Have any books/movies made you more sad the second time around?

Usually, when you read or watch something sad, the effect wears off a bit the second time, because you know what’s going to happen, which takes shock value off. Have there ever been times where something made you more depressed after the first time? My most recent two are Haku’s death in the Naruto manga, and Act 11 of FAKE. As you can see, I cry at almost anything…

The first time I saw The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, when I was a child, I thought, What an wacky, enjoyable teacher. So unconventional! She stands up authority! Bravo for her!

When I saw it again in my thirties, I realized also how shrill she was to the point of neurosis, how dishonest she was to herself and others, and how selfish she was to the two men in her life to the point where she lost both of them.

Casablanca gets me more emotional every time I see it. Granted, it’s pretty sad to start off with, but it seems like every viewing I focus on another aspect of the war. My most recent Casablanca crying jag was over the looming question, what is going to happen to Sam? How will he get by? Where is he going to go? Sniff.

If Rick blew town, headed for the Free French garrison at Brazzaville, Sam could go work at the Blue Parrot Cafe. In any case, British and American troops landed in Morocco on November 8, 1942, eleven months after the events in Casablanca.

In the real world, Morocco was officially neutral during the war, and Sam would have been free to leave Morocco at any time. No “letters of transit” required.

A Handmaids Tale. A disturbing book when I first read it. A very disturbing book to me after my daughter was born.

Kids have done that to me with a lot of things. The first time I read Maus, it was disturbing. Now that I have my own kids, its intolerable.

Catch-22, believe it or not. First time through I mostly laughed. Second time, the Snowden stuff and the Rome chapter near the end hit me a lot harder. And every time I’ve read it since then, the funny stuff gets funnier and the sad stuff gets sadder.

I’m taking a Woody Allen film class right now, and last week’s selection was The Purple Rose of Cairo. A friend of mine had seen it once before a decade ago, and remembered the ending as sad. She told me I would feel the same once I’d seen it. I wasn’t particularly touched at the end, but she was destroyed as the lights came up on her second time through.

And I will second Handmaid’s Tale.

When I first saw “Edward Scissorhands” I really liked it and found it very touching and sad, although the ending is cathartic. Some time later I watched it on HBO and it was even sadder. Since then, I can’t bring myself to watch it because it’s so terrible what Winona Ryder and Anthony Michael Hall do to poor Edward – if someone starts to watch it I have to leave the room, even if it’s nowhere near the sad parts of the film.


Life will do that sometimes.

I saw Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil” as a slightly intoxicated college student in 1985, and it struck me as darkly comic eye candy with a satiric edge, set in some bizarre distopian fantasyland. After almost 20 years in the “real” world, it hits a lot closer to home. Even slapstick bits like Sam’s fight for a larger share of the desk have a bitter resonance, and the final shot just wrecks me each time I watch it.

I was going to mention a few but, before I do, I have a question regarding the OP.

Is this thread about books or movies that seem more sad the second time around because you noticed something in later viewings that you missed or because some event happened after your first viewing of the film or book that changed your perspective of it?

The first time I read ‘A Handful of Dust’ by Evelyn Waugh I enjoyed the perverse humour.

The second time I read it I was incensed at the way Tony Last is treated by his wife and sobbed my eyes out at what eventually happens to him.

Fuuny?? Bitter, chilling and horrific more like. Brrr.

The Last Unicorn makes me cry now. I used to watch it as a little girl and just love it to bits, but now when I see it and hear Molly ask the unicorn, “how dare you come to me now, when I am this” it really hits home. Years are going by and unicorns come to young innocent ones sniff

I read it at least once a year and every time I read it it gets better and better. No matter how much I try to avoid it I always cry at Gatsby’s funeral when no one but the owl-eyed guy shows up and Nick imagines Gatsby wondering where all the people have gone.

The Sixth Sense was sadder the second time through.

It could be either one, or perhaps something else. Just things that were sadder, for whatever potential reason.