What Is the Longest Movie Ever Made? 


Figuring out what the longest movie ever made is, is not exactly an easy thing to figure out, and it's actually quite controversial. I mean, technically anything could be a movie. I could set up a camera in my house, let it record for 2 months then stop it and call the unedited recording a 'movie'. It wouldn't be a very enjoyable watch though. So when we talk about the longest movie, I want to lay some ground rules as to what I would deem to be a 'movie':

  • Must have some element of production
  • Must have characters/protagonists
  • Must have a story/plot
  • The length must only be the running time of the actual movie, not the time it took to make the movie
  • Must have an IMDB page

So, this excludes some films that you'll see on certain lists which are purely experimental. For example, the 2012 Swedish film Logistics is 857 hours long, we aren't going to include that movie because it's not really a movie. We're looking for proper films that were released to cinemas. Using data from IMDB and Wikipedia, we've compiled a list of the longest movies ever, so let's get into it:

Heremias: (Book One: Legend of the Lizard Princess), 2006 — 519 minutes

This is a black and white drama about a farmer called Heremias who falls victim to police corruption. What is especially interesting about this movie is that, despite the length, it is quite compelling. This is partly due to the slow, relaxing pace of the movie. Strangely the second part of this movie series (Book 2) was under 2 hours in runtime. 

Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks, 2003 — 551 minutes

This is a documentary by Chinese director Wang Bing about the decline of the industrial Tiexi district in Shenyang. You'll often see this movie pop up in lists of the best/most important films of the 2000s, but at 551 minutes long we're pretty sure that not many critics have actually managed to sit all the way through this movie. 

Shoah, 1985 — 566 minutes

The first thing to note about Shoah is that, unlike many of the movies in this list, it has actually aired on TV before. Imagine flicking through channels and stumbling across this movie only to find that it is more than 9 hours long! This is a French documentary about The Holocaust and was critically acclaimed. Simone de Beauvoir once referred to the movie as a "sheer masterpiece". 

Amra Ekta Cinema Banabo (AKA: The Innocence) - 1265 minutes

This is a film that has been released recently (May 2019) and which clocks in at just over 21 hours, making it technically the longest film ever made. It's a Bangladeshi Bengali film based during the aftermath of the Bangladesh Liberation War. It's fictional and follows characters involved in politics, lies, and deceit. It actually sounds pretty good and interesting so I might try and watch it when it is fully released (December 2019), I'd have to watch it in chunks obviously! Apparently, the film took 9 years to make and had a crew of over 4000 people working on it. That's incredible. We couldn't find anywhere to watch this movie online, so you'd probably have to buy a DVD.


La Flor - 807 minutes

This is an Argentine film that was released in 2018 and is split up into 6 different sections (with intermissions). Unlike the majority of very long films that you'll read about, La Flor sounds genuinely pretty interesting and entertaining. The first section of the film is shot in the style of a B movie, and it's about a group of researchers who stumble across a cursed Egyptian mummy. Sounds fun right? The second episode follows a couple who write a song together, and also features a story about a secret society creating a formula that gives you eternal life by using...an apparently extinct species of scorpion? Yes, that is really the plot. The 3rd episode is about a group of spies, the 4th episode actually breaks the 4th wall, as it's about the actors turning against the director. The 5th is a black and white remake of a film called Partie De Campagne, and the final episode is about an Englishwoman living in the Americas during the 19th century. Some of these sound genuinely interesting to me. Incredibly, you can actually watch this movie via a few different platforms, including for free via Hoopla here. Good luck!


Out 1 - 775 minutes

This is a French film from the 70s, with a length of almost 13 hours. Like the last film, it's split into different sections, 8 this time. I won't go through each section again, but the main idea behind the film is to have 8 different subplots that all eventually weave together. It's a very well-made and cleverly made film and is often cited as being one of the best films ever because of how well put together it is. You can watch this movie via Kanopy.


So there you go, a selection of the longest movies ever made. And they all sound pretty interesting! If you're going to watch them then good luck.