Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Your Favorites by Length


Recommended Posts

I got into a conversation about extremely long movies yesterday and then wound up watching The House is Black, one of my favorite shorts, and it made me think about how differently we view what a film is able to accomplish in its allotted time given its length. The format is so different between a tight 80-minute film that breezes by and a 3+ hour epic it's nearly a difference in mediums. So here's a list of the films I think made the most of their respective running times.


1-15 min: Isla das Flores (1989) Jorge Furtado
16-30 min: Entr'acte (1924) Rene Clair
31-45min: Night and Fog (1955) Alain Resnais
46-60 min: Sherlock Jr (1924) Buster Keaton
61-75 min: Mother and Son (1997) Aleksandr Sokurov
76-90 min: Persona (1966) Ingmar Bergman
91-105 min: Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972) Werner Herzog
106-120 min: Taxi Driver (1976) Martin Scorsese
121-135 min: The Last Picture Show (1971) Peter Bogdanovich
136-150 min: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Stanley Kubrick
151-180 min: Pulp Fiction (1994) Quentin Tarantino
181-210 min: Malcolm X (1992) Spike Lee
211-240 min: Lawrence of Arabia (1962) David Lean
241-270 min: At Berkeley (2013) Frederick Wiseman
271-300 min: Scenes from a Marriage (1974) Ingmar Bergman
301-330 min: Fanny and Alexander (1982) Ingmar Bergman
331-360 min: Naploeon (1922) Abel Gance
361-400 min: Les Vampires (1915) Louis Feuillade
401-500 min: Star Spangled to Death (2004) Ken Jacobs
501-600 min: Shoah (1985) Claude Lanzmann
601 min and above: Out 1 (1971) Jacques Rivette


Special shout out to Guy Maddin's The Heart of the World, a love letter to early silent films and masterpiece that narrowly avoided getting its own category by being 6 minutes instead of 5.

I got specific, but feel free to get broad (e.g. "over 3 hours") with your own lists if you care to contribute. I think it's an interesting and rarely considered way of classifying or comparing movies.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for a very thought-provoking post. This is a fascinating approach, because we do indeed have different expectations of films which are different lengths. I can't argue with your choices of Sherlock Jr. and Lawrence of Arabia, both of which are favorites and both of which seem exactly the right length. I am not a fan of some of the others you mention (Scenes from a Marriage, for instance), but that's another matter.


One afternoon on TCM I watched They Were Expendable and The Nun's Story back to back, both about the same length, but completely opposite in feel. The Ford is sprawling and leisurely, although a leisurely war film seems a contradiction in terms. The last half hour is really gripping, which more or less seems to justify Ford's approach. The Zinnemann is as taut as a 90-minute film, with every shot held for precisely the right amount of time and not a millisecond more. Every piece of the mosaic is in exactly the right place. The emotions of the film are so strong that they have to be repressed, and Zinnemann's approach catches this perfectly.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

0-15  Voyage to the Moon

16-30  La Jetee

31-45  A Day in the Country

46-60  The Navigator

61-75  Duck Soup

76-90  Yellow Submarine

91-105  Help!

106-120 Grand Illusion

121-135 Murder on the Orient Express

136-150 The Confession

151-180 Apocalypse Now

181-210 The Godfather, Part II

211-240 Lawrence of Arabia

241-270 The Sorrow and the Pity

271-300 Mysteries of Lisbon

301-330 Les Miserables (1934 France)

331-360 La Commune, Paris 1871

361-400 The Best of Youth

401-500 Satantango

501-600 Shoah

601-      Out 1:  Noli me Tangere

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites


© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
  • Create New...