This article is not going to be simply about the mathematically longest films ever made, so don’t worry. That would be, how do you say, boring. No, this piece today is going to take a slightly more subjective view of some of cinemas most protracted offerings. After all, watching paint dry for 10 minutes is boring, watching all three of the original Star Wars films back to back, while equaling 383 minutes (or 6.83 hours) is the height excellence itself.
These five films fall into a few categories:
- Really long movies
- Rather long, really awful movies
- Movies that actually aren’t that long, but are really awful, and thus feel really long
You be the judge as to which is which! Except wait no, don’t bother with that, I’ve already handled judging them for you. You can just sit back and enjoy. But not for too long, don’t worry.
5 Pearl Harbor
183 minutes is long for a film’s run time, but not outlandishly so. That breaks down to just a little over 3 hours, which is bearable, if piece of cinema is a fine one indeed. But Michael Bay’s 2001 piece of cinematic wreckage, Pearl Harbor, is not fine cinema at all, friends. For those of us unlucky enough to have sat through it, too stubborn to walk out on a nine or ten dollar ticket (or maybe it was like $8.50 then), we feel something of a kinship to those who experienced the actual surprise attack that “œinspired”the film. For the record, the film lasted well over an hour longer than the actual attack!
4 Les Misérables
Have you seen the recent take on Les Miserables, yet? Well, it’s pretty long, lemme tell ya! But at 2 hours and 40 minutes, it’s nothing much compared to a 1925 take on the Victor Hugo classic, which ran long enough to make Jean Valjean wish Javert would hurry up and finish him off. It was seconds under 6 hours long. And, being that it was made in 1925, it was silent. That’s a lot of lip synching and title cards, huh? (Not that it was a musical, of course, but it’d be funnier if it had been so let me pretend.)
3 Lawrence of Arabia
Now let’s turn to the opposite extreme, a film that is by all standard measures extremely long, but totally awesome, Lawrence of Arabia. At 216 minutes long, one can only wonder how much gin the editor pounded in order to calm his nerves each night, but it was worth it. The film is epic in every sense of the word, from the subject matter to the cinematography to the acting. I mean, Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif, and Alec Guinness? Hell yeah. I’ll watch 3.6 hours’ worth of that movie any day. Like, every few years, that is.
2 The Cure for Insomnia
The second film we will be reviewing today, in the loosest sense of the word when use in this context, is a mere shade under 90 hours long, and is titled The Cure for Insomnia. Likely because you will turn to euthanasia before finishing it. The films was made by so-called “œoutsider”John Timmis IV, who is probably still sleeping off the effort of creating the thing, even though it was released while Ronald Reagan was still in office.
1 Modern Times
The certifiably longest motion picture every made is (drum rolllllll) two hundred”¦ and forty”¦ hours”¦ long. It is an “œexperimental”film called Modern Times, made by a group of Danish “œartists”who were evidently conducting an experiment on how long it would be before someone hit them over their artistic heads with artsy baseball bats. I’m guessing about 240 seconds, give or take. Or maybe 240 minutes at the outside limits.
If you have several weeks of your life to spend joylessly, then now you have some new ideas of ways to do it! Aside from Lawrence of Arabia, any of these films herein discussed should more than suffice to make you shoot your TV, though, so make sure to get two of them before you start your marathon.