VenueWalter Reade Theater
New 70mm print!
Made during the short-lived vogue for “epic” comedies featuring a who’s-who of special guest stars (see Around the World in 80 Days and Pepe), Stanley Kramer’s guiltily pleasurable madcap romp begins with a car accident in the Mojave Desert, in which the victim (Jimmy Durante) uses his dying breath to inform five passing motorists (played by legendary comics Sid Caesar, Jonathan Winters, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Hackett and Milton Berle) of $350,000 in buried treasure that can be found under a “big W” in Santa Rosita State Park. Thus, the race is on, with grizzled police captain Spencer Tracy and an ever-increasing cavalcade of fortune hunters in hot pursuit. Featuring dozens of cameos by the likes of Jack Benny, Buster Keaton, Jerry Lewis and even The Three Stooges, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World further enhanced its epic-ness by shooting in the ultra-wide Ultra Panavision 70 format, also known as single-camera Cinerama, yielding a 2.76:1 aspect ratio.