it's a mad, mad, mad, mad world

the year: 1963

the genre: comedy

the cast: Spencer Tracy (Capt. C.G. Culpepper); Milton Berle (J. Russell Finch); Sid Caesar (Melville Crump); Buddy Hackett (Benjy Benjamin); Ethel Merman (Mrs. Marcus); Mickey Rooney (Ding Bell); Phil Silvers (Otto Meyer); Terry-Thomas (J. Algernon Hawthorne); Jonathan Winters (Lennie Pike); Dorothy Provine (Emeline Marcus-Finch)

the plot: The dying words of a thief spark a madcap cross-country rush to find $350,000.

did you know: during filming of the infamous "gas station" destruction, Jonathan Winters was accidentally left on stage and completely bound in thick tape. Hours later, when the cast returned from lunch, they found that he had not even been able to free his arms from the chair. In retaliation, Winters gave a three-hour lecture to Arnold Stang and Marvin Kaplan on forced potty training.

watch for: cameos by Jerry Lewis, Jack Benny, Peter Falk, The Three Stooges, and Jimmy Durante.

listen for: "Look! We've figured it seventeen different ways, and every time we figured it, it was no good, because no matter how we figured it, somebody don't like the way we figured it! So now, there's only one way to figure it. And that is, every man, including the old bag, for himself!"

did you also know: the actors were given two huge scripts, one with all the dialogue, the other with the action.

extra bonus points: if you know who was originally set to play Ethel Merman's role - but as a father-in-law.

also listen for: "I must say that if I had the grievous misfortune to be a citizen of this benighted country, I should be the most hesitant of offering any criticism whatever of any other."

1 comment:

Millie Motts said...

Answer: Ethel Merman's role was originally written as the father-in-law, and Groucho Marx was one of the choices to play it.