The rumored Criterion Collection treatment for IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963)
is true, due out on January 21, 2014. Packaged in a dual format with 2 BD and 3 DVD.
In addition to the restored 159-minute general release version, a 197-minute version equivalent to its 1963 roadshow version will be included. Years of pain-staking research and archival digging has turned up the most complete collection of extant material that [can probably] be expected. We are still waiting on more detailed information, but hopefully long-sought scenes will include the phone conversation with Buster Keaton & Spencer Tracy, plus additional footage featuring Don Knotts & Barbara Pepper, Allen Jenkins, Howard DaSilva, Cliff Norton, etc., all seen for the first time in 50 years.
From The Criterion Collection website...
Stanley Kramer followed his Oscar-winning Judgment at Nuremberg with this sobering investigation of American greed. Ah, who are we kidding? It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, about a group of strangers fighting tooth and nail over buried treasure, is the most grandly harebrained movie ever made, a pileup of slapstick and borscht-belt-y one-liners performed by a nonpareil cast, including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Jonathan Winters, and a boatload of other playing-to-the-rafters comedy legends. For sheer scale of silliness, Kramer’s wildly uncharacteristic film is unlike any other, an exhilarating epic of tomfoolery.
• United States
• 159 minutes
• Restored 4K digital film transfer of the general release version of the film, with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New high-definition digital transfer of a 197-minute extended version of the film, reconstructed and restored by Robert A. Harris using visual and audio material from the longer original road-show version — including some scenes that have been returned to the film here for the first time — with 5.1 surround Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New audio commentary featuring It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World aficionados Mark Evanier, Michael Schlesinger, and Paul Scrabo
• New documentary on the film’s visual and sound effects, featuring rare behind-the-scenes footage of the crew at work and interviews with visual-effects specialist Craig Barron and sound designer Ben Burtt
• Talk show from 1974 hosted by director Stanley Kramer and featuring Mad World actors Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, and Jonathan Winters
• Press interview from 1963 featuring Kramer and members of the film’s cast
• Interviews recorded for the 2000 AFI program 100 Years . . . 100 Laughs, featuring comedians and actors discussing the influence of the film
• Two-part 1963 episode of the CBC television program Telescope that follows the film’s press junket and premiere
• The Last 70mm Film Festival, a program from 2012 featuring cast and crew members from Mad World at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, hosted by Billy Crystal
• Selection of humorist and voice-over artist Stan Freberg’s original TV and radio advertisements for the film, with a new introduction by Freberg
• Original and rerelease trailers, and rerelease radio spots
• Two Blu-rays and three DVDs, with all content available in both formats
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Lou Lumenick