Who doesn’t love a record? It’s an enduring aspect of human nature: We need to know who did something first, or longest, or the most times. It’s the reason such a thing as the Guinness Book of World Records exists in the first place. Humans thrive on achievement and the recognition of achievement, and since 1954, we’ve had a place where those achievements can be officially documented — even if they’re things like longest distance run while lifting a table with your teeth.
Naturally, this obsession with records extends into the world of movies and television, particularly since the founding of Guinness World Records coincides with the beginnings of the TV era. There have even been multiple Guinness World Record TV shows! And while it’s not that strange to hear that, say, Avengers: Endgame has the all-time biggest box office haul (although if you adjust for inflation it’s still Gone With The Wind) or that General Hospital is the longest-running daytime soap opera (thanks to the 2010 cancellation of As The World Turns), some of the records that movies and TV shows have managed to secure are incredibly weird. We explored Guinness’ online database to find the strangest world records that have ever been made official in the realm of film and television. We were not disappointed.
Longest film title
Italian director Lina Wertmüller was famous for the lengthy titles of her films, and one of them is the longest movie title in cinematic history. It was so long, in fact, that it had to be shortened for distribution upon its release in 1978. In the Italian market, it went out as Fatto di sangue fra due uomini per causa di una vedova. Si sospettano moventi politici, which loosely translates to Blood between two men because of a widow. Political motives are suspected. Yes, that’s the short version, which, at two full sentences, was still too long for American distribution. In the United States, Wertmüller’s movie is known as Blood Feud or Revenge.
However, the full name of the film as recognized by Guinness is Un fatto di sangue nel comune di Siculiana fra due uomini per causa di una vedova. Si sospettano moventi politici. Amore-Morte-Shimmy. Lugano belle. Tarantelle. Tarallucci e vino. That title’s 179 characters, including punctuation, have yet to be surpassed, and considering that the name of the movie alone would take up 64% of a tweet, it probably won’t be any time soon.
Longest time spent running in a film
Wertmüller might have cinema’s longest run-on film title, but it’s her fellow Italian Giulio Base who holds the record for longest cinematic run, period. Base’s 2007 documentary Cartoline da Roma, which translates to Postcards from Rome, features the director jogging around Rome with his dog in a single, uncut shot on a Sunday morning, ruminating on various topics and exploring the city while it comes to life around him. The movie’s total runtime is 82 minutes, and Base spends 90% of it running — he runs on screen for a record-breaking one hour, 14 minutes, and 10 seconds. It’s the longest time anyone has spent running in a film, with or without cuts.
Cartoline da Roma isn’t even close to the record for longest uncut film overall (Haroon Rashid’s One Shot Fear Without Cut holds that distinction at three hours, 28 minutes, and four seconds) but in a world that has given us The Running Man, Run, Lola, Run, and of course, Forrest Gump, it’s telling that nobody has ever spent more time jogging in a single film than Giulio Base.
Most product placements in a film
While we’re on the subject of record-breaking documentaries, we should mention popular documentarian Morgan Spurlock, who owns the record for most product placements in a single film -– though admittedly, he earned that record by deliberately setting out to make a movie entirely funded by product placement. The result was POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, a bizarre meta-documentary that documents, essentially, its own creation, as Spurlock attempts to find funding for his movie about finding funding.
The film features 3,463 instances of product placement from companies like Hyatt, JetBlue, and Sheetz, whose home city of Altoona, Pennsylvania changed its name to POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Pennsylvania, for two months as a promotional tactic. POM Wonderful, a company known for (a) selling pomegranate juice, and (b) receiving a warning from the FDA about falsely promoting that juice as a health product, paid $1 million to have its name in front of the title, though the money was contingent on the film making $10 million, which it definitively did not.
Most expensive film script
Product placement is an advertising tool, but sometimes, companies spend money for less practical reasons. In 2017, nearly 25 years after the death of cinema legend Audrey Hepburn, her sons arranged a high profile auction in London. The auction was titled "Audrey Hepburn: The Personal Collection (Part 1)," and it reportedly sold more than 250 Hepburn-related items for approximately $6 million after 10 hours of live bidding.
One of those items was Hepburn’s personal script for the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a movie that landed the actress one of her five Academy Award nominations for her portrayal of Holly Golightly. Containing deleted scenes and Hepburn’s personal notes in the margins, the script sold for $846,619, the most expensive film script ever purchased at auction. The buyer? Tiffany and Co., the jewelry store beloved by Golightly in the movie. Because even massive retail outlets get sentimental sometimes.
Most characters played by one actor in a single film
Not everybody can be Audrey Hepburn, with her iconic performances and her million-dollar script doodles. But there are other ways for an actor to etch their name into cinematic history. You could, for example, break the record for most characters portrayed in a single film. That’s what Indian actor and producer Johnson George did in 2017’s Aaranu Njan, a Malayam-language film in which Johnson plays 45 different characters.
With the film’s runtime of 107 minutes, that means George averaged one role every 2.38 minutes. And it’s not as though they’re easy parts — according to Guinness, George takes on Leonardo Da Vinci, Gandhi, and Jesus over the course of the film. He might not have the fame or the glory, but it would be difficult for any actor to claim more versatility — at least in a single film — than Johnson George.
Most credits in one movie for the same person
Another way to place yourself above the rest of the acting community is to be more than just an actor. In Hollywood, it’s common for actors to write, produce, or even direct their own films, but you have to do way more than that to break the Guinness record for most credits in one movie. Just ask the current record-holder, martial arts movie icon Jackie Chan.
Chan was indeed the writer, producer, executive producer, and director of the 2012 film Chinese Zodiac, in which he also starred. But according to Guinness, he was also the "cinematographer, art director, unit production manager, catering coordinator, stuntman, stunt coordinator, gaffer, composer, props, and theme tune vocalist," giving him a total of 15 credits on a single film. And as if that weren’t enough, Chinese Zodiac is also the movie that pushed Chan over the edge for another Guinness record: most stunts performed by a living actor.
Most mentions of a name during a televised broadcast
Jackie Chan needed to fill 15 roles on a movie set to earn himself a world record, but breaking the record for most utterances of a single name during a TV broadcast required an even more ridiculous effort. For one thing, Guinness has very specific rules about how this can be done. The broadcast must be live and no more than an hour long, the name must be said out loud, clearly, and as part of the primary dialogue of the program, and you can’t just say the name over and over again — it has to come up as part of an actual discussion with statements and sentence structures. So when ESPN’s SportsNation actively decided to break the record on October 5th, 2009, it had to get creative.
That evening’s Monday Night Football game was being played between the Minnesota Vikings, quarterbacked by the legendary Brett Favre, and the Green Bay Packers, the team that Favre had previously led to Super Bowl glory. In honor of this "Favre Bowl," hosts Michelle Beadle and Colin Cowherd transformed SportsNation into FavreNation, spending the hour talking exclusively about Favre and even using "Favre" in place of verbs and adjectives. They ended up saying Favre’s name 203 times over the course of the hour, securing a truly bizarre record that still stands today.
Most swear words in a television episode
SportsNation‘s Beadle and Cowherd needed a full hour to say Brett Favre’s name a record number of times, but it only took the short-lived mid-2000s program Strutter half that time to break the record for swear words used in a single episode of television. Broadcast on MTV in Europe and hosted by English actor and comedian Paul Kaye -– who would become best known years later for his role as Thoros of Myr on Game of Thrones – Strutter was a brazenly uncouth show in which Kaye’s degenerate Brooklyn lawyer character, Mike Strutter, narrated clips of people hurting themselves, engaging in strange sex acts, and getting arrested.
With excessive profanity baked into the concept of the series, Strutter claimed the world record for swearing in the very first episode in November 2006, cramming 201 filthy words into its inaugural 20 minutes. The fact that Strutter still holds this record 15 years later, despite large segments of television having unmoored themselves from the tyranny of network censors, is a testament to just how much swearing Kaye does — and the fact that success in the new era of television requires more than just shock value.
Highest slasher film body count
Of course, when you’re going for shock value, there are more effective means of shocking your audience than swearing. Slasher movies, for example, tend to use a different strategy: the depiction of brutal and frequently ridiculous murders. And while there’s a long list of slasher films and franchises that have become household names – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, Scream – none of them currently holds the distinction of the single largest body count put to film.
No, that world record belongs to 2011’s The Summer of Massacre, an anthology slasher movie you’ve almost certainly never heard of, possibly because it’s directed by special effects and makeup artist Joe Castro. The closest thing it has to a lead is Brinke Stevens, who has graced the B-list horror landscape as a scream queen since her debut in the 1982 cult classic The Slumber Party Massacre, but who isn’t exactly a box office draw. What The Summer of Massacre does have is 155 kills stretched out over its five stories, plus a framing story that culminates in the destruction of Los Angeles via nuclear bomb. Sometimes you can only ask a slasher movie for so much — but sometimes that’s still enough for Guinness.
Longest film kiss
Speaking of box office bombs that also happen to hold world records, lets talk about Kids in America, a 2005 teen comedy written and directed by Josh Stolberg. Stolberg is best known for writing other comedies such as Good Luck Chuck and Piranha 3D, but Kids in America was his screenwriting debut, a based-on-a-true-story polemic against the stifling of freedom of expression by the American school system.
It’s notable for essentially no reason but one: the kiss between actors Gregory Smith and Stephanie Sherrin, which begins at the very end of the film and continues uninterrupted throughout the entirety of the end credits, finally coming to a stop after a staggering six minutes and 44 seconds. The kiss is a deliberate homage to film history, re-enacting several famous on-screen kisses of the past, and while the longest kiss in cinema history probably wasn’t what Stolberg was hoping for in terms of taking his place in that chronicle, it’s a pretty decent consolation prize considering the overwhelmingly negative reception to Kids in America.
Longest television interview
If you think kissing someone for almost seven minutes sounds impressive, trying being interviewed on TV for 12 full hours. That’s what Pedro Ruiz accomplished in Madrid in 2009, but the marathon interview session only stood as the TV world record for three years. In 2012, Tim Shadbolt, mayor of Invercargill, New Zealand, set out to break Ruiz’ record and raise money for the healthcare charity St. John Ambulance in the process. Shadbolt was interviewed on CUE Television by Tom Conroy, and despite an early stumble — Conroy reportedly began losing his voice around the three-hour mark, but got it back when the pair started drinking pineapple juice –- they went on for 26 hours and four seconds, covering a variety of topics. Shadbolt, a veteran public speaker, probably could have gone even longer, but Conroy cut him off, presumably because more than doubling the previous record had been deemed sufficient.
Shadbolt and Conroy also broke the standing record for longest one-on-one interview regardless of medium, which had been 24 hours, but that record was itself broken a year later, when Norwegian crime author Hans Olav Lahlum’s 30-hour interview was live streamed online.
Most magical warriors in an anime film
There’s a lot of magical girl anime out there, each with its own merits. But it’s the Pretty Cure series that holds the record for most magical warriors appearing in an anime film. This record was made possible by Pretty Cure‘s tendency toward rebooting itself with new characters — when the record was set, there had been 13 different incarnations of the franchise –- and then bringing them all together, Avengers-style, in a crossover "all stars" film. In 2018, in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Pretty Cure, Toei Animation released Hug! Pretty Cure, Futari wa Pretty Cure the Movie, in which no fewer than 55 Pretty Cure characters from all 13 series come together, making it the most magical-warrior-heavy anime movie in history.
There are no cheap points being scored here — Guinness doesn’t count characters that briefly show up on screen, never to be mentioned again. Each of the film’s 55 warriors both speak dialogue and fight opponents using their magical powers, thus counting toward the overall total. Pretty Cure is still going strong and has produced two more series since breaking the record, with a new series currently on the way. They haven’t quite managed more than 55 characters in a single film yet, but at this rate, just give them time.
First commercial filmed in space
Russia’s Mir space station orbited the Earth from 1986 to 2001, and in the words of NASA, "set every record in long-duration spaceflight." Of course, NASA probably wasn’t talking about television commercials, but it can’t be denied that the very first commercial ever to be filmed in space was filmed aboard the station and starred cosmonaut Vasily Tsibliyev. The commercial, which aired in 1997, depicts a ground control crew losing contact with Mir and frantically trying to get them back. When contact is restored, the ground control team cheers, with the team leader reaching out for a celebratory glass of milk. He then asks Tsibliyev what he needs, to which the cosmonaut replies, "A glass of real milk, like yours!" After being told it’s impossible, Tsibliyev suggests they try some Israeli milk — specifically the "long life" milk promoted by Israeli dairy producer Tnuva.
The commercial eventually shows footage of Tsibliyev "drinking" large, floating gobbets of Tnuva milk, filmed via camcorder by flight engineer Alexander Lazutkin while the director of the commercial did his job from the control station. In addition to being the first commercial filmed in space, it’s also the first time liquid milk was sent off planet and consumed by astronauts. Well, Earth milk from Earth cows, at least. Who knows what other kinds of milk exist out there…
Most dogs attending a film screening
In addition to their achievements in zero gravity milk consumption, Russia also famously sent the first human to space in 1961, and before that, the first animal to space in 1957, the ill-fated husky-spitz mix Laika. But when it comes to dog-related world records (in the realm of movies and television, at least) it doesn’t get much weirder than the most dogs to ever attend a film screening, which was achieved in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 8th, 2019. The screening was, appropriately, for The Secret Life of Pets 2. As a promotional tactic for the animated film’s release, its distributor, Universal Pictures, decided to screen it for an audience of both humans and dogs, resulting in 120 canine attendees, the most in history.
According to Universal, several members of the cast brought their personal dog companions to the event, with several dog games and activities in place as contingency plans for the ones who didn’t stay still for the movie’s 86 minutes. And as a bonus, thanks to the studio’s partnership with a local animal charity in Sao Paulo, seven dogs were adopted after the credits rolled. Whether or not the secret life of pets does, in fact, include watching movies is a question that may never be answered, but can their human companions put a little good into the world by way of an utterly bizarre Guinness record? Yes. Yes, they can.