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What is the shortest theatrically released major film?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Blu, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    I'm working on my own feature film right now and it is a single location stage shoot. It is very very difficult to get much more than 50-60 pages out of this which I think with action will translate to about 65-70 minutes including credits.

    Now I'm not so arrogant as to expect a national release, but I just need a guideline to shoot for. I know I've seen some fairly short movies before and I think I would be happy to get 70 minutes out of this. I know Open Water seemed very short and it was about 80 minutes I think.
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Wow, I came into this thread prepared to answer "It's Pat" but you're looking for a different answer.

    In the more recent days (movies since 1970), the shortest film I can remember being released are kids films, with one of the Pooh movies running under 70 minutes, and the Wiggles movie was also very short. But I can't think of any film aimed at non-toddlers being less then 75 minutes.
     
  3. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Three-time Oscar nominee Saludos Amigos ran a whopping 43 minutes.
     
  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    A lot of the earlier "features" from Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, and Buster Keaton were very short.

    Sherlock Jr. runs 44 min.
    The Kid runs 50 min. (the 1921 version ran 18 minutes longer, due to slower film speed, and extra material)
    Shoulder Arms runs 46 min.

    Also, Tod Browning had some very short films...

    Freaks is only 62 min. long.
    The Unknown is 49 min. (possibly due to two scenes not surviving in the remaining print)
    Mark of the Vampire is 60 min. long
     
  5. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Recently there was HIGHWAYMEN, which ran 75 minutes.
     
  6. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I liked Highwaymen.... It wasn't a good movie technically...but I still liked it. [​IMG]


    Back on topic: Phonebooth was short.. sub 70 minutes i think
     
  7. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    The official runtime with credits was 81 minutes.

    DJ
     
  8. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Screenwriter

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    Walking Tall, the remake, ran 85 minutes with credits.

    Now if you've seen the film, you know that the credits ran almost 15 minutes.

    So in honesty, minus credits, the film was around 70 minutes in length.
     
  9. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Master of Disguise was really short - 80 minutes WITH credits, about 70 minutes WITHOUT them...
     
  10. Dave Dahl

    Dave Dahl Stunt Coordinator

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    Dumbo ran 61 minutes.

    -Dave
     
  11. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Saludos Amigos - 43.
     
  12. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    Well I'm very happy that if I can film 70 minutes out of my script that is still a marketable film!
     
  13. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    I think it would be better to film 70 good minutes than weaken your film by stretching it out with 10-15 minutes of "padding".

    Make it as long as it needs to be - if that's 70 minutes so be it. It can always be paired with a short at film festivals.

    Good luck with the project.
     
  14. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Duck Soup is 68 minutes.
     
  15. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    The first titles that enter my mind... [​IMG]

    OK, it's from my database: there are more than 2100 films of less than 75 minutes, of which 1935 from the US. A bit difficult to list them all here.


    The very shortest are:

    Wings of Courage (1995)Jean-Jacques Annaud, 40m
    Sherlock, Jr. (1924) Buster Keaton, 45m
    Who Killed Doc Robbin? (1948) Bernard Carr, 50m


    And here's a list of short (< 75 mins) films since 1980:

    Spy Hard (1996) Rick Friedberg, 72m
    Arabian Knight (1995) Richard Williams, 72m
    Great Day in Harlem, A (1995) Jean Bach, 60m
    Wings of Courage (1995) Jean-Jacques Annaud, 40m
    Coming Out Under Fire (1994) Arthur Dong, 71m
    Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, The (1994) Roy Allen Smith, 74m
    Little Rascals, The (1994) Penelope Spheeris, 72m
    Return of Jafar, The (1994) Toby Shelton, Tad Stones, etc., 66m
    We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story (1993) Dick Zondag, Ralph Zondag, etc., 72m
    Bebe's Kids (1992) Bruce Smith, 74m
    Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas (1992) George Hickenlooper, 57m
    Tune, The (1992) Bill Plympton, 72m
    Wild Wheels (1992) Harrod Blank, 64m
    American Tail: Fievel Goes West, An (1991) Phil Nibbelink, Simon Wells, 74m
    Cousin Bobby (1991) Jonathan Demme, 70m
    Rover Dangerfield (1991) Jim George, Bob Seeley, 74m
    DuckTales: The Movie—Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990) Bob Hathcock, 73m
    Happily Ever After (1990) John Howley, 74m
    Rescuers Down Under, The (1990) Hendel Butoy, Mike Gabriel, 74m
    Christmas Wife, The (1988) David Jones, 73m
    Land Before Time, The (1988) Don Bluth, 69m
    Warrior Queen (1987) Chuck Vincent, 69m
    Sorority House Massacre (1986) Carol Frank, 74m
    Broken Rainbow (1985) Maria Florio, Victoria Mudd, 70m
    Certain Sacrifice, A (1985) Stephen Jon Lewicki, 60m
    Dungeonmaster, The (1985) Rosemarie Turko, John Buechler, 73m
    City News (1983) David Fishelson, Zoe Zinman, 65m
    Two Worlds of Angelita, The (1982) Jane Morrison, 73m
    American Dream (1981) Mel Damski, 74m
    Code Red (1981) J. Lee Thompson, 74m
    Death of a Prophet (1981) Woodie King Jr., 60m
    Our Family Business (1981) Robert Collins, 74m
    Phoenix, The (1981) Douglas Hickox, 74m
    Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, The (1980) Connie Field, 60m
    Loose Shoes (1980) Ira Miller, 74m


    Cees
     
  16. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Cees you left out The Mummy's Ghost (1944), 60m [​IMG]
     
  17. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Steve,

    I left out everything before 1980!
    (Except for the shortest 3.)


    Cees
     
  18. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Oh alright. I was about to point out that you left out The Mummy's Tomb (1942) 61m, too...[​IMG]
     
  19. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    I plan on making it a quality film and if it falls under my 70 minute goal then I will do what is best for the project and make it the best it can be.

    Thank you!!

    That is quite a list of films!!!!
     
  20. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Another theatrical film that came out that was pretty short in length was "Superman and the Mole Men" (1951), at 60-61 min.
     

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