30 Greatest Movies That Take Place In One Day

The Breakfast Club (1985)

What Happens: A group of high school kids somehow manage to break down all society barriers and rise above their own stererotypes throughout the course of a single day of detention.

Worst Hour: Right at the end of the afternoon, Brian is tasked with writing the essay the kids are supposed to have spent all day working on. He writes a shrewdly written message to Principal Vernon that epitomises the lessons they have each learned by becoming friends and discovering that they are much more than their school cliques. Then, as the group leave their detention criminal Bender overcomes the greatest barrier of all and kisses princess Claire.

If It Had Taken A Year: Each of the student’s parents would surely complain to the school.

Cloverfield (2008)

What Happens: Six young people attend a going away party, only for it to coincide with the evening that a giant monster attacks the city.

Worst Hour: In an attempt to rescue Beth from her apartment, the group (all while still filming) get caught between a fight between the monster and the army, run into a station only to get attacked by the creatures smaller parasite monsters, take a bitten Marlena to a field hospital and grieve as she dies.

If It Had Taken A Year: They could have waited for the monster to move on to a different city or even get tired and go to sleep before going to rescue Beth.

The Goonies (1985)

What Happens: A bunch of kids discover a Spanish map that leads them on an adventure to recover the long-lost fortune of pirate One-Eyed Willie, running into fugitive family the Fratellis in the process, who try to find the treasure for themselves.

Worst Hour: Overcoming many traps to discover One-Eyed Willie’s ship The Inferno in a cave, filling their pockets with treasure, only to be confronted by the Fratellis who make the Goonies walk the plank. Fortunately they are saved by Chunk and new friend Sloth and a final booby trap is set, which causes the cave to collapse.

If It Had Taken A Year: The Goonies could have conducted more research into One-Eyed Willie and taken more time in avoiding his many traps. They almost certainly wouldn’t have bumped into Mama Fratelli either. Let that be a lesson: there’s no need to rush these things.

Groundhog Day (1993)

What Happens: What doesn’t happen? Caught in an endless time loop, Phil steals money, gets thrown in jail, punches long-lost school friends, commits suicide several times and even learns the piano. No, this isn’t a cheat entry.

Worst Hour: The first hour, every single time, when Phil wakes up to I Got You Babe and realises that he is reliving the same day again.

If It Had Taken A Year: Reliving the same year over again? That might not be so bad. In fact, Phil would probably do it 30-40 times over before even realising that’s what was happening.

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

What Happens: Two bank robber brothers head to Mexico with two hostages and end up at a bikers bar called Titty Twister, which just so happens to be a bar filled with vampires. Leading to an all-out fight.

Worst Hour: It must be at around the midnight point when Richie becomes enchanted by a dancer, only to be stabbed in the hand as a result of an earlier confrontation, causing several patrons at the bar to turn into vampires and Richie to get viciously drained of all his blood.

If It Had Taken A Year: The brothers probably could have done a little more research about the bar and the area and gone to a nicer place down the road for a drink.

12 Angry Men (1957)

What Happens: A jury of 12 men deliberate the case of a young defendant on trial for murder, and together they deliberate the term ‘reasonable doubt’, switching between finding the boy guilty or acquitting him of the crime.

Worst Hour: The final hour of the deliberation in which Juror 3, the last man to change his verdict to Not Guilty’ rants about the youth of today only to reveal that he is harbouring deeper feelings about the relationship with his own son, ultimately breaking down and crying.

If It Had Taken A Year: The judge probably would have called for a different jury entirely, claiming this group to be incompetent.

American Graffiti (1973)

What Happens: High school graduates have a night of adventures including going to the high school dance, getting ambushed by greasers, relationship troubles, a car race and a radio appeal to chase down a mysterious blonde girl.

Worst Hour: In the middle of the night, Bob loses control of his car during a race and crashes it into a ditch, managing to stumble out before it explodes. This near-death incident causes Steve and Laurie to reconcile and stay together.

If It Had Taken A Year: For a start, Curt would have probably been able to find that mysterious blonde and they’d go steady.

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

What Happens: Sonny, Sal and Stevie attempt to rob a bank and everything that can go wrong does, leading to a catastrophic hostage situation that lasts all night.

Worst Hour: Late in the evening, the bank’s lights turn themselves off, Sonny goes outside to speak to Agent Sheldon, the bank manager goes into a diabetic shock, a doctor arrives to treat him and Sonny’s pre-op transsexual wife Leon calls him up for a chat.

If It Had Taken A Year: Sonny could have probably just ditched the bank-robbing plan and worked hard to pay for his wife’s sex reassignment surgery instead.

Dazed And Confused (1993)

What Happens: It’s the last day of school and the incoming freshmen are hunted and hazed, and students cruise the town getting into trouble, smoking drugs and drinking beer, before the young boys decide to get revenge on their ‘hazing’ and everyone attends the evening key party.

Worst Hour: Just before dawn at the party, Mike gets into a fight, Tony and Sabrina get together, Pink argues against signing his football team’s pledge and young Mitch makes out with Julie.

If It Had Taken A Year: All of these students would be too wasted to achieve anything in their lives.

Escape From New York (1981)

What Happens: Snake Plissken is given just 22 hours to enter the maximum security prison of New York City, find the President who has been taken hostage there, defeat those holding him and return safely with the president and a secret cassette tape.

Worst Hour: Snake’s final one, which sees him drive over a mine-strewn bridge, get to the prison wall, get attacked, get the president to safety and have his booby-trap deactivated with seconds to spare.

If It Had Taken A Year: Snake could have used his time to visit some of the sights in New York along the way and made a bit more of a holiday out of his trip.