“The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”
It’s not uncommon for me to walk out of a film these days and think, “that was about 20 minutes too long.” I would blame the Internet for stunting my attention span, but I thought La La Land at 128 minutes flew by.
In reading over my 2008 post Screenwriting by Numbers (which now feels about 20 minute too long itself) I noticed a solid list of films which had running times of under 100 minutes, so I thought I’d list ten of them today. (And if your desire is to make low-budget independent films, then make a film under 100 minutes simply to save productions costs.)
Reservoir Dogs 99m.
When Harry Met Sally 95m.
Annie Hall 94m.
Stand by Me 89m.
Stranger than Paradise 89m.
She’s Gotta Have It 84m.
The Gold Rush 82m.
Toy Story 80m.
What’s also interesting about this list is it includes films made by Tarantino, Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Spike Lee, Chaplin, and Pixar. Juno may be the only film that isn’t at least considered a classic in its genre, but it Diablo Cody won the Oscar for writing that script. (And give it 10 or 20 years and it might become a modern day classic in the teenage genre.)