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It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Blu-ray

United States
The Criterion Collection / Blu-ray + DVD Criterion | 1963 | 1 Movie, 2 Cuts | 198 min | Rated G | Jan 21, 2014

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.76:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.75:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English SDH

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Five-disc set (2 BDs, 3 DVDs)
DVD copy


Region A (locked)

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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 4.1 of 54.1
Audio 4.3 of 54.3
Extras 4.7 of 54.7
Based on 4 user reviews

Movie appeal



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


It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Blu-ray delivers great video and superb audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

On a winding desert highway, eight vacation-bound motorists share an experience that alters their plans -- and their lives! After a mysterious stranger divulges the location of a stolen fortune, they each speed off in a mind-bending, car-bashing race for the loot -- and the most side-splitting laughfest in history. Spencer Tracy heads a hilariously zany cast that stars Hollywood's greatest comedians and features cameo appearances by every joker and jester in the business, from Don Knotts and Jerry Lewis to The Three Stooges. Filmed in UltraPanavision.

For more about It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and the It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Blu-ray release, see It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn
Director: Stanley Kramer

» See full cast & crew

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

Presented in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.76:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Stanley Kramer's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray release:

"General release: This digital transfer was created in 4K resolution on an Imagica 65mm film scanner from the 65mm original camera negative and the 65mm interpositive. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, warps, jitter, and flicker were manually removed using MTI's DRS. The original 5.1 surround soundtrack was remastered at 24-bit at Chase Audio by Deluxe in Burbank, California, from the 35mm 6-track magnetic tracks.

Transfer supervisor: Jeanine Intindola/MGM, Beverly Hills, CA.
Colorist: Kostas Theodosiou/FotoKem, Burbank, CA.
Additional color correction: Jason Crump/Metropolis Post, New York.

Extended version: The additional footage was transferred from 70mm print trims, which were scanned in high definition on a Millennium scanner specifically equipped for large-screen formats. Whenever possible, 3D warping technology was used by FotoKem in Burbank to blend the trims with a standard-definition transfer to compensate for color fading. The audio for the additional footage was transferred from original full-coat magnetic tracks of the road-show version and 70mm trims. Some of the scenes exist only as audio; in these instances, still photographs have been inserted for continuity.

Reconstructed and restored by: Robert A. Harris.
Producer: Karen Stetler.
Editor: Gabe Chavez.
Digital color warping: Walter Volpatto/FotoKem, Burbank, CA.
Additional color correction: Lee Kline.
Sound transfers: Chace Audio, Burbank, CA; Todd AO, Los Angeles."

As expected, the image quality of the reconstructed version of the film varies. The original footage boasts outstanding depth and tremendous clarity. The daylight footage, in particular, looks terrific - sharpness and image depth are outstanding (see screencaptures #3 and 6). Color reproduction is also very impressive. There is a wide range of exceptionally well saturated, notably vibrant and very healthy colors. Additionally, grain is beautifully resolved and evenly distributed, and there are no traces of problematic sharpening corrections.

The newly added footage has different characteristics. Depending on the quality of the surviving footage there can be contrast fluctuations, color instability, and basic image instability. Some of the trims also show signs of serious fading. The actual transitions between the restored footage and the new footage, however, are very well done. To give you an idea what type of footage has been used and how it is added to the reconstructed version, we have included a few samples below (screencaptures #15-27).


1). #15-16. Extra footage with good image stability. Color fading and mild wear are present.
2). #17-18. Stills. Used to fill gaps/transitions. Restored.
3). #19. Extra footage. With obvious traces of fading/discoloration but with good image stability.
4). #21. Extra footage. With better color stability. Some minor wear is still present.
5). #22. Extra footage. Decent quality with obvious traces of fading. With printed foreign subtitles.
6). #23-25. Stills. Excellent quality. Used to fill gaps for which there are only surviving audio elements.
7). #26. Extra footage without audio. Subtitles are included.
8). #27. Still(s). Excellent quality. Used to fill gaps.

Ultimately, considering the quality of the surviving footage, the final result is indeed very good. Naturally, I think it is fair to say that the extended version of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World presented by Criterion will remain the most complete version of the film on the home video market. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.5 of 5

The general release and the extended version of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World come with English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks. Only the general release comes with optional English SDH subtitles. When turned on, they appear inside the image frame. The extended version of the film has English subtitles only for the trims for which there are no surviving audio elements.

The lossless 5.1 track is outstanding. Depth and clarity are exceptionally good, making it very easy for the viewer to appreciate the film's complex sound design (there are some truly fantastic audio effects). Furthermore, the music is consistently rich, well rounded, and impressively balanced (there are no sudden spikes or drops in dynamic intensity). The dialog is very clean, always, stable, and easy to follow. (Occasionally, some minor fluctuations are present in the various trims that have been used for the extended version of the film).

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: Other Editions


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This Week on Blu-ray: January 21-28 - January 19, 2014

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