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Parents' Guide to

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

It's a long, long, long, long classic comedy chase-epic.

Movie G 1963 154 minutes
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 10+

Mad About It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

This movie is good clean humor with an unparalleled comic cast hamming it up in a movie with an outrageous plot as a vehicle. Just good fun that incorporates a moral message along the way, completely inobtrusively and in an upbeat manner. No nudity, violence, swearing, or explosions. Where else can you see Mickey Rooney, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Jimmy Durante, Spencer Tracey, Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, Terry Thomas, Buster Keaton, and Ethel Merman in one film, with small uncredited spots with Jerry Lewis and Jack Benny?! If you want to see all the best comedians of the mid-20th century in one film, see this (and Around the World in 80 Days is a pretty good effort in a similar genre).
age 8+

Silly and Exciting

Our family really enjoyed this one for movie night. The fact that it was jam packed with stars from the '60s and '50s was totally lost on them. Lots of laughs and slapstick.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (9 ):

Kids will laugh at this in parts, though even the comedy gems here bump up against the cumbersome scale. Director Stanley Kramer was best known for high-minded, serious movies about racism, justice, and other social ills; doing It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was his attempt to prove he could do comedy just as well as preach. But moreover, he wanted to show he could do one of the BIGGEST comedies conceivable, hiring enough comic heavyweights for 10 movies (many of them, like Sid Caesar and Milton Berle, enjoyed their greatest successes on TV rather than the big screen, however), and putting other illustrious screen clowns like Jerry Lewis and the Three Stooges in quick-cut cameos and bit parts. Kramer also mounted epic-level stunts, and he violated a major rule of screen farce by making the whole thing last well over two hours (it was originally shown with an intermission break).

The result is undoubtedly entertaining, sometimes screamingly funny, but also somewhat elephantine and thin in the what's-the-point? department. It's all just a big chase, the sort of thing Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton (who appears briefly) would do in the silent era as a nicely compact short subject.

Movie Details

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