10 January, 2011
I could probably write a whole entry just on the talent present in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but going on about how great the cast of a movie that only has Mickey Rooney, Johnathan Winters, and Spencer Tracy seems kind of obvious, so I'll skip it.
Instead I'm going to talk about the stunt work-- which I guess is equally obvious in what amounts to a chase movie, but fuck you, this is my blog, I can talk about what I like.
What's most impressive-- besides the fact that 95% of the stunts are done practically (which makes me wonder how many people actually did get put in a full body cast because of this movie), which is still impressive, even on our breakfast room's tiny screen-- in It's a Mad Etc. is probably the last movie ever filmed where ever single stunt car was made in America.
Think about that. While I'm not certain that all of the cars in the movie were made in America (some German products might have snuck in as the Kaiser is apt to do), but like almost all of the stunts involving a man with very good insurance, I'm pretty sure that all of the cars being driven around are built with about seventeen-tons more steel than they necessarily need to.
It's a rarity to see cars that bulky (and, as viewers we assume that heavy) hauling ass down the road or, as in the climax, the Pacific Coast Highway, which is nearly impossible to drive in one direction in Santa Monica, much less backwards, doing donuts, and synchronized with two other cars. I guess the 60's were just a much more different time than I thought they were.
Post-Script: I saw Rat Race before I saw this movie and as much as I want to rag on the remake, I do kind of have an affection for it. It had some pretty good jokes about Hitler and I can only judge a movie so harshly when it's got an extended riff on Nazi memorabilia museums. Oh, and John Cleese and Amy Smart and the squintyguy from Road Trip, who I all like for completely separate reasons (okay, it's because Road Trip was one of the first movies I ever saw that was about college guys getting laid and had full-blown shots of pubic hair, a novelty to 12 year old James-- And Amy Smart was adorable in Cranked and she was in Road Trip, as well, right? Double points for here-- Oh, and finally, John Cleese is John Cleese, do I really have to explain that one?).
Now, if you'll excuse me-- jug interlude.
Edit: This movie came out the same year that Kennedy got shot? Jeese.