Movies to Cry To
August 9, 2004 10:39 PM   Subscribe

I just watched Schindler's List and it made me cry like a frickin' baby. What other movie's make even the stounchest heart break into uncontrollable sobbing?
posted by jmd82 to Media & Arts (157 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I Am Sam. I started crying 10 minutes in and didn't stop the entire movie.
posted by vito90 at 10:48 PM on August 9, 2004

Anything about Anne Frank or the Holocaust.

And, uh, I hate to say it, but...Titanic. I know, shut up, I know.
posted by GaelFC at 11:06 PM on August 9, 2004

The end of Saving Private Ryan gets me, usually.
posted by Hackworth at 11:06 PM on August 9, 2004

The part in Awakenings where Leonard is dancing with that girl while Dexter plays the piano and he stops shaking. I tear up thinking about it.
posted by weston at 11:09 PM on August 9, 2004

Supposedly Field of Dreams will make any American male cry like a baby. I am not a male but it gets me too. Oh yeah.

On the same baseball theme, Pride of the Yankees tends to do it for a lot of folks. "I consider myself... to be the luckiest man... on the face of the earth." Wahhh!

How about watching Edgar Martinez announce his retirement from baseball? Oh, wait, that wasn't a movie, it was real! Damn it. (Off to weep for lost Mariners glory...)

There are other movies that can do this but today I guess I am in a sad baseball kind of mood.
posted by litlnemo at 11:16 PM on August 9, 2004

The end of Fandango, starting when Kevin Costner jokingly and awkwardly asks Suzy Amis "Don't I know you?" and she half-smiles and says "You used to." Waah!
posted by nicwolff at 11:16 PM on August 9, 2004

Movies that make me cry every time I see them: The Hairdresser's Husband, Monsieur Hire, It's a Wonderful Life, Magnolia, Waking the Dead, Maelstrom, Love Liza, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Thin Red Line, All the Vermeers in New York, A Woman Under the Influence, In the Mood for Love, The Dreamlife of Angels, The Celebration (Festen), Rosetta, Breaking the Waves, Bicycle Thief, Hiroshima Mon Amour, The Hours, The Vanishing (spoorloos), and just about anything directed by Michael Haneke (Code Unknown, Benny's Video, 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance, Funny Games, Time of the Wolf, 7th Continent, Piano Teacher).

However, I think I almost always cry as an outburst of emotion--meaning I don't know what else to do; it's not that I'm necessarily sad or that the stories are sad. More than likely for me it's being unnerved.
posted by dobbs at 11:20 PM on August 9, 2004

Breaking the Waves, How's Your News, Monster, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Buffalo 66, The Color of Paradise, Brian's Song....
posted by dhoyt at 11:32 PM on August 9, 2004

"Casablanca", "The Front" (one scene), Olivier's "King Lear", "Ghost" (so sue me), "Old Yeller" (of course), "The Fighting Sullivans", maybe "Carousel".
posted by RavinDave at 11:35 PM on August 9, 2004

posted by Acetylene at 11:35 PM on August 9, 2004

Magnolia. First time I saw it, I was astonished at how much I cried, and I hardly ever cry at movies.

In the Mood for Love. And even Wong Kar-Wai's short film for, "The Follow."

And I always, without fail, get choked up at the end of Local Hero. I've shown it to lots of people who haven't seen it before, and I always wind up snuffling quietly (I hope) as tears roll down my face.
posted by Vidiot at 11:38 PM on August 9, 2004

I rarely cry at movies, but Whale Rider did it for me.
posted by O9scar at 11:39 PM on August 9, 2004

I am a horrible, horrible geek, but the bit where Liv Tyler eludes the Nazgul on horseback and then crosses the river with the boogerly, very ill Frodo on her lap makes me sob and sob. Honestly, I think Liv Tyler just did an incrediblly convincing acting job as a brave, stong person ready and able to help a small, weak person though a mortally dangerous situation. Whatever it is about that segment of the film, her performance just totally kills me. Obviously the editing and production overall help quite a bit. But as much as I feel for those books and that story in general, it's just that one scene that makes me cry. I really can't say definitively why.

I know it was Glorfindel in the book, and I know she's way fine, and I know the actress Liv Tyler never actually mounted a horse in all the making of the film.

It still gets me.
posted by scarabic at 11:40 PM on August 9, 2004

I went to see the re-release of Chaplin's City Lights several years ago with my (now ex-)husband. During the final scene, when the blind girl -- oh all right, I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it -- but suffice to say during this key moment I heard the strangest muffled squeaking sound next to me. At first I ignored it... and then I turned to see my incredibly stalwart husband... his face tear-stained, his hands clutched over his mouth, his body trembling, vainly trying to hold back the sobbing. It was very sweet, actually.
Personally, I find Kieslowski's Decalogue to be extraordinarily heartbreaking; Episode 1 ("Thou Shalt Have No False Gods") is, in particular, quite possibly the saddest film I have ever seen. The final scene of Gallipoli is also quite wrenching. And when I was teaching English in grad school, the last scene in Olivier's version of King Lear ("Never, never, never, never, never...!") made me break down crying in front of my students so hard that I had to dismiss class early. (On preview: hmm, RavinDave, were you in my class that year...?)

The scene in Bride of Frankenstein where they take the Creature away from the blind man always makes me tear up as well (me: "No! No! They're friends, oh god, they're friends!!"). And anything where the lovers say goodbye forever at a train station or airport just reduces me to a puddle (call it the Casablanca effect). Heck, I cried at the end of Dirty Pretty Things for this reason alone.
posted by scody at 11:42 PM on August 9, 2004 [1 favorite]

Breaking the Waves and When The Wind Blows are the only films that I've cried at.
posted by bonaldi at 11:44 PM on August 9, 2004

Transformers: The movie.
posted by Evstar at 11:44 PM on August 9, 2004

I cry at everything. I cried at the end of Glitter. Seriously. I'm a total brine bag in a movie seat.
posted by chicobangs at 11:45 PM on August 9, 2004

Several films I've pre-screened for the Arab Film Festival have also gotten tears out of me, notably Forbidden to Wander (which, upon 4th viewing, made me shudder and weep uncontrollably in front of my entire extended family - an experience I haven't quite gotten over) and The Junction.
posted by scarabic at 11:47 PM on August 9, 2004

I'll second Scody's Decalogue/False Gods call.
posted by dobbs at 11:50 PM on August 9, 2004

I'd also like to mention that when I saw Schindler's List in the theater, I didn't shed tears, but the intensity of it made me and the girl I saw it with grip hands hard, across the armrest. It was the first physical contact we'd ever really had, and eventually, in time, we shared a special relationship that took on a closer physical dimension. In other words, it evoked, not crying, but a physical response in me that drove me and another person toward each other. We weren't quite ready to be emotionally vulnerable before one another, but instead of stifling our tears in our seperate seats, we reached out to one another. It was a nice moment I doubt I'll ever forget.
posted by scarabic at 11:54 PM on August 9, 2004

Requim for a Dream and Closet Land.

I can't belive Requim for a Dream hasn't been mentioned yet.
posted by loquacious at 12:15 AM on August 10, 2004

For my job on Saturday, I had to go watch "Garfield," I felt like crying...

I went through this one depression where I watched Magnolia over and over again. What a downer that movie is.

I don't know though, I tend to "tear" up a lot. For example, I recenty watched season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD, and I was misting up all the time. I a brutal wuss that way.
posted by Quartermass at 12:22 AM on August 10, 2004

Cry the Beloved Country, Cry Freedom, Welcome to Sarajevo and the very end of the Shawshank Redemption
posted by dmt at 12:24 AM on August 10, 2004

Loquacious, I was gonna mention it but didn't want to dredge up that thread from the other day. :)
posted by dobbs at 12:27 AM on August 10, 2004

The closest I've come to crying, in the last 6-7 years, is the anime Grave of the Fireflies (Ebert's review).
posted by Gyan at 12:29 AM on August 10, 2004

Joint Security Area
The Ginko Bed
The Decalogue
Aim for the Top! Gunbuster
Three Colors Trilogy
Kore Eda's Afterlife
Poppoya Railroad Man (I'm almost crying now, stupid movie)
and i'll second Rosetta
posted by bobo123 at 12:33 AM on August 10, 2004

Like O9scar, I cried like a bag o' babies when I watched Whale Rider. The fact that I was watching it tucked up in the back of a station wagon in a deserted part of New Zealand at the time probably helped.

I also cried when I found out they'd remade The Italian Job...
posted by i_cola at 12:48 AM on August 10, 2004

Dead Poets Society.

Not because of Robin Williams' dangerous bodily hair levels but instead the bit where they stand up on their desks and quote "O Captain My Captain".
posted by skylar at 1:22 AM on August 10, 2004

Off the top of my head...

Twice in The Killing Fields. First when Sidney has to say goodbye to Dith Pran as he leaves the French Embassy (facing almost certain death) after their failed bid to forge a passport for him. Second, at the end when the two are reunited. This is also the first time I remember seeing a film during which I started tearing up.

It's A Wonderful Life. When Mr. Gower (the pharmacist) starts hitting George for not delivering the medicine like he was supposed to, then breaks down and hugs him when he realizes that George has stopped him from killing someone. Also, right at the end, when everyone is tossing money in the hat and some guy comes up and says "I wouldn't have my house if it wasn't for you, George"...I'm a total wreck at that point.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 1:34 AM on August 10, 2004

The Iron Giant.
posted by Jairus at 1:39 AM on August 10, 2004 [1 favorite]

Oh man, The Color Purple. That movie just works you!

"See daddy, sinners have souls, too."
posted by inviolable at 1:52 AM on August 10, 2004

Every 2nd episode of Freaks and Geeks [especially the one where Mom and Dad buy Sam an Atari just for being a good kid, and the one where Neil tells his Mom that his Dad is cheating on her...]
posted by meech at 1:55 AM on August 10, 2004

Wings of Desire gets me every time, in the first half, after that I'm fine. The last time I tried to watch Goodbye Mr. Chips I had to stop after about 5 minutes or I would have gone to pieces. (Well of course the 1939 version)
posted by biffa at 2:05 AM on August 10, 2004

Gandhi, One flew over the cuckoos nest didn't make me cry but it was damn good, Requiem for a Dream.... and the never ending story.
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:21 AM on August 10, 2004

Saving Private Ryan, A League of Their Own, Big Fish I could have wailed at, but I didn't. Father-son stuff always gets me, as well as old men crying.
posted by gramcracker at 2:26 AM on August 10, 2004

The ending of Yi Yi, when this eight year old kid gives a eulogy at his grandmother's funeral. That kid's performance absolutely blows away anything done by Haley Joel Osment.
posted by alidarbac at 2:43 AM on August 10, 2004

I was crying pretty much half-way through Legends of the Fall and Magnolia, and the endings of Big Fish and Life is Beautiful.
posted by KathyK at 2:49 AM on August 10, 2004

The Great Gatsby, Exotica, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? and oddly, one of the final scenes in Rocky Horror when Magenta says. "Why didn't you like him? He liked you." and Riff Raff screams back, "HE NEVER LIKED ME!"
posted by black8 at 4:00 AM on August 10, 2004

In the Name of the Father. And I second Whale Rider as a, uhm, problem film for me. Oh yeah, and the end of Big Fish absolutely killed me. In a good way and not literally.
posted by yerfatma at 4:02 AM on August 10, 2004

The 1939 version of Of Mice And Men. The final scene. Buckets, I'm telling you.

The book's even worse.
posted by backOfYourMind at 4:17 AM on August 10, 2004

I don't think I cried, but I can't think of a more wrenching movie than House of Mirth.

Also, I noted that a lot of guys, particularly fathers, had some trouble with the scene in Finding Nemo where the pelican relates to Nemo everything Nemo's dad has done to try to reach him.
posted by blueshammer at 4:29 AM on August 10, 2004

I second Transformers the movie.

Hey, I was 7.
posted by adampsyche at 4:29 AM on August 10, 2004

I second The Iron Giant.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:34 AM on August 10, 2004

The Unbearable Lightness of Being where they have to put the dog to sleep and they keep telling him "don't be frightened, don't be frightened..." and, along the same lines Big Fish
posted by jessamyn at 5:12 AM on August 10, 2004

I'll "third" the movie Iron Giant. I rented this for my son a few months ago, having read the book before and wondering how the film turned out. There's this unforgettable scene at the end where... and....and then he whispers....

Oh God, now I need a tissue. Sniff. It's a cartoon, and it's about a giant robot that eats cars, and the voice that finally breaks you belongs to Vin Deisel, but still....
posted by bradth27 at 5:34 AM on August 10, 2004 [1 favorite]

I cry like a baby at a lot of movies, it's a running joke with all my friends and family actually. So to pick out just a few would be hard (many have already been mentioned). But it's a rare movie that get me on a repeated viewing.

The biggest recent example I can think of is The Return of the King, which had me by the throat for much of the movie. But toward the end when Sam says "I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you" as he hauls Frodo's sorry butt up the side of Mount Doom, I was completely, irrevocably, done. Practically weeping. Sort of embarressing, really.

La Vita è Bella, Whale Rider, Shindler's List, and Nell (yeah, shaddup) are guaranteed cryfests too.
posted by nelleish at 5:39 AM on August 10, 2004

Ponette and Grave of the Fireflies
posted by skwm at 5:42 AM on August 10, 2004

So I take it I'm the only one here who's seen the episode of Futurama with Fry's dog?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:56 AM on August 10, 2004

I cried while watching Paradise Road and Shadowlands. I've practically never cried over a fictional movie (okay, so I cried over Dead Poet's Society, but I was sixteen, so bite me). Knowing the story is real gets to me.

A make friend of mine swears that Rudy would make any guy bawl like a baby. He sobbed so uncontrollably while watching it that he spilled a glass of red wine on his white couch.
posted by orange swan at 5:57 AM on August 10, 2004

ditto on ROTK, and Band of Brothers has me every time.
posted by viama at 5:58 AM on August 10, 2004

Xenophobe - I agree, also the episode entitled Leela's Homeworld.
posted by viama at 5:59 AM on August 10, 2004

No one can watch My Dog Skip without crying at least once, usually twice. Damn. I'm getting teary right now just thinking about it.

This is really embarrassing for me to admit, but the movie that I've cried the most over is The Little Mermaid, when King Triton lets Ariel go at the end. *blush*
posted by iconomy at 6:04 AM on August 10, 2004

I blubbered throughout Truly, Madly, Deeply. Like, thirty seconds into the movie and no stopping.

I was really glad I wore a mascara-absorbing black shirt to F/911, but I assume that angry sad tears that you need a big glass of scotch after aren't what you're looking for.

Requiem for a Dream had me looking for a shower, but not of tears.. shudder.
posted by mimi at 6:07 AM on August 10, 2004

Shortly after the birth of my second child I watched Sophie's Choice and cried for days. I have no desire to ever see it again. But when I want a good uplifting cry I too turn to Rudy.
posted by oh posey at 6:10 AM on August 10, 2004

Good lord, this whole thread has me tearing up just thinking about some of these flicks.

All three flicks of the Lord of the Rings get me at one point or another, but Boromir's death, most of the Helm's Deep stuff, and pretty much the entire third film have me hiccupping and crying inconsolably.

I'll also second The Color Purple, Schindler's List, To Kill A Mockingbird ("Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing." gets me all the time). I'll also add Persuasion to the list.

And Dumbo. Good lord, momma elephant's trunk out those bars...
posted by Cyrie at 6:11 AM on August 10, 2004

I'll second and third a few, Iron Giant, Brians Song, and Fandago(! I love fandango). How about My Dog Skip? I know it's a kid movie, but it's a damn tear jerker. My entire family was sitting around the house blubbering, the wife and one of the kids were openly sobbing.
posted by damnitkage at 6:16 AM on August 10, 2004

Ponette killed me. I cried from the scene in Return of the King where Smeagol says "Because it's my birthday, and I wants it" all the way until the end. Lilo and Stitch. Big Fish - we went as a group to see it, and all the guys were staring at the five sniffling girls who were handing kleenex to each other. Iron Giant even made my boyfriend cry. Old Yeller so upset me as a child that I haven't seen it since.

And I've never finished Life is Beautiful, because I was crying so hard before they were even taken to the camp.

I pretty much plan on movies making me cry, even if they're comedies.
posted by annathea at 6:18 AM on August 10, 2004

Oh man, I'm the worst at movies. Everything gets to me. I've seen ROTK twice in the theatre and I hated the multiple endings and I *still* choked up the second time. And stuff like Field of Dreams, even though I'm a girl (no father-son issues) and I find baseball endlessly tedious, always has me surreptitiously dabbing at my eyes.

But the one movie that made me break down completely was Gallipoli. I saw it in college, with a huge crowd of people, and went utterly to pieces at the end. We're talking heaving, wracking sobs, loud ones, that continued on through the credits until the lights went up. I was horribly embarassed, but I just couldn't stop. It's just so TRAGIC. A few weeks later, I went to see it again, assuming that now that I knew what happened, I'd be okay. And it happened again! Argh. Haven't dared see it since.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:21 AM on August 10, 2004

I'll jump on the Saving Private Ryan bandwagon (it's not the ending for me, it's the opening D-Day sequence -- the first time I saw that I was in shock, the second time I was bawling), as well as Field of Dreams and Iron Giant. ROTK didn't draw tears from me, but Theoden's speech to his army before the big battle scene gave me serious chills. (Am I the only one who thought that Aragorn didn't come across as half the king that Theoden was?) And I'm also a sucker for The Shawshank Redemption. Red's monologue at the end of the film ("I hope . . ." ) always leaves me crying.
posted by Zonker at 6:25 AM on August 10, 2004

Lilies, ugh. That had me sort of depressed for days.
posted by rhyax at 6:26 AM on August 10, 2004

The end of Harvey gets me every time.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:28 AM on August 10, 2004

Harvey is a great film, PST. Possibly an influence on Donnie Darko, as Harvey can stop time, right?

First to mind for me:


And No Such Thing.

And Born Free when I was a little kid.
posted by Shane at 6:41 AM on August 10, 2004

I'll jump on this bandwagon.
I'll second Band of Brothers, particularly the episodes Why We Fight and The Breaking Point (watching Buck break down is too much for me).

I'll also third (fourth?) the end of Shawshank Redemption and Chasing Amy. I'll throw in the end of Shakespeare in Love, which gets me every time. And finally, American Beauty gets me, but they're usually tears of joy, somehow.
posted by Inkoate at 6:41 AM on August 10, 2004

Field of Dreams ("Wanna play catch?" Bwaaaaaah!)
The Natural (When the ball hits the lights, the music swells up, and it goes into slow motion...even now, when I hear the music, I get all teary-eyed.)
Schindler's List (An emotional rollercoaster.)
Rudy ("Okay, send him in." Oh, Christ! I'm all sniffly right now at work!)
posted by grum@work at 6:46 AM on August 10, 2004

  • The Champ ("Wake up, Champ! Wake up!")
  • Schindler's List ("I could have done more!" -- even though historically innacurate)
  • Field of Dreams ("Dad, do you want to have a catch?")
  • Return of the King ("My friends, you bow to no one")
  • Titanic (So sue me. Not the part where Leo, or whatever his name was, drowns. But the very end when Rose dies and the camera swoops through the hulk of the boat, and it transforms into it's former grandeur, and everyone who died is there ... *sob* Damn you, Cameron!)
I'm surprised nobody mentioned Beaches. I've never seen it, but people always cite it as a major tearjerker.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:47 AM on August 10, 2004

I'm thirding (is that a real word?) The Color Purple - I just have to think about that scene where they are playing patty cake and saying goodbye over the fence and I tear up.

Every time I watch it I bawl like a baby at the exact same moments every single time.
posted by Julnyes at 6:50 AM on August 10, 2004

Here's one I can't believe no one (including myself in my earlier comment) has mentioned yet: The Sweet Hereafter.
posted by Acetylene at 6:56 AM on August 10, 2004

Return of the King ("My friends, you bow to no one")

That whole scene always puts me in mind of this from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
posted by biffa at 6:59 AM on August 10, 2004

The Elephant Man
posted by swift at 7:10 AM on August 10, 2004

Life as a House did it for me, rather unexpectedly. Also, With Honors in the same way.
posted by marcusb at 7:12 AM on August 10, 2004

Dude, House of Sand and Fog. I'm still not sure I liked it but Jesus.

I will also grudgingly admit to A.I. having gotten me. Spiieeeeeeellllberrrrrg!
posted by furiousthought at 7:19 AM on August 10, 2004

I've seen Il Postino turn stone walls into jelly.
posted by littlegreenlights at 7:26 AM on August 10, 2004

Since no one has mentioned it, Lilya 4-Ever.
posted by rory at 7:29 AM on August 10, 2004

Bicycle Thief, 4 Little Girls, Nuit et Brouillard, Magnolia, The Elephant Man, La Vie rêvée des anges, Lylia4Ever, Rosetta, L'Humanité
posted by matteo at 7:32 AM on August 10, 2004

on preview:
*hugs rory*
posted by matteo at 7:33 AM on August 10, 2004

Okay, like some of the other guys I am a total cryer and actually sobbed at the end of Elf, so I'm with you on all the usuals and these:
Kill Bill 2
13 Going on 30 - both times I saw it
All About My Mother - Penelope Cruz as a pregnant, HIV postive nun
Life as a House
Zoolander - if you have to ask, nevermind
Breakfast at Tiffany's and My Fair Lady

I definitely recommend The Story of the Weeping Camel in theaters now.

Glad to see someone else reference RottenTomatoes. When I want to know who is in a movie I'll IMDB it, when I want to know how a movie is I RT it.
posted by geekyguy at 7:35 AM on August 10, 2004

I jump on the crying bandwagon for Iron Giant, ROTK (lots of crying place -- one nobody's mentioned is when Gandalf arrives at Mt. Doom flying on the back of the eagle), and Truly, Madly, Deeply...

But the one that really GETS me in that "uh-oh here it comes" crying thing is Cyrano de Bergerac with Gerard Depardieu. He's amazing in this movie. But it's the end, when Roxanne realizes he loves her and he stalks the ghost of fear that's haunted him his entire life, and then dies in her arms... I'm getting tingly skin and moist eyes just thinking about it.
posted by papercake at 7:39 AM on August 10, 2004

This is somewhat predictable, but I am completely vulnerable to Steel Magnolias (Notably the scene at Shelby's funeral when M'Lynn has the meltdown. Somebody hand me a damn tissue?!)

Also, Empire of the Sun when Jim is reunited with his parents at the end of the war, accompanied by Suo Gan. *Sob*
posted by naxosaxur at 7:48 AM on August 10, 2004

My big three: Dead Poet's Society, Phenomenon, AI.

My most recent tearing up: Spiderman 2 (the subway car scene)
posted by o2b at 8:00 AM on August 10, 2004

I've teared up at exactly two movies that I can think of in the past five years: Life is Beautiful, and the Brazilian movie Central Station. Rabbit-Proof Fence almost had me there.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:07 AM on August 10, 2004

Oh, most recently Tokyo Olympiad when the torch is being carried through Hiroshima.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:16 AM on August 10, 2004

It thrills me to see so much love for The Iron Giant. Best animated film of the past decade. Yes... it reliably makes me cry. "Suuu-per-mannnnn."
posted by kindall at 8:24 AM on August 10, 2004

Some of mine have already been mentioned but this hasn't: Last of the Mohicans (Daniel Day-Lewis version). I can't even hear the soundtrack without getting teary.

I'm a real wuss though, I can't handle seeing sad or depressing movies anymore. There's some I really want to see (Lilya 4-ever is one) that I haven't yet because I'm afraid they'll really get me down.
posted by Melinika at 8:27 AM on August 10, 2004

Sophie's Choice gets me every time.
posted by lola at 8:31 AM on August 10, 2004

Let's see, I just saw Saving Private Ryan again. Especially the first part with the Ryan in the graveyard sobbing, and then later when his mother is washing dishes as an army car comes up and she comes out on the front porch and collapses as as priest gets out of the car. Oh. My. God. See, I'm about to cry now.
I BAWLED in Titanic. I loved the love story. So sue me.
Terms of Endearment, Steel Magnoilias (Can you tell I'm a chick?)
Schindlers List (At the end, when it turns into color and the families of everyone he saves walk over the hill. Good bye!)
The Pianist
posted by aacheson at 8:39 AM on August 10, 2004

"Dead Man Walking." beginning to end. sobbing.
posted by ZippityBuddha at 8:40 AM on August 10, 2004

The end of Apollo 13 always gets me.
posted by Cyrano at 8:50 AM on August 10, 2004

Ah... I forgot about Forrest Gump...

For me the teary moment is when Forrest discovers he has a son, and his first concern is whether or not his son is smart, or "like him." The realization that this man is aware of his limitations really gets me, and Tom Hanks plays the moment brilliantly.
posted by o2b at 8:57 AM on August 10, 2004


shut up
posted by leotrotsky at 8:57 AM on August 10, 2004

Once Were Warriors
parts of Wonderland (the Michael Winterbottom film, not the newer movie with the same title).
the ending of Rabbit-Proof Fence
Cinema Paradiso
not a movie, but the last scene of My So-Called Life
posted by gluechunk at 9:00 AM on August 10, 2004

Farenheit 9/11 had me in tears on a couple of occasions.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:01 AM on August 10, 2004

Lots of ones already mentioned, plus the scene in Casablanca where they sing The Marseilles, and John Hannah's recitation of "Funeral Blues" in Four Weddings and a Funeral.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:07 AM on August 10, 2004

To Live.
posted by the fire you left me at 9:10 AM on August 10, 2004

Ye gods I must suck - I totally wuss out at Good Will Hunting.

"It's not your fault"

I also have to have dibs on The Iron Giant - the only reason I haven't made my boy watch it yet is because I couldn't let him see his dad openly bawling over a cartoon.
posted by longbaugh at 9:26 AM on August 10, 2004

I never really cry during movies, but during The Fog of War I came close when McNamara was talking about the firebombing of Tokyo and we see shots of the city burning as well as information about all of the other cities firebombed. The scale and the (somewhat irrational, as I wasn't even born) thought that we did that totally got to me.
posted by callmejay at 9:29 AM on August 10, 2004

I can't believe neither of these has been mentioned yet: The Joy Luck Club, and An Affair To Remember.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 9:29 AM on August 10, 2004

The Royal Tenenbaums puts a lump in my throat every time. The suicide, obviously, does get a good firm grip on the heartstrings; but for some reason it's the opening, after all the characters have been introduced and mordecai flies up and the music kicks in, that really yanks them right out of my chest.

Waking Life, pretty much start to finish, but especially the shot where he loses grip of the car door and floats up into the sky. Yes, I am both pretentious and sappy. I am firm in my contradictions.

And parts of Amélie. When she melts into a puddle, so do I.

You know, I never realized this before, but every single example I can think of has as much to do with the music as with what's actually happening in the scene.
posted by ook at 9:30 AM on August 10, 2004

I've been scared to see Saving Private Ryan. I own the CD, and have yet to break the shrinkwrap on it. One day, though, when I'm in the right mood.

And someone else mentioned Apollo 13, and the scene that brings me to tears is the takeoff, oddly enough. The way the background music is scored, the soaring camera angles, fill me with an overwhelming sense of joy.

But I'm a space geek, anyway.
posted by ebarker at 9:37 AM on August 10, 2004

Edward Scissorhands.
posted by interrobang at 9:39 AM on August 10, 2004

Hm, nobody's mentioned Memento. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind too, and don't give me any of that crap about it being a comedy. That movie is not funny.
posted by punishinglemur at 9:47 AM on August 10, 2004

Iron Giant, Big Fish, and, for many reasons, the Fiddler on the Roof (among many).

When I was younger & single, I would fight back tears hard when I felt them coming on, especially at the movies. Don't really know why. When I started to let go of that, it was kind of scary, black or white - I was either passive and happy or blubbering. Schindler's List was a turning point for me in that sense. In a theater full of people quietly sniffling and tearing up, I thought I was going to have a hysteric seizure, I was racking with sobs (the "I could have done more" speech). Now, after much practice (and now that I don't fight it), I can ease into the tearing up and crying without hitching and choking - I'm a big mess, crying at commercials. Just seeing kindall quote from Iron Giant above ("Suuu-per-mannnnn") was enough to get me misty.
posted by kokogiak at 9:49 AM on August 10, 2004

Oh God. Now I'm gonna have to rent Iron Giant again. Sniffle. Dammit.
posted by kokogiak at 9:51 AM on August 10, 2004

Man, o2b, you made me cry at my desk. Thanks. I'm really glad someone mentioned Edward Scissorhands, too.

For me, Fried Green Tomatoes is the only killer I haven't noticed above.
posted by donnagirl at 10:10 AM on August 10, 2004

Wow, I can't believe no one has mentioned The Passion of the Christ. It didn't really get much from me (I almost never cry at movies, I'm usually too objective/judging to connect that deeply with them), but I went with two girl friends and they were both crying a lot, one of them seriously bawling through almost the entire movie. Admittedly, this particular girl was kind of a psycho drama queen, but I've never seen a movie elicit such an incredible response from someone.

The closest thing I can think of in recent memory was the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre which truly impressed me with it's ability to make me and my friends incredibly physically uncomfortable/nauseous. Not crying I guess, but damn if that wasn't gut-wrenching (pun semi-intended).
posted by rorycberger at 10:13 AM on August 10, 2004

Charlotte's Web
posted by sad_otter at 10:22 AM on August 10, 2004

the dirty dozen.
posted by Stynxno at 10:35 AM on August 10, 2004

But the one movie that made me break down completely was Gallipoli. I saw it in college, with a huge crowd of people, and went utterly to pieces at the end. We're talking heaving, wracking sobs, loud ones, that continued on through the credits until the lights went up.

I had the exact same reaction the first time I saw it -- I was so hysterical by the time the credits rolled that my dad (who saw it with me) threatened never to see a movie in public with me ever again.

Can't believe I forgot The Elephant Man ("I am -- a human being!" Oh god, I've a lump in my throat just thinking of it). And The Dead (John Huston's adaptation of the James Joyce story) had me bawling at the end (the story gets me pretty teary too, no matter how many times I've read it). Of course, this was exacerbated by the fact that my grandfather had just died a couple of days earlier, but still...

Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. it was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

No, I'm not crying right now! *sniff*

posted by scody at 10:46 AM on August 10, 2004

The Wedding Singer. Stupid freakin’ Adam Sandler movie. I was in the midst of debating whether or not to break up with someone who wasn’t as in love with me as I was with her, and the scene on the airplane at the end did me in. We broke up the next day (by the way, I did, in fact, find such a woman).

Wizard of Oz. I’d just left my marriage. When Dorothy was clicking her heels together, I found myself wanting to call out “Don’t go back! It’s better here!”

Lilo and Stitch, too, ‘cause I was the parent that left (I didn’t disappear, though—my daughter and I watched that movie together). Getting misty-eyed thinking about it now.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:53 AM on August 10, 2004

Too many to list...even a lot of clumsily manipulative sentimental tripe gets me these days. But certainly The English Patient, Il Postino, Cinema Paradiso, Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring, and Cyrano are among them, as well as many others listed in this thread.
posted by rushmc at 11:00 AM on August 10, 2004

Most memorable sobbing: Breaking the Waves. I can't bring myself to watch Dancer in the Dark.

Latest tears: Big Fish.
posted by heather at 11:03 AM on August 10, 2004

Charlotte's Web reminded me: Watership Down. Man did that tear me up as a kid.
posted by furiousthought at 11:06 AM on August 10, 2004

Elvira Madigan and Doctor Zhivago
posted by lometogo at 11:15 AM on August 10, 2004

"Bang the Drum Slowly" -- mediocre, somehat dimwitted athlete is terminally ill. The slo-mo scene at the end where the team is celebrating and he is wandering disoriented around home plate as his best friend picks up his cap gets me every time.

"Testament" -- The scene where Jane Alexander is sewing something and your realize it's a shroud for one of her children.

"By Dawn's Early Light" -- pretty bad movie, but I'll sit through it just to see the pilot salute James Earl Jones at the end

grum@work: That scene in The Natural doesn't get me teary, but the part where the exploding lights are mirrored in Wilford Brimley's glasses as he sits in the dugout is my nomination for the best camera shot ever done.
posted by joaquim at 11:25 AM on August 10, 2004

When I originally saw E.T. in the theater I came close to losing it when I thought that E.T. was dead FOREVER.
(Sorry if I spoiled the movie for anyone...)
posted by gluechunk at 11:48 AM on August 10, 2004

Iron Giant and Transformers. Yep. I have to confess that both of these robot cartoons brought a tear to my eye as well. I'll employ the youth defense for Transformers, although it was quite hardcore, thinking back on it now. We were all trained on 1/2 hour TeeVee cartoons of the Transformers, but that movie was full of despair, death, profanity, messianic yearnings and a rock n'roll soundtrack. Quite the experience for a wee laddy who hadn't even had his heart broken yet.

Wow, I can't believe no one has mentioned The Passion of the Christ.

Haven't seen that one, but there is one scene in the Last Temptation of Christ that gets me every time: it's when Jesus asks God one more time if there really is no other way besides dying on the cross, and God appears as John, and they drink from the cup together (I believe they're at Gethsemane - yes/no?).
posted by scarabic at 11:57 AM on August 10, 2004

So far, Ufez is the only one to mention movies that made me almost cry.

What is wrong with you crybabies? Have none of you seen In America?

That movie made me break down and cry like a baby who has not eaten in two days and is sitting out in the cold rain.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 11:59 AM on August 10, 2004

"Testament" -- The scene where Jane Alexander is sewing something and your realize it's a shroud for one of her children."
Oh my. I'd forgotten about that...
"I'll jump on the Saving Private Ryan bandwagon (it's not the ending for me, it's the opening D-Day sequence -- the first time I saw that I was in shock, the second time I was bawling)"
I bawled at that part too. My girlfriend thought that I'd lost it, but that sequence was wrenching.
I forgotten "Muriel's Wedding!" Three of us went. None of laughed and my friend and were rather upset. Especially when the Muriel's father dumps his family...
posted by black8 at 11:59 AM on August 10, 2004

Off the top of my head: Breaking the Waves, A Perfect World, Casablanca (the Marseilles scene for me too), Angels with Dirty Faces, The Asphalt Jungle, Annie Hall, Splendor in the Grass.
posted by stopgap at 12:07 PM on August 10, 2004

I thought that E.T. was dead FOREVER.

That was the first time I ever cried in a movie.
posted by Vidiot at 12:09 PM on August 10, 2004

I cry at a lot of obvious ones mentioned here, but the last movie I saw that caused it -- and I only mention it because it was so weird -- was School of Rock. At the end, when the kids start playing their song and the parents see them -- it actually moved me to tears.

I guess a lot of films with the "triumph over adversity" theme get me, how much I react just depends on my mood.
posted by mathowie at 12:10 PM on August 10, 2004

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) with Peggy Ann Garner, James Dunn, Dorothy McGuire and Joan Blondell. The book is wonderful as well.
posted by marsha56 at 12:19 PM on August 10, 2004

iconomy -- me, too! I re-watched The Little Mermaid the other week and my boyfriend and I both were bawling like sissies.
posted by Zosia Blue at 12:25 PM on August 10, 2004

About A Boy. If the stage seen at the end of Whale Rider got to you, this might too.
posted by Feisty at 12:26 PM on August 10, 2004

I guess I don't need to rent Gallipoli now.
posted by mecran01 at 12:34 PM on August 10, 2004

Latest tears: Big Fish.

Big Fish was easily the best movie I've seen this year. Best kind of tears, too.
posted by weston at 12:40 PM on August 10, 2004

Royal Tenenbaums, right near the end after Owen Wilson crashes the car and Royal is talking to Ben Stiller, and Stiller's character says something like "it's been a rough year", and there's that moment of sudden wall-dropping and vulnerability between the two characters after all the cynical antagonism throughout the film.

Just gets me right in the fucking gut.
posted by cortex at 12:49 PM on August 10, 2004

ROU_X i've seen it. and i didn't watch futurama for a long time afterward.

poor doggie
posted by crush-onastick at 12:53 PM on August 10, 2004

Same here, cortex.
posted by interrobang at 1:12 PM on August 10, 2004

I'm always heartened to see that other people got A.I.

And, yeah, if you like a good cry at the movies but haven't seen In America, get thee to a video store.
posted by blueshammer at 1:23 PM on August 10, 2004

Grand Hotel
posted by electro at 1:34 PM on August 10, 2004

Dr. Zhivago.The bleakness of Russia in winter got to me and the part where Lara and Zhivago meet up again - sob!
posted by Lynsey at 1:38 PM on August 10, 2004

No one seems to have mentioned Sense and Sensibility. And every damned time I see the funeral scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral, I lose it. RotK, "You bow to no one" had me bawling as did the end of the film. Also: Saving Private Ryan, Steel Magnolias, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Colour Purple, and yes, Beaches.

I'm such a sap.
posted by deborah at 1:44 PM on August 10, 2004

Still in baseball mode, I have to add Bang the Drum Slowly and League of their Own, both mentioned by others earlier in the thread.

Then there is It's A Wonderful Life, which I've probably seen 50 times but have never, ever gotten through without crying at the end. Just seeing a clip of that part makes me cry. Happy tears, but tears nonetheless.

Not a movie, but I don't suppose everyone else cried as a child when Frosty the Snowman melted in the annual Christmas special? *sniff*

On preview: Oh yeah, the funeral in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Totally.

I cry at movies easily, though. I even cry when I see kittens on tv, so there you go.
posted by litlnemo at 2:07 PM on August 10, 2004

Say Anything, when Lloyd Dobbler holds his boombox up outside Diane Court's window.
I pretty much tear up at any Disney movie or sappy love story, but movies never hit me as hard as books. I remember crying so hard through half of The Prince of Tides that I couldn't see the words. And, um, the Devine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.
posted by bonheur at 2:20 PM on August 10, 2004

Map Of The Human Heart. Every single time.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:09 PM on August 10, 2004

I haven't actually seen the movie, but if it's as good as the book then I reccomend The Green Mile. I also really liked Vanilla Sky, although I seem to be in a tiny minority there.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 3:28 PM on August 10, 2004

The Iron Giant gets me, and the only other mover ever to do it was, I’m not kidding, the Bill Murray movie "Scrooged" when the Tiny Tim kid speaks and Alfre Woodard and Bill give their reaction shots.
posted by dong_resin at 3:34 PM on August 10, 2004

I have to admit, I don't cry easy. I didn't cry at Titanic, although I did tear up. Teared up for The Iron Giant too. The only movies I think that ever made me cry were probably The Sixth Sense and the anime Trigun. Every single time, I cry for Trigun.
posted by stoneegg21 at 3:52 PM on August 10, 2004

Has anyone other than me seen My Life as a Dog? I realize this is an obscure movie, but wow! it's a really well made story about the growing up of a young boy. And so funny and sad...It tugs at my heartstrings again and again. The only movie that mentions Laika, the little Russian dog sent up in Sputnik...

The end of School of Rock got me too.
posted by jasper411 at 3:56 PM on August 10, 2004

This thread has made me realize how proud I am to be a man who stifles his emotions.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:32 PM on August 10, 2004

I never cry at movies. Ever. (Granted, I rarely go see movies intended to evoke that reaction.)

But still I'm going to add my vote for The Iron Giant. The only movie I can remember brining tears to my eyes.
posted by nath at 5:22 PM on August 10, 2004

posted by ColdChef at 6:41 PM on August 10, 2004

Oh, who am I kidding? I cry long and often.

"Iron Giant."
When Donnie dies in "The Big Lebowski."
When Chas tells his dad, "I've had a hard year." in "The Royal Tennenbaums."

But the best one...the one that never fails...:
In "The Opposite of Sex" when Lisa Kudrow asks Lyle Lovett what he wants and he says, "Whenever you walk into a room, I want to be the first person you look for." That gets me every time. Shit. I'm crying now.
posted by ColdChef at 6:47 PM on August 10, 2004

Starman, when Jeff Bridges brings the deer back to life.
posted by Hypharse at 9:02 PM on August 10, 2004 [1 favorite]

oh yea, October Sky, i'm almost crying just thinking about it, but I have space issues.
posted by rhyax at 9:38 PM on August 10, 2004

Billy Elliot when his father crosses the picket line, watching the first Christmas without their mother, when Billy read aloud the letter from his mother, Billy as an adult. Pretty much the whole damn film.
posted by geekyguy at 10:33 PM on August 10, 2004

We just watched The Magdalene Sisters tonight. That'll make you cry.
posted by Melinika at 10:53 PM on August 10, 2004

How's about the end of The Straight Story when the two brothers finally see each other for the first time in years?
Also doubly tragic in my eyes as it was Richard Farnsworth's last film (he shot himself after discovering he had cancer shortly afterwards).
posted by longbaugh at 1:20 AM on August 11, 2004

Billy Elliot when his father crosses the picket line,

Where they tears for the betrayal of his class and community?
posted by biffa at 3:31 AM on August 11, 2004

The end of Hope and Glory always brings tears too - but really happy ones. It's such a fabulous, unexpected ending!
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:20 AM on August 11, 2004

Secondhand Lions, Waking Ned Devine, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (shut up) and Her Majesty (which unfairly never got a wide US release) are the ones I haven't seen mentioned yet.

Seconds on Rudy, Edward Scissorhands, and A.I.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:20 AM on August 11, 2004

Oh, and for TV episodes, Star Trek DS9 "The Visitor" (with old Jake); Babylon 5 "Sleeping in Light" (the finale); and at least four or five episodes of Futurama (Fry's dog, the finale, Fry's brother and the seven-leaf clover, Leela finds her parents, and probably a couple of others I'm forgetting).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:02 AM on August 11, 2004

I'd like to third Grave of the Fireflies. Nothing else comes close for me.
posted by azazello at 11:15 AM on August 11, 2004

Wouldn't you know it, the first time I choose to speak up on here I get to embarrass myself. Movies that make me weep? Far too many. But a few that come to mind...

Reunion always kills me, but especially the scene where Jason Robards finds where his parents are buried. I dare anyone not to weep.

On a more pathetic note, I hate to share that I always get tears in my eyes in Dirty Dancing, when Baby is crying to her father and he, with his back turned, is breaking up himself.

Other than that, movies like Dead Poets Society and Beaches get me every time I see them. It doesn't matter that I've seen them a million times. In fact, I think it makes it worse. I know the tears will be coming, so I start crying even before the actual sad point in the movie hits.

Bah, I'm such a girl.
posted by circe at 12:50 AM on August 12, 2004

A Perfect World
A Bronx Tale
Whale Rider
Dancer in the Dark

The first is sort of my favourite movie.

Oh, and also Things Change. And I think I cried at Billy Elliott too.
posted by Masi at 12:04 PM on August 12, 2004

The best for me is Sense and Sensibility, with several scenes that get me every single time (but I look forward to them every single time).

I forgot about Edward Scissorhands. That has several moments that get me (Vincent Price's cookie machine, the ice sculpting). And I'm going to have to watch Iron Giant again.

On preview: I'll have to see Things Change again too. I remember really liking that.
posted by Songdog at 9:26 AM on August 18, 2004

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