I recently read a review about The Hateful Eight when I was deciding if it was worth seeing in theaters. This is not really about the movie, but when I saw the run time was 187 minutes it got me thinking. How long is too long? At what point do you say “Ain’t nobody got time for that” and just redbox or netflix it? At what point do you say “screw this movie” and not watch it at all, like ever? Not all long movies are bad, Return of the King was 201 minutes, Braveheart was 178 minutes, and Schindler’s List was 195 minutes. In fact with the exception of 12 Angry Men all of the top ten movies on IMDb’s Top rated movies list are over two hours long. Those nine movies are all longer than the average of their time, some significantly longer. When you look at the list of top grossing movies of all time adjusted for inflation Gone with the wind comes in at the number one spot and it is 238 minutes long! That is just barely under four hours, that is long enough that I would never go see it in theaters (assuming time travel or a special showing), but judging by the fact that I have seen it a few times at home, it is obviously not so long that I would never watch it. At three to four hours I will not go see it in theaters unless I have a special attachment to the subject matter (i.e Lord of the Rings). Over four I am just not going to see it in theaters, sorry directors but if it is that long I will watch it at home so I can drink beer and pause the the movie when I inevitably have to break the seal. That being said at four hours I might not even watch it at home unless I know it is something special. Still the numbers do not lie it seems that what we consider the best of movies tend to be longer than average. Just for fun check out this list of movies with the longest run times. If any of you have seen any of these please let me know in the comments.
One thought on “How Long is too Long?”
I’ve never seen any of those. But, I always think of Citizen Kane when I think of long movies. I’ve seen movies that were longer, but I never could stay awake during Citizen Kane. Every single time I tried… snooze.