Reviews and Problems with It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Sound & Vision Magazine
6 June 2014
Excerpt: The vintage 65mm elements were scanned at 4K with impressive results: The exceptionally well-composed 2.76:1 frame boasts minimal grain, superb detail, and well-saturated colors. An extended 197-minute version on a separate disc adds back in some scenes culled from a 70mm print, with only modest quality shifts in the video and the clean, balanced DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack.
Conclusion: Fans of director Stanley Kramer's legendary It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World should be very pleased with Criterion's new reconstruction of the film. Despite the quality of the surviving footage, it maintains an excellent rhythm. Naturally, unless there is a major discovery in the future and more rare footage resurfaces, I think it is fair to say that the extended version of the film will remain its definitive presentation on the home video market. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Conclusion: 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' hit cinemas nationwide in the weeks after the Kennedy assassination, giving audiences a bit of levity in uncertain times. Critics called it the world's most expensive Three Stooges movie, for better or worse. It's an incredible time capsule of early '60s comedy/cinema, blending an all-star cast with state of the art production techniques and stunts that rival modern blockbusters for their ability to thrill.
Conclusion: The naysayers are already out in force complaining about the supposed "incompleteness" of this new Blu-ray, but if I may be permitted to quote the ever lovely and demure Ethel Merman in this film, "Shut up!" (And I mean that in only the nicest way possible). There is already a lot of speculation that the film's looming 50th anniversary may well occasion a new Blu-ray release which may ( may ) get the film as close to its original Roadshow length as we're ever going to...