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Screen Time Central: Introduction

My passion for collecting and compiling screen time data began in 2007, when I resolved to satisfy my curiosity about the performance lengths in Fargo by timing them myself. From there, I set out to time every Oscar-winning performance, and soon expanded the task to include every Oscar-nominated performance. It took eight years to get through the winners and an additional four to finish the entire project.

Now, when I say the project is finished, I mean it's as finished as possible. There are five pesky performances that I cannot time because they are from films that are either lost or currently unavailable. They are:​​

  • Emil Jannings - The Way of All Flesh (1927)

  • Betty Compson - The Barker (1928)

  • Richard Barthelmess - The Noose (1928)

  • Lewis Stone - The Patriot (1928)

  • Lawrence Tibbett - The Rogue Song (1930)

I define screen time as any time an actor can be seen on screen (even partially) or heard off screen. I also, of course, count any film's credits as part of its total running time. I do not count contiguous moments when actors remain in scenes but are silent and non-visible.

I'm proud to share (and will annually update) this complete directory of Oscar-nominated performance screen times. Check out the "Beyond the Oscars" section for data on non-Oscar nominated performances (including some from TV). Here's hoping you find as much joy in perusing the data as I do in calculating it!

- Matthew

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