenstein Created Woman [Collector's Edition Blu-ray]
2. Spartacus (Blu-ray + Digital with UltraViolet)
3. Jaws (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital with UltraViolet)
4. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: Kino Classics Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]
5. Rush (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD with UltraViolet)

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The Fifth Estate (Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Brühl

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Rush Starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde

Rush (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD with UltraViolet) Starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde

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Wanted (Blu-ray + Digital with UltraViolet) Starring James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie

ANIME

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CARTOONS

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Two-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte and Neil Patrick Harris

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Two Disc Combo: Blu-ray / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte and Neil Patrick Harris

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Danny Phantom: The Complete Series Starring David Kaufman

Steven Spielberg: Pinky Elmyra & Brain the Comp Starring Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche and Cree Summer

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Conrad In Quest of His Youth (Silent) Starring Thomas Meighan and Mabel Van Buren

Conqueror of the Orient Starring Gianna Marie Canale and Rik Battaglia

Cowboy From Sundown Starring Tex Ritter and Glenn Strange

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: Kino Classics Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] Starring John Barrymore, Brandon Hurst and Martha Mansfield

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Extravagance Starring June Collyer and Lloyd Hughes

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Mill On The Floss, The Starring James Mason and Geraldine Fitzgerald

Pollyanna (Silent) Starring Mary Pickford

Polly of the Circus (Silent) Starring Mae Marsh and Vernon Steele

Rex Lease Double Feature: In Old Cheyenne (1931) / Cyclone of the Saddle (1935) Starring Rex Lease, Dorothy Gulliver, Dorothy Chandler

Sales Lady Starring Ann Nagel, Harry Davenport and Weldon Heyburn

Silent Western Double Feature: Ace of Clubs (1925) / Another Man's Boots (1922) (Silent) Starring Al Hoxie, Nina Redman, Francis Ford and Bob Kortman

Silent Western Double Feature: Golden Trails(1925) / The Lure of the Range (1927) (Silent) Starring Dick Carter, Dorothy Wood, Dick Hatton and Elsa Banham

Spartacus (Blu-ray + Digital with UltraViolet) Starring Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis

The War Between Men and Women Starring Jack Lemmon, Barbara Harris and Jason Robards

Western Double Feature: Valley of the Lawless (1936) / Fighting to Live (1934) Starring Johnny Mack Brown, Gabby Hayes, Dennis Moore

Western Double Feature: Tombstone Terror (1934) / Mexicali Kid (1938) Starring Bob Steele and Jack Randall

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Ted (Unrated Blu-ray + DVD + Digital with UltraViolet) Starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane and Joel McHale

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HORROR

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Vessel Starring John Holgren, Daisy Leonard, Stu Brumbaugh and Mick ODay

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Les Miserables (2012) (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital with UltraViolet) Starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

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Treme: The Complete Fourth Season

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COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 4 of 4
1 
wrrlykam 1/28/2014 6:31:53 AM

I was wondering if IAMMMMW is region A/1 only or is it region free?

I'd love to order it a sit is an alltime favourite of mine since I saw it as a kid at a nearby cinema in the 70s.

RobertTrate 1/28/2014 6:38:09 AM

 My copy says region 1. Did you try Amazon UK?

HomestarRunner 1/28/2014 7:53:44 AM

LOVE LOVE LOVE this movie! My wife can't stand it, but I would sit down and watch this movie any day of the week.

wrrlykam 1/29/2014 12:39:27 AM

It is not available on Amazon UK as an import Rob, It does say on Amazon US that the DVD is region 1 and the BD is region A, so I wont work on Bd player without hacking the region. I'll not try that while it is still under warranty.

1 

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