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The Longest Hollywood Movies Ever Made

A long unwinding reel of film signifying a lengthy movie

We all like to watch a long movie. The longer it is the more immersed you get. Longevity also allows for more character development that better impacts your emotions down the line. But sometimes a movie gets a bit too long. In this post we’ll be listing some of the longest movies to ever have come out from Hollywood. Good entertainment or not, these movies are sure to keep you occupied for a long time on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Heaven’s Gate (5 hours 25 minutes)

Poster of heaven’s gate movie

Released in 1980 Heaven’s Gate is just in the timeframe of not being too old nor too recent. And this very much ties in nicely with its mediocrity. With an audience rating of 54% on Rotten Tomatoes the movie is not one to watch if you want a fun time. Written and directed by Michael Cimino Heaven’s Gate is a film set in the late 19th Century and tells the tale of a dispute between barons and immigrants from Europe. It’s a fictional story inspired from real world events. Specifically, the movie focuses on a rich sheriff who tries to protect and help out the immigrants. Begun as an attempt at creating a masterpiece, the film received disastrous reviews upon release and is infamous for releasing a year late at six times over the budget for production.

Cleopatra (5 hours 20 minutes)

Poster of Cleopatra movie

Released in 1963 Cleopatra is on the slightly older portion of the spectrum. Nevertheless it manages to entertain to some degree. Its audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, a respectable 69%, makes the film seem much more promising than Heaven’s Gate at almost the same runtime. The film was the most expensive movie ever made at that time but ended up being a success worldwide and won many awards including Best Picture and Best Art Direction. The plot itself is about the famous queen of Egypt – Cleopatra – and her life in a period of Roman pressure. Though long, the movie fills your need for an old classic that can easily take up a whole afternoon.

Gods and Generals (4 hours 40 minutes)

Movie poster of gods and generals:

Gods and Generals is a much more recent film having been released in 2003. Though the movie has an audience score of 64% on Rotten Tomatoes its critic score is an appalling 8%. So if you tend to generally agree with the critics definitely give this one a pass. If you are however willing to take the audience’s word for it, the movie is about a certain Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, a war hero that led the Confederacy to success. If you’re bothered by pro-Confederate stances though, you might not have a good time with this film.

Hamlet (4 hours 2 minutes)

Hamlet movie poster

Now if you’re looking for a masterful adaptation of a masterful play, Hamlet’s 1996 movie version has you covered. This film brings the rich characters and artful storytelling of Shakespeare to life. With a 90% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an even higher critic rating you can be sure to enjoy yourself with this one. If you’re unfamiliar with Hamlet or simply need a little refresher, it’s about Prince Hamlet of Denmark who comes back to find his father murdered by his uncle and his mother marrying his uncle while war looms on the horizon. Pretty compelling stuff and sure to make those four hours fly by like nothing.

Gone with the Wind (3 hours 58 minutes)

Gone with the wind poster

An absolute and utter classic, Gone with the Wind has stood the test of time. Though very old (1936), the movie portrays a love story in a climate of civil unrest in a masterful way. Not for people who cannot stomach old films but a definite must watch for those that can, especially with an audience rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. This film is also popular for being one of the earliest technicolored movies from Hollywood. And if you’ve read Margaret Mitchell’s novel that this film was adapted from you’ve already probably seen it a dozen times by now.

Dances with Wolves (3 hours 56 minutes)

Movie poster of dances with wolves

Dances with Wolves had a production budget of only $15 million Dollars and ended up grossing $424.2 million Dollars worldwide. Released in 1990 and shot over just five months the film received quite a few awards and currently has an audience rating of 87% over on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is about a Civil War soldier that befriends wolves and Indians and ends up joining their tribe. However, the military has other plans for the land.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (3 hours 55 minutes)

The two towers

No introduction needed for this movie. Almost everyone has at least heard of if not watched or read the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And sitting just a minute below on runtime next to Dances with Wolves it no doubt gets a place on this list. With a 95% rating from both audiences and critics the film is definitely an experience of epic proportions. No reason to spoil the plot here or even give a summary as the film is a sequel to the first, but you can be sure that you won’t go wrong with this one.

Once Upon a Time in America (3 hours 49 minutes)

Once Upon a Time in America

Finishing up the list as we start to enter more acceptable runtimes we have Once Upon a Time in America. A film released in 1984 that has an audience rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is not actually a fully Hollywood exclusive production. It was in fact an American and Italian venture and was co-written and directed by an Italian filmmaker by the name of Sergio Leone. The movie is a crime drama about a former gangster returning home to Manhattan where he has to face and settle matters with regrettable leftover affairs from his past life’s dealings.

Conclusion

And at 3 hours and 49 minutes we believe the list can come to a decent end seeing as such a recent film as The Avengers: Endgame had a runtime of 3 hours and 2 minutes. When you think about it 3 hours and 49 minutes doesn’t even sound that bad, though you may need a bathroom break in between. We hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into Hollywood trivia and perhaps you even found the next film you want to watch. Whatever the case may be just remember we have many other interesting articles like this too. In case you’re looking for more fun stuff to read how about starting with The Most Important Film Festivals Around the Globe or A Guide To Ancient Greek Music.

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