Mollie (Lily Gladstone) with Ernest (Leonardo DiCaprio) in 'Killers of the Flower Moon'.
(Paramount Pictures/Apple TV+)

It’s Time To Bring Back the Movie Intermission

I’m a longtime Martin Scorsese fan. The man’s put out some pretty great movies, including Goodfellas, Casino, and Taxi Driver. His latest film, Killers of the Flower Moon, just might be his best yet.

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As noted in our review, Killers of the Flower Moon is an epic masterpiece that takes aim at numerous power institutions in the world. The film, adapted from David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (the title is almost as long as the movie!), criticizes toxic white male fragility, colonialism, and class power, all in a towering runtime of three-and-a-half hours.

But let’s go back to that runtime because you all need to know the struggle of getting through a three-and-a-half-hour film. For those familiar with Scorsese movies, this is nothing new, though it’s still quite arduous. Back when The Irishman came out, a handy guide on how to watch the film like a miniseries was passed around the internet to poor, unfortunate souls like me with low attention spans. I watched the film, with its 209-minute runtime, in three parts. I regret nothing.

What happened to intermissions in film? Some of us have weak bladder control and a need to refill our bottomless popcorn bucket. Any trip to the theaters for a film as long as this is inevitably going to result in missing a couple of minutes. Bathroom trips, soda refills, or maybe even just a break from the bleak storytelling—all valid reasons to step out of the theater.

This is where the advantages of streaming surely triumph. You can create your own intermission in the cozy privacy of your home. But I love going to the movies as a social outing. Plus, it’ll be awhile before the latest Scorsese movie hits home release anyway. And who could wait that long to see this masterpiece?

You can pretty much blame this disappearance on execs. According to Men’s Health, intermissions were phased out entirely in the year 1982, with Gandhi being the very last film with an intermission released in the United States. This was to make room for more showtimes and screenings, thus maximizing profits. Of course, Quentin Tarantino built an intermission into his roadshow screenings of The Hateful Eight, and intermissions remain common in Bollywood, where films are often epic in length.

We need a revolution. Bring back the intermission. This is a desperate cry for help from someone who hates missing even a single scene of a film. If you’re with me, raise arms against this tyranny and reclaim what was lost!

Or you can be lazy like me and just deal with it anyway. See you at the movies.

(featured image: Apple Original Films / Paramount Pictures)

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Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson (he/they) writes about media criticism, race studies, intersectional feminism, and left-wing politics. He has been working with digital media and writing about pop culture since 2014. He enjoys video games, movies, and TV, and often gets into playful arguments with friends over Shonen anime and RPGs. He has experience writing for The Mary Sue,, Bunny Ears, Static Media, and The Crimson White. His Twitter can be found here: