1. Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) – 5 hours, 19 minutes
Directed by Anurag Kashyap, the crime drama was originally shot at a run-time of 319 minutes. But no Indian theatre agreed to run it for its five-hour duration. It was, therefore, released in two parts. Centred on the coal mafia (Mafia Raj) of Dhanbad, and the underlying power struggles, politics and vengeance between three crime families, the film features an ensemble cast, with Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi, Richa Chadda and Tigmanshu Dhulia in the major roles.
2. Tamas (1987) – 4 hours, 34 minutes
Based on a Hindi novel by Bhisham Sahni, Tamas is directed by Govind Nihalani. Set in the backdrop of riot-stricken Pakistan at the time of Partition of Punjab in 1947, the film deals with the plight of emigrant Sikh and Hindu families to India as a consequence of the partition. The Bombay High Court restricted the screening of the film for its sensitive subject. Two days later, however, the stay was lifted.
3. LOC Kargil (2003) – 4 hours, 15 minutes
LOC Kargil was not only one of the longest Bollywood films of its time but also had the biggest star cast. The film is based on the Kargil War fought between India and Pakistan. Just like J. P. Dutta’s previous war movie Border, the Indian military provided technical and material assistance during the production and filming of LOC Kargil.
3. Mera Naam Joker (1970) – 4 hours, 4 minutes
At 255-minute runtime, Mera Naam Joker was the second longest movie in Bollywood with two intervals. Upon release, the film was rejected by audiences and critics, putting Kapoor into a financial crisis. The film was heavily panned for its length and plot. The film is regarded as one of Kapoor’s finest works today with film experts labelling it as a “misunderstood masterpiece”.
5. Sangam (1964) – 3 hours, 58 minutes
Another Raj Kapoor directorial, starring him alongside Rajendra Kumar and Vjayanthimala, Sangam was one of the biggest hits of its time. The love triangle was the first Hindi film to have been shot outside India. It was filmed in various countries across Europe – Venice, Rome, Paris, Switzerland. Sangam was Raj Kapoor’s first colour film, distinguished by its technicolour and epic length. It is also sometimes considered to be a magnum opus of Raj Kapoor, as one of his best works.