The Saving Private Ryan thread goes into one of the most gut wrenching scenes I’ve ever watched: the killing of Mellish. Another scene that I had a large problem watching was the killing fields in The Killing Fields-- watching him carry that baby and knowing that each step was probably his last. . . Well, I couldn’t. I had to head to the lobby.
The rape scene in The Accused-- just horrible to watch. What would your most harrowing movie scenes be?
Setsuko starving to death while Seita cooks her some food in Grave of the Fireflies. (They’ve both been slowly starving because of the war, and when Seita manages to get some food it’s too late for Setsuko.)
The “load lightening” scene in Amistad. Casually chaining a bunch of people together and throwing them overboard tied to an anchor was bad enough, but something about the whole nonchalant way they went about it really pushed it into the “too much” area for me.
The choice from Sophie’s Choice is up there too, more so now that I have kids myself.
Ugh, yes. My friends almost had to carry me out of the screening after that part. Having trouble searching ATM as I’m on my smartphone, but I’d read that Foster pretty much blanked out the whole experience of filming that scene, plus she ended up comforting some of the male actors after that scene was finished shooting.
Pretty much the entire second half of The Passion of the Christ. It’s Jesus being whipped then nailed up then whipped some more.
Most of my friends haven’t seen that movie, and none of them are Christian. I tell them if you’re not Christian, it’s just a really harrowing movie and it’s not worth seeing. It’s only good for Christians who are in to guilt.
I agree with lots of other ones in this thread, but this one stands out. The others, well, I knew to expect trauma, but Cliffhanger…for a supposed popcorn action movie, that sequence is intense and horrible.
In the City of God, a Brazilian movie about gangs in Rio, there is a scene where one of the gangsters is going to shoot two kids in the feet to teach them a lesson. One of the kids can’t be more than five years old and the terror on his face anticipating getting shot is too real for a five year old actor. I wonder what they did threaten him with to scare him that much.
Although there are gut-wrenching scenes like this, I highly recommend the movie especially for people who are fans of The Wire series.
I’m not sure if City of God is guilty of this, haven’t checked it in a while, but other Brazilian films do use street urchins to play… well… street urchins. So the terror may have been from some other terrible thing he really saw. It’s a reason why watching those types of Brazilian films are already a bit difficult to me, knowing that some of the child “actors” are not really actors at all but really do live in the slums.
Speaking of Brazilian films, Pixote, which is an older Brazilian movie, is one of the most difficult to watch films I’ve seen. After seeing that, at least City of God had happy moments. What sticks out in my mind, after many years, is the scene showing the remains of an illegal abortion done with knitting needles.