Survivor: Movie-Watching Edition

Say you were stranded in a glass box in Times Square, and the only thing you could bring with you is 120 hours worth of movies.

Which films would you bring?

The current world record for continuous movie watching is 120 hours and 23 minutes: roughly the equivalent of viewing 80 consecutive 90-minute feature films (or watching Peha de Milain‘s Freakonomics movie 314 times in a row).

That record is held by Ashish Sharma of India; he will defend his world movie-watching-championship title in Times Square on October 2 as part of the Netflix Popcorn Bowl, which is vying to be the Nathan’s hot-dog-eating contest of media consumption.

Contestants will be given a 10-minute break between each movie for rest. According to the event’s organizers, medical professionals will be on hand to ensure that the contestants are actually watching the movies, and not just staring blankly into the screen.

But after 120 hours of sleep deprivation, can anybody really be watching anything?


This thing was made for TV on DVD.

1. 24 Season One

2. CaddyShack

3. Pulp Fiction

3. Arrested Development Season One

4. Lost Season One

5. Superbad

"I remember hearing somewhere that a person is legally insane (or maybe diminished capacity?) after 72 hours of not sleeping. I hope they have police on hand for anyone unhappy with their viewing choices. "

6. Full Metal Jacket and/or The Shining

7. Old School


Ashish Sharma being Indian, will surely watch some (or mostly) Hindi movies which are typically 3 hours long, with cinemas having an interval (bladder break) right in between.

I guess would be fair for him to demand a break between movies as well.

H Dizzle

I would think that the bad publicity of some red-eyed zombie slob would deter a contest like this.

I usually start hallucinating after 48 hours without sleep, however, I've never spent this amount of time watching movies. Still, sounds unhealthy.


Maybe people and lawmakers aren't bothered by others' sleep deprivation because of a Puritan work ethic. You get the after-effects of alcohol from enjoying some imbibing, but you get the same after-effects from sleep deprivation by, well, by depriving yourself!

By this ethic, people having fun is "bad" - and I mean civilized fun; there are no excuses for loud, rude, or dangerous behavior. But depriving and sacrificing yourself for your job is "good"!

I suppose you do have to sacrifice yourself for your children, but then, you're the one who didn't think about that before you had any.


I would watch "Groundhog Day" 118 times, but then would have 29 seconds left over. I would use this time to reflect on my life.

Raj Pandravada

1. Pulp Fiction (2.75 hrs)

2. Reservoir Dogs (1.7 hrs)

3. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (3 hrs)

4. Pulp Fiction (repeat) (2.75 hrs)

5. The Usual Suspects (1.7 hrs)

6. A Fish Called Wanda (1.7 hrs)

7. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (2 hrs)

8. Le Cercle rouge (2.2 hrs)

9. The Godfather I (3 hrs)

10. The Godfather II (3.2 hrs)

11. The Godfather III (2.9 hrs)

12. Kill Bill Vol 1 (1.9 hrs)

13. Kill Bill Vol 2 (2.2 hrs)

14. Jackie Brown (2.5 hrs)

15. Grindhouse (3.2 hrs)

Phew...almost 40 hours, including 10 minute breaks, of deception, destruction and debauchery.

I give up.


To answer #3, it is a bit ironic that a record for doing something continuously allows for a break, but without a 5 minute break per hour of continuously doing whatever, people would start doing stupid stuff to break the records. Some may say that watching 120 hours worth of movies is stupid, and I'd probably agree. However, without a break at all, people will start doing things like dehydrating/starving themselves or taking drugs to make them not have to go to the bathroom or bringing their catheter along with them. I mean, you could have a toilet there and continue watching the movie while you're going to the bathroom, but there are other records where you couldn't relieve yourself while doing whatever you're doing.

The standard is a 5 minute break per hour of activity. Now, I assume that the 10 minute break per movie is based on the average movie length of 2 hours, you do the math. If they actually give them 10 minutes per movie, the best thing to do would be to watch all short movies (another reason not to watch LOTR), because then you'd actually get more breaktime. It's likely just 5 minutes per hour, but for simplicity, they just report it as 10 minutes for every movie.



And this is noteworthy... why? Has it to do with our ability to identify with lazily consuming hours upon hours of mindless drivel? How about a contest of who can consume a movie the fastest? Arm the contestants with a DVR remote with fast-forward, show them a movie they've never seen and see who can correctly and artfully summarize and review the film - perhaps even predict what happens.


why don't they put a movie screen below David Blaine so he could kill two birds with one stone?


Arrested Development


Does the 10 minutes per hour include access to a toilet? If not, I'd choose any movies that came in a big waterproof box with a lid.


I find it ironic that these records for doing anything "continuously" allow for breaks. Shouldn't a record for continuous movie watching not include 10 minute breaks between each movie?


I would try to bring as diverse a movie/tv collection as possible for different moods. And I'd make sure that they were fast-paced to make the time go by quickly (i.e., no "Lord of the Rings" movies). Or, doing away with my idea of diverse genres, it might be a good time to watch all six seasons of 24 that are on DVD back-to-back.


I had my own version of the movie marathon when I took a 17 hour non-stop flight in coach to Hong Kong out of Chicago last year (plus the return flight). At least these people will probably have comfortable seats and space to stretch out...


I remember hearing somewhere that a person is legally insane (or maybe diminished capacity?) after 72 hours of not sleeping. I hope they have police on hand for anyone unhappy with their viewing choices.

Raj P


Godfather III - just to complete the series.

Loved Four Rooms, obviously...QT's piece was the intersection of three of my greatest influences -

1. Roald Dahl (who wrote the original short story, 'The Man from the South')

2. Hitchcock (who presented it on TV)

3. Tarantino himself


@10, Groundhog Day is 101 minutes, or 1 hour 41 minutes. Add 10 minutes for a break and you get 111 minutes. 120 hours is 7200 minutes, so if you watched it 66 times, you'd be over the 120 hour mark.



Godfather 3?! Really?!

And if you're on the Tarrantino collection, Four Rooms, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Desperado were decent (though he had smaller roles in all 3).


By the me silly, but I'd find any movie that's 45 minutes or less. The rules (according to the posting) say you get to rest between MOVIES, not between HOURS. The shorter the movies, the more rests, right?