It is rather common for us to watch a two- or three-hour movie, which covers a story that spans over days, weeks, months, years or decades, even. However, there are a few films that tell stories that take place in no more than 24 hours (or even lesser, in some cases). Despite following the idea of limiting the film's plot to a mere 24 hours, there are various masterpieces that prove, when done correctly, this can be quite an invigorating experience.
We have compiled a list of five such movies that have successfully done that. Here you go:
An attempt at shooting an entire movie in a single take, Alfred Hitchcock's Rope takes place in a single day, on a single set.
The film opens with a murder and closes with a gunshot summoning the cops. What falls in between are two students hiding their friend's body in a chest (that they later use to serve dinner) and the crime being discovered by a tutor.
With this thriller, which is inspired from a real-life murder, Hitchcock rejected the very formula that made his name. He used eight 10-minute rolls of film to create a “single tracking shot” and the back of sports jackets to change reels and to ratchet up the suspense.
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick dared to make this Cold War satire in 1964. Dr. Strangelove is a fictional account of catastrophic events that would follow if a nuclear attack was ordered on the Soviet Union. Following the diplomatic action that must be taken to avoid the disaster, the film ends with a montage of nuclear detonations.
Peter Sellers, who plays three distinct characters in the film, managed to bring Kubrick's terrifying, hilarious vision to life. Taking make-believe a step higher with perfect detailing, he made every viewer conclude that the event was entirely true.
American Graffiti (1973)
This coming-of-age film, helmed by George Lucas chronicles a group of high school graduates who spend the last night in town before they leave for college. By the end of the night (which is also the end of the film), these teens have lost their innocence and have
attained a sense of maturity.
It is the charming characters and fantastic soundtrack that make this stellar film a hit. For anyone who has lived in a small town and has cruised the streets with blaring music, this one will take you back in time. Oh sweet nostalgia!
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (2007)
Set in the Ceausescu communist regime of Romania, when abortion was a crime, the film is a story of two friends. Gabita, who is four months, three weeks, two days pregnant asks her roommate Otilia to help her procure an abortion.
Directed by Cristian Mungiu, this heart-wrenching film captures the physical and emotional suffocation the two women go through in that one fateful day. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days is as realistic as cinema can get.
A Single Man (2009)
Tom Ford's film is the story of a depressed gay man, George, who still mourns the death of his partner, Jim. He goes on to empty his bank account and plans to end his life using the gun he has been carrying for sometime. As he goes by the day, teaching a class he happens to talk to a student, Kenny, whose reappearance at a bar might just be his salvation. By the end of the day, George, is not the same.
Adapted from Christopher Isherwood's novel of the same name, this film has an exceptionally convincing narrative. Besides, it is intelligent, moving and eloquently depicts the closet of the early sixties.