It's a mad mad mad mad world

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Matt Butler

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I read somewhere that you were hired to restore this masterpiece or researching if it was possible.

Am I wrong and can you talk about it?
 

DennisPCJr

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I've been curious to ask about this restoration again acctually since FOX is involved in MGM home video now. Was wondering if this increased its chances at all. Still holdin on to that old laserdisc copy hopin to see this movie get saved properly.
 

PaulBigelow

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When the original article, thread and photographs were done with "Mad World" the need for restoration was critical. The question on my mind is that if not restored, can what elements that do survive be *conserved* for later restoration if a studio decides to do so? Are we at the "now or never" point?
 

MatthewA

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What does MGM's forbearance hearing on its impending bankruptcy mean for the restoration of this and The Alamo?
 

RolandL

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Originally Posted by Mark Zimmer /forum/thread/275427/it-s-a-mad-mad-mad-mad-world#post_3612504

Mark Evanier has an interesting teaser about some information he has obtained regarding the running time of Mad4 with the claim that everything you know is wrong:

http://www.newsfromme.com/archives/2009_09_30.html#017810 Stay tuned for what promises to be provocative stuff!
Here is a review of the movie from the November 11, 1963 issue of Boxoffice magazine. 197 minutes plus the intermission.

http://cineramahistory.com/1963iammmmwreview.jpg
 

RolandL

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Stefan Andersson

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The most important scene in the longer version is the split screen phone conversation between Culpeper (calling from the ice cream shop) and Jimmy the crook (Buster Keaton). The content of the conversation would be a spoiler for anybody who hasn´t seen the movie. This was Keaton´s only other scene in the film.

Another scene showed Sylvester stealing a car from Barrie Chase´s husband. The car was outside Sylvester´s house. A deleted police radio voiceover told the audience that Sylvester´s dance partner was married. That´s why Barrie Chase used to be credited as Mrs. Halliburton on the Imdb and in various Sixties cast lists.

A biography of Don Knotts reported a cut (or never publicly shown) scene of Knotts and Barbara Pepper fighting over a pay phone in a diner (after Knotts leaves Otto Meyer´s car).

On the airfield, Ding and Benjy absentmindedly put tanning oil on a six foot tall showgirl.

During intermission, 10-15 mins. of police radio dialogue was played over speakers in the cinema lobby and rest room. The dialogue told what the characters were up to during the intermission. These police calls were part of the first few showings only.

Short bits of dialogue, as well as police dialogue/voiceovers at the beginning and end of scenes, were cut all through the movie. Detailed info here:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057193/alternateversions

Robert Karnes part as Officer Simmy and Stanley Clements part as the detective in the squad room were cut or at least shortened (Clements). Cameos by Chick Chandler, Cliff Norton, Stan Freberg, Edward Everett Horton, Phil Foster (gas station attendant), and Allen Jenkins were cut or shortened. Howard Da Silva´s cameo (Airport Manager) was cut or never publicly shown.

Kramer said in his autobiography that Jack Benny´s cameo was shortened before release. The scene in the film follows the screenplay.

Sometimes there is mention of a filmed but deleted dance sequence sung by The Shirelles. The group is heard singing as Sylvester and Mrs. Halliburton dances. The dance scenes were shortened for later release.

All of this is written into the screenplay. Check eBay for sales offers. It´s a good read. The screenplay is my source for most of the info above. I´ve compared the screenplay and the film on the DVD. Go here to see the cast list: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057193/fullcredits#cast
Bob Hope has been added by mistake. Foster is not listed.
Jackie Mason, originally cast in Arnold Stang´s role, is still listed in some Sixties cast lists alongside Stang.More trivia here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057193/trivia

Also, check eBay for the Mad World laserdisc box set. A lot of cut footage has been inserted back into the film as presented on the laserdisc. Some alternate takes were used, and the image quality is different from the rest of the film. The laserdisc gives a good idea of the original film. No scene described above is in the laserdisc cut, though you can glimpse Foster in one scene. This material are also presented separately, in random order, on a now hard-to-find Mad World DVD, along with a good documentary on the film (also in the laserdisc box).
 

Sam Posten

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Awesome info Stefan, thank you so much.

I continue to be amazed at the depths of scholarly work that some people have delved into piecing together the history of this film's many incarnations.

All I know is that it is one of the movies that I treasured in my childhood and I consider it one of the greatest accomplishments of the art form of film. And that it has never been given the attention it deserves the way some other 'greats' and even lesser films have been, on DVD or Blu, continues to mystify me.

I only hope that some day Mr. Harris or someone else with a true passion for this film can give us a restoration to live up to the greatness of the film packed in with the extras that document its extraordinary history.

SOMEDAY. PLEASE!
Sam
 

Stefan Andersson

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Stefan Andersson

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Hi Sam,
some more Mad World links for you:
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=57155&forumID=7&archive=0
http://www.urbancinefile.com.au/home/view.asp?a=9069&s=Features
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It's_a_Mad,_Mad,_Mad,_Mad_World
The links take you to brief info re: screenplay, soundtrack, performers in the police calls audio segment, bit parts more or less omitted from the shorter version, and perhaps most interesting, a scripted scene (Lennie Pike´s monologue about using the money to buy a motorized wheelchair for his landlady) apparently never intended to make the final cut. It´s on the laserdisc.
 
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