Top 10 Westerns Over 3 Hours, Ranked by Running Time

It takes a while before anyone rides into sunset.

Movies longer than three hours may be rare, but that makes them all the more memorable. Historically, epics have been a highly regarded genre, as there have been a fair number of Best Picture Oscar-winning films running longer than three hours, and it's common knowledge that epic-length films won't be greenlit and funded unless Chances are it will be compelling and worth the viewer's time.

The western is a genre similar to the epic, as both were very popular decades ago, but neither has completely faded from the public consciousness. There are films that combine the Western genre with an epic story, or at least an epic run time, with notable films running longer than three hours.

10/10 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' (1966) - 180 minutes (Extended Cut)

Sergio Leone's longest western (but not Leone's overall longest film) may also be his best. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is an undeniably classic Western about three shady characters who all seek to find a hidden fortune of gold buried in the desert, repeatedly making and breaking shaky alliances along the way, Because no one is in the business of sharing the wealth.

Drama Cut The 1966 classic still runs a whopping 161 minutes, but an extended cut brings it up to three hours. It was re-edited, with nearly 20 minutes of deleted scenes cut into theatrical cut, and Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallacher also recorded their lines. You can't go wrong with either version, and they're both long, even if it's just the extended clip that brings the runtime to three hours.

9/10 'Oklahoma!' (1999) - 180 minutes

Most Famous Oklahoma Movie Version! It will be the 1955 version, a conventionally shot film that runs just under 2.5 hours. The 1999 version was three hours, but it was a cinematic stage show rather than a traditional film, which arguably made it less cinematic.

Nonetheless, for fans of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway musical, perhaps the longer the film adaptation, the better. It's undeniably a Western, thanks to the early 1900s setting and country setting, though there are more romance-centric songs and scenes than the average Western. This 1999 version is also famous for starring a young Hugh Jackman, just a year before his Hollywood breakthrough X-men movies.

8/10 'Dances with Wolves' (1990) - 181 minutes

Dances with Wolves was one of the greatest American films of the 1990s, both in terms of run time and Oscar success. Running just over three hours and winning seven Oscars, it's a huge film that focuses on the now-familiar story of a Civil War soldier who meets a man named Lakota on the American frontier.

Notably, this is also Kevin Costner's directorial debut, one of the few directors to win an Academy Award for Best Director for his debut film. He did a great job in front of and behind the camera, as he also starred in this epic western that was written in a more subtle way than the typical "Cowboys vs Indians" plot often found in old Westerns. famous.

7/10 'The Hateful Eight' (2015) - 187 minutes (Roadshow Version)

Like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Quentin Tarantino's grim, violent, and often bawdy The Hateful Eight featured several different cuts. The most common (theatrical) version runs 168 minutes, but the original roadshow version was over three hours, thanks to an extended overture, an intermission and some extra footage not seen in theater Version.

With regard to The Hateful Eight's running time, many would argue that 168 minutes is more than enough, but the Roadshow version is intended to pay homage to the way epic films have been shown in theaters over the past few decades. Either way, both clips deliver the violence, sharp dialogue, and morally gray characters that Tarantino fans have come to expect from the director's films.

6/10 'Wyatt Earp' (1994) - 191 minutes

Kevin Costner wasn't content with just one 3+ hour western, as he was in another (though not directing again) just four years after Dances with Wolves. That movie was Wyatt Earp, an epic tale of the life of the titular man, possibly one of the most famous real-life figures of the Old West.

The filmmakers likely wanted to cover as much as possible in one film, and given the success of Costner's last epic western, this was seen as a risk that would hopefully pay off. Unfortunately, it didn't, as Wyatt Earp's reviews weren't great, nor was its box office total ($25 million worldwide against a $63 million budget). Nevertheless, for those who want An epic western, Wyatt Earp undeniably fits the bill, regardless of quality.

5/10 'Giant' (1956) - 201 minutes

Giant is a gigantic film, running for nearly 3.5 hours. Thankfully, it uses its epic runtime to its advantage, as it features a story that follows three generations over the decades, tracing the highs and lows of one family in Texas as they Acquiring great wealth and then fighting to keep it.

It's worth noting that this western features a female lead in Elizabeth Taylor's role and puts a strong emphasis on romance, at least more so than the conflict between law and crime you see in most westerns . It's also one of only three films James Dean has been in, and his only time in a supporting role.

4/10 'Sholay' (1975) - 204 minutes

Sholay is part of several genres of film, Western being one of them. It also has elements of the action, adventure, comedy, drama and thriller genres, and is arguably a musical too, thanks to some musical numbers spread throughout its epic 204-minute runtime.

It is common for Bollywood films to mix genres, but few have been as successful as Choley. it's an epic and an endlessly entertaining film with plenty of action in a revenge-centric story, and manages to make the western fun by excluding some of the most typical elements (like its lack of cowboy tropes).

3/10 'The New Land' (1972) - 204 minutes

Another long-running film that fits the Western genre while challenging some of the most well-known conventions, The New World offers a different perspective on the American Old West. That's because it's a Swedish film about an immigrant family who come to America in the 1850s in search of prosperity and comfort, only to find that settling there isn't as easy as expected.

There was a lot of immigration to North America during this period of history, but you don't always know that from the Western genre as a whole, given that most Westerns focus on American characters. That makes "The New World" stand out because it stars two of Ingmar Bergman's most recurring actors, Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann.

2/10 'Heaven's Gate' (1980) - 219 minutes

Few films have been as unfairly controversial as Heaven's Gate. Sure, it's a flawed movie, but there's a lot about it that makes it a worthwhile 3+ hour movie, including its A riveting plot about class warfare, a great cast and some great sets.

It was criticized and downplayed for being difficult to make and over budget, but these didn't necessarily make the film a failure. At least, given the film's scope and attention to detail, viewers can clearly see where all the money is going. This trend has had a critical influence on it in the decades since its release, helping it to be recognized as a truly messy, flawed but impressive film.

1/10 'Lonesome Dove' (1989) - 384 minutes

It may be cheating to list "The Lonely Dove" as a full story, since it was released in four parts. However, there's no denying that it tells a cohesive story across these four parts, totaling just over six hours, and is cinematic enough (and with a good enough cast) that it feels more like a film And not your typical miniseries.

The main characters in Lonely Pigeon are all nearing the end of their lives, and the Old West itself is coming to an end. This is an exciting but sometimes very sad story of hardship, loyalty and sacrifice, featuring many great characters whose journeys may have implications for anyone but The most diehard viewers.

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