Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Greatest. Comedy. Ever.
by Michael Schlesinger

It’s been a few years since IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD graced a theatre screen in L.A., so its appearance Sunday, May 10tttth at the Aero is welcome news. On the 45tttth anniversary of its general release (with much footage from the roadshow version still MIA), the movie Stanley Kramer vowed to be The Comedy To End All Comedies somehow manages to seem not only as hilarious as ever, but even more pertinent. (You really didn’t expect Kramer to make “just” a comedy, did you?)
Yes, it’s hardly a surprise that the overarching theme is greed: how easily ordinary joes can be totally corrupted by the possibility of scoring a big pile of stolen cash. But less obvious is the constant surveillance the fortune-hunters are under; the cops know everything they’re doing throughout the film. In an era where the government has no compunction about tapping phones and reading mail, it’s almost eerie how Kramer and writers William and Tania Rose inserted this into the narrative so slyly. (There’s also a total yet fascinating coincidence: twice during the climactic chase scene, the cars speed by billboards that read “Nixon For Governor.”)
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