For some reason, films that take place over a day are amongst the most memorable and likeable. Perhaps it’s the emphasis on characterisation, interaction and temporal continuity, or the strength of the writing, as these types of films rely on great stories and dialogue. Here are some great examples of films that take place over 24 hours.
5. The Breakfast Club
Five students belonging to completely different social groups are forced to attend a Saturday detention. Eight hours together makes the students realise they are more than what they are stereotyped to be (a jock, a popular girl, a nerd, a criminal and a social outcast), and they make some great friendships. John Hughes’ coming-of-age drama features great characterisation and dialogue.
4. Die Hard
NYPD cop John McClane (played by Bruce Willis) visits his wife in Los Angeles, and during a Christmas party, the building is raided by terrorists and the workers are taken hostage. In his now-infamous look of a white vest and bare feet, McClane tricks and ambushes terrorists one-by-one in an attempt to save the day. It’s an action packed night, with great performances and some added comedy.
3. Night of the Living Dead
During the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse, Barbara, Ben, a couple and a family board themselves in a rural farm house, but they are faced with waves of flesh eating beings. Personalities clash and a struggle for leadership ensues; Romero’s seminal horror features an intense and gripping 24 hours.
Two men, Adam and Lawrence, wake up in a dirty old bathroom, their legs chained to pipes. They discover that they are held there so that their captor can teach them lessons about life. Lawrence, a doctor, must kill Adam, a photographer, by 6pm and Adam must escape by sawing his own foot off. Saw is a gripping and intriguing story with a great concept and dialogue.
1. Do the Right Thing
Spike Lee’s comedy-drama takes place in a Brooklyn neighbourhood on a sweltering hot day. Tensions arise between the residents who include Mookie, a pizza delivery guy who works for Italians Sal and his two sons, Buggin’ Out who wants Sal to hang pictures of black people on his Wall of Fame and a Korean shop owner. Racial stereotypes are called into question and it is an intelligent film, with great characterisation and dialogue.