Rating (3.5 out of 5)
If you haven’t watched this film, you should take the time to sit back and watch this classic. It has every comedian of the day and is a clean wholesome fun comedy
Plot: A group of people come to the aid of a man on the side of a desert road. He tells them where he has buried a stash of money. The group of people then race each other across California to be the first to the loot.
What I Liked: Comedies were a bit different in the 60’s and a little more innocent in nature and situational based. For example, one group hires a plane but the pilot gets knocked out and they must fly the plane on their own. Jonathan Winters and Ethel Merman have bits between them that were very entertaining. There are humorous bits throughout the movie.
There are a couple of parts right before they all start the race to the loot that are interesting perspectives into what motivates people. First when the police arrive, they are each so into their own lives, that they don’t want to reveal more to the police or they would have to stay longer.
Following this, when they decide not to go after the loot, they all leave, not pursuing the loot. But watch each other, to see if the other goes for the loot. As soon as one does, they all start speeding up. If none have them had sped up, would they all have just gone on their way?
Then they argue about going to get the money themselves, and how to split the money fairly. This is a fascinating look into decision making, fairness, greed, etc. Personally, this sort of decision making is fascinating to me. Of course, they couldn’t agree how to split the money, so they each go separately.
Later on as a few more people find out about the loot and are brought into the chase. The review of morality, ethics, fairness, greed…presented in a humorous way is what makes this movie a classic.
Everybody from the day was in this movie. Spencer Tracy, Peter Falk, Ethel Merman, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, etc.
What I Didn’t Like: The movie is a bit long at 2 hours and 39 minutes. Feel like they could have shaved a bit off and made it a bit more concise.
Warning this is made in the 1960’s and there nuances in the movie that might be considered racist, sexist, or any other kind of ism, that isn’t acceptable today.
Conclusion: Just a nice pleasant road movie that through humor captures the greedy nature of society.
2 follow-up notes:
- In a debate about best comedies at recent party with friends, this movie was brought up as an annual must watch by one person and was definitely on their top 5 list for best comedies.
- Watch this movie to see how it couldn’t happen today with our technology. In the era of remakes, it would be very hard to redo this movie, except as a 1960’s romp.