The longest films Hollywood ever made
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At a whopping 248 minutes (4 hrs, 8 mins), the Elizabeth Taylor-starring film was a spectacle through and through, telling the story of the queen of Egypt, who seduces two Roman rulers: Emperor Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) and his general Mark Antony (Richard Burton).

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Originally 251 minutes (4 hrs, 11 mins), Sergio Leone's 1984 gangster epic about a small group of New York's Lower East side Jewish gangsters was eventually cut down for European audiences to 229 minutes (3 hours and 49 minutes), and then 139 minutes (2 hours and 19 minutes) by American distributors.

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Martin Scorsese cashed in on his reputation when he put out this film that has a run time of 209 minutes (3 hrs, 29 mins), and trusted audiences to watch it. Its based on the Charles Brandt novel I Heard You Paint Houses, and follows the life and times of former hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) in post-war America.

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This classic American film is 238 minutes (3 hrs, 58 mins), and is based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell. The epic love story of Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) set during the American Civil War swept the Oscars, though today it has been viewed through a much more critical lens regarding race and slavery.

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David Leans much loved epic historical drama is based on the autobiography Seven Pillars of Wisdom by British Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, and runs at an impressive 222 minutes (3 hrs, 42 mins).

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Paul Thomas Anderson's epic cinematic collage of characters intertwined in their searches for love, forgiveness, and meaning, whose paths cross by various means, clocks in at 188 minutes (3 hrs, 8 mins) and is a favorite of film buffs around the world.

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The epic film is based on the epic Leo Tolstoy novel of the same name, which explains why it runs at 208 minutes (3 hrs, 28 min). Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer star as Natasha and Andrei.

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Inspired by Joseph Conrads 1899 novel Heart of Darkness, Francis Ford Coppolas film ended up being 202 minutes (3 hrs, 22 mins), and tells the story of Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), a US Army officer serving in Vietnam and tasked with a mission to assassinate a renegade Special Forces Colonel (Marlon Brando).

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This cinematic marvel is especially impressive for the time it was made, running at 212 minutes (3 hrs, 32 mins) and telling the story of Jewish nobleman Judah Ben-Hur, who is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend but eventually returns home for revenge. It was worth every minute, since it became the first film to win 11 Oscars.

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Infamous for its length but beloved just the same, Peter Jacksons final film of the trilogy clocked in at 201 minutes (3 hrs, 21 mins). It sees Gandalf and Aragorn struggle to save Gondor from Sauron's forces, while Frodo and Sam approach Mount Doom with the one ring.

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Famed for being one of the rare cases in which the sequel was better than the first film, Francis Ford Coppolas epic crime film runs 200 minutes (3 hrs, 20 mins) and is considered one of the finest American movies of the late 20th century.

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Stanley Kubricks historical epic runs 197 minutes (3 hrs, 17 mins) and tells the story of Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), who leads a violent revolt with his fellow slaves against Rome.

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Zack Snyder's director's cut demonstrated what hed had in mind before personal tragedy tore him away from the project. The extended cut is 242 minutes (4 hrs, 2 min), which is slightly different from the two-hour theatrical cut but was largely favored over the 2017 version.

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Steven Spielberg's famous Holocaust drama based on the German industrialist Oskar Schindler”credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust”clocks in at 195 minutes (3 hrs, 15 mins), which feels appropriate for the subject and was indeed supremely impactful on its audiences.

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James Camerons blockbuster about the sinking of the Titanic runs at 194 minutes (3 hrs, 14 mins), and each minute of the ill-fated tale of a beautiful upper class girl falling in love with a poor artist is savored by audiences.

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Most people are glad that Martin Scorseses films run so long because they show spectacular tales from beginning to end, such as this one which clocks in at 180 minutes (3 hrs) and tells the story of real-life wealthy stockbroker Jordan Belfort and his fall from grace.

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The fantasy drama based on Stephen Kings 1996 novel of the same name runs 189 minutes (3 hrs, 9 mins) and tells the story of a guard (Tom Hanks) at Cold Mountain Penitentiary's death row, nicknamed "The Green Mile," whose life changes when he discovers one inmate (Michael Clarke Duncan) has a mysterious gift.

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Kenneth Branagh stuns as both director and star of this 242-minute (4 hrs, 2 min) adaptation of a Shakespeare classic. Though its set in the 19th century, Hamlet remains one of the most faithful Shakespeare adaptations in history.

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Oliver Stone's blockbuster about President John F. Kennedys assassination and the attorney who leads the investigation clocks in at 189 minutes (3 hrs, 9 mins).

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Peter Jacksons ambitious take on the epic monster film runs at 185 minutes (3 hrs, 5 mins) and follows a greedy filmmaker who assembles a team to find the fabled Skull Island, not knowing what awaits.

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Spike Lees 202-minute (3 hrs, 22 min) film based on the autobiography of the controversial historical figure and starring Denzel Washington was necessarily long to cover the evolution of Malcolm X from hustler and criminal, to Muslim minister, to Black separatist, to human rights activist. It was riveting from beginning to end.

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This film, which runs at 181 minutes (3 hrs, 1 min), is one of Kevin Costners most famous works, as he plays a lieutenant traveling to the American frontier to find a military post where he eventually befriends wolves and Lakota Native Americans.

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This epic biblical film attempts to cover the sprawling story of Moses (Charlton Heston), from the parting of the Red Sea to speaking to God on Mount Sinai, in just 220 minutes (3 hrs, 40 min).

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Michael Cimino's war epic is 182 minutes (3 hrs, 2 min) long and examines how Vietnam War impacts the lives of three steelworkers from a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

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Philip Kaufman's historical drama about the original Mercury 7, military pilots who were selected to be astronauts for Project Mercury, clocks in at 193 minutes (3 hrs, 13 mins).

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This epic comedy film by Stanley Kramer is 210 minutes (3 hrs, 30 min) long and tells the story of the race for the US$350,000 that "Smiler" Grogan hid after he committed a robbery. After suffering a car crash, he tells five strangers who stopped about the money in Santa Rosita State Park under a large W marking, and you can guess the rest.

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This Western film by Michael Cimino takes 219 minutes (3 hrs, 39 min) to tell a story inspired by the Johnson County War at the end of the 19th century. It is notably one of the biggest box-office failures in history, earning just US$3.5 million against a budget of $44 million.

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Ronald F. Maxwell (Gettysburg) is no stranger to long films, and this period war drama takes 219 minutes (3 hrs, 39 min) to explore the early days of the American Civil War through the points-of-view of three men: a former professor, a deeply religious Confederate, and the infamous Gen. Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall), who led the Confederate military. The film was criticized for its obvious Confederacy sympathies, though the scale remained impressive.

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James Dean sadly didn’t get to see his final film, which runs 201 minutes (3 hrs, 21 min). It was well received and earned its director an Academy Award. It’s a visually stunning tale of a Texas ranching family that still today remains a classic of American cinema.

Sources: (Newsweek) (Screen Rant) (World of Reel)

See also: Actors who didn't live to see their final films

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In todays age, it seems that the 1.5 hour film standard is a thing of the past. Increasingly, our favorite directors are pushing the limits of traditional run times, perhaps thanks in part to streaming and the ability to pause at your convenience for snacks and bathroom breaks. But while there are some recent films that have challenged us with their over-three-hour run times, there have been many others who have released famous sprawling on-screen epics in the past, with some even exceeding four hours!

Click through to see some of the longest films Hollywood ever made.

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