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Sunday, 3 July 2011

The longest Hollywood films ever made

The longest Hollywood films ever made

If your bum gets numb after sitting in a cinema seat for 90 minutes watching the latest Jason Statham movie, then it'd be in a denim-encased coma throughout some of the films here...

A film festival in Helsinki recently showed 'Modern Times Forever', a movie where viewers get more than their money's worth, with it clocking in at an unbelievable and record-breaking 240 hours (That's TEN days!).

Its nearest rival is the French 'Cinématon', coming in at six days, 16 hours, while the wonderfully-titled 'The Cure for Insomnia' measures three days, 15 hours.


Serious European and experiMENTAL arthouse films aside, let’s take a look at some of Hollywood’s longest movies (y'know - the ones that people have actually watched...):

Cleopatra (1963) - 242 mins
The undisputed king of length is this Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton epic, coming in at over four hours. The director, Joseph L. Mankiewicz had originally presented a six hour cut to 20th Century Fox. They were not impressed. They were even less impressed when they got the £27.4m bill for the movie, which still makes it easily the most expensive film ever made (allowing for inflation). The public loved it though, despite its intimidating length, making it the highest-grossing movie of 1963. And it still didn't break even!

Once Upon a Time in America (1984) - 229 mins
Sergio Leone's stone-cold classic, charting the lives of four Jewish hoodlums in New York City, was cruelly cut to 139 minutes on its US release, a move described by eminent film critic Roger Ebert as 'a travesty'.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - 222 mins
Director's David Lean's huge film is the longest to have ever won the Best Picture Oscar. Only sixty seconds longer than fellow Best Picture winner...

Gone With the Wind (1939) - 221 mins
'Gone With The Wind' is a piece of cinema so adored by both critics and the public alike, that its running time is barely ever even mentioned. Frankly my dears, they don't give a damn. 

Heaven’s Gate (1980) - 220 mins
Famously one of the biggest turkeys of all time, the length was just one of many things that people couldn't stand about Michael Cimino's sweeping western. One of the most famous critics of the time, Vincent Canby, said of the film, "It's like a forced four-hour walking tour of one's own living room." Ouch.

Ben-Hur (1959) - 212 mins
'Lawrence of Arabia' may be the longest film to have bagged the Oscar, but Ben-Hur picked up the most when it won eleven.

Dr. Zhivago (1965) - 203 mins
The king of the long 'un, David Lean vowed to never make another film again after critics initially  blasted Dr. Zhivago's length and pacing. He wasn't true to his word though, going on to make two more time-eating films, 'Ryan's Daughter' (195 mins) and 'A Passage to India' (163 mins).

Apocalypse Now Redux (1979) - 202 mins
Anyone who's seen the behind-the-scenes documentary 'Hearts of Darkness' will know that it's a small wonder the film was even completed, given the troubled shoot. It was originally trimmed to 153 minutes for its cinema release, but 'Redux' is its true form. Its true, long form.

Malcolm X (1992) - 202 mins
If you think that's a long time, just imagine how long it’d take you to watch Malcolm I-IX...

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) - 201 mins
The hobbits may have been short, but this was anything but. It accounted for 201 of the trilogy's 558 overall minutes. Fans were prepared though, Tolkien's books were hardly novellas, were they?

Giant (1956) - 201 mins
By the time 'Giant' was first shown in cinemas, its star James Dean had died. By the time the credits had rolled, so too had the rest of the cast. Of old age.

The Godfather Part II (1974) - 200 mins 
This film is so brilliant it could have a running time of 200 days and still not be too long. 

Schindler’s List (1993) - 195 mins
The only list Hollywood's ever produced that’s longer than the one Kirstie Alley takes to the supermarket.

Honourable mentions: 'Titanic' (194 mins), 'It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World' (192 mins), 'Nixon' (192 mins), 'The Green Mile' (188 mins), 'King Kong' (2005) (187 mins)

So it turns out that 'Dude, Where's My Car?' wasn't the longest film ever after all. It just felt like it.

Source: Yahoo

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