It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World

The crazy flying stunts in this movie would be outlawed today.

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 American comedy film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer from a story by Tania Rose. The film, starring Spencer Tracy with an all-star cast, is about the madcap pursuit of $350,000 in stolen cash by a diverse and colourful group of strangers. It premiered on November 7, 1963.

One of the greatest stunts ever done… leading edges shoved in. Frank Tallamn was one of the best stunt pilots ever.

Beech 18. (This is NOT the actual aircraft).

In the Orange County scene, stuntman Frank Tallman flew a Beech model C-18S through a highway billboard advertising Coca-Cola with only a three foot (one meter) clearance on each wing tip. A communications mix-up resulted in the use of linen graphic sheets on the sign rather than paper, as planned. Linen, much tougher than paper, damaged the plane on impact. Tallman managed to fly it back to the airstrip with only one engine operating and the windscreen smashed in. After landing he discovered that the leading edges of both wings had been smashed all the way back to the wing spars.

Here Crump and his wife Monica charter a dilapidated biplane to take them to Santa Rosita.

Tallman considered that incident the closest he ever came to dying on film. (Both Tallman and Paul Mantz, Tallman’s business partner and fellow flier on Mad World, eventually died in separate air crashes over a decade apart. There are differing versions of this.

In another scene, he also flew through a hangar for the film, which was filmed with 3 cameras and projected in the cinema with 3 projectors to give a very wide screen.

The film featured at number 40 in the American Film Institute’s list ‘100 Years…100 Laughs’.

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