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Star Wars

May the Force be with You

Posted on 2007.12.23 at 12:14


Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-12-24 05:54 (UTC) (Link)
Classic movies that are considered "long":

El Cid 182 min
Ben Hur 212 min
Ten Commandments 220 min
Jesus of Nazareth 371 min
Exodus 208 min
Kingdom of Heaven 194 min
John Wayne's The Alamo 192 min

Just to name a few.
ehowton at 2007-12-24 06:27 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. Of course we weren't talking about classic movies, you just threw that in there. And on top of that you listed Kingdom of Heaven as a classic. WTF?
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-12-24 06:28 (UTC) (Link)
I meant to specifically reference the director's cut. Have you seen it?
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2007-12-25 12:12 (UTC) (Link)
Regardless of what you may feel about Kingdom of Heaven, the term "classic" usually refers to something 25 years or older.

Either way, you're listing films that were produced as epics (save Jesus of Nazareth, which was a TV mini-series). They were designed to be big in many ways, either with large format or widescreen processes for roadshow presentations, gargantuan all-star casts and, of course, they had extremely long running times specifically to distinguish them from most films (and, of course, television, hence the VistaVision, 70 millimeter, CinemaScope and what have you). Oh, and while they were long, they had intermissions so you could leave and go to the bathroom and have a smoke (most of them were produced in the 50s and 60s).

Lately this has changed, but for the bulk of the existence of cinema, two hours was considered the "bladder barrier," and so films were rarely produced that were very much longer than that... also from a practical sense you could squeeze in more showings of a shorter film. In fact, movies often had to be cut down to conform to a specific time frame.

Edited at 2007-12-25 12:33 pm (UTC)
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-12-25 14:56 (UTC) (Link)
I supposed I should have substituted the word "epic" for "classic" and that would have cleared the nomenclature matter up.

While I am very much aware of the fact that 2 hours is the magic length these days, out of the 13 films playing at my local theater, only 3 of them actually break the 2 hour mark. I think that films are getting shorter as the population's ADHD gets worse.

Now, I'm not advocating that every movie should be of epic length. It's great to have a film that is very much trimmed down, tells the story in only as many frames as are needed and then ends. In my list are several films that I don't particularly care for; that having been said, I do prefer longer, deeper films and it's a shame that they are few and far between today. I can only think of one film, God's and Generals that I saw in the theater that had an intermission.

There is something prestigious about a roadshow that makes you want to dress to the nines for a theatrical viewing. I just wished that there were more films like this so that respect and prestige would come back to the theater, but alas, it appears that I was born too late.
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2007-12-25 15:20 (UTC) (Link)
If you are saying that epic films are getting shorter, I'm not sure how you figure that. Maybe they are shorter than some of their four hour 60s counterparts, but many of them run close to (or more than) three hours.

Certainly many comedies and smaller dramas clock in around the ninety minute mark... this is and remains the most common length of such films. Nevertheless, the current trend is for films in general to become longer of late, not shorter. ehowton was saying that the film was slightly long, running just over two hours and ten minutes. That is fairly long for a film when the average length, historically speaking, has been around 100 minutes.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-12-25 21:15 (UTC) (Link)
I've always thought that two hours was the magic time for most movies (but then again, I don't do comedies nor romances as a general rule) with two-thirty being apropos for a griping story or when there is a lot of ground to cover. Anything past the three hour mark (to me) is epic...provided it's watchable.

For instance, though Aviator is just shy of three hours, the amount of ground that is covered makes the film feel like three and a half to four hours long. It's an epic on the smaller end of the scale.
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2007-12-26 21:48 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but Stardust is not really an epic... it's a fairly short book that was made into a slightly long movie.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-12-26 21:51 (UTC) (Link)
I did not mean to imply that Stardust was either an epic book or film.
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2007-12-26 21:57 (UTC) (Link)
But with respect to film length, you're comparing it to epics.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-12-26 22:19 (UTC) (Link)
No, I said that anything over three hours I generally consider to be epic. Stardust clocks in at 127 minutes, which is muchly shy of the needed 180 minutes.
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2007-12-26 23:01 (UTC) (Link)
ehowton wrote in his comments about Stardust, "At just over two hours, its a rather long movie, but the discrete storylines, all which culminate to the climax, keep everything moving in the right direction."

You responded to that post; you quoted that sentence and responded to the point with "No it’s not. We’ve had this conversation before," at which point you linked to this very post.

So the very reason why I even commented here at all - I had read the post right after ehowton had made it and hadn't checked back in the interim - was because you were referring to ehowton's comment about the length of Stardust and provided the link. Thus the context of my comments were with respect to a connection between Stardust and the films in question that you provided.
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