101 Funniest Screenplays

The husband-and-wife team of William and Tania Rose wrote the screenplay for a film that is most-remembered for its kitchen-sink cast – Phil Silvers, Milton Berle, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman and Spencer Tracy, to name five. They and others are on a mad, and madcap, chase to claim the buried loot of an ex-con (Jimmy Durante). Director Stanley Kramer was turning to screwball comedy after making films including Judgement at Nuremberg and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – a film for which William Rose won on Oscar for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay. In the British newspaper The Independent, novelist Christopher Fowler noted of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World that “Tania Rose worked with her husband to create a complex backstory to the characters, showing how their obsession with the American dream ultimately proved their undoing,” but that much of this material was cut, “until the film became one long, high-pitched, slapstick free-for-all.”