The first scene that came to mind is from Angela’s Ashes. Frank licking the discarded newspaper that his uncle’s fish and chips were wrapped in.
Warning! Spoiler! I don’t know how to make a spoiler box. The next to last scene in **Sometimes A Great Notion ** when Paul Newman has to sit there and watch is brother die.
Bridge to Terabithia. I’m forty years old, and it came out just two years ago or so… but that movie managed to destroy my childhood. I had no idea about what was going to happen, so I was completely blindsided.
My wife still refers to it as “that movie.”
Most touching for me is this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh3z89u1NtY
The look of anguish on Charlies Face, The Child pleading for his father and the joyful reuinon with that music. Normally, cynical me would just write the whole thing off as overly melodromatic and cloying and yet every time I see this scene I get all blubbery
Same movie, but when Schindler is escaping and he says, “I could have done more.” I’ve seen that movie several times and I always end up in a puddle during that scene. He saved more than a thousand people, but for him, it wasn’t enough.
Grave of the Fireflies:
When Seita, the brother, cremates the young girl, Setsuko, who died of starvation, and puts her ashes in a candy tin. He carries this with him until he dies himself, recurring the same scene from the beginning of the movie, where peoplw walk past him indifferently.
I can’t hold back tears even thinking about the ending of this movie (and pretty much the whole thing, really).
I guess this qualifies as it’s the only time I’ve wept openly at a movie.
Falling Down, where D-Fens apologizes for hurting the little girl at the enclosed mansion, but it’s his own blood. It’s sad because he’s so genuinely apologetic yet pathetically insane at the same time.
When Tom Berenger gets his trigger finger cut off in Sniper. If you don’t cry from that scene, you have no heart.
i second cinema paradiso–we rewatched it a couple of weeks ago. another blatantly melodramatic, but effective, one are the closing scenes of imitation of life. gets me every time!
Terms of Endearment…the goodbye scene with her boys. I can picture the youngest one right now, with those choppy bangs and the pooling, melty chocolate brown eyes after Debra Winger says she thinks that went ok, right and he nods his head.
Every scene in **Schindler’s List ** had me bawling. I nearly had a nervous breakdown after seeing that.
The most sad for me was in Sophie’s Choice when
Sophie was at the train station and had to choose between her two children.
Jesus Christ that was hard to watch.
The Notebook, when after the couple is dancing, she suddenly doesn’t recognize him. And most of the movie thereafter.
Anton and Carla Jean in No Country for Old Men. I tear up every time I watch this scene.
By contrast, that scene always triggers my fight-or-flight response.
Many scens in The Color Purple.
Touring the soon to be demolished theatre in Cinema Paradiso.
It’s not supposed to be but at the end of The Best Years of Our Lives, one of the men looks at a bone yard of WWII planes that are being torn apart for scrap and I think “MY GOD! SAVE ME ONE OF THOSE!!!”
Seriously in that film the various reactions to that one guys ‘hands’ are so sad.
And Empire of the Sun
“I can’t remember what my parents look like.”
Forrest Gump- When Forrest discovers he’s a father and asks if his kid is ‘like him’.
In Fried Green Tomatoes, when Ruth asks Idgie to tell her a story…
I’m tearing up just writing this much.
The Color Purple, when Shug and company walk up the road to her daddy’s church, singing “God is Trying to Tell You Something.” Wah!
ETA: The second one isn’t sad, though - sorry!
At the end of *Out of Africa * when the lions are lying on Denis Finch Hatton’s grave - I had to wait about 10 minutes for the tears to stop so I could see how to walk out of the theatre.
Just thought of a few others: all from The Joy Luck Club
“I see you.” (someone mentioned this in a recent thread)
Abandoned twins by the tree.