Best movies with strong, tearjerking themes of love/death - ie What Dreams May Come

(possible spoilers)

I watched that movie for the first time the other night. It was dark, and I was by myself. It really shook me up. The portrayals of love and anguish were powerful, at least to me. Like when he finds her kneeling at the tree, and he comes up behind her, trying to comfort, soothe her, and she just puts her head back and wails in wild anguish at her loss. I cried my eyes out watching that movie, her misery. There are other movies that have essences of that…Like the end of Far and Away, when the horse rolls over him, and you think he’s dead…or Braveheart, and the death of Wallace’s wife…

What are some other good movies like this that just turn you into a mushy, crying wreck after you’re done watching them? And no, I’m not talking about movies like Requiem for a Dream. We’re talking romance movies.

*And all you jokers out there getting ready to revile me for my fondness of What Dreams May Come…get bent and stay out! :wink:

Got to be A Matter of Life and Death. Can’t get away from that one.

Always with Richard Dryfuss and Holly Hunter. Great movie.

Steve Wright beat me to the punch with AMOLAD. A classic film, full of clever touches, such as heaven being black-and-white, while earth is in colour. “Ah, technicolor,” one of the characters exclaims, gazing at a red rose on his return from the next world.

Also, Heaven Can Wait - the Warren Beatty version; haven’t seen the 40s original.

One that always does it for me is Return to Paradise. I think Jaquin Phoenix was amazing in that movie, as well as Vince Vaugn. The only person who I had trouble with was Anne Heche, but I admit that’s only because I can’t get her bizarre I’m an alien from the planet Neptune ranting out of my head…
The movie however is Fantastic.

Last Tango in Paris. The scene where Marlon Brando weeps and rages over the body of his dead wife is emotionally shattering.

Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers. I don’t think I can ever watch this one again.

I still remember all the sniffles and Kleenex-passing in the theater at the end of Beaches.

I didn’t like What Dreams May Come for many of the same reasons I didn’t like City of Angels, with Nicholas Cage. So maybe, my some logic, you will also like that overwrought tearjerker. Whatever floats your boat.


It’s more dealing with preparing for someone’s death, but I cannot watch that movie without sobbing. (And it’s about CS Lewis who I adore, so that makes it even better)

One Way Passage (1932)—one of the best love and death tearjerkers ever.

I would add:

Fearless(I think - it was a Jeff Bridges airplane crash survivor film)
Before Sunrise
The Mission
Moulin Rouge

Oh, also Broken Blossoms (1919)

I’m impressed–the first 3 posts manage to mention 4 terrible films (with the obvious exception being the Powell/Pressburger masterpiece).

On that note, you can’t go wrong with Eve’s picks, though I’d add:
King Vidor’s The Crowd
George Cukor’s A Star Is Born
Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows
Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima, Mon Amour
Antonioni’s L’Eclisse
Jacque Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Each and every one absolutely heart-breaking

The hairdresser’s husband
Life is beautiful -made me bawl uncontrollably in the theater

I would add
Ring of Bright Water

animal suffering gets me every time.

Bippiy, the big ol’ softy

Actually, Kes (one s). Another truly great movie (though more depressing than sad for me)

“When a Man Loves a Woman”
“Schindler’s List”

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - If you’re chuckling right now in disbelief, you probably think it’s just a kung-fu movie. If so, you’re wrong. Check it out.

How about:

Bounce, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck.

And also, not death, but something like it:


A Midnight’s Clear
The 400 Blows
Dancer in the Dark
The Straight Story
THe English Patient
The Affair