10 Great Films That Take Place in a Day

From Paste Magazine:

Despite cinema’s relative youth, the art form has already reached an apparent stalemate in terms of potential narrative constraints that can keep viewers interested and entertained. However, when done properly, the idea of limiting the plot of a film to a mere 24 hours can be an invigorating experience. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of 10 great films that all take place within a single day.

10. Clerks (1994)
In 1994, Kevin Smith risked everything with the production of his cult hit Clerks and he managed to spawn a career out of it. This entertaining slacker comedy follows Dante Hicks as he gets called in to work at a local convenience store even though it is supposed to be his day off.

9. American Graffiti (1973)
Before George Lucas started telling stories about distant galaxies, he wrote and directed a stellar coming-of-age film that plays beautifully off of the power of nostalgia. Chronicling a group of recent high school graduate’s last night in town before leaving for college, the film captures the striking time of a universal life transition nearly all can relate to.

8. Groundhog Day (1993)
Launching one of our silliest holidays into the stuff of legend, 1993’s Groundhog Day further emphasizes Bill Murray’s status as a cultural icon. Playing a narcissistic meteorologist, Murray finds himself in a time loop repeating the same day over and over again when covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney.

7. Airplane! (1980)
David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker came together to produce one of film’s most iconic comedies in Airplane!. This satirical comedy utilizes slapstick and Leslie Nielsen to perfection in order to poke fun at the disaster movie genre. Given its iconic cultural status, surely this film belongs on our list.

6. Before Sunrise / Before Sunset (1995), (2004)
Richard Linklater’s set of films examining star-crossed lovers Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Deply) are essentially an extended conversation between two people who are seemingly meant to be together. Both spanning merely a few hours, the two films manage to discuss deeply meaningful aspects of relationships set against a backdrop of two European cities.

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