What Is the Longest Movie and How Long Is It?
Updated · Jul 19, 2022
Ask most people about long movies, and they’ll tell you all about the last 2-hour flick they saw.
And that makes sense. Most movies run between 80-120 minutes, and even that’s pushing it. Personally, I’m not getting through anything longer than 100 minutes without an intermission.
But since we’re on the topic, what is the longest movie ever created?
What Is the Longest Movie?
When looking for the longest movies, we need to be specific.
Are we after commercial blockbuster films only, or do experimental projects also count?
I couldn’t decide – so, we’re going to look at both.
Let’s dive into the world’s longest movies.
Longest Experimental Movie
You shouldn't be surprised that the longest movie ever is an experimental project.
The “Logistics” movie aired in Sweden in 2012. In the words of film directors Erika Magnusson and Daniel Andersson, it’s a work about Time and Consumption.
And it’s 51,420 minutes long. That’s 35 days and 17 hours of uninterrupted runtime, by far the longest in the movie industry.
Erika and Daniel started with a simple question. Where do all our gadgets and everyday items come from?
The movie starts in a Stockholm store, where we see the sale of a pedometer. Then “Logistics” takes viewers back through the item’s journey. We ride a truck, a freight train, and travel on a massive container ship. Eventually, we end up in a factory in China’s Bao’an district, where the pedometer was assembled.
It’s a 5-week-long story of modern consumerism on camera, filmed in real-time. The project aims to give audiences an accurate sense of the time it takes for products to reach us.
You can see the full movie at https://logisticsartproject.com/. Or, if you’re in a hurry, you can watch this “short” 72-minute edit.
Longest Cinematic Movie
Maybe you’re feeling like something more conventional right now. So, how about the longest movie that’s not an experimental work?
“Cleopatra” came out in 1963 and took the box office by storm. Clocking in at 248 minutes, it’s the longest cinematic movie Hollywood has produced.
The blockbuster stars celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Rex Harrison. It won Four Academy Awards, and was the highest-grossing film of the year.
And considering it’s such a great look at Ancient Egypt, I’d say the length was warranted.
Other Long Movies to Watch
Talking about the longest movie ever is all well and good. But sometimes, you just don’t have 35 days on your hands. It happens.
What do you do then?
For such an occasion, I went ahead and made a list of the 10 best longest movies in film history.
Let’s dive in.
1) Hamlet (1996) - 242 minutes
Hamlet is one of, if not the most famous Shakespeare plays. And this 4-hour long movie by director Kenneth Branagh is the truest representation of the original work.
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, comes home to find his father murdered. And his mother is about to marry the murderer – Hamlet's uncle.
A drama about friendship, madness and revenge, Branagh’s talented screenwriting makes this a story for the ages. Moreover, every single scene from the play is included in the screenplay. With that in mind, the length of 4 hours and 2 minutes is more than justified.
2) Gone With The Wind (1939) - 238 minutes
One of America’s classics, based on the Margaret Mitchell novel and directed by Victor Fleming.
The movie takes viewers back to the American Civil War period. It tells the epic story of a whirlwind romance between Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler.
Since it first hit the theaters, the movie has won 10 Oscars. It has well earned its place as one of the best longest films ever.
3) Once Upon a Time in America (1984) - 229 minutes
A mobster drama by Sergio Leone, with a storyline spanning over 40 years.
The film, starring Robert de Niro, tells the epic saga of a group of Jewish gangsters in New York. Viewers follow the story of David "Noodles" Aaronson (de Niro) and his friends, chronicling a long life of crime.
The funny thing here is that movie theaters first showed a heavily edited version. It was only 2 hours 19 minutes long, and received very mixed reviews. Years later, the Director’s Cut aired, and everyone loved the cinematic techniques and brilliant performances.
4) Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - 222 minutes
“Lawrence of Arabia” is definitely up there when it comes to the best long movies.
60 years after its release, this epic adventure Oscar winner still holds a place in our hearts. The amazing action scenes, brilliant script, and David Lean’s talented direction made this movie a masterpiece for the ages.
Based on a real autobiography, it follows the days of a British colonel in the Ottoman Empire during WWI. Peter O'Toole's masterful portrayal of Lawrence brought him international recognition and his first Academy Award nomination.
5) The Ten Commandments (1956) - 220 minutes
If you like long epic movies, a 3-hour-40-minutes biblical story is right up your alley.
Film director Cecil B. DeMille brought us a bold, Oscar-winning adaptation of the story of Moses.
The movie was among the highest-grossing productions of the decade, as well as the last thing DeMille worked on in his life.
6) Ben-Hur (1959) - 212 minutes
Since we’re on a biblical roll, we can’t ignore the story of Judah Ben-Hur. A true cinematography masterpiece (especially for its time), this William Wyler direction conquered the box office.
Charlton Heston plays a Jewish prince turned Roman slave. The story takes place during the time of Jesus, and the production went ahead to dominate the Oscars.
7) The Irishman (2019) - 209 minutes
Scorsese's masterpiece incorporates the best of his past crime dramas while paying tribute to their legacy. If you’re looking for modern long movies to watch, give this one a shot.
The movie stars a de-aged De Niro as Frank Sheeran – a truck driver turned mob hitman.
After a slow start, events quickly pick up as we’re thrust into the criminal world of 1960s America.
A whirlwind of characters and plot twists, the film’s 3 hours 29 minutes simply fly by.
8) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) - 201 minutes
The final part of Peter Jackson’s trilogy is epic fantasy at its peak.
The critically acclaimed story of Sam and Frodo won 11 Oscars and generated a billion dollars in the box office.
You’re in for over 3 hours of amazing special effects and incredible storytelling.
9) Giant (1956) - 201 minutes
This dramatic tale of a Texas ranching family boldly explores social, political, and even racial issues.
Over half a century after its release, it’s still an American cinematic staple.
The blockbuster brought George Stevens the Best Director Award. It also won James Dean his second Academy Award, but it had to be awarded posthumously. He passed away in a car crash before even seeing the finished product.
10) The Godfather Part II (1974) - 200 Minutes
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather 2 focuses on the early life of Don Corleone.
With actors like Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, the movie took theaters by storm.
A crime epic that serves as a prequel to the first part, it’s considered one of the best movies of the 20th century.
If you’re looking for good long movies, you’ve got so many options.
Just this top 10 list will get you over 36 hours of entertainment... and that’s not even including “Logistics”.
Of course, there are many others among the longest films, and we couldn’t possibly include them all.
James Cameron’s Titanic, for example, is 3 hours 14 minutes long and widely beloved by both critics and fans.
Ultimately, if you’re a cinephile on the prowl, you’ve got a ton of content to look forward to.
Between old-timey classics, modern dramas, and experimental projects, you won’t be getting bored any time soon.
What is the longest movie ever made?
What is the longest movie in history? That is, by far, “Logistics” by Swedish directors Erika Magnusson and Daniel Andersson. It’s 35 days 17 hours long.
Is there a 24-hour long movie?
Yes, though it’s not the longest movie in the world. Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” is a 24-hour-long supercut of more than 10 000 short clips, with each featuring a clock or a watch. The film’s presentation is synchronized with the local time to match the one shown in the given scene.
How long is the movie Titanic?
Titanic by James Cameron is 194 minutes long.
A reader who loves writing, a marketer who loves tech, a nerd who loves working out. Dilyan is FOMO personified. If he isn't reading or writing, he's probably either gaming, messing around with something on his PC, or off swimming/cycling somewhere. Oh, or playing Dungeons & Dragons.
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