Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Crying movies

posted by Nell Minow

Movies that make you cry (or sob or blubber uncontrollably)
Desson Thomson has a wonderful piece in the Washington Post about movies that make us cry, and a list of some examples sent in by readers. The usual suspects are there, from “Dumbo” to “Field of Dreams,” but some surprises, including Adam Sandler’s “Click” (“Never thought I would cry at an Adam Sandler movie — I usually don’t even admit to even going to one.”), “Star Trek: The Search for Spock,” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” I admit to tearing up at the end of that one, too. Some of the other movies that have made me cry: Waterloo Bridge, A Little Princess, Steel Magnolias, the one Thomson refers to as “that Michael Keaton movie” (My Life) and yes, An Affair to Remember.
Be sure to listen to Thomson’s graceful audio commentary on his own list, with such classic choices as “Old Yeller” and “Terms of Endearment.” I enjoyed the quotes from experts, especially Professor Mary Beth Oliver of Penn State, who said that these movies
cause us to contemplate what it is about human life that’s important and meaningful. . . . Those thoughts are associated with a mixture of emotions that can be joyful but also nostalgic and wistful, tender and poignant. Tears aren’t just tears of sadness, they’re tears of searching for the meaning of our fleeting existence.
Just reading those words made me a little damp-eyed. Sorry, I just need a minute here.



  • Dustin Putman

    I am man enough to proudly admit to crying too many times to count at movies…haha!
    Just off the top of my head…and keep in mind it’s usually only upon first viewing, not always…
    When a Man Loves a Woman
    Intersection (I bawled at this one, and everyone else seemed to hate it…I was 12! Still think it’s woefully underrated)
    Smooth Talk
    The Polar Express (the last scene with the bell gets me almost every time I watch it)
    Bridge to Terabithia (I maintain Josh Hutcherson is the male equivalent of Dakota Fanning…a brilliant young actor)
    The finale episode of “Six Feet Under” had me crying so hard I got a headache afterwards. Luckily, I was in the privacy of my own home!
    Little Manhattan
    Steel Magnolias
    Beaches (make jokes, but I love this movie!)
    Lost in Translation (one of the decade’s finest films)
    Moonlight Mile
    About Schmidt
    This could go on…
    Great topic!

  • ChatteringMind

    Great subject. My beatiful mother was a marathon crier and she wept copiously at “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and “The Bells of Saint Mary’s.”
    The movies that get me are always films that touch upon something I’m just figuring out myself. I was crying so heavily after the film “Careful, He Might Hear You,” that I couldn’t leave the theater. It’s a great picture about being yourself and asserting your identity. Similarly, the film “Edward Sissorhands,” knocked me out when I first saw it(the boyfriend who held me during the scene where Edward flees the town became my husband I’m happy to report). Also get this–”Nanny McPhee” more recently earned huge tears from me. I guess that’s because my kids are growing up and won’t need me in the same way forever. And then there’s “Days of Heaven,” that cosmic fairy tale starring Sam Shepard and Richard Gere. How good does it get? That cry is harder for me to put words around. It’s more of a prayer, a weepy cry out to loss and humanity’s aching beauty.

  • Rita

    A movie that TCM showed awhile back that gets me every time, “Biscuit Eater.”
    It’s about a boy and his best friend, his dog.
    Find it, watch it, and keep the hanky handy.

  • stacey

    An Officer and a Gentleman
    Ghost
    The Big Chill
    St. Elmo’s Fire
    ok ok….I am a product of the 80′s
    More recently….
    The Lake House
    Eight Below
    and of course most of those already listed

  • StaciF

    What about “the notebook”? I cry every time I think about the ending of that movie.

  • my2sense

    I’d cry myself to sleep, as a child in the early 40′s, after seeing “Lassie Come Home, “My Friend Flicka,” “Bambi” and other “chidren’s” films of that era. Later, “Shenandoah” brought the tears! “Evening,” more recently, made me cry during Vanessa Redgrave’s death scene with her daughter, bringing up missed opportunities to share words with my mother before her passing a few years ago. It was almost a physical ache in my soul to watch that part of the movie. (I’m female)

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