"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" Just Misses the Cut on This List of the 50 Longest Films

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Just Misses the Cut on This List of the 50 Longest Films

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | October 25, 2012 | Comments ()


Word is out, from Peter Jackson himself, who tells Empire magazine that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a ridiculous two hours and 40 minutes long, which is insane if it were only one movie devoted to the 310 Tolkien novel. But there will be THREE movies devoted to it, which means that the trilogy will have somewhere around a 480 minute runtime, which means that every page in the whole damn book will get about a minute and a half screen time.

How? One theory (mine), is that the third movie will only be end credits. Another theory is that the second two movies is just Gandalf reading The Hobbit really, really slowly. Or, the most likely theory, Peter Jackson is just making up a whole lot of sh*t to add bloat to the series. All I know is that eight hours is too goddamn long to devote to this universe on top of the 9 hours devoted to the same LOTR's movies.

Anyway, that two hours and 40 minutes does fall short of being one of the 50 longest movies of all time, but not by much.

1. Cleopatra (252 minutes)
2. Hamlet (1996) (242 mins.)
3. The Iceman Cometh (239 mins.)
4. Gods and Generals (231 mins.)
5. Once Upon a Time in America (229 mins.)
6. Lawrence of Arabia (227 mins.)
7. Gone With the Wind (226 mins.)
8. Ten Commandments (220 mins.)
9. Heaven's Gate (220 mins.)
10. Ben-Hur (212 mins.)
11. Exodus (208 mins.)
12. War and Peace (208 mins.)
13. Apocalypse Now Redux (202 mins.)
14. The Alamo (202 mins.)
15. Malcolm X (202 mins.)
16. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (201 mins.)
17. Giant (201 mins.)
18. The Godfather Part II (200 mins.)
19. Dr. Zhivago (197 mins.)
20. Intolerance (197 mins.)
21. Pepe (195 mins.)
22. Ryan's Daughter (195 mins.)
23. Schindler's List (195 mins.)
24. Titanic (194 mins.)
25. Reds (194 mins.)
26. The Right Stuff (193 mins.)
27. It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (192 mins.)
28. Nixon (192 mins.)
29. Tess (190 mins.)
30. At Play in the Fields of the Lord (189 mins.)
31. Hawaii (189 mins.)
32. JFK (189 mins.)
33. Magnolia (189 mins.)
34. Nicholas and Alexandra (189 mins.)
35. Gandhi (188 mins.)
36. The Fall of the Roman Empire (188 mins.)
37. The Green Mile (188 mins.)
38. King Kong (2005) (187 mins.)
39. The Birth of a Nation (187 mins.)
40. Short Cuts (187 mins.)
41. Judgement at Nuremberg (186 mins.)
42. The Deer Hunter (185 mins.)
43. Barry Lyndon (184 mins.)
44. Spartacus (184 mins.)
45. Woodstock (184 mins.)
46. Around the World in 80 Days (1956) (183 mins.)
47. O Lucky Man! (183 mins.)
48. Pearl Harbor (183 mins.)
49. El Cid (182 mins.)
50. Fiddler on the Roof (181 mins.)

(Sources: Listal, AMC)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Horace

    Let's just add up the three movies this bloated story is becoming and call it one. Then, my friends, it's like an 8 hour movie.

  • Idle Primate

    Notice how few of those 50 are from recent decades? For the most part hollywood doesnt make epic length films any more. Instead it takes movies that font require length and makes 2or 3 movies out of them

  • I'm agreeing with Dustin on something to do with LOTR! SCARY.

    But yeah, fuck Peter Jackson and his complete inability to edit his shit down.

    The icing on that shitcake? He's already said there'll be EXTENDED EDITIONS of all three movies. FUUUUUCK that guy. Worst part is that you know the fanboys will be lining up to buy theatrical and EE versions when they come out. Ugh.

  • What about Nocovento? 245 minutes is a looong time


  • That's the short version. Bertolucci had to cut it down to please the studios. The proper version is 317 minutes, and worth every second.

  • DarthCorleone

    I'm now regretting all those comments I made on the Internet back when MGM was holding up The Hobbit because of financial woes. "It's a no-lose proposition!" "We'll all go see it!" "Just make the damn thing!" And so on, and so forth. Now it looks like we're going to get almost as much cinema time devoted to The Hobbit as Lord Of The Rings, which - if you've read all those books - would strike any sane person as completely ludicrous. The only possible explanation for this is getting our ticket money and all the other revenues that many more times, because I absolutely refuse to believe it's for the good of the story.

    And check out #38 on this list. Oh, Peter. King Kong is not enough of a story to sustain over three hours at the theater.

    That all said, yes, I'll be there opening night. Every single time. Curses.

  • Jemiah Jefferson

    Hopefully we'll get an entire hour of Smaug doing interpretive dance.

  • googergieger

    Seven Samurai?

  • KV

    You missed "1900", which, according to the imdb, had a 245 min (US release) or 317 min (uncut) runtime.

  • Idle Primate

    Loved that movie

  • thenchonto

    And then of course there's the old school Bollywood scale of movie length, which from what I can glean is "you're not getting your money's worth if you're not getting at leas three hours of entertainment". What makes that work? Freaking intermission, that's what. Also the musical numbers and musical fight scenes and the fact that the Holi festival happens 28 times a year in the Bollywoodverse. But mostly, the intermission. Thank you, Bollywood, for acknowledging that my bladder isn't the same size as the large soda at the AMC megaplex.

  • Jemiah Jefferson

    I'm cool with three hours of Shah Rukh Khan singing, dancing, and/or crying.

  • Lecza Attila

    What about Satantango's 450 minutes?

  • Rummy

    I saw Cloud Atlas is 187. My bladder wants to know why we can't bring back intermissions?

  • Tom

    Generally I believe that every movie should be as long or short ad is right. That said, I think the 4 hr mark makes it something else than a movie. At some point it's a miniseries or some other form of art. Of this list, only Cleopatra is over 4. I imagine it includes credits so Hamlet is under. Cleopatra wasn't always shown in that longer cut either.
    Obviously there is no reason to have a hard length criterion for what IS or ISN'T. a movie. Still some thought has to go into how watching something for too long affects the way you take it in.

  • Idle Primate

    The bean counters arent keen on long movies--less showtimes per night

  • Arran

    Berlin Alexanderplatz is 15 hours long. Though I assume you're only going for "mainstream" movies here? If so, Gettysburg is 262 minutes.

  • Forbiddendonut

    I hope returning to Middle Earth is the Potion of Storm Giant Strength Peter Jackson needs to rekindle his cinema might, because "King Kong" was horrible and "Lovely Bones" wasn't all that great either. Sadly, if this turns out to be just some Potion of Water Breathing or Potion of Gaseous Form, this could be a looooong two hours and 40 minutes.

  • couch and pants

    Satantango is 450 minutes. Is there some criteria that I'm missing that keeps it off the list? (I mean, other than watchability, because snoooooozzzzzzzeeeee)

  • Rorri

    Andrey Rubliov is 205 minutes. :/

  • Blake

    The actual running time of any given movie is irrelevant when you factor in its quality.

    Your average Adams Sandler, Eddie Murphy, or Tyler Perry movie runs less than 100 minutes all of which is hell.

  • Wembley

    So what your saying is bring a butt pillow?

  • Wembley

    My apologies. you're-not your. I'm getting stupider with age.

  • Blake

    Seven Samurai: 207 Minutes of AWESOME!

  • Funky_Brewster

    I will watch all glorious 2 hours and 40 minutes of this movie and not be sad about it.

  • TheOtherGreg

    My butt awaits the glorious agony. Wait, does that sound right?

  • Reds is only 194 minutes? Damn, it felt more like 19,400 when I watched it.

  • Tyler Miller

    The Good the Bad and the Ugly??

  • KV

    Imo, there's not a single wasted moment in that movie, even though nobody speaks a word for the first 10 minutes.

  • Blake

    The original Italian domestic version was 2 hours, 57 minutes long; but the international version was 2 hours, 41 minutes.

  • hossenfefer

    the 50th longest movie was 3 hours.... i tihnk there's a mistake in your calculations

  • Blake

    Doh... Thanks Hoss.

  • randomhookup

    I figured you might show a little love to the 24-hour movie "The Clock": http://www.lacma.org/event/clo...

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Ughhhh!!! Heaven's Gate... why oh why did I sit through that? Do not even mention Bicentennial Man! I might Hulk out. ( I know it is not on the list, but it should be. )

  • Jeremy Carrier

    My family and I saw Bicentennial Man back when it came out. My siblings and I were very young, and the commercials made it seem like it was gonna be a comedy or some shit.

    Most BORING movie I've ever seen as a kid. We still use the film as a scale for movie ratings around the house. "How boring was it, on a scale of 1-to-Bicentennial Man?"

  • TheOriginalMRod

    And we will NEVER get that time back... yeah, I can't think about it too long or I will get really REALLY angry.

  • Dan Franzen

    What about The Cure for Insomnia?

  • BWeaves

    My best friend went on her first date with her future husband and saw this film. He fell asleep during it.

  • Arran

    So it's not just a clever title.

  • Rai

    It falls short of the top 50 by more if it were actually a list of the top 50 longest movies of all time, and not just 50 long movies that are in English...

  • Il Novecento is in English, so that can't be the criterion...

  • Gigi Agius

    And what about Cleopatra?? That film is longgggg!

  • pajiba

    I don't know why Cleopatra and Ten Commandments weren't included, but they are now. Thanks!

  • Conrad99

    What about Satantango and Mysteries of Lisbon? They are both longer than the number one. I think it needs to be addressed that this list is clearly faulty.

  • wait... what about the Ten Commandments?

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