And, precisely because you know what's coming, Peter and Susan's walk with Aslan near the end of Prince Caspian, and Peter's subsequent acknowledgement to the others that he would not be allowed to return to Narnia.
The end result of Storming the Castle in the Prince Caspian film is absolutely devastating - particularly the moment in which Peter looks back through the portcullis at the trapped Narnians, and at least one voice is clearly heard calling for him to save himself.
You see the Narnians at the gate, all screaming and trying hopelessly to get out, and you know that each and every one of them is dead. And the look of anguish on Peter's face as he realizes the same thing, and there's nothing he can do about it...
Props also to the brave Minotaur who held the gate open for as long as he could, only to be shot and crushed under its weight—a Heroic Sacrifice which saved many of the heroes, made even more poignant when one remembers that Minotaurs were "evil" in the first movie.
Lucy's goodbye to Aslan in The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader. Made especially more poignant, when you remember that Lucy was the first of those siblings to find Narnia.
What about Eustace's goodbye to Reepicheep? Considering the development their relationship has had throughout the movie, that scene was heartwrenching.
Nell, as you learn to listen to the gibberish — it becomes actual speech. The real reason she talks that way, and what she is saying. It was a twin sister — who had been dead for years, and she was still interacting with her as though she were right there. And never mind the Natasha Richardson/ Liam Neeson chemistry.
The sinking of Artax, half Tear Jerker, half horrific. So much worse when you find out that in the making of the film the horse actually died due to melted machinery!
The film of Never Let Me Go is, like the book it's based on, one Tear Jerker after another. Particularly tragic moments include Tommy's utter breakdown in the road after he and Kathy find out that "deferrals" are a myth (bravo, Andrew Garfield, bravo) and Kathy watching Tommy be prepped for his final donation.
It's not just Kathy and Tommy, it's what they stand for- the hundreds, maybe thousands of other couples who tried to delay the inevitable by just a little bit, only to have their last hope shattered, and the ones like Ruth who died alone.
The cops invade the rally and knock out racetrack, and Medda's screaming and they have to restrain her...
When Crutchy's in the Refuge and admits that the Delancys beat him up so bad he can't walk at all.
Les's hopefulness when Jack betrays them: "He's just foolin' them, yeah, he's foolin' them!" and when no one shows up to the massive rally.
"Sante Fe": Jack just tells us that his family, who he said was waiting for him, doesn't exist.
A Night to Remember'. It's the originator of a lot of the death scenes from Titanic, including the band playing their last song, the lost boy, the young couple being crushed by the falling funnel, plus it has a few more of its own - and the many acts of sacrifice that preceded them. Mr Andrews just standing and waiting alone not even trying'' to get to a boat. The Strauses deciding to remain together in death
Oliver Stone's Nixon has two amazing scenes, the first is when Nixon breaks down the night before his resignation and the other is when he stands before a portrait of JFK, who was always the specter of his presidency and political life, and he says "When they look at you, they see what they wanna be. When they look at me, they see what they are."
Offside, the movie about the Iranian women trying to sneak into the World Cup qualifying match, when the First Girl tells everyone on the bus why she was at the football match. And then they light the sparklers.
Of Mice and Men. 'George, tell me like done before, about them other guys, and about us' before George ends his friends life. Heartrending.
All of Okuribito (Departures); it's about a guy who learns how to clean, dress, and make up bodies for burial, in front of their families. Naturally, the biggest tear jerker comes at the end when Daigo claims the body of his long-Disappeared Dad and finally remembers his face.
Oldboy: Lee Woo-Jin's flashback of his sister's suicide.
Old Yeller. At the climax of the film, when the loyal and courageous mutt of the title has saved his adopted family from danger over and over again, the older son Travis is forced to shoot Yeller after the dog contracts rabies while protecting the family from a rabid wolf. There's a reason this movie is on the Official List of Times Men Can Cry.
Om Natten (At Night), a short Danish film nominated for the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film: It depicts the lives of three young women living with cancer. One of them is about to undergo a risky procedure that will either save her or kill her. She breaks down in front of her father, saying she doesn't want to go through with it, and she's sorry she can't be stronger or brave like he wants her to.
The famous "crane-on-a-crane" shot at the station when Jill arrives at Flagstone. Ennio Morricone flexes his italano melodrama muscles, and your eyes get a bit misty.
The death of Mr. Morton. The sight of it is tragic enough, even more so if you knew what he wanted to do before his death.
The death of Cheyenne. The fact that he kept his composure the entire time he was with Jill and doesn't break it until she's out of sight, and that he tells Harmonica to go away so that he can die alone is really gut-wrenching.
Perhaps the biggest tearjerker ever: the final scene in ''One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest."
One Hour Photo. Yes. What Sy did was far from right, but anyone who knows what it's like to be that desperately lonely short of doing what he did has probably cried. Especially at the revelation that Sy was sexually abused as a child.
On the Waterfront and Terry Malloy's taxi ride with his brother Charley the Gent. Today, most folks may know the powerful line "I could have been a contender ..." as a throw away quote, as if a hackneyed joke. In context, however, it's quite different. It sums up Terry's entire life of lost and stolen chances and his realization of just who he was and how he got there and that for all his tough bravado he really was nothing but a bum, a pawn in someone else's game. It sets the stage for his climb out of futile nothingness to his own final crowning moment of glory. It is also a reminder of just how good an actor a young Marlon Brando was.
When the mother discovers that her missing son's body has been in their house the other time, and that she was inadvertently responsible for his death.
When Laura had died, gotten her son back, and suddenly all the dead kids are around her, and the little girl walks up to her and says something like "It's Laura! She's gotten just as old as Wendy in the stories!"
What about the father?! He has to deal with his son disappearing and his wife going crazy, and in the end they both wind up dead.
The scenes in the film The Others with the father of the family, played by Christopher Eccleston. ALL of them.
The movie version of The Painted Veil. How Walter and Kitty were really just getting to know each other after TWO YEARS of being unhappily married and finding out that they really, truly could be happy together.
The Notebook is slightly more cheerful by comparison (because at least Ali and Noah got to spend their lives together).
The end of Passchendaele (criminally unrepresented on this site) is a perfect example of both this and a Bittersweet Ending.
Unfortunately, this was ruined for some people cheesiness of the scene where he stands up with the cross and the rain suddenly stops and the sun starts shining.
The whole film is a Tear Jerker, but the biggest is an intercut flashback between Yeshua falling under the weight of the cross and ickle!Yeshua tripping over something in the yard in slow motion, Mary running to pick him up in both instances. She tells him she's there, does the whole Mom thing, and then he says to her, simply, "See, mother, how I make all things new." If you love your parents or your kids at all, there is no stopping the waterworks at that point.
Yeshua was lost in his carpentry. Then it cuts back to the scourging . . .
Slim Pickens character in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid was a burned out sheriff just biding his time till he could finish his boat float down the river and out of the territory. But Garrett convinces (paid) him to help raid a cabin where Garrett suspects Billy's gang. During said raid, Pickens is gutshot (nearly always fatal in the time period, but slow) and stumbles away. The sequence ends with him siting beside the river, with his wife, who had come too, in tears as he knows that he is certainly dead. The fact that Bob Dylan's song Knocking on Heaven's Door was written for this scene doubles the effect.
Specially when Patch and his girlfriend kiss and he asks her if they're a couple now or just friends who like kissing. And when she's killed by a patient and he has an Heroic BSOD.
The moment when Patch stands on a cliff alone, contemplating suicide, ranting angrily at God:
Patch: Yeah, I could do it. We both know you wouldn't stop me. So answer me, please. Tell me what you're doing. Okay, let's look at the logic. You create man. Man suffers enormous amounts of pain. Man dies. Maybe you should have had just a few more brainstorming sessions prior to creation. You rested on the seventh day. Maybe you should've spent that day on compassion. (looks down over cliff again) You know what? You're not worth it.
The ending of the Stanley Kubrick movie Paths of Glory. Set in World War I, a young German woman is forced to sing for the soldiers in a tavern. They are are cat-calling, hooting, and laughing at her. Then she starts to sing a simple, well-known ballad about love in war, "The Faithful Soldier". The audience quiets down, and they start to hum the song along with her, as they recall their youth, their homes, and their loves in a world they may never see again.
Little Susan hasn't spoken a word to her father, ever. When she finaly speaks, to her brother, she says she hates her father. After Benjamin is reunited with his family and is leaving, he ask her for one word. She refuses at first, but as he is riding away she breaks into tears and runs after him. WHILE SHOUTING THAT SHE WILL SAY ANY WORD HE WANTS TO HEAR IF HE JUST STAYS WITH THEM.
The scene right after Benjamin and his two youngest sons have slaughtered a platoon of English soldiers holding Gabriel, the eldest, was so extreme a Mood Whiplash His youngest son sobbing in fear and grief as his father kills the last soldiers; Mel screaming half in rage and grief as he bludgeons the body of the last English soldier who has killed his second son and destroyed his peaceful life; Gabriel (Heath Ledger) and his 3rd eldest son's expressions of muted shock and fear as they watch him doing so and then walking out of the trees covered in blood from head to toe. Roland Emmerich, thy name is Anvilicious.
Paulie, right when the titular parrot is being taken away and the little girl chases after his shouting "Paulie, come back to me! Come back to me Paulie!". It was heartbreaking.
Penny Serenade (1941) with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne.
At the end of the 2003 version of Peter Pan with Aunt Millicent. "Then I... am your mother".
Then there's Mr. Darling trying to contain his immense relief that his children are okay in the end and tries to act formal, only shaking John's hand... which backfires in them hugging each other in tears.
Near the beginning of Peter's Friends, the gang gets together for the first time in 10 years.
Also, Roger and Mary fighting about what happened the night of the death of one of their twin sons and the last scene when Peter reveals that he's HIV-positive. God-damn it, Stephen Fry...
When the family is having a great time, and Gage is flying a kite. Gage drops the kite. Kite goes int the road, Gage follows. Speeding trucker comes by and wham. Then slo-mo after that, Louis screams and cries with the rest of them, and the shoe of dear Gage is shown flying to the side. Made worse when Rachel's dad starts a fight at Gages funeral, and breaks the coffin's table.
When the baby's dad kills him again. Seeing him wobble and then fall over just brings tears.
"This face which earned a mother's fear and loathing/ A mask my first unfeeling scrap of clothing."
"Christine, I love you."
This even extends to the end credits, with the new song "Learn to be Lonely."
"It's over now, the Music of the Night..."
The ending of Philadelphia, the Tom Hanks movie about a man dying of AIDS. If that sounds like a tear jerking combination on its own, the movie ends with home movies of the just-dead guy as a kid. Ouch...
The Pianist. This movie is visually stunning, and hits home several times.
The documentary The Pied Piper Of Hutzovina follows musician Eugene Hutz to Ukrainian gypsy camps, where he talks to and plays music with the people living there. It's mostly uplifting but can get absolutely heartrending, especially the moment when the movie's narrator mentions that the people are just happy that someone remembered that they're there.
The BBC documentary "The Pink Floyd And Syd Barrett Story", of all movies. When they played "Shine On, You Crazy Diamond" at the end they very nearly had me in tears...
The final church scene in Places in the Heart.
The Plague Dogs. Just the entire freaking film. It was made for people who want to commit suicide but just lack the courage to pull the trigger.
The close-up of Pablo's face in Plan B when he learns that Bruno most likely confessed his love to him just to screw with him. He doesn't say anything, but you can just hear his heart break in half as his facial expressions practically broadcast: "So...Bruno was just jerking me around to make me confused enough to break up with his ex-girlfriend. Ahaha, I should have guessed that because there's no way he could have been serious about loving me; stupid me for actually believing it for a second! Ahahaha...why am I crying? Because his plan did work like a charm...stupid, stupid me..."
The scene where the boy tries to believe so he can hear the beautiful bell's sound, where he finally sees Santa Claus, when he gets chosen to receive the first gift of Christmas, when he loses the bell and subsequently regains it, and when the epilogue reveals that only he can hear the bell's "sweet, sweet sound", as can those who truly believe.
The song at the end credits. We were dreamers not so long ago...
Prayers for Bobby: No matter what your opinion on the film's controversial theme, the Griffith family's heart-wrenching devastation to the news that Bobby committed suicide has got to have a lasting impact for any viewer.
The Prestige... the People Jars, Borden's adorable daughter who looks like something out of an American Girl doll catalogue, the awkward brotherly moments, Borden ready to be hanged, the deaths of the two guys' respective wives... 'Which knot did you tie?'... BUT MOST OF ALL, THE BIRDS. They make very clear that when they look like they've just crushed a poor innocent canary? They have.
"Today-ay-ay I consider myself-elf-elf the luckiest man-an-an on the face of the earth-rth-rth." —Lou Gehrig, The Pride Of The Yankees.
The ending of Leon/The Professional. Leon's far from a good man, given his job, and there's a certain grim satisfaction in seeing the villain brought low, but Leon getting shot after thinking he killed the villain, and having to kill both of them with grenades to finish the job, leaving poor Matilda all alone as well was pretty harsh.
"This is for Matilda." Cue tears.
A documentary called Promises. It was about a group of Palestinian and Israeli children, who are brought together and become friends through the film. Many of them change their entire views on the whole situation. At the end, the filmmakers bring them back together many years later, as young adults. One of the Israeli boys was in the military and wasn't allowed to participate. A few other children from different sides refused. One girl expressed interest in becoming a suicide bomber. Many of them think it was all a mistake. There's a scene where one kid, who really misses having been friends with the others, dissolves into tears. Many of my classmates did, too.
Both of the scenes in The Proposition that involve Sam singing "Peggy Gordon", an old Irish drinking song. The first time is intercut with a scene of Mikey, a mentally-handicapped teenager, being brutally flogged. The second time he sings it, he's raping Emily Watson's character. There's also something sad about watching Arthur die, even if he deserves it.
Pump Up The Volume: Particularly the scene when the suicidal nerd calls up Christian Slater live on his radio show. But there's a good moment as Christian Slater commences his final broadcast: he's playing the depressing song "Everybody Knows", but it's a triumphant, major-key, full-power march version of the song.
The Pursuit of Happyness: The scene in which Gardner himself is told that he has successfully made it through his training and is now officially a broker with Dean Witter. His face goes blank with shock and relief and then the tears well up in his eyes as he realizes that he and his son are no longer going to be homeless.
Rango has one in Rango's Heroic BSOD, after Rattlesnake Jake calls him out on his tall tales and runs him out of town. He wanders alone across the desert night with a lost and forlorn look on his face, until he gets to the highway. Rango finds his imaginary friends, then sits there watching the traffic for a bit before finally saying to himself "Who am I? ...I'm nobody."
The scene in Ray where Ray is in rehab, going into withdrawal.
Red Dawn (1984) was a Narmful movie in some places, but Erica's death scene, where she asks Jed to kill her so she won't be interrogated, and he breaks down and when the mortally-wounded Jed sits on an old swing set and holds his likewise-dying brother, telling him, "Daddy'll be here soon, Matty" always get me.
Reign Over Me, featuring an amazing dramatic performance by Adam Sandler
When the lawyer showed Charlie the photo of his dead family. It felt really good when the judge (Donald Sutherland) tells him point-blank to shut up.
"Cromaggia". It may have been Blind Mag's Awesome Moment, but it's a gut-wrenching one.
Requiem for a Dream is a film about failure and despair. It may not make you cry, or even tear up at all. But chances are that something inside of you will die watching it, and it may be a while before it grows back.
Reservoir Dogs. It doesn't really incite tears, but the sadness at the tragic conclusion lingers for days. There are also scenes earlier in the film showcasing Mr Orange's agony and terror and Mr White's attempts to comfort him that really tug at the heartstrings.
The Return Of The Living Dead has the scene where Frank, upon realizing that his time was coming because of Trioxin, walks to a burning oven, kisses his wedding ring, hangs it on a switch, offers a final prayer to the Lord for forgiveness for what he's about to do, climbs into the oven, and shuts himself in. The scene makes even the background music (titled "Burn the Flames", for those wondering) sound poignant.
Return to Paradise has you root for one character's salvation throughout the whole movie, just to see him get hanged in the end. It is a very emotional, brutal and intense scene, that makes my waterworks overflow by just thinking of it.
The ending of Ring 0 Birthday. As a prequel, you know it's coming, but that doesn't make the ending any less powerful and gut-wrenching.
When the Father has to go on the killing spree in the rain. It's only sad if you realize he's given up his 1 shot at redemption to ensure they don't come after his son. But realized sadness still counts!
"I'm glad it's you." Holy crap...
Not only is Sullivan giving up his chance at redemption, but he is gunning down the man that he loves like a father. The most heartbreaking part is when the camera shows his face close up moments before he guns down Rooney, and it's twisted in pain and he is clearly holding back the tears.
Also, to an almost greater degree, the end of the film version of Lone Wolf and Cub, which inspired it.
The Robe has a pretty sad ending. The film is about a Roman who buys Jesus' robes after his crucifixion. The main character and his wife/girlfriend are executed at the end. However, this is represented by the couple walking out of the courtroom while the background fades into Fluffy Cloud Heaven behind them. Needless to say, it's a real Tear Jerker.
The Nazi propaganda cartoon, from the The Rocketeer, counts as both this trope and nightmare fuel. Particularly the scenes of invading America. Expressed by a burning American flag falling to the ground and the American eagle being replaced by the Nazi one. Here it is.
When the mobster fully admits to being a criminal, but would still rather die than work for a Nazi.
Admit it, you at LEAST teared up when, upon against incredible odds, winning by a margin of ONE SECOND the Heavyweight Title from Apollo Creed, Rocky gives a shout-out to his wife watching at home: "Yo Adrian! I DID IT!!"
This troper couldn't feel anything for the Rocky-sequels, but teared up at the end of the first one. All he wanted all along was to "go the distance" and not get KO'd. So he doesn't even want to know if he has won. When the points are read all he does is search for "ADRIAAAAN!"
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Rocky's anguished scream after Frank is killed. Which is followed by Rocky's own death. Frank's death was pitiable, but he had it coming. But Rocky!
For me there's a real tearjerker scene towards the end of Ronja the Robber's Daughter. After Mattis has repeated "I have no child" as a mantra during the summer and he is finally reunited with Ronja, he holds her in his arms and cries: "I have my child!"
Richie's suicide attempt in The Royal Tenenbaums always leads to tears. Beautifully shot, and especially painful considering the haunting Elliott Smith song (and the implications that go along with it).
Oh my god yes. And also Royal's death, with Chas holding his hand in his final moments, after they have finally bonded.
The Rugrats Movie: Near the end of the movie, Tommy Pickles had practically lost it all: he's lost in the middle of the woods with his brother, Dil, and his friends have abandoned him because he wanted to protect his brother over sticking with them. When Tommy tries to take care of Dil during the storm, Dil's newborn greediness kicks in, drinking the last bottle of milk down, then hogs a blanket Tommy was trying to share. When the two rip it and Dil finds it funny, Tommy snaps, tossing away his "'Sponsertility" (a pocket watch Stu Pickles gave him), then dragging Dil out into the rain blaming him for everything wrong that's happened since they got lost. Tommy plans to dump a jar of banana baby food for the circus monkeys to come in and take Dil away, but before he does, Dil looks up at Tommy in pity and fear: his big brother was scaring him! When Tommy sees himself in a puddle, he realizes what he's become and embraces Dil, apologizing for what he was going to do. Tommy, then, takes them back to their little shelter, retrieves the pocket watch and falls asleep with Dil, singing a small version of a lullaby Stu and Didi were singing in the beginning.
"Dil wants the monkeys, and the monkeys want the nanners, everybody gets what they want!"
In Rumble Fish the final showdown between The Motorcycle Boy and the police, followed by Rusty James letting the titular fish free into the river... where they stop fighting, just like his big brother promised.
The book is even sadder—Rusty James is arrested before he can release the fighting fish, and they die on the floor amid the broken glass and the shallow puddles of water.
Russian Ark is the first full-length single-continuous-shot movie (they got it in one take — surely that counts as a Awesome Moment for everyone involved) whose plot consists of an unnamed Russian guy falling through a hole in time to wander through the halls of the Hermitage — the Winter Palace of St. Petersburg — observing chronologically disjointed moments in the palace's history, like a series of psychic impressions. Along the way he meets a fellow Chrono-Displaced Person in the guise of a cynical European, who claims to have done this sort of thing before. In any case, the entire movie can make you cry if you're really into art, architecture or history (there are tons of cameos, from Catherine the Great to Pushkin), but two stand out. One was right near the end, when the European decides to stay with the beautiful Last Ball instead of moving on with the hero. And the other happens at about the mid-point; the European chases a group of little girls down a hallway, pretending to be a ghost, until one of them gets called to have breakfast. We follow her to the dining room, where she says good morning and apologizes for being late, and it's just a cute little happy family scene until you check their clothes and realize that they're from the second decade of the 20th century, which leads you to realize who they must be and what's going to happen to them.
A Sad Movie is rather mean in that, at first, it makes you think the movie will be tragic (just look at the name!). But then the movie turns out to be a romantic comedy focusing the relationships between four pairs of people. The Tear Jerking comes at the very, very end when every single one of those four relationships end, at best, bittersweetly. And the movie does this to you just when you think it's all going to be a happy ending for everyone.
Salinui Chueok. The whole damn thing, mixed with a confusing dose of intentional Narm: (don't try to say that you didn't giggle nervously when Kwang Ho ran onto the train tracks and died.
Sarahs Key: young Sarah, upon being arrested for being Jewish with her mother, locks her little brother in the closet to hide him, thinking she'd be back in a short while. When she comes back a few days later, after escaping from the deportation camp, she finds out he starved to death in the locked-up house. Her screams of utter despair are really heartrending. And better yet: she never fully recovers and commits suicide years later.
Saw has a lot of them, but John and Jill's relationship takes the cake. You see how he loved her before the death of Gideon, their unborn son and John's transition to Jigsaw. Just try watching Jill's miscarrage or the tape to Gideon without crying.
Here's one that hit close to home for me and haunted me for a long time: Corbett Denlon asking for her mom in Saw V. Dear god...
The girl in the red coat being carried off in a cart full of corpses.
The biography of Oskar Schindler made me cry more than the movie...
The gift of the ring at the end. And Oskar's Heroic BSOD right after kills me.
Schindler: I could have gotten more...
The end of the movie where some of the actual people, or members of their family, Schindler was able to save file past his actual grave to give their respects. It would be over the top melodrama if it just weren't so damn painful to know that these are real, flesh and blood people, people with friends and family, none of whom would be there except for Oskar.
And then when it tells you that the Schindler Jews and their descendants outnumber the Jewish population of Poland...drive home the scale of the tragedy, why don't you?
Two Nazi soldiers were holding a boy by his arms and another soldier shot the boy. And the scene where parents got to see their children being carried off for medical exams...
A scene in the beginning shows a man with one arm missing coming up to thank Schindler for letting him work in the factory. He seems so pleased because he feels a sense of importance, a purpose even though he has only one arm. However, in a later scene, when the Nazi's stop the ghetto members from going to work to shovel the snow from the street. This moment isn't necessarily significant until you realize that the Nazis are trying to weed out the people who are physically infirm. The one armed man from earlier is then taken, while he tries to defend that he's important to the factory so that they won't shoot him.
Just listen to the soundtrack- that alone is enough to bring tears to the eyes of many who have seen the movie.
Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in.
Also, the death of Jasmine the lioness.
Jay Chou's movie Secret IS this. When Xiao Yu mistakes Xiang Lun to have moved on from her and suffers an asthma attack after returning to the past is probably just one of the movie's most heartbreaking scenes.
This troper watched this movie in music class and honestly had to think of funny things to prevent himself from crying. Even if you already know she died, this scene comes in incredibly hard, and it's so dramatic (seriously, what with the camera angles, loud TV/radio news reports of Selena's death, doctors stressfully putting a life support-hooked Selena into an ambluence, sobbing fans holding candles, and "Dreaming of You" playing during the dang thing), it's nigh-impossible to prevent yourself from turning on the waterworks.
The end of A Series of Unfortunate Events when the orphans get the letter from their parents. The music that's playing while she reads it, and the terrible burned up background doesn't help.
"Dearest children - since we've been abroad we have missed you all so much. Certain events have compelled us to extend our travels. One day, when you're older, you will learn all about the people we have befriended and the dangers we have faced. At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey. We hope to have you back in our arms soon, darlings, but in case this letter arrives before our return, know that we love you. It fills us with pride to know that no matter what happens in this life, that you three will take care of each other, with kindness and bravery and selflessness, as you always have. And remember one thing, my darlings, and never forget it: that no matter where we are, know that as long as you have each other, you have your family. And you are home."
Big Bird, painted blue and forced to sing for a crowd, in Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird. Surprisingly for a "Sesame Street" film, the whole movie is a colossal downer, what with Big Bird being forced to leave the family he's known his whole life to "be with other birds" (essentially, it's "Losing Isaiah" - for preschoolers.) The Blue Bird of Happiness scene itself is by far one of the most traumatic non-scary moments for '80s kids.
The "One Little Star" song. "One little star, in the darkening blue, do you long for another, just the way that I do?"
The ending to Seven Pounds. While the movie was pretty emotional overall, the saddest part was at the end when Will Smith's character kills himself so that his love interest can have his heart and live.
Shakespeare in Love, particularly during the end of Romeo and Juliet. And again, when the Queen forbade William and Viola from being together. And AGAIN, when it is shown that Will's next play would be a tragedy, mirroring Viola's shipwreck on the way to America. Their play should be renamed "William and Viola".
When Shaun's mother reveals that she's been bitten and begins dying slowly, inevitably forcing Shaun to have to kill her. The movie turns pretty melancholy after that point.
The climax, when Ed volunteers to be left behind to die so he won't slow Shaun and Liz down. Especially the reprise of the joke from earlier - "I'll stop doing it when you stop laughing" / "I'm not laughing" — and you realise he's really not laughing: he's crying.
Shaun says to Liz, "You don't want to die single, do you?". The look on his face, covered in blood and trying valiantly to smile through his tears...
The entirety of the basement scene was like this. So many tears.
Philip tells Shaun he always loved him, actually. Shaun's tears.
David tries to apologize to Shaun but get dismembered by zombies before he can do so. Prior to this he almost but not quite becomes The Woobie when his feelings for Liz are revealed. He never had any chance to really sort his issues out.
Mary. Something about that girl in the backyard evokes a sense of utter sadness, particularly when Shaun and Ed describe her as drunk. This gets even worse if you read the tie-in comic "There's Something About Mary", which reveals how she became a zombie. Turns out in life she was a shy, lonely young woman with an unrequited and unnoticed crush on Shaun.
Brook's final monologue and death. It particularly strikes hard after he hangs himself and the camera pans over his carved message on the ceiling which simply reads "Brooks was here" while the old man's limp body hangs below.
Brooks: I don't like it here. I'm tired of being afraid all the time... I've decided not to stay. I doubt they'll kick up any fuss... not for an old crook like me.
For tears of joy, try everything after Andy's escape from Shawshank. When he escapes from Shawshank is enough to get the eyes watering: he's just crawled through just under half a mile of raw sewage, he gets to his feet in the middle of the pouring rain, he's stumbling, dragging his pack behind him ... and then there's that fanfare of trumpets and strings as he removes his shirt and stands, arms raised, laughing, in the rain.
The last bit: "Get busy living ... or get busy dying. That's goddamn right." Pan up. SO WAS RED.
When Tommy is murdered by Hadley and Norton. You see it coming a split-second before it happens, but it's still a shock. Tommy was dumb, surly, and a habitual criminal...and also friendly, outgoing, had a baby girl and was trying really hard to turn his life around for her sake and for his mentor, Andy's, and was going to provide evidence that Andy was innocent after all...and he was murdered for it.
The montage from She's Having a Baby. It has tearjerker written all over it. Kevin Bacon sitting in the hospital waiting room, crying to himself as he thinks back to his time together with his wife.. John Hughes really knew how to tug at someone's heartsrings.
In She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, when Capt. Brittles goes to inspect his troop for the last time due to his retirement and all the men are in their best uniforms and when they present him with the watch that they all chipped in to buy and Brittles puts on his glasses to read the sentiment "Lest We Forget."
Sherlock Holmes I always nearly cry when the man Blackwood has set on fire yells "HELP ME!". It's something about the way he says it. Might not be shared by everyone, but okay...
The end of Shiri: Hee's death is tear jerking, but the clincher is when Yu went to meet the real Myung-hyun in the mental institution. The beginning of the movie was no emotional picnic either.
John Cameron Mitchel's Shortbus may be famous for featuring explicit, non-simulated sex but good god it's an incredible emotional release. The entire ending sequence is a Heartwarming Moment, Awesome Music, and pure catharsis are rolled into one. They're happy tears, to be sure, but oh there's always a lot of them.
The segment in Short Circuit 2 where the villains brutally attack Johnny 5 while he pleads for his life. Follow that up with a showing of Johnny's desperate attempts at survival (including stealing a car battery as an alternate power source and breaking into a Radio Shack so he and recovering Jerkass Fred would have the tools needed to repair him), and you've got yourself a segment that threatens to make you have a heart attack at how agonizing it is.
Sin City. Specifically "The Hard Goodbye". Frank Miller's work is often criticized for a lack of humanity, of being filled with lousy people in a lousy town, and Sin City is built around that. However, the story of Marv fighting to avenge the death of the one woman named Goldie who gave him some love is very touching. Over the course of the story, Marv kills countless people, tortures many of them and kills one of the most powerful men in town. And he enjoys it. Given his violent tendencies and the comment that he'd be right at home on an ancient battlefield killing people, its possible to think that he's simply using Goldie's death to have some fun. But then, he is almost killed and is sentenced to death. Hours before his execution, he gets his only visitor in 18 months. It's Goldie's twin sister, Wendy, who aided Marv in the killings. But Marv has a mental illness and he gets confused. So when Wendy walks in the door, he thinks it's Goldie, and he says "I got them for you good, didn't I Goldie?". We are instantly reminded that he gave his life to avenge this one woman who he only knew for a couple hours. Cue the Manly Tears. Then he apologizes and says "Sorry, I got confused again." What does Wendy say? "You can call me Goldie." She spends the night with him. Two Tearjerkers in 30 seconds at the very end of the first story of what's seen as one of the most nihilistic, violent and heartless mainstream comics around.
The ending of That Yellow Bastard. "An old man dies. A young woman lives. A fair trade. I love you, Nancy." BANG!
The Sixth Sense. The movie is practically made of Tearjerker! Especially this exchange between Cole and his mother where he explains that his dead grandmother visits him sometimes:
Cole Sear: She said you came to the place where they buried her. Asked her a question? She said the answer is... "Every day." What did you ask?
Lynn Sear: Do... Do I make her proud?
The 2005 version of The War of the Worlds. The characters are making their way through a valley, along with a few hundred other refugees. A fairly substantial group of soldiers trying to hold back the tripods tripods closing in on them while the refugees pass, despite the fact that their weapons do nothing. So they CHARGE.
The entirety of Snoopy Come Home. Case in childhood trauma point. The cold cereal is the clincher. It's one those Schulz touches that's too irrevocably human to bear.
In Snow Cake, when Alex breaks down feeling guilty about Vivienne's death. Made even worse when you realise that it's not the first time he lost a would-be friend in a car crash. His son was killed before he could even meet him. That time, he was so angry, he went to the driver's home and hit him. And accidentally killed him.
The end of Snow Dogs: Not the very end... but the bit that starts with the reporter and ends with the dogs racing over the snow-covered hill...
The last scene, with Mark Zuckerberg sitting alone, refreshing the page while waiting for his ex-girlfriend to accept his friend request. The song playing over the scene made it worse — baby, you're a rich man, but what else do you have?
"I- I want– I need you. Out here. Please don't tell him I said that."
Sophie's Choice. Watching Meryl Streepshove her daughter into the soldiers' arms and then burst into tears as her daughter screams while being carried to her death is one of the most haunting, horrific scenes in cinematic history. That Oscar was well-deserved.
The scene where Sol "goes home" in Soylent Green is this on many levels. When Sol realizes what he must to do expose the terrible secret of Soylent Green, Thorn tries to stop him but finds out too late so all he can do is watch as his closest and best friend dies. Sol is also one of the few characters old enough to remember the Earth when it was still full of natural beauty. The beautiful nature footage he is shown before his death, set to classical music, deeply moves both characters (Sol: "I told you." Thorn: "How could I know? How could I ever imagine?") and drives home the film's environmental message. Finally there's the Reality Subtext that Edward G. Robinson (Sol) was dying in real life and the only other person on the film who knew was Charlton Heston (Thorn), who cried real tears during that scene.
The end of Spartacus is a Tearjerker, a Crowning Moment of Awesome, and a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming all rolled into one. Spartacus' large army of slaves is captured by the Roman army, who declare that they all face crucifixion unless anyone will identify which of them is Spartacus. Spartacus starts to stand up to give himself up and spare his people, when the two people to either side of him stand and both declare that they are Spartacus. Following that, every single person stands up one by one and shouts "I'm Spartacus!" A single tear falls down Spartacus' cheek as he sees just how devoted to him his men are.
"He will know who his father is. Because I'll tell him!" (You know it's a good movie when a Yaoi Fangirl cries for the straight couple).
Toward the end of Speak (the Film of the Book), when Melinda shows Mr. Freeman all of the tree paintings/projects she's done in the old janitor's closet.
In Speed Racer, after Taejo reveals that the file he had offered didn't exist, Speed goes on an angsty dive around Thunderhead. Racer X follows him and gives him the most moving pep talk EVER. Speed asks if X is actually Rex and X says no. Which is a lie. Then he says, "I'm sure if he were here, he'd be immensely proud of you."
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. "Sound the Bugle". That is all.
When Riker recalled the first time he and Data had met: in a holodeck, with Data trying in vain to whistle. The heartbreaking bit, though, was that Riker just couldn't remember what song it was Data had been humming... The audience'' knew, and several of them started whistling it right then and there.
And just to make it worse: B4, trying to sing "Blue Skies" - with some help from Picard. (Brent Spiner is a freaking genius.)
McCoy's response could probably count as this, a CMOA and a CMOH all wrapped into one.
McCoy: What you had to do. What you always do: turn death into a fighting chance to live.
Kirk and Klingon Chancellor Azetbur's reconciliation at the end of The Undiscovered Country:
Azetbur: You've restored my father's faith.
Kirk: And you've restored my son's.
The last scenes are also very sad, and much more so to those who have watched the entire original series and the rest of the films. Enterprise is about to be decommissioned, meaning that it is the final voyage of Kirk and his crew, and the end of an era. The fact that they also decide to 'take their time' in getting back to Earth also makes this a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
The first ten minutes of the new Star Trek movie, where new daddy Kirk makes an epic Heroic Sacrifice to save his wife and the rest of the escaping Kelvin crew.
Kirk and old Spock were in the cave talking about the existence where Spock came from and where Kirk knew his father.
Spock introducing himself with: "I have been, and always shall be, your friend."
Papa Kirk's last words and the delivery thereof: "I love you so much... I love you-"
A short shot in this scene from Papa Kirk's perspective, showing red "Systems Failed" messages across the Kelvin's screen while explosions and destruction goes on around. All this being set to a piece of music that is a tear jerker all on its own.
And the opening scene comes back later to gut-punch you with the line:
Pike: Your father was captain of a starship for twelve minutes. He saved 800 lives, including yours and your mother's. I dare you to do better.
And then later on, when Vulcan is being destroyed and Chekov is beaming up the elders that Spock has gathered, his mother among them, and the ground collapses under Spock's mother, and she screams for her son—especially Chekov's frantic repetition of "I'm losing her! I'm losing her!" and then his shell-shocked face after the remaining Vulcans appear on the pad, with Spock's arm stretched out, reaching at nothing.
In a crossover with both Heartwarming Moments and an Awesome Moment, Leonard Nimoy's voiceover of the famed TOS narration, which then segues into a grand orchestral recapitulation of Alexander Courage's original theme, is wrenching.
Spock Prime: As he was helpless to save his planet, I would be helpless to save mine. *shot of him staring up into the sky with heart-broken expression* Billions of lives lost, because of me, Jim. Because, I failed.
Kirk's death in Star Trek: Generations. In a film which missed so many chances to be one of the best Star Trek films ever, Kirk's death, set to a beautiful and touching piece of music is heartbreaking.
Kirk: It was the least I could do... for the captain of the Enterprise. It was... ''fun''. Oh my...
The ending of Straight Story - two brothers finally meet. The viewer cries..
Stranger Than Fiction - for much of the movie, the driving action involves Harold Crick learning that he is a character in a book. After meeting the author and getting to read a copy of the book, he returns to her and calmly accepts his own impending death because the book is just that wonderful.
The fact that he accepts this after the entire movie had built up his growing appreciation of life outside numbers and his job, including falling in love for what was probably the first time in his life, doesn't help. Emma Thompson's character being completely unable to write the sentence and having a complete breakdown over it fits in here too.
Sunset Boulevard makes you feel really horrible for Norma. And it was a true story, since that was what had happened to Gloria Swanson, who played the role.
She got ditched by the industry, yes, but happily she didn't go nuts over it.
When Capa ends up in the Payload chamber heading for the sun, Capa finds Cassie slumped on the floor. There's this beautiful, gentle moment between them where he tells her they're flying into the sun.
When Capa blasts across the void of space to reach the door to the payload. The music, accompanied by the close-up of Capa screaming, and the visual itself, is tear jerking.
Just before that scene, the bit where Capa is in the space suit trying to get to the payload chamber and he falls over in the suit. He's struggling to get up and you can tell how frustrated and angry with himself he is. Always gets me
When Searle is left on Icarus I and as Icarus II is flying away, you just see Searle sitting in the observation room, waiting for his death, and you hear Cassie say "Searle, we're leaving now. We love you."
Mace's death. Don't know why, but that scene really got to me.
Super 8: Joe's mother locket flies, he grabs it as the thing shows the picture inside (she with baby Joe)... and decides to let go. The locket is absorbed by an alien ship, it takes off slowly, the end. (the only thing that makes it less sad is "TheCase" playing afterwards)
In the DVD of the original 1978 Superman, there's a restored scene where Superman talks to his dad (or rather his hologram) following his first outing as a hero. Jor-El tells him to be wary of the thrill of being a hero..
And further, do not punish yourself for your feelings of vanity; simply learn to control it. It's an affliction common to all. Even on Krypton. Our destruction could've been avoided but for the vanity of some who considered ourselves indestructible. (Jor-El hesitates) Why...if it wasn't for vanity...right now..I could embrace you with my own arms. My son.
The opening: A stage curtain parts to reveal not Superman, or a busy city, or an operatic space utopia, but a boy reading a comic. It's a really great way of saying that this mythology, for all its success and influence, started as a humble little funnybook for kids.
The most tearjerking moment from the first Superman movie was definitely Pa Kent's death. After he tells his adopted son that he is on Earth for a special reason even if he doesn't know what that might be. Glenn Ford's acting was amazing when he just clutched his left arm and saying softly "Oh no..." and his collapse in a long shot. Then his funeral with John Williams' music plays as young Clark Kent tells his mother that even will all his powers he couldn't save his own father.
Superman getting stabbed with Kryptonite then thrown off into the water in Superman Returns.
The scene towards the end where, after hurtling Lex's kryptonite-continent into space, Supes plummets back to Earth, apparently dead. The scene hit full-force, no pun intended, with that soul-crushing THUD at the end of his descent.
The part where he flies above the Earth after watching Lois and family and he hears his father say "For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you...my only son", with heartbreakingly beautiful music. Then when he flies with Lois, there's even more heartbreakingly beautiful music. And this is all before he even dies!
The scene in the original movie where Brando (proving why he was worth his hefty paycheque) bids farewell to his infant son Kal-el before Krypton's destruction, along with those gentle lines "The son becomes the father, and the father ... the son."
Tear Jerker and Crowning Moment of Awesome: the end of the Fortress of Solitude sequence which features the strongest images of Jor-El as "God", John Williams' wonderful music, and the hopeful, uplifting monologue: "They can be a great people, Kal-El — they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. It is for this reason above all, their capacity for good, that I have sent them you ... my only son." Then Jor-El's smiling face becomes a mask, which slips onto Superman's face — the son becoming the father. And then John Williams finishes it off with a triumphant clarion call on horns to Superman's theme: DAAAA-DA-DA-DA-DAAAAAAAAHHH ... DAAAH DAAAH DAAAH ... as Superman flies for the first time in the costume.
In the Richard Donner cut of Superman II, when Kal-El returns to the Fortress of Solitude powerless and encounters the image of his father — who had predicted his choice to become human. The subsequent sacrifice of the final remaining essence of Jor-El (thus fulfilling the prophecy "The father becomes the son; and the son, the father") is wrenching.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The whole movie is a colossal downer, from Sweeney scream-singing about taking his revenge on humanity and abruptly swinging into "and I'll never see Johanna/no, I'll never hug my girl to me," and "and my Lucy/lies in ashes/and I'll never see my girl again," to Mrs. Lovett locking Toby in the bakehouse, realizing what has to be done. But the absolute crowning moment is the ending, with Sweeney cradling the wife he longed for all those years in Australia, whose memory drove him to homicidal madness and rage... the wife he killed in a moment of blindness, the death from his own slit throat dripping onto her face. It gets even worse, as Mrs. Lovett is smoldering in her own oven; and Toby has returned to an urchin's life in Victorian England, the only mother figure in his life killed by the man he suspected all along. But at least Johanna and Anthony got away...we hope.
They didn't. "No, Anthony, they never go away."
It's very easy to read Sweeney's movements while Toby is sneaking up behind him as baring his throat for the blade; which is worse; that he is killed after murdering the wife he has lived through hell to see again, or that he is so completely crushed he wants it?
The most saddening part of the scene was Mrs. Lovett desperately and tearfully trying to explain her deception to Todd, who is barely even listening to her. Todd then turns to a clearly distraught and terrified Lovett to calm and reassure her before tossing her into the oven and quietly watching the slow, burning death of the only chance he has to be loved again, before slowly closing the door of the oven, making sure that the last thing she sees is his contemptuous look, and his last words to her being "Life is for the alive, my dear", which she had said to him before, imploring him to move on. It is made all the more poignant by the fact that the final song draws lyrics and music from the triumphant "My Friends" and the cheerful "A Little Priest", which is also probably the only song where Todd and Lovett are on quite the same page.
The moment when Sweeney began to tell Anthony about the barber and his wife. Between the pain in his voice and the despairing music, it weights heavily on the heart — especially as the visuals flash back to the day Benjamin Barker was hauled away from his wife and child. (Tim Burton has said shooting that flashback left him in tears.)
Also, Sweeney's part in the song "Johanna," if one can ignore the blood, and focus on the words, is a crushingly depressing song about Todd accepting that his daughter's gone for good, and that seeing would only hurt worse because she'd look like his wife.
"Not While I'm Around" . The look on Mrs. Lovett's face as Toby sings to her is heartbreaking.