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Review of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World – Limited Edition Score

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World


Original Motion Picture Score

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, a film I’ve loved since my mom showed it to me as a kid. La La Land Records released a 2 Disc edition of the film’s music a few years ago. Here’s my review of that release!

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

We start off the film with the “Overture” track. This is a very upbeat start, and even has vocals. This track is what plays right before the main theme on the opening credits as you watch the film. Track 2: “Main Title” Again very upbeat some wonderous chase type music. After all Mad Mad Mad Mad World was the original chase film. Rat Race from 2001 has nothing on this classic. Track 2 kinda fades away and into Track 3: “Smiler Fades Out/Follow the Leader/Stealthy Pike” I love how Ernest Gold fit all this beautifully done music into just over 5 mins… and that’s just one track. The Follow the Leader part of the track starts off very slow and sneaky, and as we go along it builds and builds until Pike gets caught! As the music dies down, it is at the scene where Pike knows he’s caught, and the tones shift to be more serious. I don’t think I’ve heard any comedy film ever really do this recently. Then again this film is 52 years old!

MMMMMW The Big W #1

Track 4: “Schwartz Swings #1/Culpepper Flips His Lid” is where Gold really gives Culpepper an interesting theme. We even have a bit of the CHARGE! anthem in there! Track 5: “Away We Go/Banjo Eyes/Kareening Kooks” right around the 1:11 min mark in this track it slows down ever so slightly, and then speeds up again. When I was watching the film, before writing this…. I paid extra attention to where the music came in and went out in the film. The placement of these tracks is done so well. Track 6: “Pike Pedals/Meyer Approaches/Gullible Meyer/Pike Piqued” is all about the Jonathan Winters character Pike, and his struggle throughout this film. Poor Pike the guy just gets crapped on all the time. The Pike Piqued section of this track is what I love best, because Gold gives him such angry music. Track 7: “Ill-Fated Dream/Pike Scuffles Along” we are continuing on Pike’s part of the journey, and this track is just as much fun as the last one. With Track 8: “Old Fitzgerald/Truck on Down” we start on Benji and Dingy’s race to the big “W” They wanna get this hotshot drunk ass pilot to fly them to Santa Rosita, and they get in the plane, but then all hell breaks loose. On Track 9: “Benny/Up-Sa-Daisy” this is where Benny has to fly the plane, because Gerald got knocked out cold, while attempting to make an old-fashioned. Buddy Hackett as Benny is so wonderful. This guy is so high-strung, and it’s so damn funny. We then get to r. Meyer’s portion of this and on Track 10: “Mired Meyer/Meyer Still Mired/Down There” we have some of the best music in the entire film.

MMMMMW The Big W #2

The Meyer character while he is a sleaze ball, hearing the music accompany him is just so fun. Because I love this movie so much, I think that’s why I’m always using the term “fun”, because that’s just what this score and film exude! Track 13: “Intermission/Entracte” with this one I’m not too sure if this is supposed to be the intermission break in the film or not, but I do love the fast paced chords on the track. Then there’s Track 20: “The Big W/Who’s He/The Marcus March/Emmeline Knows” I almost wish Emmeline was the only one who found the money. After all throughout this entire film, she might be the only character with the best of intentions. This track is very prominent in the film, in most of the parts where everyone is looking for the Big W, and then it kinda ends of the fact that Emmeline finds it, and then we get to everyone catching on. Track 21: “Eureka/Equal Shares/Culp Plays Hand” this opens up to being very whimsical almost, and then it gets serious. This is at the point in the film, when Meyer eventually counts everyone else for a share, but he counts himself twice. The horns in this track are amazing, and the drum beats are booming!!! Track 23: “Loose Loot/Mad Chase Ends/Retribution” is when the cash ends up falling all over the city, and all the men are up on the fire escapes…. This is by far the biggest scene in the film, because everyone eventually goes sailing off the ladders. Ernest Gold was a master crafting the score here. Each music cue seems to fit every single character. Track 24: “Pratfall & End Title” is the single funniest scene in the entire film, as Mrs. Marcus finally gets hers, and everyone gets a laugh at her expense! After this is Track 25: “Exit Music”, what I love here is the high ending climax of the music…… it really shows you, and you can hear it that this score goes out with a bang!

Disc 1 has 25 Tracks and the Total time is: 1 Hour 13 mins and change.


On Disc 2 of the set we have the original LP reissued! I like that La La Land Records included this, but after listening to the 25 tracks before this on Disc 1, I have to say that is a far better listen through. I’m not going to go in-depth here with little blurbs about each track. There are some awesome cues here, but as disc 1 states that is the Complete score. This is one of the reasons why I love La La Land Records so much. they go after everything hat they possibly can to give us the “complete” score from a project. Whether that be film, tv, or otherwise. Since I write these reviews as complete track listings, Track 30 overall entitled “Gullible Otto Meyer” is a wonderful piece, it’s solely focussed on that character, and there’s nothing before or after it within the track. So that’s one thing I like about the original LP reissue. The final 2 tracks numbers 38 and 39 are by Ernest Gold and Mack David. They are “You Satisfy My Soul” and “Thirty-One Flavors” These songs were featured in the film, so that’s another thing I like the reissue disc for. But if you want a full score experience listen to disc 1.

Disc 2 has 14 Tracks and the Total time is: 40 mins.

Total Disc Time: 57:27

I’m not sure i can pick any number of my favorite tracks here. I enjoy all the music from this film. Gold really has done something so special here. Crafting the music around the plot, each character, and the eventual ending to the story. The score itself adds to the story, and makes it that much better. Anyone who doesn’t like this film, what the hell is wrong with you???

Final Thoughts

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World from Ernest Gold is by far some of my most favorite music to listen to from any comedy race for the money film. You can get this comedic action packed hilarious score from LA LA Land Records directly! Didja see it went sailing right out there!!

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