Time’s Up: Top 10 American Movies Ranked by Runtime

Time’s Up: Top 10 American Movies Ranked by Runtime

Have you sat and watched movies that are more than 150 minutes long? If yes, then kudos to you. If not, then you are not alone. When a film crosses the 3-hour mark, most people start fidgeting, wishing the ending was near.

But, some cinematic masterpieces challenge this notion and attempt to keep the audience hooked to their seats for close to four hours. This list is a small curation of all the top American movies ranked by duration.

The movie theater showtimes are not the only defining complement of these long-running films, which have been applauded by critics and people alike. So, grab a bucket of popcorn or two, and let’s go through the movies made in America that have the longest durations.

Top 10 Movies Made In America Ranked By The Runtime

#1 Cleopatra (1963)

Running time: 248 minutes (4 hrs, 8 mins)

The film “Cleopatra” (1963), directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, is an epic historical drama that chronicles the life of Cleopatra VII, the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. Notably, the film is famous for its lavish production and its extended runtime. 

“Cleopatra” has a total runtime of approximately 4 hours and 3 minutes, making it one of the longest mainstream films ever released, yet had house-full shows in theaters near me. This extensive duration allowed for a detailed exploration of Cleopatra’s political and romantic relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, as well as the internal and external struggles she faced in trying to protect her empire. 

#2 Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Running Time: 242 mins (4 hrs, 2 mins)

“Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” released in 2021, is an extended director’s cut of the 2017 superhero film “Justice League.” This version is often referred to as the “Snyder Cut.” 

Distinguished by its significant runtime of approximately 4 hours and 2 minutes, this cut provided director Zack Snyder the opportunity to fully realize his vision for the film.

Zack Snyder’s version delves deeper into the backstories of key characters, particularly Cyborg and The Flash, offering a richer narrative experience and more cohesive storyline compared to the 2017 release. The film also features additional scenes, extended action sequences, and a more detailed exploration of the film’s villains.

#3 Gone With The Wind (1939)

Running time: 238 min (3 hrs, 58 mins)

“Gone with the Wind” is a 1939 historical romance film with a runtime of approximately 3 hours and 58 minutes. It was directed by Victor Fleming and based on Margaret Mitchell’s novel. The film is set in the American South during the Civil War and Reconstruction era. 

The film is known for its grand scale, sweeping narrative, and lavish production. It achieved monumental success, earning accolades including 8 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Victor Fleming), Best Actress (Vivien Leigh), Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel, who was the first African American Oscar winner), among others. 

Its box office success and historical significance have cemented its place as a classic in American cinema.

#4 Lawrence Of Arabia (1962)

Running Time: 216 min (3 hrs, 36 mins)

“Lawrence of Arabia,” by David Lean, is based on the life of T.E. Lawrence. The film is renowned for its grand scale, sweeping landscapes, and runtime of approximately 3 hours and 48 minutes in its original release, making it one of the most iconic epics in cinema history.

The film received numerous awards, including 7 Academy Awards (Oscars): Best Picture, Best Director (David Lean), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score. 

Additionally, it received Oscars for its magnificent score and sound. “Lawrence of Arabia” is celebrated for its artistic and technical achievements and for Peter O’Toole’s mesmerizing performance as T.E. Lawrence. 

#5 Ben Hur

Running time: 212 min (3 hrs, 32 mins)

“Ben-Hur” is an epic historical drama film directed by William Wyler released in 1959. It’s based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.” 

The runtime of “Ben-Hur” is approximately 3 hours and 44 minutes, making it one of the longer epic films of its era. This extended duration allows for a detailed exploration of the story’s complex themes of betrayal, vengeance, and redemption.

“Ben-Hur” received widespread critical acclaim for its direction, performances, and technical achievements, particularly the chariot race scene, which remains one of the most famous sequences in film history. It was a massive box office success and won a record-breaking 11 Academy Awards.

#6 Titanic (1997)

Running Time: 210 min (3 hrs, 30 mins)

“Titanic,” directed by James Cameron, is a romance and disaster film about the historical sinking of the RMS Titanic with a fictional love story. 

The movie has a substantial runtime of 3 hours and 14 minutes. The story centers on the ill-starred romance between Jack Dawson, a poor artist, and Rose DeWitt Bukater, a young woman from an affluent family, who meet and fall in love aboard the ship. 

“Titanic” won numerous accolades, securing 11 Academy Awards out of 14 nominations, including Best Director for James Cameron and Best Picture. In current times also on special occasions this movie is screened in movie theaters near me. 

#7 The Irishman (2019)

Running Time: 209 mins (3 hrs, 29 mins)

“The Irishman” (2019), directed by Martin Scorsese, delves into organized crime in post-war America, as seen through the perspective of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran. He is a truck driver who becomes a hitman for mobster Russell Bufalino and his crime family. 

With a runtime of 3 hours and 30 minutes, “The Irishman” is notable for its extensive length, which allows for a detailed exploration of its characters and themes. 

The film was praised for its use of de-aging technology to make the actors appear youthful in flashbacks, meticulous attention to period detail, and thoughtful meditation on aging, loyalty, and the passage of time.

#9 War And Peace (1956)

Running Time: 208 mins (3 hrs, 28 mins)

“War and Peace” (1956) is a drama based on Leo Tolstoy’s renowned 1869 novel of the same name. It was directed by King Vidor and featured an international cast that included Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and Mel Ferrer. 

The movie’s runtime is approximately 3 hours and 28 minutes, allowing it to explore the complex narrative and character development intrinsic to Tolstoy’s masterpiece.

“War and Peace” received mixed to positive reviews, with particular praise for its ambitious scope, production values, and Hepburn’s performance. 

#10 Schindler’s List (1993)

Running Time – 195 mins (3 hrs 25 mins)

“Schindler’s List” (1993), a film by Steven Spielberg, tells the real-life tale of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who rescued over 1,100 Jewish individuals during the Holocaust by giving them employment in his factories.

The film has a runtime of approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes, allowing for a detailed exploration of Schindler’s transformation from a profit-driven businessman into a humanitarian hero.

“Schindler’s List” is celebrated for its powerful storytelling, stark black-and-white cinematography, and its emotional depth. It received widespread acclaim and numerous accolades, including seven Academy Awards. 

Final Words:

This list of course does not end here and includes a handful of movies. If we take world cinema into consideration, we will have to add many more names to the list.

However, if you are looking for American films that run for more than 3 hours, here is your binge list. Comment and let us know which of these movies you have seen and enjoyed the most.

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