Re: IIRC the major problem with Betamax
at least in the early stages of "the war" is that a tape wasn't long enough for an entire film.
You remember incorrectly.
My first experience with Betamax was recording The Revenge of the Pink Panther on Christmas Day, then watching it over on Boxing Day with the family.
Best feature? Being able to bookmark the good bits so if you were in the mood to see a bit of Clouseau vs Kato action you could cut to the chase with the touch of a button.