I remember as a kid going to the cinema in 1963 or 1964 to see IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD and as a nine year old who was already in love with the cinema was highly entertained and certainly amused by this mad cap extravaganza, I also noticed the music on the soundtrack because it set the mood perfectly for all the running around and comic capers that were unfolding on screen, right from the opening scene when Jimmy Durante’s car flew into the air and came crashing down in a heap I was hooked this was the ultimate chase movie caper if you can call it that. I just loved it and have seen it many times since both in the cinema and on TV plus now on DVD. The score by composer Ernest Gold is too wonderful and his musical narrative is a vital and important component of the film making process. The composer relaying comedic moods and underlining each and everyone of the characters within the storyline with a score that is theme laden with jaunty, romantic and also urgent compositions. Gold I think was a somewhat underused composer in Hollywood and yes I know he did work on a number of box office hits and pen some of cinemas most recognised themes but I feel that he was and still is underrated. The composer who worked with producer/director Stanley Kramer on other movies such as JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG and ON THE BEACH was to coin a phrase chameleon like because he was able to adapt his style of composing to every cinematic situation and his work on IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD is a prime example of his expertise and talent within the area of scoring motion pictures, even when he kind of Mickey Moused the movie but it certainly worked. This edition of the soundtrack is a double compact disc set, released by LA LA LAND Records it is the first time that the actual score for the movie has been released all other releases have been a re issue of the soundtrack long playing record, this edition scores because it has the original score tracks and also on disc two contains the LP tracks also. Disc one having a duration of 73 minutes and the second disc running for 39 mins giving us a fantastic running time total of 1 hour and 52 minutes. Presented lavishly by the La La Land label with engrossing notes by Jeff Bond this is a must have release. Gold’s score opens with THE OVERTURE which was played in a number of cinemas before the curtains had even opened and set the scene and created an atmosphere for the waiting audience. The composer went down the unusual route of writing a song to act as the Overture which contained lyrics by Mack David it captured the atmosphere of the storyline perfectly and purveyed an almost carnival mood to the listening audience, the lyrics which were set to Gold’s central theme for the movie were suitably madcap and nonsensical.
The movie is a riotous and frantic pursuit movie and a comedic triumph which although has aged slightly when viewing it now still manages to hit the spot and create numerous chuckles and all out bursts of laughter. Ernest Gold’s score is a delight and when listening to it the images and memories of the movie just come flooding back. One to add to your collection.