Monday, October 29, 2012

5 Movie scenes that never fail to make me cry

Ok, I don’t always “cry” per se during these scenes. But they always manage to choke me up, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on how invested in the movie I am at the time. And I’m sure if I gave it some real thought, I could come up with at least 20 more of them. But these are the five that came to mind as I thought about this topic.

Renaissance Man (1994) – “Private Davis gets his father’s medal”
Remembering this scene is what brought this subject up, so I figured I would list it first. Throughout the movie, Pvt. Davis talks about his daddy dying a hero in Vietnam, much to the derision of the rest of the crew. But in this scene, all of his feelings are vindicated. As a military brat and vet, this hits me right THERE. We all want to honor our fallen heroes. But when it’s a personal need, it’s just that much more important.

Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – “Boromir’s death”
Boromir is, by far, my favorite character from LotR. And even in the Ralph Bakshi animated movie, his death saddens me. Sean Bean and Viggo Mortinson play this scene out so wonderfully. And with him laying there dying in the midst of literally a field of slain foes…it’s the most heroic scene in the entire movie, IMHO. Maybe in the entire trilogy. Boromir is the Middle Earth equivalent of Captain America. His only fault was loving his country so much that it blinded him to the dangers of the Ring. But he atones for his sins, and sacrifices himself in an attempt to save two hobbits. And in the end, this sacrifice is probably the moment that turned Mary and Pippin into the heroes they needed to be later in the story.

Braveheart (1995) – “William Wallace’s death”
This is one of those movies that drags your heart in every direction throughout. It is as much a relentless emotional journey as it is a violent historical epic. But the moment when the inquisitor leans in to hear Wallace’s last word, and it comes out “FREEDOM!”…that slays me. The fact that Steven and Hamish are standing there to see it makes it all the more poignant. And it really makes Robert the Bruce’s final speech even more cheer-worthy. “You bled with William Wallace. Now bleed with me!”

The Notebook (2004) – “Allie regresses back into dementia”
I have to admit, this movie is a guilty pleasure. It’s a pure romance movie, and I love it. It pulls the heartstrings on many levels, but none so much as at the end, when Duke (James Garner) and Allie (Gena Rowlands) are enjoying a lucid moment for her, and then she suddenly regresses. My heart breaks as Duke is forced to watch her slip away once more. James garner is a brilliant actor, and his performance in this scene is legendary. I can’t watch it without actual tears rolling.

Dead Poets Society (1989) – “Oh captain, my captain”
This was a film that really showed how Robin Williams is an amazing actor, as well as being one of the funniest men alive. The entire film is stuffed with great and brilliant moments and performances. Several of them are tear-worthy (especially when Neil’s dad finds him dead). But the moment that makes my heart swell the most is when Mr. Keating comes to gather his things, and as he is leaving, his students stand on their desks. It is such a powerful scene. You now at that moment what a difference a good teacher can make. If I ever become a teacher, Mr. Keating will be one of my role-models.

Honorable mention: Casino Royale (2006) – “Aston Martin crash”
Alright, I don’t actually cry during this scene, but my inner car guy bawls like a mewling babe. Such a beautiful car.

Ok, man up, gents. What movies and scenes make you cry?

PS - I was planning on linking YouTube clips to all of these, but really, do I need to?  Plus, I don't think I could handle watching them all in one sitting.


Keith said...

Old Yeller. 'Nuff said.

JJ Dempsey said...

Any military movie where a wife/family gets the dreaded "western union" envelope and/or when they are presented the flag at the funeral. Doesnt matter what movie, I'm gonna lose it regardless. Spot on with Dead Poets Society, one of the greatest films ever. As for the Notebook, my dream, in a perfect world, is die with my love in my arms, like they did. One last addition that comes to mind...Tommy-boy, first when he loses his dad to heart attack then at the end when he is talking to his dad in "heaven", and gets the gust of wind, i choke up everytime. Anywho, there ya go. :)

Tom Doolan said...

Keith - Well, yeah. But it's such a standard that it really no longer needs mentioning. :)

JJ - Yeah, I'm a sucker for emtional scenes in military movies.

Paul R. McNamee said...

The Iron Giant - when the robot makes his choice and says, "Superman!"

Charles Gramlich said...

I've only seen Braveheart and the Fellowship of the ring on this list but both scenes were powerful. For me, most powerful ever, Old Yeller's death, followed by the death of Champ in the boxing movie.

Tom Doolan said...

Charles, as a teacher and a poet, you NEED to see Dead Poets Society.