A Reader Weighs In on the Saddest Movies She Has Ever Seen

Inspired by MovieFanFare’s recent guest post about sad movies, reader Marian Cullen wrote in to discuss the saddest films that she has ever seen:
1 -Days of Wine and Roses (1962), starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. There’s something unforgettable about the pathos upon Lemmon’s face as he watches wife Remick–who simply cannot give up drinking and take care of their daughter–walking into the night,  passing a neon sign blinking “BAR.” Like the entire movie, this scene is powerful to watch and completely riveting.
2 -  Sybil (1976), starring Sally Field. This biographical made-for-TV film traumatized me since the subject matter  hit a little too close  to home for me. Even though it has been at least 35 years since I watched it for the first and only time, I still think about certain very specific scenes at least once per week.
3 -  The Misfits (1961), starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift.  A lot of sad stuff here, especially the scene in which a naive Monroe, as she herself certainly was, goes with Gable to a horse round-up only to be completely devastated and traumatized to the point of a nervous collapse when she finds out that they are there to kill these magnificent animals. 
4 -Vertigo (1958), starring James Stewart and Kim Novak. When, in the last scene–after finally confronting his acrophobia, filled with rage and betrayal at the fact that (Spoiler Alert!)  his ” new Madeleine” Judy is in reality the original woman who his involvement with has caused so much heartache and psychological pain–Scottie watches as she falls to her death from the window of the bell tower of The Mission San Juan Batista. And he watches her demise, this time from above, just as he watched who he thought was his “real Madeleine” seemingly fall to her death a year earlier, from below, since his fear of heights prevented him from following her up the steep steps to the top of the bellfrey, such that he could not SAVE her.  One of Hitchcock’s greatest films in my humble opinion. 
5 - From Here to Eternity (1953), starring Burt Lancaster, Ernest Borgnine, Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr and Montgomery Clift.  As after the completely tragic–yet understandable–killing of Clift’s  Private Prewitt, Alma (Donna Reed), holding the tip of Prew’s bugle,  tells the unknowing Karen (Kerr), she too the victim of her own devices and those of her husband’s, that she was the wife of an “officer ” concocting a complete fabrication, out of love and respect for the only man she ever really loved, and finally watches the Hawaiian lei float away on the sea from their vantage point against the railing of the ship that will take them back to the U.S…both women’s lives inexorably, yet completely, unknowingly intertwined and changed forever. It is a very powerful fim!
 6 - Frankenstein (1931), starring Boris Karloff as The Monster and Colin Clive as Dr. Frankenstein. He collapses to death in a conflagration of flames, the completely innocent victim of Dr. Frankenstein’s insane desire to breathe life back into a corpse, with all the ignorant townspeople cheering and celebrating ” The Monster’s” demise.
7 - King Kong (1933), starring Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong. When, at the very end of the film, the camera zooms in on the character Carl Denham (Armstrong), as he must finally admit to his own concience, knowing that his avarice has resulted in the death of Kong, ” the eighth wonder of the world.” This follows the giant ape’s desperate attempt to climb the highest “mountain” he can find in Manhattan, The Empire State Building,  to keep the only thing he has ever loved, Ann Darrow (Wray) with him forever. Although Wray’s character was 100% terrified out of her mind at the first sight of him, she knows that she owes her very life to him and has, in her own way, grown to love him. When a policeman standing next to the dead Kong’s body tells Denham “the airplanes got him,”  the moviemaker replies matter of factly, but with a knowing tone of abject remorse in his voice,  ” It wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast.”
Marian Cullen is a MovieFanFare reader who submitted this article via e-mail. You can contact her at mgc0083@aol.com. 
  • Frankiedc

    I really enjoyed Marian Cullen’s list of the saddest movies. I definitely understand the sadness of Days of Wine and Roses The Misfits and From Here to Eternity, but I admire the way she finds sadness in movies such as Frankenstein or King Kong or even Vertigo. Those all all great films, but  they would not automatically come to mind when I would think of sad movies. Her perspective on those films is definitely unique and creative.

    I tend to really like obviously sad movies like Stella Dallas, The Yearling, Johnny Belinda, and  Humoresque and nothing beats a good cry after seeing such films.  However, there are times when I am saddened for another reason when I watch certain movies.  When I look at films starring Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Ava Garner or some of the other glamour girls of the forties of fifties, a sense of melancholy overtakes me despite what is happening on screen. I become very sad thinking of the unhappy and even tragic lives of these beautiful women and how their eternal promise and great screen charisma was never matched by their real lives.  In a similarly related manner, I become very sad when I see so many of the great screen legends, such as Bette Davis or Joan Crawford or Lana Turner, all looking grotesque in grade Z movies at the end of their careers. There are some great ladies of the screen, Hepburn, Stanwyck or deHavilland who managed to finish their careers in decent movies while still looking attractive. But I absolutely hated and was saddened to see those others looking frightening in terrible movies.

  • Luigi From NYC

    Luigi From NYC –

    i agree with the choices of ” frankiedc ” –

    i would also add –

    1- titanic = 1953 = b stanwyck * c webb

    2- the blue veil = jane  wyman

    3- the keys of the kingdom = greg peck

    4- the search = m cliff

    5- i’d climb the highest mountain = s haywood * w lundigan

    and a host of others !

    • Sheila

      The two saddest movies would be Imitation of Life with Lana Turner, another tear jerker would be Back Street with Susan Hayward.

      • PhyllisG(LasVegas)

        These two are the saddest ever. I remember watching them with my Mother and sister and no matter how many times we watched them, we cried!!!!

      • Virginia

        Those 2 are probably the saddest, along with others already mentioned like Mildred Pierce, Titanic, Splendor in the Grass, Keys to the Kingdom, etc. Great choices. I also found The Nun’s Story very sad, and nearly all of Susan Hayward movies, Back Street that was already mentioned, and I’ll Cry Tomorrow, and I Want to Live. They may have already been listed, but I wanted to add the original The Postman Always Rings Twice, A Place in the Sun and Places in the Heart.

      • Virginia

        Oh, and did anybody mention Magnificent Obsession? Totally unbelievable, but a tear jerker nonetheless. It stars Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson.
        Hudson is an irresponsible playboy who not only was partially responsible for the death of Wyman’s husband, but also accidently causes Wyman to lose her sight.
        In an unbelievable twist he romances her, and because she’s blind and depressed, she does not “recognize” him, and falls in love with him (much to the anguish of her family, who DON’T TELL HER). Then, in yet another unbelievable twist, he studies and becomes a doctor so that he can perform the operation that returns her sight.

    • PhyllisG(LasVegas)

      The Blue Veil is in the Top 5 on my list!!!

  • Rick29

    THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES is a perfect choice for the top spot. A good movie, but so depressing! My No. 2 would be SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS.

  • Gemini09

    Marian – a very interesting perspective on what makes a movie sad. I would add Mildred Pierce to this list as Joan Crawford portrayed a woman spurned by her lover and betrayed by her daughter in the worst way. Generally film involving animals such as Lassie are often sad. Recently  the film Red Dog (Australian ) really brought me to tears but is also very uplifting.

    • Tammi

      Dark Victory, Sophie Scholl- The Final Days and Plague Dogs. At least Dark Victory and Sophie Scholl were somewhat uplifting. Plague Dogs was just plain sad.

  • Wayne P.

    Interesting list…Sometimes not the whole picture but just the ending leaves the viewer with a sense of sadness.  I liked the last two entries from the famous monsters of filmland genre…good perspective on their very real ability to stir sympathy in many of us!  I would add two movies of my own that didnt include on the prior blog posting:  “Min and Bill” 1930…Wallace Beery and Marie Dressler.  Its very touching the way she wanted to protect the girl from her real mother even at the cost of being rejected herself.  “An Officer and a Gentleman” 1982…Richard Gere and Debra Winger.  Here, the whole film isnt sad but just the part where David Keith felt he had to suffer such extreme consequences for something he didnt even do, as it turned out…very emotionally portrayed!

  • http://bitactors.blogspot.com/ Bitactor Blogger

    That was an interesting topic for a blog post. Sad movies! Gemini09 mentioned animal films as routinely sad, and Old Yeller (1957) is at the top of sad animal films, along with the sad scene in Bambi (1942) when mom gets shot. Keep on blogging!

  • Aaron

    “Midnight Cowboy” was very sad,both Joe and Rico(Ratzo) had suffered in life. Joe was disillusioned over his big New York dream,which didn’t happen. Rico was handicapped and a low-level hustler,who wanted to get to Florida,but didn’t make it. At least there was some hope for Joe at the end…

  • Robert Sanchez

    “Courage of Lassie” (1946) — Last saw it again a year or two ago, and I was just bawling. 

  • oscat

     I would add  Lassie Come Home , the Yearling,  Random Harvest and On the beach  to the list. And to Frankiedc , i agree with your comments about the former glamour girls , and how Stanwyck, Hepburn and deHavilland all kept their dignity in their movie roles

  • Bjodrie

    Out Of The Past.
    The Purple Heart
    They Died With Their Boots On(Errol Flynns farewell to constant costar,Olivia De Havilland
    Elizebeth The Queen

  • Bjodrie

    Wake Island
    The Last Command
    The Alamo

  • Steve in Sacramento

    Me, I’m going to go with “The Remains of the Day.”  Anthony Hopkins’ Stevens is SO repressed for much of the film that it’s almost hard to care, but Hopkins lets just enough humanity and desire seep through, and Emma Thompson is brilliant as well.

  • J. Keen Holland

    Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939 – Robert Donat and Greer Garson) – for end to end sadness never fails to get a misty response from me. One Way Passage (1932 – William Powell and Kay Francis) also deserves a mention on such a list. 

    • Tammi

      One Way Passage is one of my Favorites. It never makes me sad though. I guess it’s because I pretty much know what is going to happen to the main characters from the beginning so I don’t get my hopes up. Also at least Betty gets what she wants..

  • Kim Unger

    Make Way For Tomorrow- I cry when watching all Leo McCarey movies, but this one is sad from beginning to end.
    All Mine To Give

    • Subgeniusguy

      Wonderful choice Kim. Make Way for Tomorrow is a very touching film.

    • Tammi

      Make Way For Tomorrow is a wonderful and touching movie.

  • C.J. Gelfand

    Million Dollar Baby. I can’t watch it that often, because the ending makes me cry uncontrollably.

    • PhyllisG(LasVegas)

      This is a once watch movie for me….too sad…..Like Steel Magnolia….once is enough!!!

  • Charles Bogle

    Good list of classic tearjerkers! Other great films that deserve notice in this category:

    – Citizen Kane. The story is so dazzlingly told that you sometimes forget what a tragedy this man’s rich but empty life is.

    – The Third Man. One of those films I can watch over and over, and anytime I come across it on TCM I have to see it again. There are many comic moments but the overriding sense is one of deep abiding sadness at Harry Lime’s betrayal of his lover and friend and, well, just about everybody. Another film by the same director that is almost completely unknown is The Man Between. Check it out.

    – The Best Years of Our Lives. While it has a relatively happy ending, this film is a wrenching study of the problems of veterans trying to reenter civilian life. Still relevant today, unfortunately.

    – The Manchurian Candidate. Driving this Cold War thriller is the story of lives utterly destroyed by psychological warfare. It gets me every time. And Sinatra may have got more notice for his comeback role in From Here to Eternity, but I would vote for this one as his best screen performance.

    – Michael Clayton. Among recent films with a tragic plot, this one stands out, upbeat ending notwithstanding. And speaking of worthy George Clooney projects, be sure to see The American, which has a deeply sad feeling that harks back to the fine American films of the 1970s.

    – Random Harvest. Almost agonizing to watch up until the very end. Also one of the only films that makes a semi-believable story out of amnesia, though I suspect I simply want to believe so that I can keep watching Ronald Coleman and Greer Garson become unrequited lovers kept apart by his ailment.

  • nokunk4me

    The Sullivans
    Sophies Choice
    A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
    Waterloo Bridge

  • kp22kc

    Just to break up the monotony of such old movies, the movie I cried at the most was Marley and Me. That movie totally broke my heart at the end. Tears were running down my face in the movie theater and after it was over there was a guy in the restroom washing his face off because he was also crying. Also, I’m not saying that old movies are bad at all, I love old movies, I just wanted to mention the one that made me cry the most.

    • Carolyn Ferrante

      kp22kc — How about me, in my 50s, holding a handkerchief tightly against my mouth while in a ladies room stall… so that I wouldn’t loudly burst into tears…because I knew that would upset the little girls (with their mommies) who were waiting for an available stall? ‘Marley and Me’ was just too sad (as are most films that feature animals).

      • kp22kc

        Such a sad ending, but it showed what a wonderful life that dog had. He was a nightmare, but the family didn’t give up on him. I think in the book they ended up getting another dog at the end and I wish they would have ended the movie on that note instead of just Marley’s death and the memory of him. Still a great movie.

  • Christine Harrison

    I remember years ago seeing a film on TV called “The Day They Gave Babies Away” (it might have had a different title in the US). It starred Glynis Johns as a young mum who has a large family and tries to keep them all together after the death of her husband. She then realises she is ill herself and, as it’s terminal, decides to literally give her children away to good homes. I still remember seeing one of the older boys pulling a sled along with one of his younger siblings on it to take to a nice family ……. I’m getting weepy now just thinking of that scene, so I’d better stop before the floodgates open. I did hear it was based on a true story …. that makes it worse! If anyone has any spare tissues, please send them my way!

    • A

      It’s called All Mine to Give

      • Christine Harrison

        Wow, thanks for letting me know! It’s appreciated …

        • A

          You should try looking up the real story because you might feel better after hearing that all the siblings were able to keep in contact even though they lived with different families :)

          • Christine Harrison

            Ah, I can stop crying now!

    • Grandma T

      It is called “All Mine to Give” and I have to agree it is the saddest movie I have ever seen!

  • A

    Goodbye, Mr. Chips is the saddest movie I have ever seen. I went to bed crying, and when I woke up the next morning I quickly remembered the film and started crying again, haha. Both versions are sad, but the original is sadder because there is an extra element not included in the remake.
    Captains Courageous
    Dark Victory
    The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
    Test Pilot
    Harold and Maude
    The Yearling
    The King and I
    Stella Dallas
    Penny Serenade
    Dr. Zhivago

  • Subgeniusguy

    The saddest movies I’ve ever seen…
    Grave of the Fireflies
    Come and See
    Schindler’s List
    Odd Man Out
    Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

  • http://www.facebook.com/frances.s.kelly1 Frances Sponzilli Kelly

    Cast Away. I cannot imagine anything sadder than to survive the ordeal on that island for four years, only to return and find that the love of your life is no longer free to be with you . . . except maybe losing the love of your life in a plane crash, knowing in your heart of hearts that he’s still alive, and when it turns out you were right, no longer being in a position to be with him. That, to me, is gut wrenching. the regrets, the missed opportunity, the road not taken.

    • Bob

      But it ends on a note of hope. If he were not going to go talk to the artist, it wouldn’t have ended with the close-up.

  • Jon Szostak, Sr.

    ‘The Good Earth’ with Paul Muni and Louise Rainer. Also my vote for Best Film ever made.

  • John Russell

    Lonely Are the Brave, Spartacus, Carousel, A Walk with Love and Death, Seconds, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, The Devils, Barry Lyndon, Effi Briest, Paths of Glory, Hombre, Ride the High Country

  • Joeiron

    I did not see all of the the movie, “All Mine to Give”, but it was indeed the saddest movie that I ever saw. It made me, the younger brother, care much more about my one older brother.

    • Loie

      Yes, I have this movie in my collection and it is so sad I don’t think I’d ever watch it again…. Another sad movie is, Imitation Of Life, Leave Her To Heaven & The Fighting Sullivans…. If someone doesn’t cry watching these movies, something is wrong, lol….

  • Patrice Mitsos

    Some movies that I find very sad are:
    1. “Our Vines Have Tender Grapes”
    2.”The Good Mother”
    3. “A Patch of Blue”
    4.”The Miracle Worker”
    5. “The Joy Luck Club”
    6. “The Pumpkin Eater”
    7. “The Trouble with Angels”
    8. “Two Women”

    For some of these films, merely the ending was very sad, and made me cry. For others, pretty much the whole film is pretty sad or depressing. I know that there are SO many others, some after which I’ve cried buckets, that I simply can’t recall at the moment.

  • Patrice Mitsos

    Oh….another one…”Always Remember I Love You”, with Patty Duke, Richard Masur and Stephen Dorff. A two-Kleenex box film.

    • kp22kc

      Yes, Always Remember… was a great Made For TV movie. My brother is adopted and I let our Mom watch it and she said she cried and cried. Such a great ending that after he finds his birth family he goes back home to the Mother who raised him.

  • Bill P.

    Many of you might be too young to have seen “The Biscuit Eater”, but to me that was the saddest picture I have ever seen.

    Bill Praetoriius

  • Randy Skretvedt

    Here are two *very* sad, very different movies, both involving pet dogs: “Umberto D,” directed by Vittorio DeSica, about an elderly pensioner forced to give up his beloved pet dog because of money constraints, and the Our Gang film “The Pooch,” in which the beloved Pete nearly escapes death from a vicious dog catcher. Oh, and “Lassie, Come Home” is a very sad movie–another about a beloved pet dog. The end of Chaplin’s “City Lights” will bring anyone to tears. Also, I haven’t seen this for over 40 years, but I do remember crying at the Jackie Gleason film “Gigot,” which has a masterful, heartbreaking performance from The Great One as a mute street person in 1890s Paris.

  • Christine Harrison

    I’ve seen the film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (the original version) a few times now, but the last time I saw it, I was overwhelmed by one of the scenes – it occurs when Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter hear singing. It sounds really beautiful and emotional, and Kevin goes to check it out. He sees that it’s actually a radio playing in a truck, and one of the “replica” people suddenly switches it off. That struck me as so sad – it was as if they were saying goodbye to any vestige of humanity they had left.

  • td

    By far the saddest movie I ever saw was “The Elephant Man”. Watched it once and cant watch it again. Anthony Hopkins was brilliant. A great movie but so sad.

  • Jim Sepeda

    Old Yeller, Lonely Are the Brave, and All Mine to Give are on my list. I’ll add two others that have not been mentioned. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest – the ending was so powerful I have only seen it once and can’t force myself to do so again. The Man Who Would Be King – an underrated movie with Sean Connery and Michael Caine.

  • chris

    How about “Midnight Cowboy” and “Merry Christmas,Mr.Lawrence”?.The endings of both those movies are heartbreaking.

  • hiram

    My wife unhesitatingly votes for BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, and I think I have to agree. THE MIRACLE WORKER, which got mention, seems not sad to me, but ecstatically triumphant. THE 400 BLOWS and SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER don’t leave me turning cartwheels as Antoine Doinel turns away from the cold ocean and Charlie goes back to his piano. I’d like to vote for PATHS OF GLORY, which someone put on their list, but it makes me more angry than sad. CABARET should be considered among musicals, which we normally think of as upbeat. Finally, two Oscar winners. GODFATHER II leaves Michael Corleone sitting alone among the swirling leaves, having shut out his wife, buried his mother, alienated his chief lieutenant, and killed his brother. What a bummer! People who thought the first movie was about his triumph are forced to reassess Any movie which tells us that the one lesson we should learn from history is that you can kill anyone deserves consideration on this list, as does any movie that reminds us that “we’ve all got it coming.” GODFATHER ii and UNFORGIVEN are the most despairing of mainstream Hollywood films. It’s impossible for traditional American cinema to get any bleaker. Even THE WILD BUNCH ends on laughter a recognition that there might not be much left, but “it’ll do,” and a nostalgic reminiscence of its tenderest moment..

  • BJ Young

    The Five Pennies with Danny Kaye. A real tear jerker.

  • Bill Dunphy

    Sadness, like beauty, is, in the eye of the beholder ! I have long thought one of the most amazing things about movies is how each of us interpret it. One particular movie is Terms of Endearment, a lot of my friends deem it too sad, and depressing, to watch. Which means I’m nuts, or just wrong, since I think it is a comedy, a comedy of life, “and death”, which certainly is a part of life ! I love that picture for it’s realistic portrayals of human foibles, a celebration of life, so to speak.
    I suppose I’ll lose any credibility I might have had when i say I thought The Perfect Storm also was a celebration of life, and a very funny, and human story ? After watching either of these movies, I might have wiped a tear, or two, but all in all, I’m less mournful, and more hopeful, and uplifted, therefore, in the words of Dennis Miller, “that’s just my opinion, I might be wrong !

    • karlene

      I have to agree with you on Terms of Endearment–love that movie, even when it makes me cry my eyes out

  • rs71

    Brian’s Song.

  • Jan

    I can’t believe no one else has mentioned ‘Imitation of Life’. At the end of the film when the daughter has finally realized that she loved her mother but comes home to find the funeral prosession. I usually start crying long before then simply because I know what is going to happen.

    • PhyllisG(LasVegas)

      Imitation Of Life and Madam X are the two biggest tear jerkers of all time!!!!!!

  • jimjn

    My picks are Man’s best friend related:

    * Old Yeller- The 1957 movie:
    I watched the entire movie only once, when I was young. After that, I was so sad I was miserable for days. I tried to watch it again a couple of years ago, and knowing the outcome,
    I could not get through it a 2nd time.

    Also right up there is:
    * The Biscuit Eater – the 1940 version. The Disney 1972 version is good too but the original is the best

    * Goodbye My Lady – 1956 a hard one to find but well worth it.

    * More recently – Hachi, A Dog’s Tale – The 2010 movie

    * My final contribution to sadness is a move about Horses, In Pursuit of Honor – 2001

    To take a bit of poetic incense; “We are forever responsible or those we have tamed”

  • joe levin

    Try beating Heart is the Lonely Hunter with a great cast headed by the extraordinary Alan Arkin. My most cynical, hardened friend once said if you don’t cry sometime by the end of this picture you’ll need to re-examine your credentials as a human being.

  • Dentsurg

    The English Patient. Pure pathos! Same genre: Out of Africa.

    • Mary Jane Prothro-Jones

      OMG, yes! Spoiler Alert . . .

      Him flying her home at the end. Him moving the morphine toward the nurse, and her crying at a most humane and emotional moment.

  • diacad

    “The Last Days of Dolwyn” (1949 Britain), about the flooding of a quaint Welsh village, is a poignant film with dramatic twists that give it dimension beyond mere sadness. It was Richard Burton’s first film, but his was by no means the only great performance in this classic.

  • Frank

    How about “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?”

  • Josep

    La dolce vita (The sweet life), by Federico Fellini, with all its glamour of Anita Ekberg in the fountain, etc., is one of the saddest, most depressing movies ever. There is nothing sweet about that life, but bitter.

  • Rufnek43

    The fact Lee Remick’s character walks past the neon “bar” sign in Days of Wine and Roses should show she’s made some progress. What made me sad about Vertigo are all the gaping holes in the ridiculous murder plot–never have liked that film.
    As a pre-adolescent I got the sniffles when Old Yeller bit the bullet, so to speak, and Lassie was in danger. But I really can’t think of a truly sad movie I’ve seen as an adult. Maybe the final scene that shows Citizen Kane’s failed material search for happiness and reveals the childhood loss that shaped his life, but it’s not a wet-hankie moment–just a great final scene. Maybe it’s all the years I spent as a news reporter covering accident and crime fatalities–like the crazy mom who succeeded in killing her two sons but not herself in a murder-suicide attempt. Looking at dead children the same age as your own–now that’s sad.

  • SuberFla

    The Atonement was the saddest movie I ever saw. I had to pull off on the shoulder of the road a couple of days after watching it because thinking about it made me squall. I have not watched it since because it affected me so.

  • SuberFla

    Beaches is another sad one. Although it had its moments of humor.

  • dirkwrestler

    If Anyone thought LOVE STORY was sad, try the made for TV film GRIFFIN & PHOENIX: a love story, where they are BOTH terminally ill !!!!!!!

  • Mike

    A recent one: “Flight.” Watching Denzel’s character in total denial.

  • Mary Jane Prothro-Jones

    In no particular order:

    Cinema Paradiso (don’t watch the dubbed version . . . this is a work of art). If you love the movies, this will not only touch your heart regarding your love of them, but your love of friends and where you came from.

    Hachi, A Dog’s Tale – The 2010 movie (if you don’t cry at this movie, you have no heart)

    War Horse (see above, I could only watch this once, it tore me up), saw it on stage too. A true statement on there is never a reason for war. It is pounded into our brains to hate the unseen enemy, but when you see one scene in this movie and the interaction between the young boys on BOTH sides, you realize how stupid it is to waste the lives of our youth. Let’s put the old freak’in Leaders who start these wars into a cage and let them fight i out!

    The Way We Were (best love story movie ever too.)

    Brokeback Mountain (thank you for this ground-breaking movie). I cried through most of this movie. It reminded me of my Uncle who was a cowboy (in the 30′s, 40′s . . . ) and never could “come out.” It was tragic.

    Captains Courageous . . . every little boy should see this movie. However, in this day and age of computer animation and 3D (am I the only one who HATES 3D) and rare movies that show how a boy can be taught values and to become a man that knows the meaning of friendship, loyalty, family, honor, and feelings, I fear this would be a total bore to them.

  • wade

    the saddest movie that I will not watch any more is The Yearling There are also movies that end happy and but make you cry anyway like Random Harvest, Lassie Come Home, War Horse

  • Carolyn Ferrante

    The original “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” with Gene Tierney (I believe) and Rex Harrison. Didn’t the last scene feature the ghost of Mrs. Muir walking down the stairs to go meet the Captain?

  • mjc63

    My list would include Camille, Waterloo Bridge, Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment, The Good Earth, Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, The Yearling, Patch of Blue, I Remember Mama, All Mine to Give, A Majority of One, and of course Love Affair (or its remake An Affair to Remember, equally poignant because it is the male lead who get’s us), Longtime Companion, Stella Dallas, Philadelphia and Lassie Come Home.

    • Aleona

      good list; I could never watch All Mine To Give, but once it came on this past Xmas and I turned the channel; now that I am older it to closee to home

  • SoonerAlfie

    Sobbed so as a child that I vowed never to see it again …. “My Friend, Flicka.”

  • Sandy

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned Sophie’s Choice or Miracle In The Rain with Van Johnson

    • Patrice Mitsos

      Yes…of course Sophie’s Choice!

  • Larry

    Definitely Dancer in the Dark, saddest film ever.

    • Aleona

      who are the stars?

  • scribe_well

    The end of THE SEARCHERS, where Duke wanders off alone and forgotten…

  • Patrice Mitsos

    Another very sad one is “Immediate Family”, with Glenn Close, James Woods, Mary Stuart Masterson and Kevin Dillon. Wonderful film!

  • Aleona

    You’ve got a good list.I love old classic’s… Madame X with Lana Turner–that’s a tear jerk-er.

  • Charles L.

    La Strada. Anthony Quinn, Richard Basehart,, Giulietta Masina. Innocent and naïve Gelsomina (Masina)is sold to the brutish Zampano (Quuinn), who kills Il Masso (The fool) (Basehart.). A very sad movie.

  • Magman

    You’ve all seem to have forgotten the old 1953 classic “Roman Holiday” with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck and “Lilies of the Field” with Sidney Potier. Also, “The Electric Cowboy” with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Giving up love hand happiness for duty and responsibilty.

  • Antone

    Most of my choices have been mentioned by many respondents, but one of the saddest has been neglected—unless I overlooked it.

    Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye absorbs one brutal body blow after another as his religious traditions and the well-being of his church in Russia are under attack. Each time he bounces back with determination and good humor. Then his favorite daughter marries outside their faith. He decides that he can’t bend this far without breaking. The scene where he turns his back on her and declares her dead is heartbreaking.

  • zeke1956

    I have to say either Old Yeller ( I have only ever watched it once), or Brian’s Song.