I’m so hard-boiled you could roll me on the White House lawn, but this film never fails to reduce me to mascara-ruining sobs the moment the opening music wells up. Maybe because the plot bears a really eerie resemblance to my own life (to the point where certain lines make co-viewing friends look at me and guffaw) . . . But I am a sucker for this movie.
Which films–old, new, good, bad?–are you helpless to resist, no matter how many times you say, “I will not cry this time?”
I didn’t cry when E.T. died. I cried at the scene where the kids reveal him to their mother. She’s scared and makes them leave him. ET reaches out his hand and bawls. He’s sick, dying, and now he’s being abandoned. Get’s me everytime.
Also the scene in Barry Lyndon that show’s the child’s funeral procession. I saw it in the theater, and when that music came up I put my head on my husband’s shoulder and cried my eyes out.
For some reason It’s a Wonderful Life gets me every time. And I’ve probably seen it more than any other film. (Two scenes especially – “Buffalo Gal” smashing record scene, and of course, that damn ending…)
Recently I saw a film that made me lose it, something I rarely do at the cinema. Sure, the occasional misty eyes or tear – but almost never a serious outpour.
The film was In America, at the very end. Now I found the film to be excellent, though pretty seriously flawed – didn’t like Mateo, found some things implausible and unbelievable, too sentimental, etc. But at the end, when the little girl turns to her father, I was overwhelmed. It was such an emotional surprise, such a kick in the gut, that I found myself completely shattered. Just beautiful.
A Patch of Blue- a blind girl (Elizabeth Hartman) who lives with her absolute horror of mother (Shelley Winters [who won an Oscar for the role]) and alcoholic grandfather meets and falls in love with a black intellectual (Sidney Poitier), oblivious to the racial differences (though her mother certainly isn’t when she learns of it). The movie’s about as subtle as a chainsaw in a sound well, but it works and the “I been done over” scene gets me everytime (as does the knowledge that Hartman jumped to her death from an 8th story window several years after the movie).
Harold & Maude I challenge anybody to remain dry eyed after seeing this one the first time
The Miracle Worker- the Patty Duke version only; it was remade twice with each remake being worse than the preceding. (The most recent starred the kid from the Pepsi commercials, featured Lucas Black [who IRL is from North Alabama] speaking in a godawfully fake southern accent when his real voice would have more than sufficed as authentic and, worst of all, a politically corrected sideplot from the original featuring him and his father.) MY ULTIMATE TEARJERKER
Truman Capote’s A CHRISTMAS MEMORY - the original version narrated by Tru and starring Geraldine Page would make Saddam Hussein blubber. (I’ve also seen a stage adaptation [a Two-act play in which the First Act is ‘Thanksgiving Visitor’ and the 8 year old Tru was played by an adult] that was just as powerful.) The TV film was pointlessly and abominably remade with Patty Duke (who short-circuits her Helen Keller points) a few years ago in a version that should be totally forgotten and for which Duke should be fined- it had NONE of the pathos of the original due in large part to being rewritten as a showcase for Duke.
New: Big Fish - when young Will is telling his father the story at the end.
Good: Moulin Rouge! - it’s not about Satine’s death, it’s about Christian’s reaction* that leaves me in breathless tears.
Bad: The Promise - a truly wretched movie that I absolutely adore, just because of Kathleen Quinlan. Everything about it is awful, but she shines, is so beautiful (inside and, after the plastic surgery, out), and I cry for her every time.
Unusual: The Iron Giant - who’da thought I’d go blubbering over an animated pile of metal??
Ok, two more…
Special mention for The Elephant Man - I don’t even want to know anyone who doesn’t cry while whatching this movie.
Equipoise, The Iron Giant gets me every single time too. I love that movie.
Another one that always gets the tears flowing is Homeward Bound: The Incredible Jouney. The people who play humans (as opposed to animals) in this movie are just terrible, and it’s really hard to watch. But at the end, when that old dog comes limping over the hill after everyone thought he was a goner…man, I just lose it.