The 10 Saddest Movies (That I’ve Watched)

Well, you know them. You’re watching them and you’re thinking: “Mother of god, life can be awful. Why people have to suffer so much! I’m not gonna cry, I’m not gonna cry. Think of something positive. Or something that makes you angry. Oh no, a tear is coming. I’m gonna cough to try to pass this heavy lump in my throat. Oh, what did she or he have to say that line? That’s the saddest thing…”

Anyway, I sacrificed myself for you, and re-watched some of these sad films. I included movies in which the predominant feeling is sadness or those whose endings are very dramatic. So, grab your tissues, here we go. (Warning: spoilers ahead).

What Movies Make You Cry

10 – The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

Plot: A girl and a boy fall in love and have a child but can’t be together.

You can’t hold your tears when…they say goodbye at the train station.

9 - Waterloo Bridge (1940)

Plot: Vivien Leigh thinks her boyfriend Robert Taylor is dead so she finds a socially rejected way to survive (mentioned in five other movies in which tragedy was caused by chance).

You can’t hold your tears when…the camera focus a little special object after some tragic event and then Robert remembers Vivien in the bridge.

8 – The Wedding Night (1935)

Plot: A writer (Gary Cooper) falls in love with a girl (Anna Sten) from a strict family of farmers.

You can’t hold your tears when…at the end, Gary looks out the window and “sees” the love of his life disappearing.

7 - This Land Is Mine (1943)

Plot: Awesome Charles Laughton and Maureen O’Hara play a coward teacher and his love interest, respectively, in this World War II film.

You can’t hold your tears when…Charles sees how a teacher he admired and respected is killed. But the worst part is the ending, one of the best fictional uses of the Declaration of Human Rights.

6 – Camille (1936)

Plot: An impossible love between a Paris courtesan (Greta Garbo) and a young nobleman (Robert Taylor).

You can’t hold your tears when…Garbo faces Taylor’s father ( Lionel Barrymore) and when Robert visits a “very weak” Camille in the last scene.

5 – A Star is Born (1937)

Plot: After two actors marry, the success of their careers enter into a inversely proportional relationship.

You can’t hold your tears when…the granny takes her granddaughter to the station. And when Fredric March embraces Janet Gaynor knowing it would be the last time and then he says “do you mind if I take just one more look?”

4 – Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Plot: An old couple (Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi) realize they have the worst children in the history of cinema.

You can’t hold your tears when…these people are humiliated and separated, which is practically the whole film.

3 – Three Comrades (1938)

Plot: After World War I, three German friends (Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone, Robert Young) meet Margaret Sullavan and their lives change forever. Adapted by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

You can’t hold your tears when…you watch the final scenes. Really.

2 – The Small One (1978)

Plot: A poor family have to get rid of their old donkey, a task that is entrusted to the kid.

You can’t hold your tears when…the last time I saw this one I cried my eyes out like the whole film, especially when the kid tries to cheer up his little animal and the ending.

1 – Ever in My Heart (1933)

Plot: Barbara Stanwyck marries a German before World War I.

You can’t hold your tears when…the family faces tragic situations (I mean TRAGIC) and the ending.

Honorable mentions: Letter from an Unknown Woman,I Remember Mama, Penny Serenade and Doctor Zhivago.

What are the saddest movies that you’ve ever watched? Let us know in the comments!

Hailing from Chile, Clara Fercovic is a writer whose favorite directors include Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder. For more information, visit Via Margutta 51 and on Twitter at  @viam51.

  • Lizardofahhs

    Grey Friar’s Bobby

  • Mike


  • Mike


  • Mike



  • Shelly Brisbin

    I’m glad you mentioned Make Way for Tomorrow. I saw it for the first time a few months back, and it stayed in my mind for quite some time. Penny Serenade is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. My husband loves the movie, but neither of us can bring ourselves to watch again. Cary Grant is…and in what other film can you say this? heartbreaking.

  • Jason Marcewicz

    Pennies from Heaven
    The Virgin Suicides
    Requiem for a Dream

  • Thance

    I don’t know if I could ever put them in any particular order, because different movies resonate stronger with you according to what’s touching your life at the moment.  But here are some of the first that come to mind…
    Gallipoli ( I still get choked up whenever I hear that achingly beautiful music from the tragic final scene!)
    Penny Serenade, Out of Africa, Sophie’s Choice, Maytime, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Waterloo Bridge, The White Cliffs of Dover, Camille, Goodbye, Mr. Chips (with Robert Donat)
    I know there are plenty of others that make me weep copious tears, but I gotta run right now…

    • Bobby Donat

      Mr. Chips, indeed.

  • Tangomann

    Number one would have to be “Make Way For Tomorrow” (the last scenes are excruciatingly sad), followed by “Umberto D.” and the last unforgettable minutes of “City Lights”.

  • Wayne

    Great Post!  I like a quite a few of these selections…When Babs has to do what she did to Otto Kruger at the end of Ever in My Heart…well, very emotionally grabbing.  As for some of my faves,  Escape 1937, with Robert Taylor and Norma Shearer and the incomparable villain Conrad Veidt, is for me a very touching finale.  Also, On Borrowed Time 1939, with Lionel Barrymore and Sir Cedric Hardwicke is an ole time story that always gets me when little Bobs Watson turns on the waterworks…which he did almost every picture he was in (see Boys Town :).  Finally, moving from the Studio Age to the Modern Era of Cinema…have to go with the all-time best updating of a classic Romeo & Juliet type of plotline in Sophies Choice 1982 with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline…as Andy Griffith so humorously put it during his comedy skit about R&J:  “The best way to avoid the expense of a double funeral, is to give ‘em a cheap wedding!”

  • Trystan

    Definately, without hesitation PENNY SERENADE is the saddest film I have ever seen!

  • Trystan

    Saddest recent film…SHAME !

  • Gtactandsing

    How about “On the Beach” with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner — it’s ONLY the end of the world!
    Bette Davis saying goodbye to her dogs at the end of “Dark Victory”
    “West Side Story”

  • anonymous

    The original IMITATION OF LIFE (Colbert)
    SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY (Heartbreaking performance by Connie Marshall)
    WAKE OF THE RED WITCH (Gail Russell’s death scene)
    A STAR IS BORN (Garland version)
    WUTHERING HEIGHTS (Olivier Version)

    Great idea to bring back the tears

  • John George

    Brokeback Mountain

    • Bobby Donat

      Oh, God, yes! It still shatters me.

  • Tom Reed

    I’m glad someone mentioned CITY LIGHTS.  I would also add some fairly recent additions to the tearjerker genre, ATONEMENT and REMAINS OF THE DAY.  Two classics.  The potential for great love, tragically denied.  And doesn’t CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON have two great love stories thrwarted by fate?

  • Fdp1014

    “No Greater Glory” 1934 Frank Borzage

  • luigi from NYC

    luigi from NYC — his picks –

    the blue veil ( jane wyman )

    make way for tomorrow (moore & bondi)

    tomorrow is forever (orson wells)

    the fighting sullivans (thomas mitchell) 

    the song of bernadette (jennifer jones)

    the mortal storm (james stewart)

    terms of endearment (shirley maclaine)

    bridges of madison county (streep & eastwood)

    love is a many splendored thing (jones & holden)

    sophie’s choice ( streep)

    stella dallas (stanwyck)

    a star is born (garland)

    imitation of life (gavin & turner)

    the keys of the kingdom (gregory peck)


    • Carolyn Ferrante

      luigi from NYC — Get a grip, I beg you! :)

  • Gturtle17

    All Mine to Give – definitely one of the saddest movies ever – along with Penny Serenade

  • KC

    Great mention of classics…any a tear for me there.  A more recent movie that really hit me hard and seemed to really affect others around me was  Bridge to Terabithia.  Was not what I expected at all.

  • TwentyCents

    Without a doubt…the original 1940 version of “The Biscuit Eater”.

  • BadGnx2

    I think a few people aforementioned (including the author of this piece) picked many of the movies because they had downer endings but weren’t necessarily sad throughout. Although the male leads in both “Star Is Born” movies dies, they both end with a bit of optimism as the female lead declares her new last name (of her deceased husband). Therefore I DON’T THINK THE DOWNER ENDINGS COUNT. If we picked movies that were funny or slightly happy or even dramatic but had downer endings, we could go on ALL DAY. Think of “Mister Roberts” or “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” or “Bridge On The River Kwai” or “The Manchurian Candidate”. Entertaining movies throughout, but downer endings.

    But many downer ending movies (especially produced during the studio system days) almost always ended with a bit of optimism. An example of this is practically ANY (dramatic) war movie set during the Korean war or World War 2. Another one is “Its A Wonderful Life”. Its a downer throughout but ends in a bit of optimism. “Penny Serenade” also is a downer throughout but ends in optimism. Same as “Bad Day At Black Rock”.

    The closest one will will get will be film noirs, such as “The Asphalt Jungle” or “Detour” or “Kiss Me Deadly”. Movies that have a cloud of doom over them throughout but ya gotta watch just to see HOW IT HAPPENS, BUT YOU REALLY AREN’T THAT SURPRISED THAT IT DOES HAPPEN. But there are a few others that weren’t noirs but still had a cloud of doom throughout and still ended sadly. Some movies that come to mind that fit this bill are “Sunset Boulevard”, ”The Hustler”, “Point Blank”, ”Psycho”, “Sweet Bird Of Youth” and the ALL TIME CHAMP, “The Roman Spring Of Mrs. Stone”. “Mrs. Stone” is a trainwreck from the beginning to the bitter end. I honestly can’t believe Vivian Leigh put herself through this movie. Its gotta be a testament to her dedication to her acting craft. In the movie, her husband dies in the beginning tragically and then she meets assorted characters in Rome who only want to use her, embarrass her and steal as much money from her as they can. And the ending only brings out the impending doom for this woman. Its actually a very good movie and well paced (although some have trouble with Warren Beatty’s accent – although it never bothered me) but by the time this movie ends, one can only feel true sorrow for this character and HOPE that one’s life NEVER hits the skids like her’s did.

    And I would assume that if one can take away ANYTHING from the overall downbeat movies, its the feeling that “although my life is bad or messed up, it STILL ISN’T AS BAD AS THEIR’S”. And therein lies the TRUE optimism.

    • Wayne

      Heres one that has a suprise AND a downer ending…Night of the Living Dead…yes, I know its a horror movie…but it has a Stanley Kubrick type directorial quality to it…that really, kinda/sorta, makes it a truly sad picture…and not the least of the reasons for that is due to the shocker ending…for instance that the girl in the house’ brother came back-undead-to get her and the daughter of the parents in the basement has to help kill them…amazing! But, I  liked your different take on the ‘degrees’ of sadness and their duration as well as where those scenes happen in the picture, especially if not just at the end.  The overall mood being one of preparation for a hallmark classic downtrodden finale is, for me, best summed up by the complete downward spiral set in Sophies Choice…which culminates in a Romeo & Juliet updating for the ages!

  • John Primavera

    “Love is a many-splendored thing,” “An Affair to Remember,” “A Star is Born”  (1954).

  • awesomesauciness

    *sniffle* Since You Went Away *sniffle*

  • Jess Galchutt

    I always bawl at Stella Dallas. Also The Kid, The Crowd, City Lights, In Name Only, Vigil in the Night,, Smilin’ Through, The Grapes of Wrath, Now Voyager, Come Back Little Sheba, Sophie’s Choice, and Remains of the Day are some films that I find evoke a sense of sadness.

    • Jchannes

       As I look through these earlier posts, I know I don’t have time to respond to all the ones people have listed…but I nave to say that ‘The Remains of the Day’ and ‘Howard’s End’.  Glad you brought up the others, too.

  • Billhfrogs

    LONG AGO TOMORROW, starring Malcolm McDowell and Nanette Newman in wheelchair-bound
    lovers in a rehab center.  Keeping a stiff upper lip is impossible.  A three hanky experience for sure.

  • rwelniak

    Nobody said “Old Yeller”?,Seriously!

  • Jess Galchutt

    I forgot Lassie Come Home, another great tear jerker, also Meet John Doe and Adventure. You could just go on and on as film moments come to your mind. Make Way for Tomorrow and I Remember Mama were lovely films, and I’m glad they were on the poster’s list. I’m glad someone mentioned Since You Went Away.

  • Kbridgman

    A.I. – Artificial Intelligence…just about the saddest movie of all time.

  • Bobby Donat

    Brokeback Mountain for sure; breaks my heart to think of it; Sophie’s Choice; I Want to LIve with Susan Hayward; The Little Tramp.  Chaplain, for me, was the most poignant film actor of all time.  Also, Make Way for Tomorrow and City Lights.

  • Jess Galchutt

    So Big (Barbara Stanwyck), Pride of the Yankees, on and on, …

  • Ellenbadders

    All This and Heaven Too with Bette Davis, The Mortal Storm, Wuthering Heights and Sophies Choice. (As for animation, my sons would say the Fox and the Hound-they start as friends and end as enemies-what could be sadder)

  • Cchuckles

    Ever heard of Love Story? Brian’s Song? Sophie’s Choice?

    • Clara Fercovic

      Hi there, I’ve heard of them but my original post was about “The 10 saddest OLD movies (that I’ve watched)”, that’s why I only listed movies released before 1970 :) But you’re right, if you eliminate that time variable, the films you mentioned should be in the list. 

  • R.D.Cochran

    There’s even tearjerkers in sports.Remember “Brian’s Song”? And also Ice Castles and the aforementioned The Pride of the Yankees.

  • CBivens

    Old Yeller; Goodbye, My Lady; Human Comedy; GWTW; Lady Hamilton; My Vines Have Tender Grapes; How Green Was My Valley; Now Voyager; Dark Victory — OMG! I’m teary eyed just thinking about them.  So many more.

  • DIRK

    LOVE STORY was sad, but try the TV movie GRIFFIN & PHOENIX: A LOVE STORY where they are BOTH terminal !!!!

  • AGB

    THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR always mists the eyes!

  • Da51b

    Annie’s death and funeral in “Imitation of Life” Lana Turner film

  • Buck


    • lady d

      I agree but the book is even better.  Its awesome and will make you cry

    • Clara Fercovic

      Hey Buck, I’m sorry I didn’t include it, but…I haven’t seen it!! But I’ll follow your recommendation and watch it, sounds great! Thank you :)

  • Martha Smith

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn!

  • Tom S.

    As I read thru the comments and agree with most I think back on one no one listed.
    The move “All mine to give” about the family that the parents died living 6 children the oldest only a teenager and the towns people fighting over who will take them in. The oldest, a boy, leave in the middle of the night with all the children and it’s snow and proceeds to stop at house along the way and give his brothers and sisters to people he thought would be good to them. When the last one is safe and he is walking off by himself there cane be not much more tear jerting ending than that.

  • Charly Hulswitt

    Tomorrow is Forever with Orson Wells and Claudette Colbert
    Days of Wine and Roses with Jack Lemon and Lee Remick.

    These are minimum two boxers!

  • Winterwood

    That scene between Heathcliff and Kathy in her bedroom when she’s dying and asks him to take her to the window to see the heather once more and she dies while he’s holding her up.  The doctor, who walks into the bedroom right after Kathy’s death, wants to take her out of Heathcliff’s arms and back to the bed – Heathcliff says “Leave her alone…she’s mine.”  I’ve seen this movie countless times yet always cry at every scene after this one.  

  • watthyer

    This list really goes back in time, and, that’s why its so surprising not to see City Lights on it.  Many people have already mentioned that one, and its not really sad all throughout, and, it ends on a high note; but anybody who does not tear up when the Little Tramp meets the girl he helped out at the beginning of the film is a cold blooded reptile.  The newer films people mention include my personal favorite: Sophie’s Choice.  Beaches also devastated me.  But the most profoundly moving film I have ever seen has not been mentioned yet: The Barbarian Invasions. An Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film. You’ll need a couple of handkerchiefs.  You will be profoundly glad you watched this film.

    • Clara Fercovic

      I do love “City lights”, but seems I’m a cold blooded reptile, that’s why I didn’t include it :) I don’t actually cry with it, but I agree it’s sad and memorable. 

  • Grumpylittleman12

                                                                                                                                  LARRY W.

    • Dicey0133

      Dont forget  The Biscuit Eater

  • Bill

    Brian’s Song and Old Yeller.  The first time I saw Brian’s Song I was sitting in a bar with a bunch of guys and we got interested in it because of the football scenes.  Before you know it it seemed like the whole place got the sniffles.
    Someone mentioned the Mortal Storm that is a good movie.

  • lady d

    Stella Dallas with Barbara Stanwyck was a great tearjerker

  • Dar

    Imitation of Life (both versions), Stella Dallas (you can’t hold back the tears when Barbara Stanwyck is standing on the sidewalk watching her daughter being married), All Mine to Give.

  • Rick

    The endings of UMBERTO D and SPARTACUS will get your tear ducts flowing.

  • Barryybarra

    What happened to Old Yeller? I saw it as a kid but I still can’t watch it except by myself.

  • Rob Maynard

    Stella Dallas (Stanwyck)… Back Street (Margaret Sullavan)… Only Yesterday (Margaret Sullavan)… Madame X (Lana Turner)

  • Lahnee2004

    I would add The Way We Were and totally endorse Stella Dallas-watching her stand in the rain outside the window while her daughter is exchanging vows is a scene I can never get through without uncontrolled sobbing.

  • Sageaqua

    Old Yeller, Where the red fern grows, Bambi and For the Love of Benji. I’ve always loved animals and those films hit me hardest.

  • Ajnckls

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn what a tear jerker.

  • Evrrdy1dev

    Great list.  I would add “For Whom the Bell Toll” (Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman), “Captains Courageous” (Spencer Tracy and Freddie Bartholomew), “The Champ” (Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper), “Sweet November” (Sandy Dennis and Anthony Newly) to the list of at least honorable mentions.  Do you agree? 

    • Clara Fercovic

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked my list :) From the ones you mentioned, I’ve only seen “For whom the bell tolls”, which is one of my favorites, but I don’t cry with it. I’ll try to check the rest, thank you very much for the recommendations!

  • Jane

    Sophie’s Choice has got to be the ultimate tear jerker with All Mine to Give coming in a close second.  

  • Skybar2012

    The Blue Veil (RKO 1951)
    Dark Victory (WB 1939)

  • remcal

    Brokeback Mountain

    • Dorcare

      totally agree and it is 1 of the most beautiful movies ever

  • Grace

    Ten North Frederick Street

    • Grace

       Oh, YES – The Way We Were, forgot that one!!

  • Cap’n Marvel

    The BEST and saddest… Dr Zhivago

    • Tim

      Absolutely!  Surprised it only got “honorable mention” above.  Not even sure I can watch it again, it breaks me up so much at the end.

      • Clara Fercovic

        Hey Tim, when I was making the list I thought of including “Dr Zhivago”, and the only reason why it just got a mention is because I cried more with the others :) But yes, it’s awesome and the ending is really powerful and sad. 

  • Mominpink

    I loved “Ever in My Heart.” It came on tv a long time ago and I was able to record it. I haven’t seen it since the first time I saw it. Too sad, but I want a copy. I wish it was on DVD.

  • Wjcleveland644

    THE MIRACLE WORKER. The true story of Helen Keller on how she learned to “see” even though she was blind. Tears comes to my eyes now !

  • BigE

    Nothing is sadder than a movie feature a cute animal tragedy. The Yearling… Old Yeller

    • Jchannes

       Oh, yes; The Yearling!  Claude Jarmon, Jr., Gregory Peck, and Jane Wyman.

  • Sandy

    Make Way for Tomorrow is a great little film, and you are right about it being ever so sad. I don’t think I want to know anyone who could watch that film and not cry. Imitation of Life, Sophie’s Choice and I never can watch Little Women and not cry when Beth dies.

  • Graynavarre

    All Mine to Give with Cameron Mitchell. I started crying 30 minutes before the end and didn’t stop until 30 minutes after it was over.

  • Con Tamvakis

    An affair to remember

  • RocketScientist

    The ending of Random Harvest (1942), when Charles Rainier (Smithy) suddenly remembers that he had married Paula years ago.  Also, The Search (1948), where a mother searches for her son (both had been in concentration camps).  They didn’t have to do any special effects because Europe was still in ruins.  I watched Lassie Come Home (1943) with my mother and sister and they were both crying (my eyes weren’t dry).

  • Pjenn44

    Imitation of Life

  • Pjenn44

    Stella Dallas too.

  • Phil

    Back Street – Susan Haword

  • Cunardf

    Saddest movie – Tomorrow is Forever

    Newly wed husband goes to WW! to never return.  Wife remarries and has son.  Husband brings a scientist from Germany to work in his factory.  Scientist is disfigured and is in fact the first husband of the factory owner.  When the grownup son wants to join the RAF for WW2 the scientist talks to him, father to son.  A must see, Natalie Woods first movie as the Scientist’s daughter.

  • reeves

    Crying and sad aren’t necessarily related. Many movies that end beautifully are tear-jerkers. For instance, Random Harvest, The Searchers, The Quiet Man, and your above – I Remeber Mama. Make a movie, put family, tragedy and separation in it, then end it with a feel good conclusion. That’s the formula for tears. Leave the sad movies alone. They leave you with down emotions.The hapy tear jerkers leave you with hope.  

  • Bill Powers

    Two I would suggest are Stella Dallas and All Mine To Give

  • Lila

    All Mine to Give with Glynnis Johns.  The last part is the oldest brother trying to find homes for his orpahned brothers and sisters.  I cry every time.



  • Frosty

    “Lassie Come Home” There’s a little story in the middle of the movie where Lassie befriends a traveling showman and his performing dog. This little escapade ends tragically. It’s the only movie the really brings tears to my eyes.

  • Flcesq

    The Imitation of Life – I can’t remember which version is sadder — the one with Claudette Colbert or Lana Turne. But the end is heart breaking — the black woman’s daughter (who has passed for white, consequently rejected her mother and never sees her mother again) gets to the funeral after it is over and tries to get in the hearse as her mother (who died from a broken heart) is being driven away to the cemetery and as she cries her eyes out as she realizes she can never make it up to her mother. 

    • Jchannes

       I agree with you on this one!

  • Frosty

    And “Bridge to Terabithaca”.

  • FalmouthBill

    First, I don;t get “I remember Mama” as an honorable mention, nothing really sad in that “upbeat” film ! I thought “The way we were” was sad, and “Two for the Road”, betrayal is the worst sin !   And nothing can top the “Sterile Cuckoo” for sheer abandonment !, 

    • Clara Fercovic

      Hi there, I mentioned “I remember mama” because I remember I cried with the hospital scene, you know, when Irene Dunne has to make an effort to visit her sick child. 

  • Tschihara

    The climactic scene in “The Sullivans” is the saddest single scene of all time

  • JohnQ

    “Showboat” at the end when all are happy, singing and dancing as Ava Gardner watches them sailing away after she saved the showboat for the stupid captain.

  • Bonken

    I was so glad to see “Letter from an unknown woman” – even in the Honorable Mentions. Oh who I wish it were available on DVD – it wasn’t even available on VHS – and I have been looking for it for years. Absolutely the saddest movie I’ve ever seen.  Does anyone else know this one?

    • Clara Fercovic

      Yes, it’s so sad! I cried more with the others, that’s the only reason why it only got a mention. Hope you can find it…somehow. Thanks for your comment!

  • Gary Vidmar

    KING KONG.  Does anyone want that giant ape to die? 

  • Paladin777

    For me the saddest movie was A Patch of Blue, with Sidney Poitier and Elizabeth Hartmann. Not only was the movie flavored with a deep sadness throughout, both regarding Hartmann’s tragically-induced blindness and the fact that she was white and he black, but it built to an ending that, while it should have been at least a bit optimistic, could not shake the poignancy of her condition and the fact that the two characters would be slated to never meet again. It is also possible that Hartmann was so drained in her role – her first major one in movies – that she (much like Jean Seaberg in Joan of Arc) never was able to create a performance that came anywhere near it, and soon left the movie business entirely.

  • George

    What about “Miracle in the Rain”. In the last scene, the deathly ill heroine sees her dead lover,s spirit and he gives her the old roman coin she gave him when he went to war. And after she collapses and is found by a priest on the steps of his church, she is clutching the old roman coin in her hand. She really saw her dead lover. It was not an illusion brought about by her fever.

  • Golden1

    I’m glad others remember Imitation of Life (Colbert/Beavers) and Backstreet with Susan Hayward.  The funeral scene in Imitation of Life is heartbreaking.  And the final scene in Backstreet with Susan Hayward and the children of her deceased lover makes me run for tissues. And I still cry at the end of Hunchback of Notre Dame when Charles Laughton asks “Why was I not made of stone like thee?.”  So sad.

    • Clara Fercovic

      From the films you mentioned, I’ve only seen “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, that’s why the rest is not included in the list. I didn’t actually cry watching “The Hunchback…”. But I’ll watch “Imitation of life” and “Backstreet”, I know I’m gonna love the first, it has gotten a lot of mentions and has Claudette Colbert!

  • ww

    The “Baby Mine” sequence in “Dumbo” makes me cry every time.

    • Janrichgmr

      oh yes!  i used to be terribly embarrassed by how much I cried in that scene (as an adult), but to this day, i still can’t watch it without crying. 

    • Anne

      Yes, yes!  It’s embarassing but true.  Also, the ends of  “Forbidden Games”  and  “Chinatown”.

  • Jennyanydots9

    Camelot, The Way We Were, Sophie’s Choice, Old Yeller, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle–I’ve
    cried buckets full over these movies.

    • Janrichgmr

      The Way We Were — a real heartbreaker.  anytime someone has to lose Robert Redford, the whole world shakes!  aside from all the naysayers, it was a terrific movie!

  • Susanleehorton

    Well here is my list of movies that make me cry for various reasons.
    Some are just too painful to watch a second time.
    Penny Serenade
    Old Yeller
    Imitation of Life
    Spencer’s Mountain
    The Way We Were
    Sentimental Journey
    Susan Slade
    Stella Dallas
    Kitty Foyle
    Sweet Bird of Youth
    Spendour in The Grass
    Little Women
    All Mine to Give
    Gone With The Wind
    Some Came Running
    Steel Magnolias
    Desire Under The Elms
    I’ll stop now, guess I didn’t realize how many movies make me cry.
    I think I need to go watch Gidget or Sunday in New York or I’ll Take Sweden or Under The Yum, Yum Tree, something happy that’s for sure !!

    • Jchannes

       I feel the same way about Old Yeller and Penny Serenade.

    • Janrichgmr

      Splendor in the Grass was exceptionally fine and tragic.  That ending…how could anyone not cry?

      • Clara Fercovic

        Hi, I didn’t include “Splendor in the grass” because I didn’t like it, so I didn’t get emotional watching it. But I understand why people like it or cry with it :) Thanks for your comment!

  • Maxfabien

    “Tree of Life” It’s sad that anyone spent money to see it !!

  • Debbie

    I can’t take:

    On Borrowed Time
    Captains Courageous

    I just sobbed at the end of the first movie and I have never done that before.
    When Spencer Tracy dies in the second, it tears my heart out.
    I can’t watch either one of these movies because it is just too painful.
    Another movie that turns on the water-works is: 
    Lost Horizon
    When Ronald Coleman is leaving Shangri-la and turns around for one last look….It just kills me.

  • Debbie

    I just thought of another gut-wrencher:

    Somewhere in Time

  • Jchannes

    One of the saddest movies I’ve seen, also one of the best, is ‘How Green Was My Valley’.

  • Jchannes

    Another sad one is ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’.

  • David_alan77

    One Potato, Two Potato was a sad, sad movie…when the little girl cries that she will be good.  And of course, Old Yeller!

  • Renee

    Certainly NOT the Umbrellas of Cherborg (one of the all time worst films)
    Old Yeller, To Kill a Mockingbird,, Pharlap, Madame X, The Painted Veil, soooo many sadder choices,
    The Mission, Where the Red Fern Grows, Tale of Two Cities, The Rain Maker,

  • Mike

    What about “Brian’s Sog”?

  • Carolecarp

    No Sad Songs for Me, The Search, The L-Shaped Room, A Place in the Sun, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Yearling.  And, yes, I dare to say it:  One Day. 

    • Janrichgmr

      A Tree Grows in Brooklyn tore my heart apart, especially when the aunt brings the child the flowers from her (deceased) father at the child’s graduation. Peggy Ann Gardner’s performance is, in my opinion, the best performance by a child actress that I’ve ever seen.  She moved me enormously.  And Joan Blondell as the aunt was wonderful.  Dorothy McGuire as the long suffering mother was so good; hiding her feelings and her own wounded heart from her daughter.  James Dunn was great as the Irish-singing alcoholic father. 

  • Magman

    Hey everybody….do you remember Roman Holiday? Gregory Peck walking away after Audrey Hepburn decides to choose her royal duty even though she is very much in love with him. And don’t forget Shakespeare In Love, same type of parting. Finally, The Vikings when Kirk Douglas is cast off in a burning Viking ship after he was slain.

    • Clara Fercovic

      Hey Magman, I LOVE “Roman Holiday”, the name of my blog is a reference to the film, and I did think of it while making the list…BUT, it’s a sunny and fun journey anyway, so I don’t actually cry watching the ending. I guess I think ” well, at least they met and had some wonderful days together” :) Thanks for your comment!

  • 50greycrow

    Zefferelli’s Romeo and Juliet. Oh how my little gang of high schoolers and I sobbed at the end!

    • hypatiab7

      West Side Story (no one could understand why my entire class came out of the theater laughing. We’d all been crying our eyes out in the theater when some guy blew his nose really loudly. We all fell apart.). And, one of my favorites – Portrait of Jennie with Joseph Cotton and Jennifer Jones. What a beautiful but sad fantasy.

  • Coral

    `When Tomorrow Comes` with Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne.  They know each other for three days, fall desperately in love but he has a wife with mental problems.  He leaves at the end saying he will be back.  But will he?  I hope so. 

    This is the original film on which `Interlude` with Rossano Brazzi and June Allyson was based.

  • Coral

    `All This and Heaven Too`.  Charles Boyer and Bette Davis.  So in love but unable to do anything about it as he copes with a possesive and vicious wife.  He gives his life to save Bette`s character from the guillotine.

    Charles Boyer was desperate at one time to make a comedy, as he said that he was drowning in all the tears caused by his films.

  • Suzanne

    Stella Dallas was just on TCM and I just couldn’t watch the ending as she tries to do what she thinks is best for her daughter. Another film, Forbidden Games, about how 2 children deal with war and loss. The ending is especially poignant.

  • Islandbacio

    The two saddest movies that I have ever seen are Taking Chance with Kevin Bacon and the movie We Are Marshall
    From: Jackieoh

  • Alex in Decatur

    I always choke up at the end of “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”. Yes, she gets Capt. Gregg in the end, but it is so sad that Gene Tierney spurns any suitors after being duped by children’s author, Uncle Neddy [a suavely smarmy George Sanders] while still a young, attractive woman. Til her dying day she remains loyally in love with a spirit. The cinematography, the musical score, and especially the setting create a sad and evocative film.

  • Mariehill

    Old Yeller is so sad I have to turn it off! Mr. Smith Goes To Washington can do it too, with the glib politicians having there way…Now, Voyager; there are so many…

  • Irene in Wilmington

    Two that come to mind are The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, 
    which I can’t watch again, about two innocent young boys who become friends, one a resident of a WWII concentration camp and the other the son of the commandant; and The Shop on Main Street, which I still watch and cry at what happens to the old woman the protagonist tries to save.

    Irene in Wilmington

  • Brygolf

    what about blossums in the dust  with the wonderful  Greer Garson .

  • Jennyanydots9

    I thought of 2 more heart breakers.  Glory and Sleepers.  I cried as hard at those 2 as any movies I’ve ever seen.  If you haven’t seen them, be forewarned.  They are real gut wrenchers.

  • Jim

    Oe that hasn’t been mentioned: Here Comes Mr. Jordan

  • Laurab51

    Imitation of Life with Lana Turner had me in tears so bad I had to leave the room and cry in the bathroom….I was 15-16 at the time…can still spring those tears up when i see it now. :)

  • Tom

    “La Strada”.

  • Fhphouston

    I’ll Cry Tomorrow

  • Jwhuey67

    HI CLARA!!!  Great, awesome, incredible article here! :-)

    …as for sad movies, heck, I’ve honestly only seen ‘Waterloo Bridge’… I’m not that great on ‘tear-jerkers’…  heck, I hardly made it thru ‘Toy Story 3′…the end, when Andy ‘passes down’ his toys to the next generation… as you can see, it doesn’t take much for me :-)

    Of course, as for gingerfilms,…hmmm… I guess ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’ is kinda hard to top as a sad one… and of course, the end of the ‘Castles’ is one as well.

    Thanks, Clara!


    • Clara Fercovic

      As always, thanks for your kind comment! I agree with the movies you mentioned :)

  • Larry MOhr

    I am 62 years of age and I only, recently, and quite by accident, had the opportunity to see the 1948 movie ” ENCHANTMENT “, starring David Niven & Teresa Wright.  I can’t understand why this movie has not been made more available on TCM ( I can only assume it is because the stars are not in a class with “the very big stars”!!. I just loved everything about this love story, and i suddenly became a “big fan” of NIVEN & WRIGHT.   All I can say is “WATCH THIS ROMANTIC FILM”!!!

  • Netherlandj

    Enchantment is sad, but really good.  Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (Jean Peters, David Wayne.  Dark at the Top of the Stairs is classic.  Dark Victory with Bette Davis, Untamed Heart with Christian Slater and Marisa Tomei (I dare you not to cry at this one), Seven Pounds with Will Smith, Love is a Many Splendored Thing.  Ghost.  The two that stick most is my mind are the original and its remake:  The House in Berkeley Square with Leslie Howard and its remake I’ll Never Forget You with Tyrone Power.  It’s about a man who inherits an old house, steps inside and is transported to the past.  Naturally, he falls in love with the girl who lives there.  So sad, touching, and lovely.  Powers’ is on DVD, but I don’t think Howard’s is.  These should have been included on the list….

  • Lou from Missouri

    Lou from Missouri

    These are oldies but sad and have not been seen on TV for ages and you definitely cannot buy them or if shown on TCM, FOX, AMC you can no longer tape them.  They are  Sentimental Journey with Maureen O’Hara and John Payne and Tender Comrade with Ginger Rogers.  To me they are classics and I hope some day they can be bought as regular dvd’s.

  • Pmeis

    Backstreet, with Susan Hayward. You have to see it.

  • Netherlandj

    Backstreet is good, too.  I forgot to add The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  I still have trouble watching that one.  I tear up every time it’s on TV…..

  • Jonesdou25

    You forgot Dark Victory with Bette Davis

    • TUfan

      Good one!

    • Clara Fercovic

      The reason is…I haven’t seen it. I know, I know, I’ll try to check it soon, thanks for the recommendation!

  • Fousheec

    Ever see “All Mine to Give,” with Cameron Mitchell and Glynnis Johns?  They play parents in the Old West who are dying of some disease and they have to give their children away, one by one.

  • Eccolima54

    The saddest movies I have ever seen are the movies directed by Wolfgang Petersen.
    For some obscure reason his movies generally have sad endings. Just to mention two examples : The Perfect Storm : After having fought bravely to survive the storm the fishing boat goes down and the poor widow only has the memory left. Another example : Das Boot descring the life in a german submarie during WW2. The characters are described very nicely, but after having stood through a lot of challenges and they finally reaches safe harbour and leave the submarine, then suddenly and without any link to the story as such an enemy aeroplane suddenly appears from the skies and gun them all down.
    Wolfgang Petersen must be born as a pessimist. 

  • Frank pienkosky

    kinda’ torn between “On the Beach” and “The Diary of Anne Frank”….one could have happened…the other actually did!

  • Lenore Salinger

    KING KONG – Kong’s demise from the Empire State Building is gut wrenching (in both Merian Cooper’s and Peter Jackson’s versions), SON OF KONG – Baby Kong’s sacrifice to save Denham is heartbreaking.

    • Cadesgrams

       Ha, ha!

  • Cadesgrams

    Two movies that make me cry. The Way We Were:Barbra Striesand and Robert Redford, and Gone With the Wind:Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. They’re reminiscence of A Star is Born. They just ring me out and hang me up to dry. These couples have to work so hard to be together and all that hard work still doesn’t work! Ok not only sad but frustrating. I figure it’s the movies it should at least work in the movies,right? Oh well…

  • Frankelly

    Sleepers and The Way We Were

  • Cadesgrams

    I saw an old movie on television once and not all of it.It was a boring weekend and I was channel surfing,but anyhow, saw this movie was sad but beautiful at the same time. I don’t remember who the actors were. The man goes to live in a remote cottage because he had been disfigured I don’t know why and the cleaning lady is a very shy,plain,ugly woman. They fall in love and believe that magically there love makes them whole and beautiful. There not afraid to be out in public again but in reality to everyone else they are still the same. I thought maybe it was this movie Enchantment that is being talked about but I don’t remember Davis Nivens in it. Like I said I didn’t get to see the whole thing and haven’t seen it since.Can anyone help me with the name of the movie and actors?

    • Chrysallis7

      The enchanted cottage with Robert Young a great movie

    • The_bob_wan

      “The Enchanted Cottage” with Robert Young and Dorothy McGuire

  • Johnny_27

    Some great ones listed but I have one that I need lots of help with…
    I once saw this movie on television once and unfortunately never seen since. Being so long ago, I can’t relate what the movie was about but the end scene has stuck with me all these years. And oh brother, did it make the tears flow!!
    Does anyone remember….a young boy….pulling a sled through the snow with a younger sister/brother (?) ….arrives at a house and asks the family living there if they could take care of her. They agree to take her in but for some reason (again my memory fails me), the boy turns at walks away. I believe that was the movie’s ending.
    Ring any bells, anyone?

    • Wayne P.

      Its “All Mine to Give”  noted in other comments here also…made in 1957 with Glynis Johns and Cameron Mitchell.

  • Rjbishopaz

    the saddest movie i ever watched was ALL MINE TO GIVE . the story of boy who finds homes for his brothers &sisters after their parents die.

  • Sammy

    STELLA DALLAS gets me everytime. Barbara Stanwyck is magnificent, a fearless performance.

  • mike

    “All Mine to Give” – hands down.
    This is the movie Johnny_27 mentioned.

  • oscat

    all the movies mentioned here are tearjerkers especially ALL Mine to Give and one not mentioned here called The Yearling with Jane  Wyman and Greg  Peck when the boy had to shoot his pet deer.

  • Marsh4046

    my saddest movie ever, STEEL MAGNOLIAS!

  • Elsando

    If I think it is to be a sad movie I start tearing up at the concession commercial. Does anyone recall “Little Boy Lost” with Bing Crosby? I went with my mother and my aunt and the theater filled with tears. 

  • Barbara 1954

    Johnny Belinda now that was a tear jerker.

    • Bet

      Yes, this and Somewhere in Time.   My favorite tear jerkers.

  • Timothyjireland

    What about Sophie’s Choice?

    • Clara Fercovic

      Timothy, my original post was called “The 10 saddest OLD movies (that I’ve watched)”; so I only listed movies released before 1970 :) But “Sophie’s Choice” must be one of the saddest ever!


    Just finished watching Broken Blossoms (Gish and Barthelmess) for the first time. That was fairly grim.

  • Chris

    Terms of Endearment.

  • TUfan

    One more recent movie that took a shocking turn at the end, leaving me terribly depressed was “Million Dollar Baby.”  That has to be one of the saddest movie endings that I’ve ever seen.

  • TUfan

    Ol’ Yeller…. When I was a young boy, this one left me in tears for days.

    • carol

      When I was young girl Ol Yeller had me sobbing my heart out.   I have never cried as much at any other movie.  Probably being a child it really touched me.

    • tlynette

      Aww, man! I haven’t seen “Ol’ Yeller” in years, simply because I can’t take it! It broke my heart!

  • Wayne P.

    Is this the first mention for “The Notebook” ?

  • Ohcaseyusa

    Love Umbrellas of Cherbourg and cry every time i watch it.  So glad it’s on the list!

  • Rachelfhinish

    with out a doubt AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER ! When Cary Grant goes to see the woman who purchased his painting and of course it’s Deborah Kerr> and as he begins to walk around her apartment, then finds the painting in the bedroom!  I begin to cry EVERY time!

    • Clara Fercovic

      Hey Rachel, I agree “An affair to remember” has really sad scenes, but it has a happy and promising ending, that’s why I didn’t include it in the list :)

  • Parmetermary

    Among the saddest, one I watched last night -”The Great Man’s Lady” with Joel McRae and Barbara Stanwyck. Also one called “Waterloo Bridge” (Vivian Leigh and Robert Taylor?) My favorite tear jerker is “Mrs.Miniver” with Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon and Teresa Wright. Shows what war can be like for those left at home…..WW II vintage film. Also “The Grapes of Wrath” Henry Fonda. Depression era Dust Bowl family trying to survive together. Sad!

    • Technotess

      I cried through “The Great Man’s Lady” too.  Should have been in bed for work the next day, but the movie was so compelling!  Unually sympathetic role for Brian Donlevy too.

  • SandyG

    The ones that get me crying every time I see them are:
    The already-mentioned Dark Victory and The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (the only Fred & Ginger I cannot watch again and again)
    In Name Only – Carole Lombard and Cary Grant
    The Incredible Journey – full of  mawkish sentimentality, but I still cry like a baby

  • Sadiegirl22001

    BEACHES…  so sad, I cry every time!!

  • Pribe55049

    Without a doubt it was “Born on the Fourth of July” 
    Very sad movie to me

  • Linsai

    Hachi A Dog’s Tale: I was Sobbing !

    • KDC

      Me, too… and I generally don’t like dogs that much!  (Hachi was the first movie that came to mind when I saw the title of the posts.)

  • Kingpong

    For me, one of the saddest movies made and especially with the theme of interracial love was
    “Sayonara” with Red Buttons, Miyoshi Yumeki, James Garner et al.

  • gayle

    Imitation of Life: Lana Turner and John Gavin, Back Street Susan Hayward and John
    Gavin, Beauty and the Beast Fay Wray, Gone with the Wind, Dr. Zhivago

  • UberEclectic

    “Never Let Me Go”

  • Mew3276

    Brian’s Song was the saddest for me.  It was a short, made for TV movie, but I CANNOT watch it without crying.

  • UberEclectic

    “Madam X”

  • Mcarroll1

    All Mine To Give

    • Technotess

      My gut reaction too!  I agree with all of the films in this top ten list, but All Mine to Give stands out.  I even named my son Cameron before it became a girl’s name.  Cameron Mitchell’s character lived the word integrity (as well as the mother Glynis Johns), so much so that the children all ‘got it’ too!

  • Joanne

    Some wonderful movies here and I think I’ve probably cried through 75% of them.  I have some catching up to do!  One movie not mentioned that always, always makes me cry is Brian’s Song.  Instant tears.

    • Peggy

      Brian’s Song for sure.  I cry anytime I hear the music playing.

    • Clara Fercovic

      Thanks for the recommendation Joanne! Glad you liked my list!

  • jeanpierre150


    • Daphne

      Random Harvest was a great one, but at least it had a happy ending

  • Carymatthews

    Back to Boutiful. Before she dies and old lady (Geraldine Page) wants to go back to the old abandon Texas farm home she grew up in.

    • Mario Brescio

      The Trip to Bountiful is one of my favorites.  When Carrie Watts (Geraldine Page) finally gets on the bus and looks out the window and starts crying…so do I.  Great choice!!

  • EO

    Back Street and Imitation of Life with Lana Turner

  • lotusman

    The saddest film I ever saw was the newsreel of the Obama inauguration.  Nothing will ever give me the sense of dispair and foreboding of that film

    • Celticfem

      Oh, you are so right, lotusman.  I didn’t sleep all night.

    • Jack Jojo

       oh!    It was the inauguaration of Bush that did it for me, and the election of Thatcher was a very  teary moment, and even worse the  inevitable destruction of families accross the country as they lost their jobs.

      • Wayne P.

        At least GWB can PROVE where hes from and what he did before…someone needs a Deep Throat to get to the bottom of BO’s life story and how he got to be Prez!  Not to be a conspiracy theorist but does it seem like a Sex, Lies & Videotape 2 updating should be in the works soon?

      • Carolyn Ferrante

        Yea, Jack Jojo, and jobs are still being lost, with no prospect of economic recovery in sight.

      • Heidi Lynn McDonald Stetler

        Bahaha! that would be tear jerker #2 right behind Obama.

    • Carolyn Ferrante

      lotusman — I share your pain!

    • Antone

      I can think of nothing of less interest to me than the political opinions of you and your 5 tea bagger friends or Jack’s lone voice of dissent [well maybe your religious views].

  • Daphne

    Imitation of Life- for sure!

  • robinf1947f

    A1 was sad.

  • Randy Skretvedt

    “Lassie Come Home” is a real tear-jerker, but for me the all-time saddest movie, yet a great one, is the Italian film “Umberto D,” directed by Vittorio DeSica.  It’s about an elderly man who is evicted and faces losing his beloved small dog as a result.  Beautifully made, but you’ll need three boxes of kleenex to get through it.  Honorable mention goes to the first ten minutes of Pixar’s “Up,” a beautiful wordless sequence that depicts the bittersweet life of a married couple.

  • 4menoregrets

    These ten are sad indeed.  Add “Atonement” to the list.

    • Clara Fercovic

      4menoregrets, my original post was called “The 10 saddest OLD movies (that I’ve watched)”; so I only listed movies released before 1970 :) But I watched “Atonement” and, yes, it was devastating :)

  • Karendonnally

    The Way We Were

    • Carolyn Ferrante

      I’m sorry, Karendonnally, but this movie gave me gas. (:

  • Carthorn

    Born on the 4th of July (I sobbed throughout that movie)  and  Sophie’s Choice.

  • Karendonnally

    Also the one with Betty Davis who plays a blind woman

  • Karendonnally

    West Side Story

  • Karendonnally


  • Rserra

    I would have to say that everytime I see “The Old Maid” (Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins) I cry at the very end when (Delia) Miriam Hopkins asks Tina (Jane Byran) to make sure…the very last person she says good-bye to and kisses is her Aunt Charlotte (Bette Davis) before she leaves for her honeymoon…I cry like a baby and I’m a 55 year old man…can’t help it…Also “Bambi” had a terrible effect on me as a child… 

  • Rserra

    Did I forget to mention that in the “Old Maid” Tina doesn’t know that Aunt Charlotte is really her Mother…

  • Metzgerg

     All Mine to Give:  Both parents die after coming over from Scotland. The oldest boy has to at the end give away his four siblings to people in the town where they lived..

  • Bpana

    wuthering heights, old yelller, turner and hooch, marley and me, Gentleman Jim (especially scene with Jim Corbett and John l. Sullivan meeting after the fight)

  • tomas moray

    Tie between Ishtar, Water World, and The Postman.  Sad with respect to how much money was wasted.

    • jumbybird

      Of those, WW, I felt was an ok movie, but what about Heaven’s Gate, and the current crop of CGI clunkers?

  • Dean Bentley

    Good suggestions. But there are two movies that I feel are especially touching. THE SUSPECT starring Charles Laughton, and Barry Levinson’s AVALON. Barry Levinson is telling a story that many families have experienced. Arguments stemming from greed, jealousy, pettiness — every time I watch it, I feel deeply familiar pain.

  • Jimfet50

    The saddest one I ever saw was ‘Old Yeller” or ‘Bear’

  • Paula Whitney Best, MA, JD

    Do not forget Garbo’s “Anna Karenina.”  A real tear jerker.


  • Gordon

    Having five sons and daughters, six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren—it has to be Sophie’s Choice.

    • Clara Fercovic

      Gordon, my original post was called “The 10 saddest OLD movies (that I’ve watched)”; so I only listed movies released before 1970 :) But “Sophie’s Choice” must be one of the saddest ever :)

  • Bogham

    Monster’s Ball

  • Bob Canning

    “Shindler’s List”

  • Rita

    Have to agree with Waterloo Bridge, a tearjerker.  But the saddest movie I’ve ever seen is Penny Serenade with Irene Dunne and Cary Grant.  So sad when the court is trying to take their adopted daughter and again when the little daughter dies.  But it does have a happy ending

  • Kim

    Schindler’s List…..the comment, …this pin, what did I pay for it, could have been someone else…I didn’t even know I had tears running down my face.

  • Boo

    The Elephant Man – “I am  HUMAN BEING!”

  • Nazrn20091

    Madame X with John Forsythe and Lana Turner , saddest movie ever.  Forsythe is wealthy socialite politician who marries Turner from the wrong side of the tracks.  Her Mother-in-law blackmails her into leaving Forsythe and her baby son.  Turns to prostitution in Mexico and kills a man and her grown up son who is now an attorney defends her in court without knowing that she is his mother.  Turner dies at the end and the tears flowed..

  • amarcato

    Many movies cause you to shed a tear, but HACHI – A DOG”S TALE kept it going for weeks. Most emotional movie I’ve ever seen -  and I’ve seen most on this list. Unexpected, but it’s well worth tracking down on DVD.   Thanks to all who made it.

    • Clara Fercovic

      amarcato, my original post was called “The 10 saddest OLD movies (that I’ve watched)”; so I only listed movies released before 1970 :) BUT I did cry with “Hachi”; I watched it on the movie theater and I remember everybody was sobbing!

  • Kris the Klingon

    Two sad ones for me:   The ending of BROKEN ARROW, where Jimmy Stewart rides off alone
    without his Indian wife (Debra Paget)…the mountains, his words, and the music just make me
    cry.   Also, THEY WERE EXPENDABLE,  showing a part of the war in the Pacific where U.S.
    forces are being sacrificed to hold back the Japanese.   If you know the history of the Bataan
    Death March, then see this picture with the PT boat crews limping off to fight…it get you.
    And what happens to Donna Reed?

  • Barbara

    I cried for about an hour after EasyRider.

  • Herselfjanet

    Catcher in the Rye

  • Herselfjanet

    The Grapes of Wrath

  • Angel Luna

    “ANITA” from Argentina and “The ELEPHANT MAN”

  • KB

    I think for me it was A BEAUTIFUL LIFE.  So sad I haven’t watched it again.  It didn’t help that the little boy looked so much like one of mine…

  • Herselfjanet

    Of Mice and Men

  • Gaitenskopper

    All Mine To Give is a real tear-jerker.

  • Rrjustron

    I think  “God Bless the Child” is one of my saddest.

  • Conchita

    Imitation of Life is the saddest for me. John Gavin,Lana Turner,Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee and the Mother and Daughter who played an agonizing relationship made me shed a lot of tears

  • mika

    Forbidden Games – can’t watch without tears at the end!

  • Fstarr

    The Pawnbroker easily belongs in this category.

  • Jack Jojo

    West Side Story/ Greyfriars Bobby/Carousel.  Also the moment in “Calamity Jane” when Calam and Bill Hickock kiss for the first time and Doris realises she’ really in love with him and not the wet hunk she’s been hankering after

  • Peggy

    Stella Dallas with Barbara Stanwyck.  After starting out to be a money hungry, status grabbing woman, she sacrifices everything for her daughter’s happiness.  When she’s standing on the outside looking in at her daughter’s wedding, the tears flow more than the rain.

    • Clara Fercovic

      Peggy, I love “Stella Dallas”, but I didn’t actually cry watching it, that’s why I didn’t include it. Barbara Stanwyck is awesome anyway :)

  • Sophoi

    How could you omit “La Strada”?

    • Clara Fercovic

      Sophoi, sorry, I haven’t seen “La strada”…but I will! 

  • Cahmc5

    All Mine To Give!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ranchorenal

    Three supreme tear-jerk moments: (a) 12 O’Clock High, when Gregory Peck finally breaks down.  (b) The Champ, when little Jackie Cooper is losing the mortally injured Wallace Beery.  (c) The end of Saving Private Ryan.

    Someone once defined the three essential elements of tragedy: boy finds dog, dog saves boy, kill the dog.

  • Vernon Tweed

    The saddest movie that I ever saw was the original TV movie: Bryan’s Song, starring James Cahn and Billy Dee Williams.

  • Sylvia

    Charly with Cliff Robertson, Portrait of Jennie with Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten

  • Eric

    Best Years of Our Lives, as the wounded sailor returns home.

  • Pdcox55

    Taking Chance and Brian’s Song still affects to this day.

  • LindaSue55

    Steel Magnolias

  • Alana Bennett

    Hachi – A dogs tale has to be on this list…I watched it twice in one week and cried both times..:(

  • Karen Dandurand

    Sophie’s Choice is THE saddest without any contenders!- Karen

  • Beverly Sellmeyer

    Sentimental Journey. Maureen O’Hara and John Payne are desperately in love when she finds out she doesn’t have long to live. When she dies, John is so devastated. 

    • Clara Fercovic

      Thanks for the recommendation Beverly, Maureen is one of my favorite actresses, I’ll try to watch “Sentimental Journey” soon :)

  • Karen Dandurand

    The Green Mile was right up there as saddest ever- I sobbed thru the last part of the movie right in the -theater.

  • Cinzia

    The Yearling, Old Yeller, Bambi and Dumbo-even tho the last 2 are cartoons–still, feature lengths and sad as anything EVER made. As for newer movies, “Somewhere In Time,” and the one that gets to me the most–”The Bridges of Madison County.” Great movie, but if I watch it, it affects me for the rest of the day—hard to take too often.


    • Clara Fercovic

      Cinzia, my original post was called “The 10 saddest OLD movies (that I’ve watched)”; so I only listed movies released before 1970 :) But I totally agree with you, “The Bridges…” is really sad!

  • Dee F.

    I certainly agree with most of the entries here, and cried through all of them.  However, “On The Beach” was heartbreaking.  Whenever it comes on I must have a box of tissues next to me!

    • Clara Fercovic

      Dee, I didn’t include it in the list because I remember I didn’t actually cry with it, I had another kind of emotion, more like being hopelessly alone in the middle of a desert. But thanks for bringing it up!

  • Carol Scott

    I SO agree with your choice of “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”! The first time I heard of that one I was a high school sophomore whose European-born French teacher decided our class needed to learn the French lyrics to “Ne Me Quitte Pas”.  He told us the story plot, and of course, with all those teenage hormones raging through us at the time, we became very emotional about it.  It had been released about seven years earlier, and through all that time he recalled one interesting detail from one particular scene: he told us Mme. Emery (Anne Vernon) was wearing a ‘canary-yellow jacket’ and looked positively stunning during a particularly emotional moment – (I guess he must have been just a wee bit too old to feel comfortable being attracted to Catherine Deneuve, who played Geneviève, the lead female role, although he was only in his late 20s or early 30s at the time, and engaged to be married on New Year’s Eve of that same year).  In any case, for whatever reason, between the song and a bit of curiosity about the wardrobe selection, I remembered the title well into adulthood and was able to obtain the movie during the period in which VHS film production was winding down after the advent of DVDs, for a very reasonable price; and at last I was able to watch the entire film.  I actually shared the experience with my youngest daughter, who had taken several years of French in school and was actually planning, at the time, to major in languages and teaching, to become an ESL instructor for European students.  She agreed that it was a very movingly sad story; thanks for the memories….

    • Clara Fercovic

      You’re welcome Carol, thanks for sharing this story!

  • Richardrandbman

    I would have to believe Dark Victory with Bette Davis has to be considered among the top ten and even  perhaps be among the  top twoo or three

    • Clara Fercovic

      Sorry Richard, I haven’t seen “Dark Victory” yet! I know, I know, I’l try to watch it soon :) Thanks for the recommendation!

  • christine gonzalez

    what about the long street with Lucille Ball? and Imitation of life, I want to Live,  and you can’t leave out old yeller! come on!! lol

  • Amy Elizabeth

    One I have not seen mentioned (although I have not read all the comments) that is my BIGGEST tear-jerker is “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” (1945 version). The entire movie has me constantly on the edge of tears, but it’s the scene where Francie (played incredibly well by Peggy Ann Garner) receives the flowers from her dad, after he has passed away, and she cries in her school classroom while her aunt watches. Oh my God, I literally sob for an hour after the movie has ended. That is an outstanding film. Also am glad “Penny Serenade” and “I Remember Mama” received honorable mentions. Lots of classic tear-jerkers out there!

    • Clara Fercovic

      Thanks for the recommendation, Amy! “A tree grows in Brooklyn” has been on my list of movies to watch for ages, I guess I’ll give a try soon!

  • Tonigirl715

    “Legends of the Fall”, “Back Street”  (Susan Hayward) “Hachi”, “Boys On the Side” just to name a few

  • Dubuque57

    If we’re talking old movies, I’d have to say Pinky – Mom is black and the daughter passes for white and has a lousy attitude. Watched it at home alone and bawled like crazy. Newer movies — Frances and Saving Private Ryan. Cried my head off at both of those. Cinema Paradiso made me cry, but in a different way.

  • Tdmcoffee

    Million Dollar Baby
    Pearl Harbor
    We Were Soliders
    The Notebook

  • Rick Phillips

    Tomorrow is Forever – Claudette Colbert and Orson Welles.  A husband previously thought lost in action returns years later to find his wife remarried with a new life.   Disfigured and crippled, he finds her remarried and living with the son he never knew he had.  The last scenes will leave you with an empty box of Kleenex.

  • DMuncey

    The Notebook! I cannot watch that movie without sobbing like a baby!~!

  • Dubuque57

    I also agree with Elephant Man and Brian’s Song.

  • Morgen524

    Man, Woman and Child. starring Martin Sheen and Blythe Danner, is whole box of tissues, tear-jerker.

  • Meadia55

    Anything that Will Farrell is in, really they make me cry that such horrible movies are being made. Seriously, All Quiet On The Western Front. The final scene shows the horror and the irony of war. As a veteran, it always saddens me to remember the friends I have lost.

  • ziegfeldman

    “Days of Wine and Roses”- Thje first time, at age 12, I realized movies don’t ALWAYS have a happy ending. Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick belong together, but “the bottle” keeps them apart. In the end she walks away, and doesn’t turn around to come back. I was shocked and still am. The Playhouse 90 TV original with Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie is even more devastating.

    Absolutely, agree with “Make Way for Tomorrow,” the director, Leo McCarey, refused to make a happy ending—the film is a masterpiece, but the ending leaves you in tears.

  • Perry

    My saddest movie of all is the movie “Tess”  I have seen it twice.  Sad.Sad, Sad!!!


  • Csnine

    Million Dollar Baby- great movie- very sad.
    Death of Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy. Sad ending for a likable? slimy lowlife on the way to fulfill his dream.
    Death of “Mad Dog” Earl in High Sierra is a very sad (but just) ending.
    Peter Ibbetson, a very sad movie.
    Brian’s Song-true story and truly sad.
    “It wasn’t the airplanes, it was beauty killed the beast” from King Kong always leaves a lump in my throat.
    “The Endless Summer” was sad when it ended.
    The Asphalt Jungle had a bunch of sad-ass characters but was too suspenseful to be a sad movie.

  • Mac1944

    A night to Remember.  It was a Titanic movie from the mid-1950s.

  • Dadabear88

    The saddest movie I ever saw was “Schindler’s list.”  I was sad and horrific.

  • Marjorieanne2

    Hands down…Sophie’s Choice.

    • Clara Fercovic

      Hi Marjorie, my original post was called “The 10 saddest OLD movies (that I’ve watched)”; I only listed movies released before 1970 :) Anyway, I have to check “Sophie’s Choice”, I’ve only watched the scene in which she has to leave one of her children behind. 

  • linda

    Penny Serenade and Letter from an Unkown Woman

  • linda

    Forgot.!!!! The most sad is Schindler’s List!

  • Flesh Hammer

    Umberto D 1948 Italiam Movie by Vittorio DeSica.

  • bob

    the most sadest movie is about brian piccolo aka brian song. 2 version’s

  • Crafty-lady

    The notebook! I never cry because its embarrassing but I couldn’t control the sobs in this one!

  • Crafty-lady

    Oh, I forgot about the first movie I saw that made me cry. I don’t remember the name but it was about some brothers (6 I think) who went off to war and they all died on a ship. Then I found out it was a true story! I cried and cried.

    • Wayne P.

      The Sullivans with Thomas Mitchell…

    • john

      I mentioned this movie as one of my saddest films that I saw.  You are referring to “The Five Sullivans.”

      • Helene Fulton Jolley

         No, it’s The Fighting Sullivans, but there were 5 of them.

  • Ron

    “Backstreet” with Susan Hayward & John Gavin. 5 hankie picture if there ever was one!

  • SabraJ

    OMG, Imitation of Life, even thought I know the ending……..Im watering up typing about it. And Beaches with Bette Midler have a headache by the end of that movie, everytime.

  • SabraJ

    Oh, almost forgot an honorable mention- Leaving Las Vegas – Nicholas Cage, not a feel good movie at all, sad….really.

  • Aylarose_theonlyone

    The Joy Luck Club.  Not a dry I in the house.

  • Stphifer

    For me it is Shenandoah, hands down.  When Jimmy Stewart’s youngest son gets killed by a random accident, it is just too much.

  • Vickisp

    The Spielberg movie, “A.I.” (Artificial Intelligence) The expression, on the face of the child, when he is abandoned.

  • Jim Paddock

    The sadest movie I ever watched was “Brian’s Song” with James Caan as Brian Picolo and Billy DeWiliams as Gayle Sayers.

  • Afjmf

     Marley and Me.  If you ever owned a dog or cat and lived a lifetime with them, only to have age separate you, you will understand.

    • Carolyn Ferrante

      Afjmf — This is the movie I tried to describe a few posts earlier. I think Owen Wilson was Marley’s owner.

  • Donnam

    Sophie’s Choice. 

  • Teddysmith22017

    Imitation of Life, Both of them.

    • JayPolerstock

      Teddy – I am so glad you mentioned Imitation Of Life which is one of my favorite movies. Although I have seen both versions and loved them both – The Lana Turner version was my very favorite. It’s interesting how the saddest scene that I mentioned in my above comment for Gone With The Wind is very similar to the saddest scene in Imitation of Life where Lana Turner is at Juanita Moore’s bed side as she is dying just as Scarlett was at Melanie’s bed side when she is dying. Imitation Of Life is a movie I can watch over and over again. Those 1950′s soap opera dramas were some of the best movies ever made.

  • Eisweinjl

    The last minute or two of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” is galactically heartbreaking….when you realize what happens to the young couple, after all they’ve been through….
    I’m an Army vet, and I am a hard man…….and I burst into tears when the realization hit me……..THAT……………was unbearably sad

  • moviebuffie

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned “Old Yeller.”

    • john

      “Old Yeller” was mentioned more than once. And, yes I agree that this was one of  Disney’s heart-wrenching films which will be long remembered for generations to come.
      Also, Disney’s Bambi was very touching and sad.    

  • Michelle Marie Mead

    “The Champ,” with Wallace Beery almost killed me. And I cry everytime at the end of “Au Revoir Les Enfants.”

  • Ercstone6

    The Other Side of the Mountain. The true story of Olympic skiing hopeful Jill Kinmont. Sadly she was paralyzed in a skiing accident and paralyzed from the neck down. She ended up being the first quadriplegic to obtain a teaching certificate. She later taught Native American children near her home town of Bishop California.

    Marilyn Hasett gives a wonderful, Oscar worthy performance for her role in this film. She should have had a major film career after this film. For some reason she was not seen much after this film

  • Campy39

    “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” is the saddest movie i’ve ever seen!

    • Wayne P.

      Cary Grants best chance for an Oscar went to Barry or Bing for Going my Way…shouldnt one of them volunteered to give the statue up since they were in the same picture!  of course, they probably thought CG would snag one eventually, no doubt…but it never happened :(

  • Jaypolerstock

    Gone With The Wind – in  my opinion is the saddest movie I have ever seen. Near the end of the movie when Scarlett is at Melanie’s bed side as Melanie is dying and they are saying their final goodbyes – the tears just come streaming down my face. No matter how many times I have seen that movie – Melanie’s death scene with Scarlett at her bed side always gets to me.

  • Helene Fulton Jolley

    The Fighting Sullivans

  • Psyphy725

    Midnight cowboy was sooo sad I almost quite watching movies - 
    It breaks my heart that “Jefferson” never gets out alive in Dirty Dozen.
    Cary Grant’s colliloquy when begging for his little girl in Penny Serenade is 
    also one of the saddest movie bits I’ve ever seen.

  • john

    I loved the movie “Calamity Jane” -  Doris Day being one of my favorites. Sorry Jack,  but, I don’t agree that the kissing scene you mentioned was sad at all… I think it was very romantic and a discovery that two people really loved each other from the start.  To be sad is to feel very down that scene was a lift for the two lovers and the audience. 

  • john

    Hey, People…how can anyone forget the ending of “West Side Story” when the two lovers are running to meet each other and then a shot is heard and the scene when young Tony is gradually dying in Maria’s arms. I saw this on Broadway and in the movie and both left me in tears.

  • Wayne Lawless

    “The Eddy Duchin Story” is the saddest movie I ever saw…I cried so loud that someone told me to shut up. “Back Street” with Susan Hayward is another…almost any Susan Hayward movie…and “Maytime” with Jeanette and Nelson…..i love to cry in movies.


    Movies not on this list: Imitation Of Life
                                      Madame X
                                      The Champ
                                      Bella Mafia
                                      Joy Luck Club

  • Azapache

    an affair to remember——end of discussion

  • john

    Here’s another sad movie I didn’t see mentioned: “Romeo and Juliet” the 1936 version with Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard, and who can forget the 1968 version Franco Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet” with Leonard Whiting and Olivia  Hussey.  The sad ending of this great Shakespearean tragedy is a milestone in film.

  • Littler55

    The movie that ALWAYS MAKES ME CRY is BACKSTREET!! My mom, sister, and I would watch it and when it got to the saddest part my dad would come in and laugh at us and make Huge sobbing sounds ha! My mom just passed away , I’m betting we all might boohoo this time!

  • TM Moose 36

    Personally, the saddest movie I saw when I was a boy was “Old Yeller”. I’ll never forget the first time I saw that young man when he had to shoot his dog.

  • john

    Has anyone mentioned this one: ”For Whom The  Bell Tolls” with Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper.
    What about Hemingways’  “A Farewell to Arms”. Helen Hayes, Gary Cooper and  Love is a Many Splendored Thing” – Jennifer Jones, William Holden and finally,  The Last Time I saw Paris with Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson - all very sad.  

  • john

    I agree with this one..”Madame X” left me with a lump in my throat.  That ending scene when Lana Turner has passed and young Keir Dullea remarks ” I felt like I have known her all of my life” - I really loved her.”  Wow!!  

  • NadaPM

    The Yearling – our whole family would cry at the end when the boy and deer silhouettes came on.

  • Bwaymike

    Every moment of MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW is almost unbearable to watch.   So sad and heartbreaking from first to last.  The ending of THE GRASS HARP is also absolutely heartbreaking.  And don’t forget BRIEF ENCOUNTER.

  • Neil813

    “Forbidden Games” a French film about a war orphan and “All Mine to Give” a Hollywood film, both from the 1950′s.

    • Elly May

      I just saw Forbidden Games on TCM a couple weeks agao.  What a compelling and sad movie.  That little girl who played “Paulette” was just beautiful.

  • Charlene

    The saddest movie I’ve ever seen is “Frances,” the story of Frances Farmer, a movie star in the 1930s.  Jessica Lange is AWSOME in this film and the tears flow.

    • Elly May

      I for got about Frances, what a heartwrenching movie.  I haven’t seen it in awhile, but so sad

  • Elly May

    The movie “A Patch of Blue” -  some of those scenes in which Selena is being so mistreated, just makes me weep every time I watch it.  Also, “Imitation of Life”, the funeral part, I just sob and sob!

    • Mary

      totally my favorite movie of all times!!!!

  • john

    Glad you mentioned that one – “Sayonara” was one of my best and saddest movies.  Red Buttons and Miyoshi Umecki, deservedly won oscars for their heart-wrenching roles as two loved ones who were rejected by then( the US Army officials) and, to refuse their permission to marry thus both ending their lives in a ceremonial Japanese fashion.  Very sad indeed. 

  • Sunshine 0111

    All Mine To Give ripped my heart out. Stella Dallas, Madame X, Backstreet, Letter from an Unknown Woman, The one with Olivia DeHavilland and John Lund (can’t remember the name-maybe To Each His Own) another lump in throat movie, Claudine Claudel or something like that, The Fighting Sullivans, The Helen Morgan Story and, of course, Random Harvest are some of the ones that get me every time.  Lots of other old faves, too.  But if you ever see All Mine To Give you better bring a case of tissues!! 

  • Lwanek-egleson

    Love Story “Love means never have to say you’re sorry”
    An affair to remember

  • fansincewestgatepark

    Mr. Roberts, Sailor’s hero (Henry Fonda) get what he has wanted for the whole film, to get into  the action of WW!! and away from his Captain, James Cagney.  Mixture of humor and tragedy and the end rips your heart out. .

  • moviebuffie

    I think about to reveal more about myself than about the movie, but I cried for an hour after watching “My Dinner with Andre,” but I guess that was more about existential angst than actual sadness.  Or is that the same thing?

    • Soulaugh

      understand the kind of sadness you mention and why you’d cry for an hour. From my point of view, all other pain
      pales in comparison to “existential pain” which actually lies
      beneath most sadness. Another movie that upset me was “E.I. – Emotional
      Intelligence” (Spielberg/Kubrick).  I felt that same kind of pain recently
      with “The Tree of Life” though I thought it disappointing in not
      living up to the questions it posed nor dealing with them satisfactorily. I appreciate and get your comment.    


      • Bruce Reber

        The title is “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence”.

  • john

    Another one I saw that had a sad ending a World War II saga: “Sands of Iwo Jima” with John Wayne, who received an oscar nomination for his role as a tough Marine sergeant. Great movie very sad depiction of war.

  • fansincewestgatepark

    Mr. Roberts, Sailor’s hero (Henry Fonda) gets what he has wanted for the whole film, to get into  the action of WW!! and away from his Captain, James Cagney.  Mixture of humor and tragedy and the end rips your heart out. .

  • Rockimg

    Legends of the Fall

  • Pmk2001

    Did anyone see “Life Is Beautiful” the Academy Award winner from 1998.  When the father gave up his life to save his little boy,  you could not help but cry.

  • commentator

    Midnight Cowboy – definitely the universe’s saddest movie! If you looked up the dictionary definition of “depressing,” you’d see a cross-reference to this film. 

  • andy3285

    A few of films I haven’t seen mentioned so far…..
    Ordinary People(1980) with Mary T. Moore and Donald Sutherland….really good movie with moments that make you really feel for father and son.
    Another is ‘Elephant Man’ from around the same time as previous film. Based on a true story of horrifically disfigured man living in 19 century England.
    Also, ‘Mask’ with Cher is really worth checking out.

  • E23k302004

    Pearl Harbor with Ben Afflack I hated it when Danny (Josh Hartnet) was shot in Japan.
    A Warm December (Sidney Poitner) He and his Daughter meet a women who has sickle cell

  • RogerZ

    One of the saddest films I’ve seen is The Breaking Point, the John garfield starrer. It’s the last image — Juano Hernadez’s young son, on the dock, wondering what happened to his father.

  • Julie_jammer

    “The Bridges Of Madison County”  will always bring uncontrolable tears to my eyes.  When I am in the need of a good cry to get a lot of emotions out, I simply pop in the movie and have a hot cup of tes next to me and a box of Kleenex.  When she see’s him in town at the stop light and has to decide to either go or stay, plus everything else that happens after makes me crazy sad.

    • Roy Hejhall

      I am right with you on this one, Julie. I believe a large number of people never experience a love and relationship like Francesca and Robert had. Makes me crazy sad, too. 

      • cinemabon

        I thought you were going to say, “Romeo and Juliet” If you want sad endings, isn’t that the saddest of all? “The sun for sorrow will not show its head, for never was there a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

    • Robin

      I did not see your post until now and I mentioned the same scene, I just felt what she was going through and cried like a blubbering idiot

  • graceoct12

    Leaving Las Vegas with  Nicholas Cage

  • Jerome

    My, my…does the film have to be really old to be sad?  How about the farewell scene in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King?  The last remake of King Kong? (both by the same director)

    • Clara Fercovic

      Hi Jerome, my original post was called “The 10 saddest OLD movies (that I’ve watched)”, that’s why I only listed movies released before 1970 :)

  • Chalmer

    Imitation of life…….be nice to your mothers

  • cinemabon

    If I want a good eye wash, I always watch, “The Song of Bernadette” or “Random Harvest” if we’re talking tear jerkers. Of course, “The Champ” will rip your heart out, too. “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” “All Quiet on the Western Front” and who can forget Kubrick’s, “Paths of Glory”

  • Green Gables

    Penny Serenade seems like it’s going to be about a young couple until you find out their child is dying!

  • Wingfoo1

    way of all flesh with akim tamiroff and arlene dahl  all mine to give with cameron mitchell and glynis john 

  • jr22

    Brian’s Song and tear-jerker of all time:   Taking Chance starring Kevin Bacon.  This is a true story of a soldier (Kevin Bacon) volunteering to taking a fallen soldier, Chance, back to his family and hometown.  It was so sad watching how they prepared Chance’s body, cleaned him, dressed in full dress uniform, and the ritual that was given this fallen soldier (as they do with all our soldiers who have died in defense of this country).  No one can be unaffected by this movie…no one.

  • Pdshanny

    The saddest movie ever was Buster And Billy. I first saw it in 1974 and it hunted me ever sence. I just saw it again last month and it didn’t lose anything over the years.

  • Scorpio

    “The Way of all Flesh” starring Akim Tamiroff. As a family man and trusted banker, the father is sent to another town on business, he is targeted by a good time girl, and loses the bank’s money. A hobo with his I.D and some of money is killed crossing the train tracks. Celebrated as being a hero in trying to prevent a robbery, he cannot return home, and subject his family to the truth. Years later he goes to see his now famous son play the violin. The son plays and dedicates in memory to his father his  favourite piece. The father, now a hobo, then watches the family celebrate Christmas, through the window – it is snowing. The son steps outside and invites the hobo in, he mentions his mother is a great cook and they have plenty, but the hobo declines and wanders off. I would love this on DVD.

  • Mcm_49

    IMITATION OF LIFE was the first movie that ever made me cry and still does today.

  • Ariel

    Definitely “Bang the Drum Slowly”.  And “Charly”.

  • Dawn

    Stepmom is one of the saddest movies I’ve ever seen and the scene at the table where the mom and stepmom are talking is so sad. Seven pounds with Will Smith made me cry like a baby.

  • Phil

    For me the saddest movie, and Im a guy  is Tears of the Sun. When it gets near the end, and all of LT’s squad  (Bruce Willis)  are getting shot  trying to get out of  Africa.

  • V_1robbu

    The two I remember the most are= One I saw an a kid, All Mine To Give 1957 and as a young adult Brian’s Song 1971

    • Mcampbell07

      When I was a kid, as a special treat the nuns showed the whole school “All Mine to Give”.  All the kids were crying and some were so upset they had to be sent home.

    • Robin J F

      all mine to give was very sad>> I agree

  • Denise

    The Caine Mutiny, a tragic commentary on human nature and Splendor in the Grass, just all around sad…

  • Alorenz

    Schindler’s List. That little pink coat in all the grey just tore my heart out.

  • Rita

    Imitation of Life

  • Cshepko

    A movie from the 1960s with Barbara Barrie–”One Potato, Two Potato”–about the marriage between a white woman and a black man.  At the end of the movie people–including me–could not hold back their tears and were sobbing audibly.  It’s a heartbreaking commentary on the mores of the times.

  • Rita

    Back Street with Susan Heyward and John Gavin, Madame X with Lana Turner
    and again Imitation f Life. These are the sadest movies I have ever seen, YOU WILL CRY

  • Richardthepianist

    How Green Was My Valley and  Maytime with Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy.
    Both movies leave me wiped out for several days..Just to think about them creates tears and a BASKETBALL sized lump in my throat!

  • Kathleen

    Madame X:  1966

    Holly Parker (Lana Turner), marries into the rich
    Anderson family (John Forsythe). Her mother-in-law  (Constance Bennett) looks down on her and
    keeps a watchful eye on her activities. Due to her husband’s frequent and long
    trips abroad, Holly forms a relationship with a well-known playboy (Ricardo
    Montalbán). When her lover accidentally dies, and only her mother-in-law
    knows she is innocent, the mother-in-law blackmails her telling her if this get out she will rune her husbands career so Holly l disappearing into the night
    leaving her husband and young son behind.  A planned boat trip that blows up her husband (John Forsythe) and young son thinks she was killed in boat accident.

    She then slowly sinks into depravity all over the world, only to be brought
    back to America under false assumptions by a “friend” (Burgess Meredith) who
    plans on blackmailing her family. When she realizes that the man intends to
    reveal who she is to her son, she shoots the man to stop him. The police arrest
    her and refusing to reveal her identity, she signs a confession with the letter
    “X.” As fate would have it, the court assigns a defense attorney who happens to be her long-lost son (Keir Dullea).

        The tears keep on coming especially when Holly realizes and recognizes that her appointed attorney by the court is her long lost son……  Kathleeen

  • Kathleen

     The Song of Bernadette

       Your heart will break when Bernadette enters the convent and shown to her cell (room) I have never seen a sadder face in any picture or on any actor in my life….


  • Wayne P.

    1, and maybe the only, vote for The English Patient!

  • Jeevalges

    the most recent film I’ve seen where you could hear the audience sobbing out loud was Million Dollar Baby. What a heartbreaker!

  • DurhamMom

    Sophie’s Choice and Terms of Endearment both left me sobbing in the theater.

  • Slftrek

    Have you forgotten “Ol Yeller”?  What grown man will admit that he didn’t tear up at the ending?  A boy and his dog, far exceeds any old “chick flick”.  You did not mention any time frame or movie type.

  • Poorcousin

    The Blue Veil with Jane Wyman

  • Tcpasss

    Decision before dawn  with Oskar  Werner



  • Tricia_batts

    Sadest movie is Old Yeller

  • Tommusc1011

    “The Trip To Bountiful”
    “Nights of Cabiria”
    “Sophie’s Choice”
    “Open City”
    “Two Women”

    And the all-time: “Ikuru”…singing in the snow on the swing-set…a masterpiece of sorrow, regret, and hope.

    • Doug

       Oh, I can’t watch Sophie’s Choice ever again, it is so depressing. When Meryl Streep is told in the concentration camp that she has to choose between her son or her daughter, that she would have to give up one of them, Streep’s performance at that moment in time is one of the best in cinematic history – it will have you bawling your eyes out. I can see why she won the oscar for that film.

  • sag27

    Give Korean drama a try if you want sad. You will laugh and cry your way through almost every series and movie. Great casting, incredible scenery, casts that are often huge, costumes that are wonderful and outtakes in every series. Koreans love outtakes. They know how to laugh at themselves. You won’t have to go back decades to list good series or movies. Coffee Prince, Boys Over Flowers, 49 Days, Damo, Jumong, You’re Beautiful, Yi San, Dong Yi, The King and I, Secret Garden….incredible, Tree of Heaven, Lie to Me,. The Great Queen Seondeok, Someday, The Princess’ Man, City Hunter, and so on. The list is endless. Breath taking aadventures, love stories,  comedies, you name it. America could learn from Korea, Japan and China. Watch for Christian Bale’s new movie filmed in China. Comes out in June. True story of survival during Japan invading China.

  • Iowaserf

    Don’t know about saddest movie, but when Sunshine gets killed in “Little Big Man”, it gets me every time…

  • Melgarcor

    “My Life”  with Michael Keaton.  A dying man leaves a video diary for his baby son, detailing everything a dad needs to tell his son.  Also, “House of Sand and Fog”  You end up crying out loud for everyone involved.

  • Scoutsquirrel

    Saving Private Ryan and All Quiet on The Western Front!

  • Margaretm33

    Madame X with Lana Turner has got to be the saddest movie I have ever seen.

  • Doug

    You left out ‘Love Affair’ (1939) with Irene Dunn and Charles Boyer. It’s one of the best tear-jerker’s of all time. Irene Dunn was often cast in sad movies and was called the queen of the ‘weeper movies’ of the 1930′s. Thank god she wasn’t just cast in movies like that, she was a great singer (Showboat) and one of the best female comedians of all time.

  • Doug

    I don’t know. I remember Mama really isn’t a sad movie. It’s a movie about hope and the strength of a family with some sad moments. The scene with the cat and the chloroform starts out sad then has a very humorous twist to the ending, really one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on film.

  • Pat27s

    “Make Way for Tomorrow” with Victor Moore and Bealah Bondi is the saddest movie I’ve ever seen. Great performances by the leads and the direction by Leo McCarey. Heartbreaking from start to finish.

  • Dc1204dc

    I’ve seen Imitation of Life 11 times and 11 times it’s brought tears to my eyes, everytime I watch it I try to see if I can hold the tears, not yet….

  • Stromberg67

    “Stella Dallas” pulls my heart strings. 

  • Moorejeffrey9

    My Girl, when Thomas J dies from bee stings, and the little girl cries at the funeral home. (BOO-HOO!)

  • Robin J F.

    “Now Voyager” when Bette Davis and Paul Heinreid, light up a cigarrette and he asks her if she is happy and she says” don’t lets ask for the moon when  we have the stars, that feeling of knowing they want to rush into each other arms and they cannot.
    then “AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER”when Cary Grant realizes that Deborah Kerr may be the one that the portrait he painted was given to.. and he searches the apartment and when he opens the bedroom door and sees the portrait,  if you can keep a tear from welling up at that moment you are very strong.
    I do not care for new movies, but bridges of Madison County, when it is pouring down rain and Clint Eastwood is in the truck right ahead of Meryl streep and her husband and she so desperatley wants to jump out of her life and her husbands truck and run and jump into Clint Eastwoods truck and never turn back, but she cannot and that deep feeling as she clutches the handle of her truck, the tears just flow,, has anyone been in that situation before///

  • SusanDene

    Terms of Endearments – when the mother is yelling at the hospital staff to give the dying Debra Winger her pain medication. 

  • Keith Moore18

    How can anyone remain dry eyed at the end of”Dark Victory:  The final scene where Beete Davis and Geraldine Fitzgerald are planting hyacinth bulbs and she is giving last minte instructions to her friend after she is gone, is superb!

  • Mike Lutgen

    Old Yeller

  • Frankox

    The  Biscuit Eater

  • Elvis4ever3

    There are several that I have seen and it would be hard to settle on one.Those being:
    Brian’s song  The scene in the Hospital as he is dying
    Sayonara When They find Red Buttons and his wife
    Madam X When she see’s her son as a grown man
    Back Street When the son calls the Fathers girlfriend
    Fighting Sullivans When the parents learn they have lost all five sons
    How green was my valley When they find out the dad has died
    Message in a bottle When she gets the call at work
    Pay it forward When the little boy is killed
    Since you went away When the gifts are put out at Christmas
    Tomorrow is forever When she realizes her first husband is alive
    Ultimate gift When they are in the chapel
    Walk to remember When he is building the telescope for her

    And there are many more that deserve a mention!

    • Slftrek

      Love your name [Elvis fan]. But no “Old Yeller”.

      • Elvis4ever3

        Hachi was more sad than Old Yeller,but it was a good movie.I thought of several others that were really sad they are:

        All mine to give
        Dawn Anna
        Enemy mine
        Green beret
        Steel magnolias
        Touched by love

  • Monroedive

    Hey! What about “Madam X” with Lana Turner!!!!  Guarrenteed to make you CRY!!!

    • Dana-thompson

      Oh man, Madam X, is the quintessential sad tearjerker, what a performance by Lana Turner,

  • Monroedive

    Oh! And the FUNNIEST movie is “Something About Mary”……

  • Emccohen

    Is there anything sadder than “Pride of the Yankees”, the story of Lou Gehrig.   When Gary Cooper makes the famous speech and then walks back into the dugout, I defy anyone not to get choked up.

  • Thomas Honeywell

    Forbidden Games, a French movie about WW II.  A little girl loses her parents AND her dog and is taken in by a farm family.  The final scene in which she hears a name being called and follows the voice is devastating.  Two days after watching it, I realized I had been in a funk for 48 hours, sad, crabby, easily annoyed and it was because of this movie.  Well worth watching and the depression that follows……….

  • Alicedominguezthomas

    “Miracle in the Rain”  – I know what’s coming at the end of the story and I always tear up.

  • Jokar2019

    All Quiet On The Western Front-Lew Ayres

    • Cbdledw

       Yes.  Incredible.

  • classicslover1

    Gorillas in the Mist and Cornbread, Earl, and Mecome to mind.

  • Jbog1038

    I remember watching a movie, ”The Children’s Hour” about two teachers who are involved in a scandal by their meddling neighbors and towns people, especially  one treacherous student who  accuses them of being very intimate.  The outcome of this controversial film depicting a lesbian theme is very sad and tragic.  The featured players were Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine.

  • Jbog1038

    Here’s one movie I won’t forget “The Gift of Love” starring Robert Stack and Lauren Bacall.  This film is about a woman who dies and returns to earth as a guiding spirit for her husband and daughter. A light remake of “Sentimental Journey”  

  • Jbog1038

    A very fine film deserves to be mentioned in this category.  After watching the movie,  ”Brokeback Mountain”, It was very sad to watch two young star-crossed cowboys who meet on a seasonal job and find love.  Thus, sacrificing their relationship to avoid any scandal. The ending was very sad indeed.   

  • Blanchett

    The Plague Dogs.

  • jerry j.

    I had a bawling jag at the end of Cocoon, when the old people went up in the flying saucer to a happier place.  And the Jimmie Stewart movie The Rare Breed got my howling started when Jimmie’s hereford bull froze to death in a blizzard, and Jimmie carried a little calf in his arms toward the camera. I saw the movie in a theatre full of farmers and we were all getting pretty weepy.

  • jerry j.

    The end of Babette’s Feast, when all the old people are happy out in the snow under the stars after the feast, and Babette has gone away already

  • Barbara

    It’s raining,she’s watching her daughters wedding through a window on the street,she’s smiling and I’m crying——–Stella Dallas

  • Dana-thompson

    Stella Dallas, I must agree, how about Steel Magnolias, and of course An Affair to Remember, if you want tear drops

  • Dave

    Cry, I thought I’d die
           DEER HUNTER
          ON THE BEACH
           LONG GREY LINE
           STELLA DALLAS
            STAR IS BORN  50′S VERSION


  • Dave

    Oops forgot

  • Judy

    Some of the movies that I was going to mentioned were done by the other voicers. I will add
    Edward Scissorhands….He was outcasted and denied love because of another’s malice
    The Heiress…Her acceptance of a deal for companionship was marred by her father. She landed up being truly alone.
    The Stoning of Soraya M ( foreign movie) …….A woman was stoned because of  a huge lie told in her village. Her sons picked up stones and threw them at their mother’s head. They contributed to her death.  I will also add Titanic.  I cried watching all. 

  • Ms. Purple


  • Gene

    Two that come to mind right away are:

    “A Guy Named
    Joe” with Spencer Tracy as WWII pilot … and the remake …


    “Always” … 1989

    Richard Dreyfuss as a fire-fighting pilot killed in a
    crash and returned to Earth to serve as “guardian angel” for a young
    aviator, Brad Johnson and Dreyfuss’ girl Holly Hunter.  Great performances by John Goodman and Audrey
    Hepburn.  Cried like a baby.


    The saddest movie that I have ever seen is The Yearling, starring gregory Peck and Claude Jarmon, Jr.
     I walked out of the theater in tears.

    • KC

       Oh boy, I certainly agree with this choice and would also add it to the list of movies that I would never watch again for this particular reason.

      • MsSophia

        You know, I own the DvD but never get up the courage or get into such a funk that I’ll watch it!

  • Joe Whale

    The Fighting Sullivans (The Five Sullivan Brothers)

  • Guest Linda

    It sounds like a comedy and has lots of comedic moments, but “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” with Glen Ford and Ron Howard (when he was about 6 years old) always makes me cry in several places.  A wonderful picture.

    • Cadesgrams

      You’re right. There were comedic parts but was really about a serious and emotional time in a persons life.

  • guest Linda

    I forgot to mention “Sounder”– another family film that is a tearjerker.

  • DonnaB905

    Stella Dallas and Schindler’s List.  I cry so much at the end of Schindler’s List, I’ve never really heard what is said.  Stella Dallas gets me every time — such a sad situation.

  • Egreen01

    Gallipoli – ’nuff said

  • Bjtbarbie

    Love is a Many Splendored Thing.  A beautiful love affair between two adults.  How I wish it was not based on a true story….I so wanted “Mark” to return.

  • Bjtbarbie

    Add to Love is a Many Splendored Thing.  I sure anyone who went to Hong Kong in the fifties tried to find the tree on the hill.

  • Butte66

    Gone With The Wind

  • hiram

    Filmed with such gusto, SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER still has to be up there (isn’t it odd how few people mention foreign films), but I’m happy to see someone listing BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, my wife’s choice.

  • midnitemistress

    sooo many…”Old Yeller”, “Bambi”, my saddest – “Dumbo”, “Born on the 4th of July”

  • Sandy clarke

    the notebook,love story

  • Sandy clarke

    the notebook, love story,stella dallas,imatation of life,steel magnolias,forest gump,old yellar,passion of the christ,bridges of madison county,the shootist,are a few!

  • Patrick Colin Jackson

    Here are the saddest movies that I’ve ever watched…
     1 – Hud (1963)

    Plot: Homer Bannon (Melvyn Douglas), the stern patriarch of a failing ranch, will neither compromise his ethics nor soften the hate and scorn he feels for his son Hud (Paul Newman)’s amoral behavior; teenager Lon (Brandon DeWilde) is torn between a rigidly-principled grandfather and the unscrupulous, arrogant uncle who recklessly caused the death of Lon’s father Norman ten years ago. By “whooping it up” – in other words, by being Hud – he ultimately drives away his entire family and all his friends.

    You can’t hold your tears when…Lon packs up and walks out on Hud – who, finally and totally alone,  just smiles and shrugs off his nephew’s departure. The movie’s final image is of the swinging drawcord of a window shade; it suggests a hangman’s noose, indicating what Hud’s life is now worth.

    2 – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

    Plot: Randall Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) has a habit of doing whatever pops into his mind – in this case, sleeping with a teenage girl – and bother the consequences. Caught between the Rock and a hard place, he goes with the hard place – the State Mental Hospital. Just by exercising the freedom he’s declared for himself, McMurphy is labeled crazy and tossed into the booby hatch…under the intimidating thumb of Head Nurse Mildred Ratched (Louise Fletcher), a woman who makes Jo Frost seem like Fran Fine. McMurphy continues to be McMurphy, sharing his lively sense of freedom – or, more accurately, letting it explode – among his fellow patients, who he deduces are not insane but merely repressed…especially in this place, and particularly by Ratched. For her part, Ratched doesn’t hesitate to sic her small army of mostly-black orderlies on the patients for transgression or willfulness in any form…like when McMurphy strolls into “employees-only” areas of the hospital. She subjects McMurphy to shock treatment and, failing that, a double lobotomy…while driving one particularly-sensitive patient (Brad “Chucky” Dourif of CHILD’S PLAY fame) to suicide.

    You can’t hold your tears when…McMurphy, now a vegetable, is mercifully executed by a towering ward-mate he befriended: “Chief” Bromden (Will Sampson), who proceeds to bust out of the hospital and is cheered on by the other patients (including Christopher Lloyd in his film debut) as he departs.

    3 – Dead Poets Society (1989)

    Plot: John Keating (Robin Williams) becomes a professor at his alma mater, New England’s dreary and tedious Welton Academy, which makes old men out of boys. To the chagrin of scowling, threat-spewing Headmaster Gale Nolan (ST. ELSEWHERE’s Norman Lloyd), Keating teaches passion and imagination…which, even when tempered with responsibility, clashes with Nolan’s strict rules and harsh punishments. Wait, it gets worse – One of Keating’s pupils is medicine major Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard), whose true love is theater arts, and whom Keating inspires to be the artist within himself…despite blind opposition from Neil’s fanatical father Tom Perry (Kurtwood Smith from THAT 70′S SHOW), who personally directs the younger Perry’s life and everything in it toward getting a PhD (read: financial security) – for which the elder Perry himself strove vainly as a Welton student. By verbally and emotionally pummeling Neil into submission at the slightest hint of self-assertion, Tom drives his son to suicide…and then holds Keating responsible for Neil’s death. Nolan plays along, mostly as an excuse to get rid of the upstart professor. In short, it’s ONE FLEW OVER THE ROBIN’S NEST. 

    You can’t hold your tears when…Keating, his teaching career wrecked, is saluted by the remaining pupils – who risk expulsion to address him as “My Captain”, while Nolan looks on in his usual rage.

    4 – Schindler’s List (1993)

    Plot: Catholic war-profiteer Oscar Schindler (Sir Liam Neeson) flourishes by sucking up to the Nazis, then spends his entire fortune to get 11 hundred-plus Jews released from the concentration camps of German Commandant Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) by employing them as workers in a chain of crockery- (and later munitions-) factories.

    You can’t hold your tears when…Schindler is thanked by hundreds of men, women and children who remain alive because of him; then he breaks down and sobs uncontrollably, due to believing that “I could have saved *more* people, and I didn’t!” 

    5 – Braveheart (1995)

    Plot: After his family is exterminated – including his bride, who is also raped – by King Edward Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan), Sir William Wallace (Mel Gibson, who also directed) leads his fellow Scots and their Irish “cousins” in an armed revolt against the English tyrant…who finally sets up and captures Wallace. While Longshanks’ unloving daughter-in-law informs the monarch (who is now bedridden and near death) that she is pregnant with Sir William’s child, rather than that of the King’s groveling and cowardly son, Wallace is tortured to death in the town square. While disemboweling Sir William, the Royal Executioner offers Wallace a swift death by decapitation; all Our Hero need do is cry out “Mercy!” Instead,, Sir William cries out “FREEDOM!” as his body is finally ripped to pieces.

    You can’t hold your tears when…Shortly after Wallace’s death, Scottish King Robert of Bruce leads his (and Sir William’s) surviving army out to meet the new King of England – who’s to endorse the Bruce’s crown, in return for Robert’s kissing up to him. Then the indomitable spirit of Wallace triumphs; inspired by powerful memories of Sir William’s courage and passion, the King of Scotland is flooded with same. Drawing his own broadsword, he addresses the ragged Scottish forces: “You have bled with Wallace. NOW BLEED WITH ME!” And then he charges, leading his men to victory against the once-smug English army.

  • Mountrath

    A Star Is  Born(Garland-Mason version), Schindler’s List, Gallipoli, Madame X(Gladys George 30′version), A Child Is Waiting, Little Boy Lost.

  • Crafty-lady

    I try to avoid watching any movie if I know its going to be sad. The only really sad movies I watched were by mistake. The notebook, Random Harvest, The fighting sullivans…..West Side Story (the sad part of that movie was that Maria slept with the guy that killed her brother! I couldn’t get past that!) and Gone with the Wind which I thought was the worst movie I ever saw and that was the sad part. 

  • jerry j.

    Rodan and Mrs, Rodan getting burned together in a volcano is pretty sad. They were in love.

  • Cbeledw

    The Red Shoes, impossible not to be torn apart just as the lovers were.  Waterloo Bridge, the original version.  I wept buckets and couldn’t believe what I knew was going to happen.  A star is Born, both versions, the version with Judy Garland and James Mason is particularly poignant since the viewer knows that underneath the movie’s story, the real story was that Judy Garland was falling apart, and James Mason had another twenty-five productive years of acting ahead of him, ending with a fine film, The Shooting Party, made in the 1970s, the last film he made before his death.

  • Edward Moore

    La Strada just about every second of this film makes me cry and cry and cry.

  • Barbrow1

    Toys In The Attic–What mother could treat her children that way.

  • Retex1836

    “Old Yeller” was the saddest movie I have ever seen.  Having to shoot your dog that contracted rabies after it saved you and your little brother’s life.  It just does not get sadder than that.

  • M80

    I’m not much of a cryer but these three movies just does me in all the time: Modern Times just hits me… an exquisite way of saying good-bye to the Tramp, Long Day’s Journey Into Night-oh my god had me just balling out. It breaks my heart to see everyone knowing what will happen and can’t do anything to help the mother (which I say it’s one of Katharine Hepburn’s best performances); the other one is The Unknown with the best actor ever, Lon Chaney!!!!!! To see him just suffer in the name of Love is the most heartbreaking wrenching moments ever.

  • Trippy Trellis

    “Make Way for Tomorrow”, “On Borrowed Time”, “Portrait of Jennie”, “A Place in the Sun”, ”Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing”, “The Eddy Duchin Story”, “Carousel”, “AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER”, “Places in the Heart”, “Au Revoir, les Enfants”, “Field of Dreams”, “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence”.

  • Vann Morrison

    A.I. It wasn’t sad, it was just down right depressing!

  • Karenval1956

    I suggest “The Champ” with Rick Schroder as saddest movie ever.

    • Heidi Lynn McDonald Stetler

      Oh my gosh! Karen you hit the nail on the head with this one. I forgot about it till you posted the title. When the little boy was crying when the chaamp was lying on the table dying I lost it!

    • Bruce Reber

      As I commented to another poster, the original 1931 version w/Jackie Cooper and Wallace Beery is IMO way better than the ’79 remake w/Jon Voight, Faye Duanaway and Rick Schroeder. In the ’31 movie, when Beery dies on the table after the fight, Cooper cries “Wake up, champ, wake up!” and “I want champ!” about ten times in a row. If that scene doesn’t get you, then you’d better resign from the human race.

  • Rsperan

    I finally had to give up reading the responses to this time old question. I remember three films that, as a child, I couldn’t forget for their sad sequences. Actually there are way too many films to mention as my saddest experiences, I cry when the MGM lion roars….I hear it as a wail of a mother’s pain. But Bambi’s mother was killed by a hunter (no doubt an NRA menber), and Lady and the Tramp lost little Jock, no doubt by a careless man. These events made me cry so hard I couldn’t bear to see the films again. But I’ll NEVER forget the sobbing that came from a huge, burley looking, middle aged, man in the seat ahead of mine, when Lana Turner screamed, “Annie, Annie, NO”. Imitation of Life was a horrible experience for him. At my age of about nine, I was frightened that he wasn’t going to make it home. I thought my parents should follow him to make sure he was going to be ok. My father, who picked us up from the theater, wasn’t moved into sympathetic action………he told my mother that it would probably be better if I stuck to western yarns and science fiction. He said that the Duke wouldn’t make me cry, and I would never ask him to follow an alien home.

  • Luckyew7

    try watching hatchi. a super sad movie, but still one of the best films i have ever seen. if you like dogs
    half as much asi do then grab a box of tissues and enjoy a good cry. this movie gives new meaning to man’s best friend or should i say dog’s best friend. you decide. i believe this movie went straight to dvd
    and it should have went to the theaters instead of all the crap that is out. go buy or rent hatchi. it is well
    worth your time, money and tears.

  • Lisa Grove

    When I was in college (decades ago) it was LOVE STORY.

  • Pingback: A Reader Weighs In on the Saddest Movies She Has Ever Seen | MovieFanFare

  • suitsme

    Old Yeller (Will not watch), Bambi, Dumbo, Gregory Peck and the deer raised by the boy who has to kill it (will not watch), Best Years of Our Lives…

  • Animal Lover

    If you’ve ever had to put a pet down, Marley and Me is going to bring it all back. This is the first movie that had me cry real tears since my mom had to remove my brother and me from the theatre when Bambi’s mother was killed (our bawling was making it tough for anyone to hear the movie). Those would be my two picks, separated by about 60 years.

  • Jo

    The ending of the film Imitation of Life, particularly the remake with Lana Turner, I never watch it without chocking up at the end when the very light skinned daughter who posed as whiteof a black wonderful mother who dies and the daughter screaming running to the coach that is carrying the body telling her mother she is sorry.  Gut wrenching to say the least.

  • Xalf8

    I am shocked that no one even mentioned the Number 1 tear jerker of all time, “The Way of All Flesh”, which starred character actor Akim Tamiroff, Gladys George and a very young Daryll Hickman.  The movie deals with a small town Cashier banker who goes to the big city  to deliver important bonds to a customer of the bank.  He happens to stop in a joint in the city and gets waylaid by a B-girl and her boyfriend, slippling the banker a mickey finn in his drink.  He finds himself in a dingy hotel room, with the bonds stolen and his beard cutoff.  He is afraid to return home out of shame and dishonor.

    He is contemplating committing suicide, walking along railroad tracks, when he spots the body of a bum lying near the tracks.  He takes off his watch and wallet, puts them on the bum’s body and then places the bum’s body on the tracks.  When the body (what is left of it) is found, it is identified as the banker’s body.  In the meantime, the banker gets odd jobs just to eat and pay rent for a dingy room, while his family worships his spirit.  One of his sons grows up to be a famous violinist and the father decides to finally pay the family a visit on Christmas eve.  He trudges through the snow and howling wind and looks inside the window of the house he lived in, seeing the family standing around the Christmas tree, toasting his memory. Reluctantly, he turns away, not wishing to destroy the image by showing up alive, and walks away into the night.

    When I first saw this movie, it was so sad that I thought I would need a rowboat to get out of the theater–all the tears shed creating a river.  

    There was some similarity here to “The Blue Angel” starring Emil Jannings and Marlene Dietrich, with Jannings playing the role of a revered university professor who falls for Marlene and falls low, low, low.

    • Wayne P.

      Emil Jannings also starred in the silent first version of the Way of All Flesh in 1927, directed by Victor Fleming.   IMDB said the 1940 film is hard to find, but based on your review, it sounds like a good one!

  • Ridderw

    Boy in the striped pajamas

  • victor0630

    Old Yeller and My Dog Skip both made me teary eyed.

    • Jim Fetterman

      Finally someone besides me picked Old Yeller…

  • Robcar8

    My all time saddest movie “Blossoms In The Dust” with Greer Garson & Walter Pidgeon, others are “The Miniver Story” a follow up to “Mrs. Miniver” also “Pay It Forward”.

  • Msidd

    Imitation of Life, Brian’s Song, Miracle in the Rain, Places in the Heart, Old Yeller, Love Me Tender (well, it was sad when I saw it as a teenager)

  • Msidd

    Almost forgot the altime tear jerker for me is pretty recent. “Taking Chance” with Kevin Bacon as a Marine escorting the body of a fallen marine.

  • Marvwaddy

    LOve Story, The Enchanted Cottage

  • Isis

    BORN FREE gets me every time and just hearing the theme starts the water works. Also TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.

    • Jim Fetterman

      Born Free is a good choice, mine was Old Yeller  :-(

  • jerry j.

    Can’t forget 8 Seconds. You go into it knowing that Lane Frost(Luke Perry) is going to get killed by a bull in the rodeo ring, but when it happens tears start rolling, and things get even weepier when the closing credits show films of the real Lane Frost.   

  • Maryjo

    The saddest movies of all time ?
    1. Waterloo Bridge – Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor. I cried buckets over that one.
    2. Love is a Many Splendoured Thing – Jennifer Jones the Eurasian doctor didn’t deserve to lose her beloved Mark, a war correspondent played by William Holden. A real tear jerker.
    3. The Last Time I Saw Paris – A beautiful love story between Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson set in Paris from a story by F Scott Fitzgerald. A tragic ending. 
    4. Love Story – A huge hit when released, two college students meet and fall in love. The dialogue is irreverent and funny, but one of them gets bad news from their doctor…
    5. Dr Zhivago – Dr Zhivago is seated on a tram in Moscow, looking out the window. Then he sees his beloved Lara walking along the street. He can’t get her attention, so he gets off the tram and attempts to run after her. His heart gives out, and he dies there,on the street whilst Lara, unaware of his presence, continues walking. 
    6. The ending of Gallipoli, when the two friends from rural Australia are gunned down. 
    7. They Shoot Horses,Don’t They ?  A story set in America during the Great Depression of the thirties. 
    The marathon dancing competitions where people desperate for food and finances would enter a dancing competition where couples had to dance non-stop for days on end. If your partner collapsed from exhaustion, the surviving contestant could pair up with another contestant who had lost their partner. It was cruel, degrading, and desperately sad. Jane Fonda was superb,as was Michael Sarrazin and Gig Young. 

  • Tbone

    tbone the yearling,a warm december,something of value,philadelphia,brian song,

  • Portis22ROY

    The Imitation of Life. I watched it with my mom and that final scene did me in. It was a very emotional movie.

    • Lolly828

       My mother and I watched Imitation of Life together for several years – she passed on in 1972 and watching it was so painful I would sob and sob.  My daughter and I watch it about every year now and guess who sobs and sobs?  We both do!

  • Phil B.

    Spartacus – The Fighting Sullivans – An Affair to remember – The Cowboys – Saving Private Ryan

  • Jim Fetterman

    What about Old Yeller? You watch this movie and tell me you don’t need a tissue and I’ll know your a liar.

  • Lolly828

    I think the name of the movie is “Billie” and it is one of Jan Michael Vincent’s first movies.  Jan befriends the girl that all the boys visit at nighttime in the dark.  She expects to be treated badly; he gave her a Dr. Pepper and she keeps the bottle and puts flowers in it.  She begins to blossom from the inside out by the attention she receives from him (Jan Michael) and he begins to fall in love with her. The end is excruciating – she no longer wants to give her attentions to the boys in school and they beat her to death.  The last scene is Jan driving his pickup with the back overflowing with flowers to put on her grave.  Every woman leaving the theater was bawling her eyes out!!

    • Lolly828

       The name of the movie is “Buster and Billie”.  Thanks to IMDB!

      • Sumcoo

        Love that movie too! Didn’t know anyone else had seen it!

  • Sheila1111

    No one has mentioned The Green Berets. When the young boy ran on the air strip, calling out, “Peter-son”. Too much sorrow for me.

  • Ohkennyo


  • Kjaax

    The saddest movie ever…Wings, the  1927 silent movie…the parade scene where the town hero returns from war and has to face his best friend’s  mother….I have never dried so hard at a film…I’d give more details but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

  • SMedlock

    A TV movie titled Always Remember I Love You with Patty Duke as the mother of a stolen child
    AND Sommersby with Richard Gere.

  • Sandy

    the sadest ones for me were stella dallas with barb stanwych, love story,imitation of life with lana turner,beaches, bridges of madison county,dr. zhivago , old yeller, the note book, shane

  • Stephw

    Penny Serenade, a real tear-jerker.

  • Big Pauly

    Old Yeller.

  • Arb953

    Waterloo Bridge, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Bridges of Madison County, Imitation of Life, Terms of Endearment, Umberto-D, The Notebook, Stella Dallas, Brokeback Mountain, Wuthering Heights,

  • Sandra

    Here are some of the Saddest Movies I’ve watched.

    Maddam X (Lana Turner, John Forsythe)
    Imitation of Live (Lana Turner, John Gavin)
    Back Street (Susan Haywood, John Gavin)

  • Sandy

    sandy story
    2.stella dallas
    old yeller
    4.some where in time
    imitation of life
    note book
    bridges of madison county
    wurthing heights
    pearl harbor

  • Kathy

    Tomorrow is Forever with Orson Welles, Claudette Colbert and George Brent.  The ending gets me every time.

  • Tbyland

    Dark Victory.  Enough said.

  • gliznorph

    The modern day parts at the very beginning and very end of “Saving Private Ryan”

  • Glynnco51

    Million dollar baby and Sounder

  • Dani

    Where the Red Fern Grows and To Each His Own

  • Bridget

    “My Dog Spot”

  • Jmacdonell

    An Affair to Remember
    Old Yeller
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    Madam X ( corny but gets me every time)
    West Side Story
    It’s A Wonderful Life (always makes me cry too…when Jimmy is despondent especially)

  • Clpapa1

    Waterloo Bridge, Wurthering Heights, The Fighting Sullivans,  The Christmas Shoes, Dark Victory, The White Cliffs of Dover.

  • Carolyn E Naclerio

    An Affair to Remember, King Kong, La Bamba, The King and I, Love is a Many Splendid Thing, Dark Victory, Terms of Endearment, Madame X, Back Street, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

  • Larry Cox

    All the Mornings of the World gets pretty sad when the girl jilted by the callow young cello player hangs herself with her shoe laces. And the death of Flower the meerkat in the docu Meerkat Diary tore up people all over the world.

  • Kathy

    What about Old Yeller.  I cry every time.

  • Kathy

    I think Old Yeller wins hands down.

  • Jcog1557

    Wuthering Heights, Waterloo Bridge, Stella Dallas, Sentimental Journey, Can’t recall name but starred Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford, Janet Leigh, Ethel Barrymore; another no recall name movie starred Walter Pidgeon, who never made a bad movie or gave a bad performance; Joan Bennett who tries to help him escape from the nazi’s over a picture he took ends up being killed by the nazi’s. 

  • Ann F.

    How Green Was My Valley. When Roddy McDowell gets beaten by the schoolmaster, when Maureen O’Hara & Walter Pidgeon can’t marry. When the sons have to leave to find work.When Donald Crisp  dies in the mine disaster. A 4 hanky movie!

  • Alfie

    As a child not allowed pets ….memorable tearful films included Lassie, My Friend Flicka, The Yearling, and of course, Black Beauty.

  • Larry Cox

    Bright Eyes! Little Shirley Temple’s Daddy and Mommie both ‘crack up,” and horrid little Jane Withers tears up her doll, but all the guys around the airfield love Shirley, who sings Good Ship Lollipop. and Loop has to tell her about what has happened to Daddy and Mommie.

  • Ptemple62

    Stella Dallas with Barbara Stanwyck sends me to tears and so does On Borrowed Time with Lionel Barrymore.

  • Alton Robertson

    Just about any movie with a dog as the central character.  The new title holder for most tear jerking is “Marley and Me.”  Get misty just thinking about it.  Breakdown when I see it, even at 64!

  • Panavia Tornado

    Speaking of movies about donkies: Au Hazard Balthazar. 

    I get all teary eyed just listing these titles….
    The Biscuit Eater (1940) a huntin’ dog tale
    Miracle in The Rain  – romance, tragic parting, miraculous reunion
    The Yearling – A boy, his deer, tough life
    Of Mice and Men 1939  – poor lenny
    Ballad of a soldier 1959  A young soldier tries to get home to his mother
    Symphonie pastorale 1946 – A minister, a blind girl, his wife, his son
    Odd man Out 1947  James Mason, delirious,  staggers through the night, trying to find refuge
    Miracle of marcelino 1955   – The original not the remake! A small boy adopted by a monastery yearns for a mother.
    Umberto D 1952  – an old man struggle to maintain some dignity and keep his little dog despite unrelenting humiliations ad pettiness.
    A Kid for Two Farthings  – a poor family living in a garment district and a little boy and a goat.
    Wille the Operatic Whale -   A whale sings his heart out.  An impresaro just doesn’t get it…
    On Borrowed Time – Lionel Barrymore loves his grand son, tries to save him from the Grim Reaper
    My Foolish Heart – Dana Andrews as “Walt” is the nicest fellow ever!  I want to mary Walt.

  • Facklerama

    1. In Name Only with Cary Grant and Carol Lombard is a must see
    2. All This and Heaven, Too with Bette Davis based on a true story

  • Mike

    Bambi: My Mom told me that when I was three I became so hysterical after the forest fire that killed Bambi” mother, that she (My Mom) had to take me home.

    Imitation of Life: Sure, it’s contrived, but the performances of Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner raise this film to the level of Opera and the injustices still resonate today.

    Madame X: in which Lana Turner proves that she can make you cry.

    Stella Dallas: Barbara Stanwyck and Anne Shirley are both heartbreakingly good.

    Bette Davis Movies: Now Voyager, All This and Heaven Too, The Old Maid.


    • Wayne P.

      Sorry, but the forest fire was at the end when Bambi’s Dad came to help him after he fought off the young buck, who went after the doe he loved (cant remember her name!).  But, Bambi’s Mom was shot earlier on in the picture by a hunter…very sad, :(

    • Jay Polerstock

      Hi Mike – Madame X and Imitation Of Life are on my list also. Those Lana Turner soap opera melodrama’s were the best. I can watch them over and over again.

  • William Smith

    Random Harvest I remember the first time I ever so it.
    It pulled at my heart strings like no other mover ever had.
    It is one of those movies you never forget. 

    Wm. Smith

  • cindy urban

    Make Way for Tomorrow, Wuthering Heights, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Ghost, On Borrowed Time,Miracle in The Rain, My Dog Skip,Old Yeller, The Yearling,The Champ,City Lights,Limelight,Waterloo Bridge,It’s a Wonderful Life,Mr.Skeffington,Sophies Choice, The Thorn Birds.I love all these emotional,heart tuggers.

    • Jay Polerstock

      Hi Cindy – 3 of the movies you mentioned are on my list that I just posted – Wuthering Heights – Miracle In The Rain – Waterloo Bridge.

      • Cindy

         we have good taste !

  • Bronson95

    Umberto D., Shane, La Strada, It’s a Wonderful Life, City Lights, Barry Lyndon, Gallipoli, The Best Years of Our Lives, Ben~Hur, GRAB THE TISSUES!!!

  • Larry Cox

    I once got choked up at the end of Hair, when poor Claude gets drafted and the hippies give him a tribal baptism while singing Let the sun shine in, and the audience is supposed to assume that he is going to get killed in Nam.

  • Hersh75

    THE NOTEBOOK, at least in recent tears, is so beautifully done that my wife and I both cried as we left the theatre.

  • Qazadoo

    Imitation of Life…Original Canterville Ghost

  • Rick

    Valley of the Dolls

  • Meggyx13

    The Outsiders and Glory

  • Hair-raiser22

    Beaches, Boys Don’t Cry, Camille, Sweet November, Swing Kids

  • uncommon_sense1

    The Fighting Sullivans..OMG, I can’t watch it because I just bawl like a baby. The Olivier/Jennifer Jones “Carrie”…sooo depressing, but compelling.

    • Pamhandle

      I know, it is so sad.

  • Nefremov

    Add BRIGHT VICTORY to your lists…

  • Michael T

    Hands down
    The Way We Were

    Kramer vs. Kramer
    Days of Wine and Roses
    Brian’s Song

  • PKMeans

    Old Yellar, Imitation of Life, Saving Private Ryan, Steele Magnolias, A Place in the Sun, Dad, Splendor in the Grass 

  • IreneGP

    I’d like to add Sarah’s Key, which I just saw on DVD. 

  • King Corkey George

    I certainly agree with A Star is Born and Old Yeller, But tears came to my eyes with Show Boat, which has a slightly happy ending, Digging to China which Kevin Bacon should have gotten an Oscar For, I am Sam with Sean Penn,  and of course, Casablanca and Snows of Killenmajaro

  • Nora Sotomayor

    Some of the saddest: The Champ, The Elephant Man, My life as a Dog

  • harryfaversham

    Tomorrow is Forever…The Yearling…Sunset Boulevard.

  • Jay Polerstock

    All Mine To Give – Wuthering Heights – Waterloo Bridge (1940) - Gone With The Wind – These Three – Imitation Of Life (1959) – Madame X (1966) – West Side Story – Miracle In The Rain – Magnificent Obsession (1954)

    • Stupefy19

      A friend of mine used to have a Christmas Eve party yearly and show All Mine To Give. Never a dry eye in the house.

  • The Great Hal Ashby

    The Reader, The Yearling, Atonement, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, An Affair To Remember, Chinatown, Rain Man, Schindler’s List, Gran Torino.

  • James Paddock

    The saddest movie I think I have seen is Hachi. Next would be Brian’s Song.

    • nick

       I hear the original Japanese version is even sadder, though the real life story was not as sad.

  • teddy

    Imitation of Life, Brian’s Song, Philadelphia,

  • a1walter2

    Shenandoah  Star Jimmy Stewart..The man lost most of his family.

  • Edwardmooree

    Brokeback Mountain,so many lives ruined because Heath Ledger’s charecter could not face loving a man who would have given up everything for them just to be together.

  • rsc

    marley and me;old yeller
    brian’s song;phenomenom

  • Mjesusfreak16

    titanic. see me cry.

  • Kboyd1049

    Imitation of Life,I always say I’m not gonna cry but baby!!! every time Mahalia Jackson sings Trouble in the World I loose it.

  • Gregnewyorkcity

    The ones that get me all have to do with time and with loss –
    Little Women (Gillian Armstrong)
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Making The Boys (documentary)
    The Accidental Tourist
    Far From Heaven

  • Romanoscott

    1- Night Mother
    2- Cross Creek
    3- Bridges of Madison County
    4- Sophie’s Choice
    5- The Last Picture Show
    6- Streetcar Named Desire
    7- This Boys Life
    8- Boys in the Band
    9- 1000 Acres
    10- Come Back Little Sheba

    about once a decade the catharsis each brings is worth the pain of viewing each film again ;-)

    • Moestjoe

       Oh, I forgot about Come Back Little Sheba! What a wonderful film.


    WINGS OF GOLD! and THE GALLANT HOURS!  Both are True Stories of Great Men in WW 2.


      It was not Wings of Gold, It is “THE WINGS OF EAGLES”

  • ohmortimer

    The Oxbow Incident (heartbreaking)
    Frenchman’s Creek — the Joan Fontaine version (beloved movie!)
    Schindler’s List
    Sparticus (!!)
    Days of Heaven

  • Pitasmommy

    Hands down it is love story!!!

    • Clara

      Today I watched “Love Story”, and yes it’s horribly sad, and I need to update my article :’(

  • Dog888k

    No one has mentioned The Seventh Seal, with Death walking around in Sweden carrying people away; the knight and his family, the guy in the tree which Death sawed down, the girl burned as a witch.  And there is the young girl, in The Virgin Spring, who was raped and murdered on her way to church.

    • Wayne P.

      I had my fill of Death lurking about in the 30′s with classics like “Death Takes a Holiday” from 1937 with Fredric March and the wonderfully sad “On Borrowed Time” starring Lionel Barrymore and Sir Cedric Hardwicke as the deceptive Mr. Brink!

    • nick

       I saw bits of the Virgin Spring, but could not watch it again. I don’t find The Seventh Seal a sad movie. For a Bergman film it has quite a lot of humor, and I find the ending rather life affirming. The scene with the guy in the tree, I think is somewhat gallows type humor.

  • Bjodrie

    Love Me Tender(1956)
    Von Ryans Express(1965)
    Cast A Giant Shadow(1966)
    Flaming Star(1960)
    None But The Brave(1965)
    Kings Go Fourth(1958)

  • CMW

    Sophie’s Choice – hands down

    • Babsbnz


  • Xalf18

    I cannot believe that the three biggest tear jerkers of all time were omitted from this list.  These are:   

    #1  The Way of All Flesh- (Akim Tamiroff)
    #2   Stella Dallas (Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles)
    #3   Imitation of Life (Claudette Colbert, Louise Beavers-I Believe)

    I recall that when I saw “The Way of All Flesh” as a kid, (I always referred to this movie as “The Man Without a Home”), in the theater, by the end of the film, you needed a rowboat to exit the theater.  That is how sad it truly was.  The film, which also starred–Gladys George (I think) and a very young Darryl Hickman–is in my opinion, the saddest movie ever to come out of Hollywood.

    Unfortunately, the movie had no big name stars–Akim Tamiroff who played the leading male role was a character actor.  

    In “Stella Dallas”, the last scene where a down-and-out Stanwyck is seen standing in the poring rain looking through the window at her daughter’s wedding inside the posh hall, has to be one of the saddest scenes in any movie–also needing a row boat to exit the theater.   

  • Pastorcars

    Brian’s Song — true story and I watched Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers together for the Bears.

  • HassoBenSoba

    One of the greatest bittersweet endings (that no one has ever seen) ~
    “Face of Fire” (1959 American filmed in Sweden).
    Based on “The Monster” by Stephen Crane
    Final scene between young boy whose life was saved from a fire by well-loved handyman (James Whitmore)
    who is now disfigured and mentally incompetent. Their final reunion is so intensely moving that I cried for 20 minutes after seeing it years ago on late-night TV. Cameron Mitchell co-stars and is wonderful. A minor
    classic (in 1985, director Albert Band sent me his own copy of the script in exchange for a video-tape of the film).

  • nick

    I don’t want to say, so if anyone sees it they are not aware of the ending, but it is an Italian Western. 

  • Moestjoe

    Saddest movie ever – “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”, Autumn Leaves, A Star is Born, Madam X, Imitation of Life, Casablanca, Five Little Pennies, Sid and Nancy, Mask, Old Yeller. But then again, I cry at Hallmark commercials. LOL

  • Susan Green

    Not neccesarily in this order (from sad to saddest), they were all sad to me.

    1)  Sophie’s Choice
    2)  Old Yeller
    3)  Casualties of War
    4)  Platoon
    5)  An Affair to Remember
    6)  Days of Wine and Roses
    7)  Phar Lap
    8)  War Horse
    9)  Diary of Anne Frank
    10)  JFK

    Saddest made for tv movies I’ve ever seen:

    1)  Holocaust
    2)  1970′s Black Beauty Mini Series
    3)  Roots
    4)  Sybil
    5)  QBVII
    6)  Escape from Sobibor

  • Nabpurple12

    Dying Young, The Other Side of the Mountain (Jill Kinmont), Pearl Harbor, Brian’s Song, Step Mom and Looking for Private Ryan!!!

  • Lovemyshepherd

    Jimmy Stewarts – ” Of Human hearts……….a real heartbreak

    War horse
    captain courageous

  • Wayne P.

    Sure would like to see the 1931 version of “Waterloo Bridge” with Betty Davis to see if its as sad as the 1940 one.

  • a1walter2


  • Gamlagolan

    For me saddest ever is “On The Beach” – the end of humanity after a global war.  At the end, as the radioactivity is finally reaching and killing the final stand of human population (in Australia), a mother (Tony Perkin’s character’s wife, I believe) says: “I’d like a cup of tea now”, knowing the tea is laced with poison to still the suffering of herself and her baby.  She’s like the anti-Eve — the last mother on Earth, and her surrender to reality is a quiet and dignified acknowledgement of the end of us all.  Powerful stuff in a powerful movie.

  • DIRK

    Okay anyone remember GRIFFIN & PHOENIX: A LOVE STORY made for TV with Jill Clayburgh and Peter Falk??  Same as the Ali McGraw and Ryan O’Neal LOVE STORY except that they were BOTH terminal — talk about kicking it up a notch!! Very sad!  Approx 1974-75, I believe (after the 1973 theatrical big brother release).

  • MissMeerkat

    Swept Away.  Lina Wertmuller ‘s 1974 release.


  • Fred Hill

    THe Eddy Duchin Story tops my list of sad pictures.  I rated it a 5 handkerchief picture;


  • Oracle52

    An Affair to Remember-when Grant finally figures out the lady who came to gallery for the picture was Deborah Kerr, it’s hankie time!!

  • TellTruth

    Champ and Old Yellar. 

    • Cubby

      The Champ is a fine citation.  There is a part 2/3′s thru where Billy (Jon Voight) is in the barn area with Annie (Faye Dunaway), and they’re talking as father & mother to TJ (Ricky Schroeder).  It’s a stunning sequence as Billy lets down his defenses in order to get Annie to return to [them].  When the Dunaway character finally realizes what Billy is trying to convey it is decimating…”What is it, Billy?”

    • Bruce Reber

      Have you ever seen the original 1931 “The Champ”, with Jackie Cooper and Wallace Beery? IMO it’s way better acted and more emotional than the 1979 remake.

  • TellTruth

    The Way We Were caused me great sobbing – but I was pregnant – so it may have explained the emotion.

  • Bettyboop4588

    1. initation of life (Lana Turner)  2.  The Temptations (MoTown)  3.  Blind Faith (Joanna Kerns)

    4.  In a child’s name (valerie bertinelli)    Very sad movie dramas  excellent portrayals

  • Southfish

    Doctor Zhivago

  • Randallhorn000

    I guess when I reflect on “saddest movies,” I think of movies that have made me teary-eyed.
    Among the ones who have brought tears to MY eyes were:
    The Best Years of Our Lives- For it’s humanity. (The score by Hugo Friedhofer is a major factor for it’s
    impact on me, all these years, still). 
    The Shawshank Redemption- Likewise.The humanity (yes, even these convicts!) of the characters. (James Whitmore’s character in particular).
    Au Hasard Balthazar- Robert Bresson’s masterpiece, concerning the life & death of a donkey named Balthazar. The Criterion Collection has it.  (Look for the close-ups between Balthazar & some zoo animals in one scene). Though it’s tough to watch, at times, it’s so beautifully realized, it becomes a must-see.  Look for it. See it.
    Gunga Din- I dare you to not be affected by the final scene. Never seen it? See it! Great fun, but it sets up the tears at the end quite nicely.
    Finally…the saddest movies are the wrong-headed re-makes of cinema classics, like The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Flight of the Phoenix, etc.  Leave the classics alone please.

  • Sochocinsky

    big red, bambi and dudly moores  8 weeks   with maureen ohara

  • Hpappas29

    Letter from an Unknown Woman, Wth Louis Jordon & Joan Fontain, is one of the sadest movies . I cry every time

  • Bklagasse

    Haven’t seen anybody mention my favorite – “Shadowlands”, actually a true story about the British author C.S. Lewis (beautiful performance by Anthony Hopkins) and his late-in-life romance with an American divorcee (Deborah Winger) and their several months of ecstatic joy, until it comes out that she has terminal cancer.  From then on until the end, they never leave each other’s side, and Lewis’ grief is stunningly played by Hopkins (and the tears fall like rain). 

    • Wayne P.

      A great man and convincing Christian apologist was C.S. Lewis and also possibly the best allegory writer of all time to boot!

  • Diane

    The saddest movies I’ve ever watched are:   Titanic,  Sybil,  Love Story, Love Me Tender and Schindlers List.

  • Croonerman

    The saddest movie I have ever seen is “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”–Starring Dorothy McGuire, James
    Dunn, Lloyd Nolan, Joan Blondell–do not know the little girl’s name in this one–but the scene where
    she receives flowers from Miss Blondell after her school graduation, after her father had died in the snow looking for a job, she cries and so do I. He had bought the flowers for her long before he dies.
    Boy talk about a tearjerker–Wow!–It was a sweet oldie movie for me.

    • Martha Smith

      It is an awesome movie and definitely one of my favorites!!!

    • Susan

      That dear little girl was Peggy Ann Garner, who won a junior Oscar for her heartbreaking performance In 1945.

    • swordfish

      I agree.i watched it late on tcm and thought of my daughter and cried like a baby

  • Fermin13

    many years ago I saw a picture of three or 4 friends, all looking for love and $$, one moved to Italy and became a gigolo, the other one went to Mexico got involved with the Mexican War, met a rich girl she became pregnant, father made her to go to a covent and become a nun, at the end of the movie the guy was going to meet her at a Mexico plaza and one kid shot him, because of a revenge, he had kill his brother or father previously, another guy got involved with rich women, I wish I can remember the name of the actors I have tried so hard to find out what the movie was, after that movie it was at the same time as the “thornbirds”…any help???????

  • Rachel

    The saddest movies I’ve ever watched  are Titanic, Imitation of Life (both movies), Beaches, Where The Red Fern Grows, David, Romeo and Juliet, and West Side Story.

  • Leedegrance54

    This Land Is Mine is one of my all time favorite movies, but I find the ending uplifting and tragic rather than sad. For me, the saddest movie ever made is SARAH’s KEY because it is sad and then it becomes even sadder, a double dose.

  • moonchild

    one of my fav’s—-and saddest—-is the movie called ”THE 5 SULLIVAN BROTHERS”. –it shows how 5 brothers from their life as small kids –to where they join the navy   during  ww2—-all  end up on the same boat–and when the boat is bombed by the germans ”they all die….OH+ –how i cried my heart out…especially when they showed them all going to heaven and the little one who was always lagging behind says”’hey–wait for me>>>>>>>just as he always did while he was on earth…..

    • Leslie Sexton

       This is a sad movie, but it caused a change in the way military assigned families together. They will no longer put family members together in a unit or ship if they are the only children in a family. I can’t imagine that poor mother’s grief to lose all of her children.

  • MJ

    The Great Waldo Pepper, Robert Redford as an incredibly likeable and heroic biplane flyer who never was tested in battle, and whose life continues to spiral down as aviation becomes less of an adventure and more of a business.  In the final scene, he finally gets to achieve the chivalric dogfight with a great German ace that eluded him 15 years earlier…but it is at the cost of his life.  We never see the unavoidable crash, but when we see his photo on the wall of the airport cafe with the other heroes of aviation…the waterworks open.

    • Dog888k

      Waldo Pepper also has the sad sequence in which the barnstorming  pilots put a girl on the wings of the plane, fly up in the air, and the poor girl dies of fright

  • Cubby

    Red Sky at Morning from the early ’70s is awfully sad.  A young Richard Thomas plays the lead here growing up in the Southwest during WWII.  Richard Crenna plays his father who goes off to war and is KIA.  Claire Bloom plays the mother and she is absolutely radiant.  Desi Arnaz, Jr. has a nice spot in this motion picture as does Harry Guardino who builds a replica of Mt. Rushmore there in New Mexico.

  • Cbeledw

    I think only one person mentioned Shane, which is melancholy from start to finish, including the unrequited love between Jean Arthur and Alan Ladd.  When Brandon De Wilde calls out to Shane to come back, I cry every time.  And as Shane rides through the graveyard, wounded and alone, you realize he’s going up into the mountains to die.

    I checked and no one mentioned Lonely are the Brave, an inexpressibly sad story of a cowboy born in the wrong era.  Kirk Douglas gave a wrenching performance, and he’s always considered it his favorite film.

  • Joe Whale

    I agree with moonchild “The Five Sullivan Brothers” now selling on DVD as “The Fighting Sullivans”.  Another movie that comes to mind is “Brian’s Song” with James Caan  playing Brian Piccolo.  Here are some of my favorites with “Battan” leading the list (saw this multiple times along with the “Five SUllivan Bros” as a child and cried every time), Ghost, Love Story ,& Old Yeller.

  • Erik the Red

    The saddest films I have seen are films directed by Wolfgang Petersen. For some obscure reason his movies always have sad endings. Just think of Das Boot and The Perfect Storm.

  • Pingback: The Saddest Movies in the World Make Me Happy « Home Projectionist

  • Joestalin

    Come Back Little Sheba and Brokeback Mountain top my list.  I’ll add Huncheback of Notre Dame, for good measure.

  • Dee_6760

    Love Story, The Green Mile, Titanic, Sybil ,The Shawshank Redemption, The Way We Were, Brian Song, Beaches, Silkwood and Casualty of War

    • Joe

      Seriously-  You haven’t seen WHITE OLEANDER  ( 2002 )

  • Sdhumphries

    Imitation of Life with Lana Turner  and Juanita Moore

  • linda

    I find it so hard to pick one. I searched all over and finally found “Letter from an Unknown Woman” with Joan Fontaine. It is not the saddest one ,,,there are so many…. but I always loved this movie and it is so hard to find.  By the way the male actor was Louis Jourdan ( french actor )

  • Dorcare

    sophie’s choice

  • Delores Phillips

    great movie!

  • Joe

    WHITE OLEANDER  ( 2002 )  is the saddest movie I ever saw.  It will break your heart.

  • Bjodrie

    Man Hunt(1941)with Walter Pidgeon,Joan Bennett,and George Sanders.

    • Troj011667

      Could you please briefly tell what the story line was in this film…thank you.

  • Bjodrie

    Incendiary Blonde(1945)Betty Hutton as ill fated Texas Guinan.

  • Leodegrance54

    I love This Land Is Mine, a sad ending but one with hope for the future victory in the end. Sarah’s Key is by far and away the saddest movie/story I have ever seen. The little brother’s death is sad enough, but Sarah’s guilt complicates the sadness and the fact that her escape to save him has saved her and only in her living her life fully can any meaning come from his death. IN the end her guilt wins out.

  • Bobby Laguardia

    miracle of our Lady of fatima and Song of Bernadette and Something for Joey

  • Forrnic

    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

  • Ericstone6

    The Other Side of the Mountain. The true story of Jill Kinmont who was paralyzed from the shoulders down while trying out for the United States ski team. She then went on to become the first quadripligic to become a teacher in the United States. To this day this movie makes me cry. My brother who is a paraplegic says it is exactly what happens to people when they are paralyzed in a accident.

    Marilyn Hassett gave a performance that should have put her on the fast road to stardom. But it wasn’t to be. After Two Minute Warning, Shadow of the Hawk and The Bell Jar she never again had a role that lived up to her talents. 

  • Rick

    Brian’s Song, Something For Joey, It’s a Beautiful Life, Old Yellar, Charlie, Diary of Anne Frank, On the Beach, Planet of the Apes, My Girl, Ordinary People

    Saddest Story Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Matchgirl 

    • dw gryph

      Probably not the same version, but a few years back the local PBS station broadcast an animated student film of “The Little Matchgirl.” It would rank with most of the other suggestions on this thread.

  • jimjn

    I don’ have 10.

    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

    * Also Goodbye My Lady – 1956 movie


    I never forgot these movies. They had such a profound effect on me
    to a point that when I was much older I founded a small but locally effective Non-profit
    Dog Rescue Organization.  


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


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


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


    • Rushtom

      Yeah!–”Old Yeller” one of my favorites and “Hachi-A dogs Tale”–good one. How about
      “Goodbye Mr. Chips”/with Peter Donat–and “The Long Gray Line” with Tyrone Power–now that was
      a good comedy as well as a tear jerker. ” So Proudly we Hail” is another one with the grandfather not
      making it on time to see his grandson on the train, who also gets killed in action!–

  • Jack1117

    the saddest movies i’ve ever watched were
    1- tomorrow is forever
    2-imitation of life
    3-stella dallas
    4-madame x

    5-carrie         jennifer jones, laurence olivier

    6- love is a many splendored thing
    7-wuthering heights
    8-my son,my son
    9-blossoms in the dust
    10-city for conquest
    these are just a few. believe me you need a box of tissues for them!

  • King Bushwick the 33rd

    Ghost.When Whoopi says”Sam,it’s time.”and Patrick Swayze goes back to Heaven,I’m bawling like an Irish Catholic Schoolgirl!!

  • Robert M. Preston

    10 the saddest movies I’ve watched are:  “TITANIC”, “CAMILLE”, “GHOST”, IMITATION OF LIFE”, “BEACHES”.  Oh, well, I couldn’t think of 10, so I have 5.

  • Gsicards

    The Days of Wine and Roses

  • Khleophee

    The saddest movie for me is Madame X with Lana Turner
    I still need my box of tissue every time.

  • dog888k

    There is an episode in The Story of GI Joe (with Burgess Meredith as Ernie Pyle), in which Ernie has been following an army company in southern Italy commanded by a Captain Waskob, who is loved by all his men.The Captain gets shot and his body is brought down the mountains on the back of a mule, and his men take turns guarding his body.  And I bawled like crazy when I watched the scene, and so did my Dad, who had been in the same area.  The story Ernie wrote of this was his most famous piece of war reporting.

  • Dantz

    “Imitation Of Life” (1958)

    • Sedonawe

      Totally agree — when Susan Kohner screams out, “Mama” at the end, I lose it every time.

      • Carolyn Ferrante

        Sedonawe — I was brought to tears even before I finished reading your post. The original one was even more heartwrenching.

  • Teresa Terrell

    Awakenings with Robert Williams and Robert De Niro. Amazing and amazingly sad =:::(

  • Nancia

    The Champ (both versions)

  • Llmathies

    I can only remember 2.  They are:  Imitation of Life with Lana Turner and Juanita Moore;and the original movie Madam X. 

  • Llmathies

    I would like to add the movie “Amistad” to Imitation of Life and Madam X with Lana Turner.

  • cyborgreader

    ‘On the Beach’ was both frightening and a tear jerker.  I know this isnt what you meant but it brings tears to my eyes everytime I see it

    • wade

      I absolutely loved the scene near the end with the beautiful Ava Gardner standing on the hill watching Gregory Peck leaving in the sub

  • Pfmjr

    last time i saw paris pat

  • Edtully

     Romeo and Juliet – ’68
    West Side Story – (yes I know it is essentially the same story set to music)

    That Shakespeare, he could write!

  • Lauradyoung

    1. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
    2. A Patch of Blue
    3. Julia
    4. Love is a Many Splendored Thing
    5. Dr. Zhivago
    6. My Foolish Heart
    7. Brokeback Mountain
    8. E.T.
    9. Anna and The King
    10. We Were Soldiers

  • Bill

    I saw the movie first when I was quite young but it impressed me with its sad terror then and I still remember the crippled Barbara Stanwyck trying to escape the murderous attack of her utterly nasty husband, Burt Lancaster. The title of the movie, “Sorry, Wrong Number,” is not an accident as Barbara tries desperately to make a call that could save her life.

  • squally53

    What? Stella Dallas, All Mine to Give. Old Yeller. neverheard of some of your movies. Almost forgot It’s A wonderful life!

  • N

    Goodbye Mr. chips. Most depressing movie of all time.

  • azviewer

    Need a good cry: watch “Old Yeller,” “Where the Red Fern Grows” and “Spencer’s Mountain.” Just can’t help but shed a tear or two!

  • Sharon

    Madame X with Lana Turner. I felt it was a real tear jerker!

  • Gary

    You fucking backward mother fuckers still talking about where the President was born? Kill yourselves, please for the good of all of us who have to listen to you pissing and moaning about the demise of the nineteenth century.

    • Wayne P.

      This is never the place for that kind of foul language…please go and never come back here again until you clean up your act, son! If you dont have any respect for yourself at least show some for those with enough intelligence who know how to behave on a blog :(

  • Blythe Kearney

    Sophie’s Choice.

  • Jackie

    Have never forgotten a movie called No Sad Songs for Me. Think it was Margaret Sullivan and
    Wendall Corey. She was dying…… it was sooo sad.

  • Linda M

    For me, it was All Mine to Give, I still cry whenever I see it. There was also Thomasina and Old Yeller. Then, most recently, Gran Torino.

  • Carolyn Ferrante

    Any movie in which a pet dies. I can’t remember the name of one I saw about 10 years ago when a beloved pet dies because of an accident, I think, but the movie ends with his puppies being born right after. A famous male actor, in the category of Tom Hanks as far as leading men, was in it.

  • DollyT

    Yep, Old Yeller got the most of my tears although I always cry for sad as well as for happy.

  • Boz

    The Biscuit Eater – really sad old B&W dog film.

  • laustcawz

    The first movie (& one of very few) that made me break down in tears was “Ordinary People”.
    Also, the end of “Edward Scissorhands”.

  • Ted

    When Ward Bond answers, “All five” to Selena Royles question, “which one?” is undoubtedly the saddest single scene in all of movie history. The movie is “The Sullivans” of course.

  • Heidi Lynn McDonald Stetler

    “Steel Magnolias”, “Silent Running”, “Camile”, “Maytime”, “Beaches”, “To Hell and Back”, “President Obamas”s Inaguration” part one and two, “The Cowboys”, “Rocky VI” “Old Yeller”, “Imitation of Life”. Just to name a few COL!

  • roverrocks

    Ol’ Yeller broke my heart as a kid also. Breaker Morant was so sad to me later in life. A terrific Australian movie about the Boer War and what comes of “empire building” and the horrible effects of war on the psyches of soldiers. The executions at the end of Breaker Morant as the sun rose and the song being sung just did me in. The whole movie is just so very sad and based on a true story.

  • Mike in Oz (down under)

    Carousel, East of Eden, Spartacus, A Star Is Born (1954), Stella Dallas, How Green Was My Valley, The KIng And I, West Side Story,Dark Victory,The Diary of Anne Frank (1959),Blossoms in the Dust(1992). To quote what one reviewer said re SPARTACUS: “If you don’t cry at the end of this movie, then I never want to meet you”

  • John Sayer

    “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. The last line of Quasimodo’s (Charles Laughton) while looking

    at the gargoyles: “Why was I not made of stone, like them?”

  • facetfact

    I will NEVER EVER FORGIVE Walt Disney for “Old Yeller” – NEVER !

  • cinemabon

    “An Affair to Remember” and “Song of Bernadette” play on my laptop when I need a good eyewash.

  • marbleann

    The Champ ( the original version}, Cheaper By the Dozen (original) why did they have to go kill the father off like that?. The Wrath of Khan, I still cry thinking they killed off Spock. Any movie a pet gets killed. or dies. Back Street. Stella Dallas.

  • Clara

    UPDATE: I cried my eyes out re-watching “Stella Dallas” and also saw “Love Story” for the first time. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE, IT WAS LIKE “ROMEO AND JULIET” but knowing from the beginning about the tragic ending. So consider these two films in the list, thank you.

  • janina


  • Uncle Phil

    I still cry at WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Although I’ve seen it 25 times.

  • Kat

    Waterloo Bridge – first time I saw it, my mother told me to sit down and watch it and bring a towel. Boy was she right! The scene where Kathy dies in Wuthering Heights and he carries her to the window even though she was already dead….; I cried at the end of Von Ryan’s Express and of course, Casablanca, when Rick lets her go. There is also a WWII movie starring Claudette Cobert where she is the mother of Shirley Temple at 14 and Jennifer Jones, and her husband is called into service and the waiting for word from him after months nearly breaks her heart and it was a heartbreaker to watch. I can’t remember the name of it but is over 2 hours. Oh! The Thorn Birds – talk about a heart-breaker! Get the entire 6 parts (I think its 5 or 6 dvds – you will not want it to end anyway). Definitely need a towel for this one. She’s in love with a priest played by Richard Chamberlain. A must watch – fantastic movie and it will make you think about life and love. Once again Barbara Stanwyck was superb.

    • BernardS

      The WWII movie starring Claudette Colbert/Shirley Temple/Jennifer Jones you
      can’t remember the name is “Since You Went Away”. It was a long movie, the VHS
      tape that I have has it clocked at 180 minutes.

  • Alice

    I would like to get My Fathers Shadow The Sam Shepard Storey

  • Antone

    No one has mentioned Fiddler on the Roof, which has three tear-duct dam bursting moments.

    1. The vandalism of the oldest daughter’s wedding by religious bigot thugs;

    2. The besieged father turning his back on his favorite daughter for marrying a Christian;

    3. The dispossession and exile of all Jews in the village that had been their home for generations.

  • Tony Adam

    The train scene in UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG is definitely sad, but I always cry more at the ending, when Deneuve walks through the gas station parking lot at night after seeing her long lost lover for the first time in years. I find the ending of DARK VICTORY almost impossible to watch – Bette Davis, so strong! For dog lovers, MY DOG SKIP is a real weeper. Also for dog lovers, de Sica’s UMBERTO D. And one scene that always moves me – the great Katherine Cornell handing out sandwiches and pausing to do the balcony scene from ROMEO AND JULIET with a young soldier on his way to war, in STAGE DOOR CANTEEN. And if you’re fortunate to get the chance, watching Helen Morgan perform her signature song, ‘Bill,’ in James Whales’ SHOW BOAT.

  • Leo Doroschenko

    Three endings that always move me to tears: THE RED SHOES, 1933′s KING KONG, and BLADERUNNER (the death of Roy Batty).

  • Isis

    I get teary-eyed watching TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, BORN FREE (can’t even hear the theme song to this day), E.T., and SPLENDER IN THE GRASS.

  • kmarymc

    OUT OF AFRICA, Oh My Gosh. Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. Based on the autobiographical book “Out of Africa” by the Danish author Karen Blixen, using the pen name of of Isak Dineson.
    HACHI, w/Richard Gere and Joan Allen. An Americanization of a true story that took place in a small town in Japan. There is a statue erected in honor of Hachi in the town. If you have ever known the love and devotion from a dog, which we clearly don’t deserve, and watched as that dog grows old yet his devotion never falters you will love this movie.
    AMADEUS. The incredible story of Mozart told in flashback, by Salieri, a fellow musician and composer who is confined to an insane asylum.
    10 hanky endings

  • Shirley

    Beaches, whithering heights ,Titanic, champ, A star is born, Ghost, the Notebook , Somewhere in time, olde yeller, where the red fern grows

  • Cee

    Two not usually mentioned: GLORY and The Color Purple, Sad all the way through.

  • Lisanne

    My 5 favorite weepers: The Elephant Man ,A Tale Of Two Cities (1935),The Man Who Laughs, Life Is Beautiful, West Side Story.

  • Black & White Critic in Color

    The Best Years of Our Lives; Hotel Rwanda; Saving Private Ryan; John Q; and Miracle at St. Anna. Tough decisions. The first two titles are tear-jerkers through the entire movie. The last three movie titles grips you at the very end of each. I considered A Time to Kill, Autumn Leaves and The Days of Wine and Rose, all strong candidates for saddest movies.

  • Elizabeth

    Titanic, Pay It Forward, Ghost, Beaches, A Portrait Of Jenny, Dark Victory, The Sullivans,

  • Ric

    I have to agree with some of you…Imitation of Life, Stella Dallas, Old Yeller & Beaches…But my favorite is the ending of “The Old Maid” with Bette Davis & Miriam Hopkins I cry like a baby everytime without fail…then in “Come to the Stable” which was finally released this year…the ending when you see the Stained Glass Window…you have to watch this one for yourselves… then you’ll understand what I’m talking about….Oh my just think of it makes me want a tissue….

  • Rickylivid

    There aren’t many films that I actually blub about, but even now, thinking of the final scene in “Paths of Glory”, when Dax watches the change of attitude from ribald to wistful as they watch the very young girl (later to be Mrs Kubrick) sing on the stage, I choke up.
    Actually I thought some of the other mentioned films were even funny. When I saw “The Diary of Ann Frank”, surely one of the most boring films of all, as the Nazis burst into her bedroom where she was hiding, the audience all shouted “She’s in the cupboard” The tears were rolling down my legs.

    • Bruce Reber

      When the Nazis finally discovered the “hiding place” they were all together in the same room, if I remember correctly.

  • peggy

    The Old Maid, absolutely! Seeing the expression on Bette Davis face makes me cry every time! And the version of Anna Karenina with Vivian Leigh, the ending always gets to me.
    More recent movies are Philadelphia ( think it’s that Neil Young song at the end of the movie that gets me started) and Glory. You’ve Got Mail gets me a bit weepy too, but in a happy way. Does that make any sense:)

  • merrgaret .

    I have quite a few but A Tree Grows in Brooklyn really makes me cry. The book is excellent too!

  • Adrian Havill

    Cinema Paradiso. No contest.

  • Alexander

    “The Snow Walker” is sad and wonderful.

  • Calboy1

    The Champ with Jon Voght..just destroys me!!

    • nanci

      Me too.

  • Doctor Doom

    Brian’s Song didn’t even get an honorable mention?

  • Peter

    Captains Courageous.

  • mary

    What about Imitation of Life? When she is running down the street chasing her mother’s hearse…. oh man, I cry just talking about it!

  • Phil

    Gotta go with Titanic, Tears of the Sun & Saving Pvt Ryan !!!

  • tomofbath

    Au revoir les enfants. Just watch as the children and a priest are marched off to their ultimate death by soldiers.

  • diacad

    Frankly, I do not seek out sad movies, having trouble sitting through them. Unless it is a documentary, I watch to be entertained. However, “Johnny Got His Gun” (1971) had to be the saddest movie I ever watched all the way through. The antiwar theme was too powerful to ignore, and it kept my attention to the end. The story, by Dalton Trumbo (one of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten), concerns a WW1 soldier who becomes a quadruple amputee, and has lost his hearing and sight as well. Bedridden, all he can do is think. As viewers into his mind, we are privy to his thoughts. This sounds stark, but the film speaks forcefully to many of us all over this troubled world, especially now in a period of seemingly endless wars. Internationally it has won prizes at Cannes (France) and Kinema Jumpo (Japan), and has been nominated in the US at Golden Globes and Writers Guild of America. “Johnny Got His Gun” is now available on DVD.

    • Mike

      The really dad thing about Johnny got his gun is the fact that it did no good at all. The cause is still here and about to fire up again..J’Accuse……

      • diacad

        Mike, you are so right that this movie did not stop the carnage which still continues. However, films like these do help those who see them to appreciate the enormous pain and insanity of war. So they do some good after all.

  • Kittycat

    There are so many but two that come to mind at the moment are Wit starring Emma Thompson and The Passion Of The Christ.

  • Katie

    If we’re talking tearjerkers, then Three Came Home has one of the best grab-your-tissues endings of all time. Claudette Colbert and her son are in a Japanese prison camp during WWII.

    Just thinking of the line from It’s a Wonderful Life, “To my big brother George, the richest man in town,” can make me tear up instantly.

    There are lots more, but those two jump out at me.

  • LLOYD 70

    Mr. Smith goes to Washington is the saddest because it’s true.

  • LGMich

    I thought Old Yeller was bad until I saw Five Below. Then I saw Hachi. Many tissues met their soggy demise that day. I’ll watch Turner and Hootch until the end, just can’t take that anymore. I’d get one of those dogs, but I’m getting too old for such a huge animal. On the human side, probably Imitation of Life with Lana Turner.

  • Joseph Levin

    The Heart is the Lonely Hunter
    Los Olvidados
    Lonely are the Brave
    The Hustler
    Carrie – Laurence Olivier, Jennifer Jones, Eddie Albert, Miriam Hopkins from the Dreiser novel, Sister Carrie
    Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
    Lust for Life
    Casualties of War
    The Pawnbroker
    Aubrey Rose
    The Sand Pebbles
    Sophie’s Choice

  • Ruth

    The saddest movie I think I have ever seen is Love Story.

  • Dick Heinlein

    I harken back to the 1940s. Are you a dog lover? Then don’t watch “The Biscuit Eater.”

  • narbrose

    Bang The Drum Slowly And Penny Serenade

  • Eeeeee

    This list is meaningless without “Random Harvest” with Ronald Coleman and Greer Garson. Also, what about “Terms of Endearment”.

  • Chett

    The end of SHOWBOAT (1951) Ava Gardner blowing that kiss and William Warfield singing OL’ MAN RIVER. Also STARMAN, watch the “deer scene.”.

    • Bob S, NJ

      William Holden in the “Christmas Tree”. In the beginning of movie he dives into the water just as nuclear blast happens; son exposed and dies on Christmas Eve under the tree. Went to movie thinking it was a holiday movie and turned out to the saddest movie ever

  • Phil from Fort Worth

    Stella Dallas, Camille, Letter from an Unknown Woman

  • Commodore_Fourty

    Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and The History of the World Part 2.

  • Badger8284

    Speaking of old movies “Dog of Flanders” or “The Yearling” or “Where the Red Fern Grows” or even “Bisket Eater” all were sad, and were aimed at children. Watching a boy loose a dog is always tough!

  • Dogbones

    How about “A Summer Story” Imogen Stubbs, James Wilby 1988.

  • BH

    This may be an obscure choice, but I thought Indochine was really sad. Stars Catherine Deneuve.

  • hjdj1970

    mary jane harper cried last night, when they come in at the end and tell the judge who gave her back to her mother that she died last night soooo sd

  • Maggie.B

    For decades it was “Imitation of Life” but earlier this year I saw “Dog of Flanders” with David Ladd for the first time and it made me cry throughout the whole movie.

  • kingpong

    Growing up, Shirley Temple movies had some sad scenes in them (e.g. “Captain January” and
    “Heidi”) but usually she prevailed and there was a happy ending. However, one of the saddest scenes in any movie was the double suicide of Red Buttons and Miyoshi Umeki in “Sayonara” when the army would not allow a mixed racial marriage to occur.

    • kingpong

      This is actually an addendum to my previous post. I forgot to mention the scene in the movie “Higher Learning” when the neo-Nazi skinhead sniper shoots into the crowd and kills Tyra Banks.

  • ImJuniperNow

    Born Free. I tear up the minute I hear the opening score.

  • nanci

    The Champ, both versions. and Stella Dallas

  • Mauserk98

    The World of Suzi Wong. A letter of introduction for her sons death still makes me cry. And On the Beach. The submarine is leaving with Peck and Gardner is staying to die alone.

  • Hortensia

    Truly, Madly, Deeply. Gets me every time. Oh, and I cried when Dobby died in Harry Potter. I am just hopeless ^_^

  • Ellen Christy Snyder

    For me it is “Imitation of Life”, I just cry and cry during the funeral scene. I recently saw “Les Miserable” and was sobbing uncontrollably. Also, very moving and sad movies that I love are “All Mine to Give”, “A Patch of Blue, and “Stepmom. Each time I view those movies, I find my self moved to tears.

  • June

    My all time favorite is the original version of Sweet November (1968) with Sandy Dennis and Anthony Newley. The ending always makes me shed tears.

    I also cry watching Back Street (the Susan Hayward version), Stolen Hours (also with Susan Hayward), A Patch of Blue (Sidney Poitier), The Sum of Us (Russell Crowe), and Days of Wine and Roses (with Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick).

  • Mike in Oz (down under)

    My Ten:
    A STAR IS BORN (1954)
    Honorable mentions:

  • Bea

    Johnny Got His Gun was the most heart wrenching movie. A soldier loses his arms, legs, hearing, sight, vocal cords and is stuck in a closet to live out his life. When a compassionate nurse brings him out and puts him by a window he feels the sun on his body. He starts moving his head and the dr’s realiiize he’s sending them a message thru Morse Code. He “asks” the nurse to kill him but as she is smothering him with his pillow she’s caught and he’s put back in the closet. The movie is told thru his thoughts.

  • xiaoxiao


  • Carolush

    amazing list. Thanks for sharing

  • prawanlagi

    Your article is very inspiring me

  • rickcard

    I’m a 270 pound ex bouncer/bodyguard and amateur weightlifter and yet I cried uncontrollably at the movie Hachiko: A Dogs Story. I cannot even begin to imagine a sadder movie than that. My girlfriend and her nieces all saw it and said they never saw a sadder movie. I never want to feel such despair again so I will never see that movie again. Add to that that it is a true story.

  • Movie Fan

    Sad movies are so depressing that I try to avoid them. However, I loved “Steel Magnolias,” and “One True Thing.”

  • Debbie

    Two movies made my sob: “On Borrowed Time” and “The Artist”. OH! The pain!

  • roger lynn

    showgirls,the artist,annie hall,,,were sad,hated them as far tear jerking sad,,,TERMS OF ENDEARMENT,,IS MY ALL TIME FAVE SAD MOVIE

  • Richard


    Johnny Got His Gun

  • Terry Schallert

    Dr. Zhivago – Hands down. The total loss of a dignified society portrayed in the personal tragedy of a love torn man who dies in sight of the long lost woman he loves.

  • Romando

    I tend to avoid sad movies, but a few years ago I was totally blindsided by Anna Sophia Robb’s off camera death in “A Bridge To Terabithia” which made me cry for the first time in years.

    • Christine Harrison

      Oh gosh, I watched that film on a flight to Toyko. I didn’t expect it to be so emotional at the end and had tears running down my face ….. rather embarrassing in public and the lights were on in the plane so that really made me feel awkward.

    • Frosty

      I totally agree with you on “A Bridge to Terabithia”. But I thought the special effects really distracted from the beautiful story.

    • jumbybird

      I could never understand the point of that movie… luckily I watched that before without the children. I couldn’t imagine trying to explain that.

  • John Robinson

    Last two minutes of City Lights.

  • richard cook

    There are so many- to pick just one hard.. It is time for old school. Pick-Old Yeller.


    AMOUR–First of all, it is, arguably, the best picture of the year and its two stars should receive Oscars. It’s that good. Moreover, the ending breaks your heart and loses nothing in repeat viewing. I am not careless with words when I tag this as a “BRILLIANT” film, not to be missed.

  • Koob

    Elephant Man.

  • mrs.m

    All Mine TO Give is the saddest movie I have ever seen. I never cry at movies but this one got to me. I cried at the end, it is a heart wrenching true story. If you havnt seen it , watch it.

    • katny

      That is the movie my father always said was the saddest movie he ever saw. You’re right, it is based on a true story.

      Here’s the IMDB blurb: This is a story based on fact that follows a husband and wife who
      emigrate from Scotland to Wisconsin in the 1850′s. They work very hard
      and become welcome citizens of their new town, Eureka. They have six
      children. They prosper in the husband’s boat building business. But when
      their eldest is 12, tragedy strikes the family, and the 12-year old is
      burdened with a terrible task which he handles as well as any adult

      The task is giving away all his siblings to various neighbors to raise. Then the 12 year old boy is all alone in the world.

      Another story my father tells is when he was a traveling salesman and the hardest part of his day was driving back to whatever motel he was staying at. He’d drive by houses and see the families sitting down to dinner. I’m crying as I type this.

  • BJ

    Penny Serenade really got to me when I first watched it and it still does. Outside the older classics I would also have to say TERMS OF ENDEARMENT and STEEL MAGNOLIAS. I still cry when I watch OLD YELLER and when Dorothy says good-bye to the Scarecrow but hands down the movie that had me sobbing the most – to the point of embarrassment – was HACHI. (btw, thanks to Dick H for the heads up on “The Biscuit Eater.” Read the book several times has a child and loved it. I had no idea it was ever made into a film. Will track that one down)

  • Caroline Dean Thornburgh

    Sophie’s Choice is, by far, the most heart breaking movie I’ve ever seen. First time I saw Meryl on screen, too.

  • DD Harriman

    It will always be On the Beach.

    • jumbybird

      Incredibly distressing, I need to watch Airplane after that.

    • Bruce Reber

      The end of Gregory Peck and Ava Gardners love affair and the end of the world. A very symbolic ending.

  • Gord Jackson

    In no particular order:

    “A Star Is Born” – 1954
    “East of Eden”
    “An Affair To Remember”
    “A Man Called Peter”
    “Brokeback Mountain”
    “Love Story”
    “A Night To Remember” – 1958 – (British version of Titanic story)

    And yes, ANY film dealing with the death of an animal.

  • thinkingperson

    “The Yearling”. I cry so hard, I can’t stand to ever watch it again.

    • Deanie_Loomis

      My sentiments exactly.

  • Helen

    For me, the saddest movie is “Dead Poets Society.” I cannot bear the submissiveness of the mother before her son commits suicide.

  • Glenn

    The Search

    A silent nine-year-old Czech boy, a survivor of Auschwitz, flees a
    refugee center in postwar Germany and is found by an American G.I. (Montgomery Clift). At
    the same time, the boy’s mother, the sole surviving member of his
    family, searches refugee centers for her son.

    • Bruce Reber

      IMO the end ot “The Search” is both happy and sad – happy for the boy because he’s finally reunited with his mother, and sad for Clift because he’s had a bonding with the boy and he’s being taken away from him.

  • HOUDINI1961

    For me, what makes a memorable sad movie is when I am blindsided. Such as when I went to see the “funny/uplifting/comedy”??? HAPPY FEET. I was all set for a happy, fun, movie and then bam, the penguin is captured and put in a zoo. “Within 3 weeks of captivity, the penguin begins to lose his mind”, says the announcer. WTF? I was pissed at the false advertising of this happy, kids movie. Plus I was pissed I paid extra to watch it at an IMAX theater.

  • MaryLouiseC

    Two came to mind — Glory because I knew all of them were doomed to die and Make Way For Tomorrow. The latter bombed at the box office when it came out in the late ’30s. I think it was too real and audiences wanted to escape, not see how the reality of the Great Depression led to the separation of a couple married for decades. It was one of Leo McCarey’s few failures.

  • thinkingperson

    I just read a summary of Hachi and am in tears as I write this. This ties “The Yearling” as my saddest movie.

  • sam

    please provide solutions for hypothyroidism

  • ccb

    Silent screen version of Captain January.

  • Claaari!!


  • Terry Friedman

    By far the saddest movie I have ever seen was when I was a little kid. It was Old Yeller

  • Mark Malak

    Three come to mind.On the Beach,Days of wine and roses,but the prize goes to Penny Serenade.Because it’s so well acted,it’s such a downer that I can’t even watch it again.

  • kerry


  • kerry

    I love avril lavigne whoelse does?

  • Amy

    I don’t know a lot of those older movies although I do know some of the actors and acresses such as Barbara Stanwick. For me personally A Tale of Two Cities, E.T., and Shindler’s LIst are my three saddest. I just couldn’t stop the tears….

  • Magman

    I’m a guy and we guys have sad ending movies diferent than those for the ladies. I’ve cried at the end of Always when Richard Dreyfuss’ spirit walks away giving up his girl to another. The Electric Horseman when Robert Redford leaves alone after setting a champion horse free. Lilies of the Field when Sidney Poitier drives off after completing a noble deed without thanks. Red Sky at Morning when John Thomas and Desi Arnez Jr leave for WWII induction. Showboat when Ava Gardner watches her daughter sail off. And the most sad of all…Roman Holiday when Gregory Peck walks off alone leaving Audrey Hepburn to her royal duties.

    • horace whipsnade

      good choices Magman.

  • Tom

    Does anyone remember Marsha Mason as the doctor in “Promises in the Dark?” How she treats, befriends and ultimately has to tell high schooler Buffy (Kathless Beller, later of Dynasty fame) that she is on her way out. Oh, I cried and cried. Both women were nominated for Golden Globes, adn deserved to win. Marsha, come back and knock us out of the park again!

    • June

      Thank you for reminding me about this fine and terribly sad motion picture. Marsha Mason gives a great performance here, and Kathleen Beller is also heart breaking in her role. I, too, wish Marsha Mason were given more film work. She’s a wonderful actor.

  • Jeph47

    “Brian’s Song”

  • Richy

    A toss-up between Bambi and Brian’s Song

  • effie

    What about the yearling. I cry every time!

  • abel

    Brokeback Mountain. I was too sad to cry, even.

  • Tom

    Hands-down, it’s “A MAN CALLED PETER”.

    • Joni Perri

      Yes, when he is sitting on his cellar steps; expressing his doubts to God about his ministry. This is an actual, factual, documented, true story: about a minister; whom was appointed the Chaplain to open government sessions with prayer.
      He ‘Peter’ had a heart condition.
      At the end of the movie–he tells his wife; something he always said, before going to sleep: “See you in the morning,Darling. ”
      But that next morning didn’t come for him; because , God called him Home.

  • Boog

    Old yeller

  • Janet Spink

    Old Yeller

  • God

    The Passion of the Christ

  • John

    THEY WERE EXPENDABLE. In the opening battles between the Americans and Filipinos
    against the overwhelming forces of the Japanese, you see sacrifice after sacrifice, and
    sailors limping away to continue their fight with rifles.

    And you know what the fate of these men, and the nurses who cared for them, will be.

  • Tom K.

    I saw ” Old Yeller ” at the theater at age 8 and was crushed. When I got home I hugged my old dog.

  • Hildegard Brosseau

    Definitely “La Sorciere” with Marina Vlady. Honourable mention: “Waterloo Bridge” and “No Sad Songs for me”. And then there’s “On the Beach” and “The Search”. And if I don’t get off this site and can probably think of a dozen others…..

  • Jim

    I can’t understand how Make Way For Tomorrow is not on this list. That movie is not only sad, it makes people uncomfortable about the way we treat old people in general, and relatives in particular. And yet, in a strange way, the ending is uplifting and sad at the same time.

    • Jean

      It is on the list…number 4

      • Jim

        (gulp.) I guess I should always have my morning coffee before I go on the internet. Thanks for telling me.

    • apsutter

      You should watch Amour

      • Jim

        I had meant to when it played in my local art house cinema, but I hesitated, almost as a protest, because I have detested the director’s previous work. I realize this was a departure for him, and I shall certainly see it sooner or later.

  • billgrove57

    E.T. I couldn’t help myself. Same with Brian’s Song.

  • Frosty

    “Lassie Come Home” – No, not when Lassie finally does come home. It’s when the old man’s little dog (and Lassie’s friend) is killed by bandits.

    “The Small One” is also a good choice.

    • wade

      This movie brought good tears to my eyes when lassie crawled off to meet Roddy McDowall at the end of the movie, ahappy but tearful ending

  • Kokr Spanielesko

    Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon”.

  • Maureen

    I cry at Hallmark commercials but several movies have left me helplessly sobbing. “Come Back Little Sheba”, “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”, “God Bless the Child” and Charles Laughton in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. So many others that I should have stock in Kleenex.

  • GIL


  • Jimma

    I cry at a lot of sentimental movies, but for me the saddest movie is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. It always leaves me feeling sad and hopeless. “Nothing’s too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance”…..

    • Anne H

      That one is heartbreaking. My saddest is also a Ford picture, HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY.

  • John Hume

    Dr. Zhivago, Every time I watch it I want the ending to be different than it is.

  • david hartzog

    Kieslowski’s BLUE.

  • Sally Stark

    THE MORTAL STORM, the 1937 A STAR IS BORN, THE GRAPES OF WRATH, JOURNEY’S END, WATCH ON THE RHINE and THE 1930 THE DAWN PATROL. From the 1950s, ABOVE AND BEYOND (about the dropping of the BOMB)… and from the 1960′s, FAILSAFE.

  • bemalyla

    The saddest movie (unromantic type) was Gallipoli. Tragic. Sad. Despairing. Tearful.

  • hoops

    Airplane: I had streams of tears rolling down my cheeks during and after watching that epic comedy masterpiece.

    • jumbybird

      Surely you can’t be serious?

      • Bruce Reber

        I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley!

        • jumbybird

          You ever seen a grown man naked?

  • Bill

    Well I think THE DEATH OF EDITH BUNKER was perhaps, the saddest event that was ever presented on television. Archie had a tough time coping with her passing. I wasn’t the only person who shed tears over those two shows………

  • lucia muir

    Maybe because it was so popular, and sensationalized but, I believe, in Cleopatra, Richard Burton gives a heartbreaking performance as Antony. The “Antony is dead” monologue given by Roddy McDowall is one that silences a room, and ironically the monologue holds all the respect Antony earned, but never felt in life.
    If any tragic performances by Richard Burton don’t break your heart, you don’t have one.

    • Bruce Reber

      C’mon, Richard Burton certainly gave way better performances than in this overblown, overlong, overhyped so-called “epic”. BTW, “Cleopatra” is on my list of movies I’ll never watch again!

      • lucia muir

        Ek ek ekscuse me but, the second half of “Cleopatra” is on par with ANY shakespearian tragedy(like the one it’s based off of DUH), and it’s classic Burton before there was classic Burton… his Antony is a stones’ throw away from his George. His performance was flawless and raw.
        Maybe you should SEE the movie again, and WATCH it… or even listen because Richard Burton’s Antony is well worth it.

        • Bruce Reber

          Sorry, but you haven’t changed my opinion. I’m sticking to my guns, so to speak. As the adage goes, to each their own.

  • Sandra

    Madame X, Backstreet and the days of wine and roses are a few of my favorites.

  • Pat

    Gone With the Wind, Bambi, The Red Pony, Good Bye My Lady, and a more current one P.S. I Love You Someone mentioned Hachi, but wasn’t that made for TV? I cried so hard in that one I couldn’t get my breath.

  • Laura A.

    My saddest movies are: (In no particular order) Sophie’s Choice, Schindler’s List, Who will Love my Children? (TV movie w/Ann-Margret), Old Yeller or any animal movie!, ET, Dr. Zhivago, Hattie McDaniel’s (Mammy) oh-so-sad speech to Melanie while ascending the stairs in GWTW for which I’m sure she won her Oscar!, Camille (1936), Elephant Man, Terms of Endearment, Glory, Saving Private Ryan, Waterloo Bridge, Wuthering Heights (1939) Imitation of Life (1959)
    …Cannot EVER watch Schindler’s List or Saving Private Ryan again!!! Too tough on the heart!

    • Lori

      Yes, Old Yellar. One of my first memories of crying in theater.

    • Dave M.

      The ‘old’ private Ryan crying in the cemetery is very hard to watch. really caught me by surprise the first time I saw it.

  • Steve in DC

    This is an interesting forum. Some of those winners above are sappy not sad, but mostly a nice list. …..If an animal pic should be there… it should be Old Yeller, not that silly The Small One. And a Yes to Bambi. (Plus, I was a sucker for Field of Dreams…. sad, and uplifting too.) But for a movie with a really scarily-sad ending look at The President’s Analyst. (And for TV … since someone else did…. The Inner Light … on Star Trek Next Gen…. was sadder than anything listed here, IMHO.)

  • Duke

    The Pawnbroker

  • carlyn clayton

    how about Tomorrow Is Forever ??……… Carlyn Clayton

  • Elizabeth

    Pay It Forward

  • AbbysBiggestFan

    How about Imitation of Life both versions but especially the Lana Turner remake, when at the end the girl is screaming, “Mama I didn’t mean it”.

  • jazzy

    Saddest movie I’ve experienced (as a son) was I Never Sang For My Father.

  • softsoap

    I agree with most of the other movies mentioned, but need to include CIDER HOUSE RULES starring Michael Caine and GOODBY MR. CHIPS starring Robert Donat…both 5 hankies!

  • lovestorun

    Love Story

  • bob

    Lot of good ones. “All Quiet on the Western Front”. Loses his comrades and just about when the war is over a sniper gets him.

  • Joseph23006

    Sandra mentioned ‘Backstreet’, which one? Irene Dunne and John Boles (1932), Margaret Sullivan and Charles Boyer (1941): both were real tearjerkers. Susan Hayward and John Gavin (1961) made a pale imitation because she had achived fame as a designer in brilliant Technicolor® with a Waxman score based on Brahms and young children instead of older children who knowingly kept them apart.

  • NoTimeToWatch

    Saddest for me was “Lilja4Ever” from Germany. A high school girl is abandoned by her mom, who moves to America. Lilja’s aunt takes her out of her old apartment and puts her in a dump that has garbage everywhere. Lilja has only one friend, a younger boy. Lilja’s aunt eventually stops giving her enough to live on, and Lilja finds a man who says he can take her out of country and find her a job. Her little friend tries to talk her out of it, but she goes anyway. She ends up in white slavery as a prostitute. Finally escaping from the locked apartment she runs to a bridge, jumps off it and dies. The final scene shows her and her little friend (who has also died) on a rooftop wearing wings and tossing a basketball back and forth.

  • fran

    The saddest movie I ever watched was “Hachi” movie about a dog, mostley animal movies get to me.

  • Les

    Three: “Running on Empty,” “Ordinary People,” “Camelot”

  • eliza1558

    Penny Serenade (1941) has been at the top of my list for years, plus The Mortal Storm (1940) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939).

  • Terry Brooks 18+

    Sorry, “Old Yeller” is still the saddest that I’ve ever seen. Who DIDN’T cry when Yeller died? I’m not immune to tear jerkers, a war movie about the dying G.I. gets to me in the worst way, but, Yeller still is the leader.

  • Carolyn Ferrante

    I think I’ve already listed two films in a previous post, but right now I’ll choose “The Story of Adele H (Hugo)” directed by the great Francois Truffaut. I think this contemporary classic was Isabelle Adjani’s first film. (featured Bruce Robinson, too).

  • Charlotte Vale

    Terms of Endearment, Sarah’s Key, The Sad Horse, Grey Friars Bobby, Love Story, Ordinary People, I can’t pick just one. I love a good tear jerker.

  • SLH

    No special order just my top ten sad movies, there are many others, but I stuck with ten.

    Penny Serenade
    Sentimental Journey
    Doctor Zhivago
    Far From The Madding Crowd
    Imitation of Life
    Ryan’s Daughter
    Old Yeller
    Wuthering Heights
    Gone With The Wind

  • canada movie guy

    I thoroughly agree with the inclusion of Make Way For Tomorrow. It is a little-known gem of a film dealing with unwanted parents who have no one to cling to but each other. I would also include How Green Was My Valley. First, Maureen O’Hara who is desperately in love with Walter Pidgeon has to leave him to marry a wealthy man she does not care for. Secondly, that heart-wrenching scene in the collapsed coal mine where young Hugh discovers his beloved father pinned underneath a beam and they have a few last words together before the old man dies is enough to make the toughest soul weep.

  • jappleseed

    Leaving Las Vegas with Nicholas Cage and Elisabeth Shue.

  • John

    A Guy Named Joe, White Cliffs of Dover, Since You Went Away, Brian’s Song, It’s A Wonderful
    Life, The Fighting Sullivan’s and about a dozen more that cause the old lump in the throat feeling.

  • 423reed

    ‘The Song of Bernadette’

  • reenie6

    What about Sophie’s Choice? Or maybe that’s on the Most Tragic list.

  • 423reed

    I can’t imagine how sad and painful it must have been sitting in the theater watching ‘The Fighting Sullivans’ back in 1944. It makes me cry every time I watch it today.

  • 423reed

    Canada Movie Guy.
    I agree with you. ‘Make Way For Tomorrow’ is a very little known, heart wrenchingly sad movie that also makes me cry several times during the film. I saw it for the first time on TCM and I had to have. It could be your own parents or grand parents.

  • 423reed

    ‘The Five People You Meet In Heaven’. This a terrific film ingeneral and I found it to be very sad and definitely a tear jerker. Trust me and just buy it from Amazon.

  • Kathy F.

    Goodbye, Mr. Chips
    West Side Story
    Steel Magnolias
    My Dog Skip
    The Champ
    How Green Was My Valley
    Love Story
    Brian’s Song

    • Dana Thompson

      Oh my goodness Brian’s Song I forgot, I cried and cried

  • Lady Fanshawe

    ’til we meet again. Love those clinking champagne glasses. Of course, the Divine Davis in both Dark Victory and Now Voyager.

  • Billyboy53

    “Nights of Cabiria” with Giulietta Masina, a Fellini film. As the saddest and most inept prostitute of all time, with a heart of platilnum, Giulietta breaks your own heart. And as the pitiful little victim in “La Strada”, she is in the second saddest film ever.

  • Marty McCann

    I cried my eyes out in LONGTIME COMPANION. Bruce Davison did that shattering “just let go” speech, and then they were at HIS funeral. Lost it!

    • Mario Brescio

      Still one of my favorites and just reading your comment and remembering that part is making me tear up right now.

      • Marty McCann

        To call it powerful is an under statement. I can’t believe Bruce lost to Joe Freakin’ Pesci at Oscar time. Haven’t been able to watch the film since I saw it at the theater. Might be time.

  • DSucharski

    “Love Story” never fails to bring tears to my eyes. I also have known a few guys who will admit to crying their eyes out the first time they saw the ending of “Field Of Dreams”. When my wife watches it with me, she might shed one tear, but I think it hits guys harder because the whole father/son relationship hits some of us like a ton of bricks!

    • jumbybird

      It’s not really sad though (FOD).

    • Dave M.

      I don’t find it sad but it makes me cry every single time I watch them play catch. I miss playing catch with my dad and it speaks to so many of us guys in a visceral way.

    • Clara

      By the time I wrote the list, I hadn’t watched “Love Story”. I certainly cried my eyes out at the end.

  • spiritrider

    Where the Red Fern Grows has brought me more tears than any other movie.

  • dw gryph

    I didn’t read all 800 comments so someone else may have suggested it . . . and it’s not really a “movie” but . . .

    Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” is as emotional an experience as I’ve ever had. Especially the “Sullivan-Ballou letter” — the “we who are about to die” letter a real Union officer wrote to his wife.

    When it was first broadcast, a local moviehouse showed THE ENTIRE SERIES (a little over 12 hours including two meal breaks IIRC). Whew !! I have a hard enough time lasting through two episodes back-to-back. I can’t IMAGINE the emotional effects of sitting through the entire series.

  • 423reed

    Another tear jerker movie is ‘My Gir’. Especially the when Vada’s best friend Thomas is laying in his coffin and Vada keeps crying and begging the adults to put his glasses on him, because he needs them to see with. That scene still kills me every time I watch the movie.

  • Movie Joe

    The saddest film I’ve ever seen is SCHINDLER’S LIST. I went to see it when it first came out. I then bought a copy of it for my library. However I have never been able. To sit through it a second time. It is way too depressing.

    • apsutter

      Oh yea…that movie is the textbook example of a “one and done.”

  • Mario Brescio

    The made for TV movie “Something For Joey” (1977) with Geraldine Page.

    It was based on the true story about the relationship between Penn
    State football player John Cappelletti and his younger brother Joey, who has

  • Sherry

    My pick AI (Artificial Intelligence). Everyone I know who saw this movie cried. Man, Women, and child. Its a movie everyone can relate to. I tells us a lot about ourselves, which is evident at the end of the movie. Just my conclusion.

    • jumbybird

      Under-appreciated movie

  • mh

    Barbara Stanwyck, Stella Dallas is mentionable and not on your list.

    • Clara

      By the time I wrote the list, I had seen it only once and didn’t cry (I don’t know why!). I recently watched it again, and yes, it’s very, very sad. Thanks for bringing it up :)

  • Okietiger

    Saddest movie I ever saw was “Sophie’s Choice”.

  • BAZZ2

    Taking Chance made for TV movie starring Kevin Bacon

    • Susan

      Yes! I think I cried through the entire movie. Very well done.

  • Bob

    The saddest movie I ever saw was “The Fighting Sullivans”

  • Alan Harris

    Shindler’s List. It’s a masterpiece which earns it’s tears.

  • jumbybird

    How about some Bollywood love, Mother India, Sholay, Pakeezah and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. They also happen to be my 4 favorites.

  • Stephen

    what about ” Johnny got his Gun”

  • Sammi

    I don’t now if anyone has mentioned it, but Grave of the Fireflies is one of the saddest ever. It gets over looked just because it’s animation.

    • Susan

      I agree — it’s so beautiful, yet, so heart-wrenching.

    • Clara

      Yeah, that’s probably one of the saddest/dramatic films I’ve ever seen too. I didn’t include it in the list because the post was originally intended for my blog about old movies (released before 1970). Thanks for your comment :)

  • Rita

    Penny Serenade with Irene Dunne and Cary Grant brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it. Have to agree with Bob on The Fighting Sullivans. Sad!

    • JoAnne McMaster

      The Fighting Sullivans is very sad. Penny Serenade not so much. They broke up because their child died, but stayed together because they got a new one? Really?

  • Libby H

    “The Yearling”

  • Terry

    Wuthering Heights (Laurence Olivier/MerleOberon)
    Back Street (John Gavin/Susan Hayward)

    • Dana Thompson

      Have you ever seen the Back Street version with Irene Dunne & John Boles

      • Terry

        Yes I have. Broke my heart too. Both excellent movies and well done.

    • JoAnne McMaster

      Wuthering Heights is a wonderful movie, but extremely sad. Beautifully done. On the other hand, Susan Hayward KNEW John Gavin was married and chose to be the other woman anyway, not even caring that he had a family. I liked the movie, but I don’t think it was sad, just tragic.

  • Lisa

    The Elephant Man – Makes me cry everytime when I see him finally lay down to sleep knowing that his life has been fulfilled and he has been treated as a human being.

  • mominpink

    I agree with Clara. Ever in My Heart is the saddest (but very good) movie I’ve seen. I wish someone would release it on DVD. Another sad one for me is The Cowboys. I don’t like to see John Wayne die in movies.

    • Clara

      Yay, nice to read someone agrees with my #1 :)

    • Wayne P.

      Me neither…and you may really not like his last movie role: The Shootist, where he plays an aging gunfighter dying of cancer. In 1976 that was something he was also going through in real life and which would take him from us, still too soon, at 72 in 1979. Some say it was a combination of lung cancer from smoking so long and filming on location near the western US areas where the military used to detonate atomic test bombs in the 1950′s but Maureen O’Hara confirmed that some years later that the latter reason was also true.

      • Bruce Reber

        “The Conqueror” was the movie filmed near an A-bomb test area in Utah. Everyone involved with it ended up dying of cancer because of exposure to the radioactivity.

        • Jesper Ørsted

          Not everybody, but quite a few. Question is how much of it can be attributted to A-bomb tests and how much to heavy smoking and hard drinking.

  • Jan

    Imitation Of Life – any version

    • Dana Thompson

      I agree, but prefer the original

  • Robey

    Kal Ho Na Ho.

  • Tami Grover Hance

    Penny Serenade, Sophie’s Choice, Bang the Drum Slowly, Hachi, Waterloo Bridge, The Yearling, Goodbye Mr. Chips (the one with Robert Donat), Saving Private Ryan, Flowers for Algernon, and Gallipoli! Not necessarily in that order.

    • Rick

      The movie based on Flowers for Algernon is “Charly” but I agree. Unless you are talking about the TV movie with Modine (which did use the story’s name). In which case, see Charly with Cliff Robertson (be sure to have a box of tissues).

  • JRD

    There are so many: Wuthering Heights, for sure, Kramer vs Kramer, Love Story, Schindlers List, My Sister’s Keeper, The Green Mile, Mrs. Doubtfire, Flowers For Algernon, Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, The House of Sand and Stone, Lion King, Yentl, Field of Dreams, West Side Story. All amazing movies!

    • apsutter

      This is embarrassing to admit but I just watched It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time last year when Cinemark was having a monthlong Christmas movie special. I loved it at first but by the end I felt like I’d been tricked! lol I couldn’t believe that it’s this super famous Christmas when it’s really just a horribly sad and depressing movie of good people who’ve given up their dreams and are living lives of quiet and sad desperation. And the ending is supposed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy but it doesn’t make up for thee realities of George’s life by a long shot.

      • Deb

        You didn’t get the “No man is a failure who has friends” book insignia? No matter how depressing you found George’s life there were people that loved him and for that era of time were appreciative of his help. In turn they didn’t hesitate to return the favor.

    • Dana Thompson

      The House of Sand and Fog is “Tre Tragic” as my brother would say

  • apsutter

    The one that comes immediately to mind is West Side Story. It’s not even the saddest movie I’ve ever seen but it just gets to me. If I watch I know that I’m going to cry several times and feel like an emotional wreck by the end. And the music is so lovely but I can’t even listen to the soundtrack without getting all teary eyed.

  • Capoman

    Brian’s Song.

    • dirkwrestler

      yes, a classic!

  • Jimster

    I can’t believe no one has yet mentioned “Old Yeller”. Spoiler alert – the dog dies. Also, “All Mine To Give”, which starts as a sweet story of an immigrant family, but ends in heart break as the parents die and the 12 year old son has to give his 5 siblings away to foster families. Finally, “One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest” and McMurphy’s fate.

  • Deb

    All Mine to Give. Tore my heart out!!

  • Jesper Ørsted

    A Summer Story (1988)
    Crystal Heart (1986)
    Love Story (1969)
    Are my nomenees to the saddest movie ever.

    • dirkwrestler

      Love Story for sure and if you want to go one better try to the TV movie: GRIFFIN & PHOENIX: a love story — I can’t even tell you the spoiler alert; find it if you can, it def takes it one step further. Starring Jill Clayburgh and Peter Falk as the star-crossed lovers!

  • Movie Fan

    I completely forgot about “Nights In Rodanthe.” I don’t usually cry when watching movies, but this one was an exception.

    • JoAnne McMaster

      Well, it had Richard Gere. He dies in a lot of his movies, so no surprise there. Good movie, but no surprise.

  • Dana Thompson

    Splendor in the Grass, Funny Girl, Sophie’s Choice, Old Yeller, An Affair to Remember, all these make me cry and Stella Dallas

  • Dana Thompson

    HOw about “I’ll Cry Tomorrow” with Susan Hayward

  • Leo Doroschenko

    West Side Story

  • Christina Lawson

    The Miniver Story. Walter Pidgeon’s “Kay…isn’t here anymore…” line at the end gets me every single time.

  • Guido Muldoon

    Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 Romeo and Juliet with Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting is my choice. My high school honors English class attended a screening. To this day I prefer this version to all other filmed versions.

    • dirkwrestler

      yes, my school humanties class went to a showing and it is a tremendous film

  • Chris

    Brian’s Song had my whole fraternity in tears.

  • Dave Kauffman Jr

    the spitfire grill,1996,starring Alison Elliott,the end gets me every time….makes this mean ole guy cry…

  • Cara

    Geraldine Page starred in a movie in 1985 called The Trip to Bountiful. It was a profound movie beautifully done. I can’t say it’s the saddest movie I’ve ever seen (I think the original Waterloo Bridge would have to get my vote) but TtB brings tears to my eyes as I picture all the emotions that Geraldine Page’s character evoked. The part won her an Oscar. She died in 1987.

  • Rob in L.A.

    The movie that made me the most sad? Alan Arkin’s “Fire Sale” (1977). I was terribly sad that I had paid money to see it.

  • Cara

    Actually, I’ve decided after pondering the matter that The Red Shoes is both one of the most tragic and sad movies I’ve ever seen. It poses the question most artists struggle with, often unsuccessfully, which is most important, art or a life.

  • Rafael

    Brokedown Palace (1999), The Killing Fields (1984)

  • Jmess2

    No mention of Terms of Endearment?

    • Nalorina

      Saw it once when it came out in theaters. My husband and I went on a “date” to this thing of a movie. Wasted the cost of the movie, the babysitter and it ruined the rest of what was supposed to be a romantic evening (if you know what I mean) since we were both depressed for the rest of the week!

  • The optimist

    Generally, the movies directed by Wolfgang Petersen have sad and very depressing endings.
    For example in the movie “Das Boot” : (The brave soldiers from the submarine). After a so many struggles you have reached the point of knowing their characters. When they finally reach land and go ashore jut for a well deserved leave or just a short break, then just out of nowhere comes an enemy fighter plane and guns them all down. – End of movie !
    Another example : In the movie “The Perfect Storm”. All the fishermen drown after having fought so bravely against the storm.
    Petersen must have a very sad mind. Can anyone mention a Petersen movie that is not depressing ?

  • Jay

    The saddest movie I ever saw was – All Mine To Give. Glynnis Johns becomes a widow when her husband dies and then she becomes sick with a terminal illness and knows that she will be dying very soon. She calls her oldest son to her bedside and her dying wish is for him to find homes for him and all his other siblings, after she is gone. This movie is usually shown on turner classic movies in December.

    • JoAnne McMaster

      Unfortunately, I hate this movie. Why didn’t they make arrangements for the children? Why couldn’t any relatives be found? All the children lived in the same town, right next door to each other, but there was no one who could help to keep them together? I’ll never watch it again. Just my opinion. I felt it could have been handled differently, and everyone was too willing to break up the family.

      • Jay

        JoAnne – I agree with everything you said about this movie. I watched it out of curiosity but I would not watch it again. It’s just too sad to sit through and knowing how the movie will end. Any sad movies involving children and animals are very hard for me to watch. It is just too much of an emotional experience for me.

  • JoAnne McMaster

    The one that gets me every time is Fate Is the Hunter. It stars Rod Taylor, Glenn Ford and Suzanne Pleshette. She’s a stewardess, Rod is the commercial pilot, Glenn works for the airline. Glenn and Rod are close friends, and when Rod’s plane crashes, killing everyone except Suzanne, the airline says ‘pilot error.’ Glenn doesn’t believe it and spends the entire movie trying to find out the truth. When he does, it makes me cry because it was so simple and sad. Even the music score is haunting. I think it’s the saddest movie I’ve ever seen; just the facial expressions of Glenn Ford alone at the end make it worth watching the movie. Just the sadness in his face.

    • david hartzog

      Yes, a fine movie, Mark Stevens is effective as well

  • Babs

    “No Sad Songs for Me”; fatal illness, cheating husband, plus Brahms music! Margaret Sullavan, Wendell Corey, Viveca Lindfirs and a very young Natalie Wood.

  • cookielupappas

    Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. I don’t know of many who can keep a dry eye during this tale of the bond between a man and his beloved pet. It’s absolutely heartwrenching and spirit-liftng at the same time.

    • Janet Spink

      I agree with this one, i wanted to sit there with Hachi and hug him.

  • nell

    bambi..when his mother dies. was my very first movie and have never watched it again

    • alexander gavin

      Dumbo, when his mum is in chains and she sings baby mine don’t you cry while rocking him in her trunk. A bit of a “video nasty” really!

  • nancy c.

    Splendor in the Grass; Sophie’s Choice; Letter from an Unknown Woman; Rome Open City

    • Denise

      Splendor was so powerful; you actually absorb Deanie’s pain. And it’s especially sad because Splendor was the name of the yacht Natalie Wood died on.

  • Monique LaCosta

    The most depressing movie I remember was Missing with Jack Lemmon. For the first hour I thought that Jack and his son would have a joyful reunion and an understanding of each other. As the film progressed, I was beginning to see the end and I was so sad. All of the government red tape they went through to find his son. Another movie made for Television was called Choices of the Heart with Melissa Gilbert with the same result. This one was based on a true story.

  • Mark W. Johnson

    The saddest movie i’ve ever seen? I’ll tell you, i’ve been going to movies since 1958, when i was 5 years old, and i’ve seen a lot of heartbreakers. However, i just recently obtained a copy of Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby”, and watched it for the first time. Whoa! What a sad, depressing,non life-affirming film. Think about it. Hillary Swank’s charactor just wants to do what she loves – box, and convinces Eastwood to train her, which he does reluctantly. She rises through the ranks, and then has an encounter with a vicious and dishonest opponent, who paralyzes her. Her life is ruined, her family doesn’t care about her at all and only wants her money, she will never box again, and she will need 24 hour-a-day care for the rest of her life. All because of some other evil person. I will not give away the ending of the film to those of you who haven’t see it; however, it depressed me so, and i get depressed whenever i think about it. Sad, sad, sad. But realistic. Life does not always have a happy ending. Life is not a Frank Capra film. We all have our challenges. See it, but have a box of tissues just in case.

  • Rex Bobinette

    Sophie’s Choice … the choice of Sophie originally, which child will be gassed … and the choice at the end to go into death with her lover … WOW!

  • chad

    “The Legend of 1900.” Tim Roth leaving the ship….almost.

  • maureengp

    Okay, I know it’s sappy, but Ghost makes me cry every time, and so does Titanic.
    Sophie’s Choice. Doctor Zhivago. Schindler’s List. The Elephant Man (great movie). Romeo and Juliet (Zefferelli’s version).

  • Shirley

    I cry every time I watch E.T. when he dies even though I know he isn’t really dead. Hitler’s Children when Bonita Granville gets shot,and an early Jimmy Stewart film with he and his love are skiing to another border away from the Germans, almost there and she gets shot, the name of the movie escapes me but it is a tear jerker.

    • Bruce Reber

      “The Mortal Storm” (MGM 1940).

  • gloriaswansonfan

    Imitation of Life with Lana Turner. Oh goodness. Cry-fest through the entire movie. Also Dark Victory with Bette Davis.

    • Jennifer

      -I totally agree with you on Imitation of Life, I seldom cry at movies but this is an exception. I can usually hold out until the end during the funeral procession. Another movie that gets to me is The Dollmaker.

  • Jim

    Somewhere in time is still one of my favorites with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour.

  • Pamara Ritter

    Hasn’t anyone seen “Ol’ Yeller”? Where he has to shoot the dog that just saved his brother’s life.

    • Widget

      OMG! I cried and cried. Another of the Disney movies that broke my heart was Bambi, when she ran out of the fire and stopped and realized that her mama was gone.

      • MovieFan

        Bambi was a male. The other characters refer to him as; “little prince.”

        • Widget

          Yes, of course. I always feminize small furry things. Sorry for the inaccuracy. Thank you for the correction!

  • Michele Wood

    Penny Serenade with Cary Grant and Steel Magnolias during Sally Field’s lamentations about her daughter’s death

  • Sandra

    Pride of the Yankees with Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig & Teresa Wright as his wife.

  • Janet Spink

    I agree with Pamara, Old Yeller was one of the saddest movies when I was young. To this day I will not watch it even though it was a good story movie. I don’t see the reasoning of Disney in doing that to little kids and I think they tried to make it up by bringing out a movie with his son.

  • MovieFan

    I’d offer “A I” directed by Spielberg, as a weeper. The movie ends with the robot child resting for eternity under the sea next to a hologram of the adoptive mother who abandoned him centuries before. Yikes.

  • Laurence Almand

    Elizabeth Taylor’s death scene in THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS is a sure-fire tearjerker.

  • Gary S.

    i rather watch the “champ”.

  • Rick A

    Forest Gump

  • Carol331

    Brief Encounter always breaks my heart. The characters are so decent and honorable and they fall into something that is both exhilarating and frightening. The ending, where they can’t even have a few minutes alone to say goodbye, is touching. I always end up with a lump in my throat and a few tears.

  • Jane Perkins

    Random Harvest with Greer Garson – the end when Ronald Coleman regains his memory. Back Street with Susan Hayworth at the end when John Gavin dies.

  • Gary Clure

    Of Mice and Men.

  • Gahabola

    Miracle of Marcelino. There’s no way I can’t cry at that one!