If you’ve heard the phrase “longest movie ever made,” you’re probably thinking of something like The Lord of the Rings. Is it a movie that’s long and drawn out, or one that’s filled with excitement and adventure? These movies are among the longest English-language films ever produced.
Does it go without saying that there are films made in various languages worldwide that are at least as long as some of the ones on this list, such as a classic piece like Ben Hur or Gone with the Wind?
What is the longest movie ever made?
All of the films on the top most extended list are creative endeavors in which the creators aim to make a point. The Danish art collective Superflex’s Modern Times Forever is the current front-runner for the longest movie title. It would take ten days to observe the Stora Enso building in Helsinki slowly deteriorate.
Nevertheless, the world’s longest film is still being made and will be released in 2020. Ambiance, a film by Swedish artist Anders Weberg, will be 720 hours long, or 30 days long. He chose December 31, 2020, as the release date, and like the entire project, the director has a unique strategy.
There are long movies from all over the world that are just as epic as some of the ones on this list. Below is the complete list of top selections, and you can decide which one is the longest movie ever made.
- Resan (1987)
- Heremias: (Book One: Legend of the Lizard Princess), 2006
- Gone with the Wind
- Once upon a time in America
- Lawrence of Arabia
- Ben Hur
- The Irishman
- Apocalypse Now
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
- The Godfather Part II (1974)
- Schindler’s List
- The Right Stuff 1983
1. Resan ( The Journey) 1987:
Running time: 873 minutes (14 hrs, 33 minutes)
The longest movie ever made is Resan (The Journey). This documentary by English filmmaker Peter Watkins focuses on the topics of nuclear weapons and military spending, as well as their impact on poverty. The film features interviews with ordinary people about their awareness and opinions on these issues. The documentary took two years to film and comprises footage of people discussing war, military spending, nuclear weapons, and poverty.
2. Heremias: (Book One: Legend of the Lizard Princess), 2006:
Running time: 8 hrs, 39 minutes
This black-and-white criminal thriller, the first of a Lav Diaz hat trick, portrays the tale of the titular Filipino farmer, a traveling salesman. He loses everything as a result of police corruption. Long scenes are completed without cutting, demonstrating the commitment of all parties. An enormous examination of misery makes for a surprisingly healing viewing experience. Book Two was released ten years later and had a short running time.
3. Cleopatra (1963):
Running time: 248 minutes (4hrs, 8 minutes)
There is no denying that the four-hour Cleopatra (1963), directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, is a cinematic spectacle with breathtaking sequences like the illustrious queen’s arrival in Rome.
Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen, portrayed by Elizabeth Taylor, seduces Mark Antony and Emperor Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison), both of whom are Roman emperors (Richard Burton). Their intense relationship may determine the throne’s future.
Cleopatra is a movie that’s worth watching, and it is also the longest movie ever made. Despite the mixed reviews it has received. This epic drama tells the story of Ancient Egypt during Cleopatra’s time–considered its last active pharaoh. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton perform amazingly in this lengthy film, while Rex Harrison also shines as Julius Caesar.
At over four hours long, some people may find it challenging to sit through all of Cleopatra; overall, it provides an exciting look at one of history’s most famous female leaders and her country’s culture.
4. Gone with the Wind (1939):
Running time: 238 minutes ( 3hrs, 58 minutes)
Gone with the Wind is a classic American film from 1939 and is the longest movie ever made. It was produced by David O. Selznick and directed by Victor Fleming, and it was based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell. Moviegoers loved the epic love story of Scarlett O’Hara, and Rhett Butler set during the American Civil War.
The intro, interval, orchestral break, and departure music were included when this monumental historical drama was initially presented in theaters, giving it a duration of between 234 and 238 minutes; however, the actual length of the movie is nearer to 221 minutes.
Whatever the exact number, “Gone with the Wind” received high ratings from critics and won 10 Oscars. The fundamental quartet of characters—brave Scarlett O’Hara, charming Rhett Butler, less colorful but no less complicated Ashley Wilkes, and Melanie Hamilton—could be the key to its success. They form a tangled romantic quartet that is brought together and torn apart by fate, war, and chance.
5. Once Upon a Time in America (1984):
Running time: 229 minutes (3 hrs, 49 minutes)
The intricate tale of a select group of Jewish criminals from New York’s Lower East side is portrayed in Sergio Leone’s gangster epic from 1984. The 229-minute version for European audiences was shortened from the nearly four-hour (269-minute) original.
6. Lawrence of Arabia (1962):
Running time: 216 minutes (3hrs, 36 minutes)
Lawrence of Arabia is the longest movie ever made by David Lean-directed movie from 1962 is a beloved classic. It relates the tale of significant events in the Middle East during the start of the 20th century, notably those that included geopolitics and the oil industry’s growth. The three-and-a-half-hour-long movie offers a British viewpoint on these events.
Even after more than 40 years, this Academy Award winner continues to define excellence in the exciting quest category. What an epic it is, too! With 3 hours and 42 minutes running, “Lawrence of Arabia” holds our attention the entire time thanks to a fantastic ensemble, a thought-provoking script, stunning cinematography, and David Lean’s expert direction. Meanwhile, Lawrence’s illustrious performance by Peter O’Toole will endure forever.
7. Ben Hur (1959):
Running time: 212 minutes (3hrs, 32 minutes)
Charlton Heston plays a Jewish prince who is betrayed and sold into slavery in this 1959 William Wyler thriller. After eventually regaining his freedom, he returns to exact retribution. The Oscars were dominated by “Ben-Hur” after its 1959 debut. It is also the longest movie ever made. Charlton Heston plays a wealthy Jewish prince around the time of Jesus who is sold into slavery by the Romans in the sweeping historical drama.
Ben-Hur pursues his former boyhood friend, who turned against him after several years have passed. The William Wyler-directed movie is particularly well-known for its 9-minute-long chariot racing scene and its prolonged but appropriate score, both of which help to make the 212-minute epic feel much shorter.
8. The Irishman (2019):
Running time: 209 minutes (3 hrs, 29 mins)
I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt served as the inspiration for the 2019 Martin Scorsese movie. The Irishman, the longest movie ever made, having a running time of 204 minutes, viewers adore following the life of former hitman and union official Frank Sheeran in post-World War II America.
A very Dostoyevskian remark from Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” Most of the time, the 209 minutes pass quickly. The initial 20 or so minutes of the film, which present us with a very young and unsettlingly de-aged De Niro and details his journey from meat-packing driver to mob hitman, are unfortunate in their shapelessness.
At a certain point, the drama picks up, the character’s aging becomes less of a distraction, and we are suddenly transported to 1960s America, a time of widespread political and social criminality. For the following three hours, there are no breaks in the action; instead, a flurry of people and plot twists are flung at us with furious rapidity. There’s little doubt that “The Irishman” would have benefited from being a little bit longer.
9. Apocalypse Now (1979):
Running time: 202 min (3 hrs, 22 mins)
The 1899 novel Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, served as the inspiration for the film, which is almost three hours long and took Francis Ford Coppola a very long time to complete. A rogue Special Forces Colonel (Marlon Brando), who believes himself as a deity and is accused of murder, is to be assassinated, according to Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), a U.S. Army officer serving in Vietnam. If you enjoy this movie, you should also see Eleanor Coppola’s documentary “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse,” which she shot while on location in the Philippines.
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ( 2003):
Running time: 201 min (3 hrs, 21 mins)
The third and longest episode of the trilogy by Peter Jackson is a fantasy adventure movie with devoted admirers across the universe who don’t mind the movie’s length of more than three hours. Critics and viewers worldwide have fallen in love with Peter Jackson’s medieval fantasy masterwork, “The Return of the King.”
It’s simple to understand why with 11 Oscar nominations and almost $1 billion in box office earnings! Frodo and Sam, two hobbits, are followed in the movie as they set out to destroy Sauron’s One Ring with the help of Gandalf, Aragorn, and other characters. It’s a fantastic story with beautiful effects, moving narration, and much more.
11. The Godfather part II (1974):
Running time: 200 minutes (3 hrs, 20 minutes)
The Godfather Part II Is the longest movie ever made, a highly influential crime film released in 1974. It is a sequel to The Godfather and focuses on the early life of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City. Michael Corleone is also prominent in the movie as he develops his family’s crime syndicate. In 1993, The Godfather Part II was added to the National Film Registry for being “culturally significant”.
It’s a crime epic, a gangster movie, and a classic. Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather: Part 2” is a classic film that serves as both a prequel and a sequel to the 1972 original. It stars Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone and Al Pacino as Michael Corleone throughout two distinct periods. “The Godfather Part II” is still revered today and is frequently regarded as one of the best works ever. It lasts for 3 hours and 20 minutes.
12. Spartacus (1960):
Running time: 197 min (3 hrs, 17 mins)
The classic epic movie by Stanley Kubrick in 1960 portrays the tale of Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), an enslaved person who incites a bloody uprising against Rome. This movie doesn’t hold back on the details, as evidenced by its length of over three hours!
13. Schindler’s List (1993)
Running time: 195 min (3 hrs, 15 mins)
Schindler’s list is a truly incredible movie that tells the story of German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to save his Jewish employees from concentration camps. The film is over three hours long, but it was so moving that audiences were left in tears after watching it. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in history or the Holocaust.
14. Titanic (1997):
Running time: 194 min (3 hrs, 14 mins)
The movie from 1997 brought the sinking of the Titanic back to life for viewers. James Cameron’s 194-minute blockbuster epic broke a few blockbuster records. On board, the opulent but tragic R.M.S. Titanic, a gorgeous girl in the first-class section falls in love with an attractive but penniless artist traveling in third class.
15. The Right Stuff (1983):
Running time: 193 min (3 hrs, 13 mins)
The 1983 historical drama film “Mercury 7” by Philip Kaufman chronicles the selection of the first seven military pilots for Project Mercury.
The longest movie is a fantastic tale of adventure and heroism that will keep you entertained for hours. With stunning visuals and an epic story, this film will surely hit audiences of all ages. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the longest movie ever made. Movies like Resan and Hermias are long. If you’re looking for a movie that will keep you occupied for days, look no further than the 15 longest movies ever made.
From epics like “Resan (1987)” and “Gone with the Wind” to more recent contenders like “Life of Pi” and “Lord of the Rings: these films are guaranteed to keep you entertained from start to finish. So put on some popcorn and get ready for an epic experience!