It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World ★★★★

A scathing satire about the two competing ideologies of the Cold War as played out through groups of people fighting over a hidden treasure... just kidding! It's a bloated, overly long parade of funny faces that's not even possible to recreate now thanks to the dearth of quality comedic actors or any interest from Hollywood in making comedies this cartoonish. The rare movie that matches in content the wackiness of its poster. We watched the extended roadshow version on the Criterion set which has a cool intermission section featuring radio chatter between police that would have filled the lobby and bathrooms of the Cinerama theaters where this version played. In part due to the length, but also maybe due to the decreasing number of scenes with Jonathan Winters and Phil Silvers as the focus, I noticed the number of genuine laffs tapered off after the intermission, only returning in the last five to ten minutes or so. I'm not sure comedy is something that should ever cross the 120 minute line. Still, I would love to have seen this in a theater, and between the stunts and the broad comedy, I was never bored. Exhausted, maybe, but never bored.

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