Questions for the Audience

What are the Saddest Movie Scenes Ever?

Does anything specific stand out in your mind?

The Smithsonian reports the clip to the right from Franco Zeffirelli's remake of the 1931 movie The Champ, starring Jon Voight as a boxer and Ricky Schroder as his son "has become a must-see in psychology laboratories around the world when scientists want to make people sad."

The Champ has been used in experiments to see if depressed people are more likely to cry than non-depressed people (they aren't). It has helped determine whether people are more likely to spend money when they are sad (they are) and whether older people are more sensitive to grief than younger people (older people did report more sadness when they watched the scene). Dutch scientists used the scene when they studied the effect of sadness on people with binge eating disorders (sadness didn't increase eating).

The project to find scenes that could reliably elicit a strong emotional response in laboratory settings began all the way back in 1988 when Robert Levenson, a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and his graduate student, James Gross, started soliciting movie recommendations from colleagues, film critics, video store employees and movie buffs. The two ended up evaluating more than 250 films and film clips, selected 78 contenders and eventually surveyed nearly 500 viewers on their emotional responses to what they saw on-screen.

Eventually, in 1995 the duo came up with 16 short film clips to evoke a variety of emotions. Here's the list:

  • Amusement: When Harry Met Sally and Robin Williams Live
  • Anger: My Bodyguard and Cry Freedom
  • Contentment: Footage of waves and a beach scene
  • Disgust: Pink Flamingos and an amputation scene
  • Fear: The Shining and Silence of the Lambs
  • Neutral: Abstract shapes and color bars
  • Sadness: The Champ and Bambi
  • Surprise: Capricorn One and Sea of Love

I recently asked you "Did Toy Story 3 Make You Cry? What Movies Did?" and the article received over 120 comments to date. Now I ask you what specific movie scenes you believe to be the saddest ever? Are there scenes that make you cry no matter how many times you watch them?

Personally, I don't tend to cry while watching movies, but sadness is undoubtedly an emotion we have all experienced. As far as specific scenes go, I'm not sure if it's a matter of being horrified or sad, but select moments in Schindler's List, Dancer in the Dark, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Good Will Hunting, American History X and a film I only recently saw for the first time, Terms of Endearment, certainly well up the emotions. How about you?

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  • Phil

    Moments that always tug on my heart strings:

    -The little kid being forced to shoot another little kid in 'City of God'

    -The real footage shown at the end of "Waltz with Bashir"

  • Adriano

    The ending of 25th Hour, when Brian Cox's character says: "This life came so close to never happening." And you see what happened.

    There are loads of sad movie moments, but this one was the first that came to my mind. Just remembering it makes me teary-eyed.

  • Billy W

    Wilson!!!!!!!!!

  • m1

    Spoilers, of course:

    1. End of Shakespeare in Love.
    2. End of Million Dollar Baby.
    3. The magician letting go of the rabbit at the end of The Illusionist (2010).
    4. The climax of The Hurt Locker.
    5. Final scene of Saving Private Ryan.
    6. Final scene of Toy Story 3.
    7. The main character's mother dying in Slumdog Millionaire.
    8. The wedding intercut with the final scene of Blue Valentine.
    9. The plot twist in Bridge to Terabithia.
    10. Epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alejandro-Roggio/1487010008 Alejandro Roggio

      The Hurt Locker had a climax?

      • m1

        Not funny.

        (SPOILERS)

        I was referring to the scene where Jeremy Renner's character is trying to cut the vest off of one of the civilians and fails.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alejandro-Roggio/1487010008 Alejandro Roggio

        I personally wouldn't consider that the climax. It's not like that scene was the direct outcome of the story that preceded it. Well, whatever story that movie had really. It was more of an exposition piece than an actual story.

      • Jack

        And it won an undeserved oscar for best screenplay.

  • Dylan S

    Blue Valentine just makes me a complete wreck.

  • Jack

    It's got to be the moment in Shawshank Redemption when:

    *SPOILERS*
    Brooks hangs himself.
    *END SPOILERS*

    Also, Milk's ending was very powerful.

    • Forrest Gump

      that scene in shawshank was one of the saddest i've ever seen, it just might be the best suicide in film ever

      • shane

        *SPOILER* the elephant man.as he slowly takes the cushions that keep him alive while he sleeps off his bed.that was a suicide that was heartbreaking.

      • Forrest Gump

        Thats another film where I came close to crying in that scene when he's at the train station

  • Gaston

    Well, because I am a huge Batman fan, my eyes welled up at the end of The Dark Knight, with Gordon's speech, haha.

    "He' s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A DARK KNIGHT".

    • http://devilishpictures.com MWHollywood85

      hahaha I well up when Superman saves Lois in the helicopter scene.

      "Schindlers List" for sure. I've only seen it once only for the reason that it's so emotionally taxing. It's impossible for me to put into context or comprehend evil on that scale and I don't have any real connection to Judaisim outside of a few friends but what saddened me about the film (and made me cry) was the lack of humanity on display.

      "Atonement" was another sad one. Especially Vanessa Redgrave's confession at the end. There was a gasp in the theatre when that happened and I felt like my insides had been scooped out.
      "Deer Hunter" leaves you feeling pretty hollow too.

  • carphalen5150

    When ET was all faded white down in the ditch, that made me tear up for whatever reason.

  • Michael

    The scene from the hospital in Brian's Song when Brian is About to die; and the one from the locker room when Gale Sayers talks about giving Brian a game ball.

  • Cory M

    In The Fountain, when Hugh Jackman's character tattoos his missing wedding ring on his finger.

    • Bess

      This! Gets me every time.

  • Sebastian Prieto Goico

    When Satine dies in Moulin Rouge, they tell you this since the beginning but when you see it happening it's shocking and REALLY sad and depressing and even more after you see it for the second time and you see the part where she sings One day I'll Fly Away and you realize all she wanted is to get away from that place and be a real actress.

  • Randy

    the scene in Hook when Peter finds his happy thought and in the flash back you hear " Peter your a daddy" the way that is said just makes me tear up. Also the Lion King when Simbas dad dies

  • Alex

    in Crash (2004) when arab shoots man holding a baby

    • Soho-Driver

      Such a ridiculously over the top scene, what were they trying to imply there? I thought the film was supposed to be realistic. Crash was a very bad film, if you ask me.

      • Adam

        It wasn't there to imply anything really, it was just a tense scene where at one stage a man shoots a little girl. I liked it. Crash isn't a perfect film, but it is far from being very bad one. And no one was asking you. Catch.

  • Brett

    How about the scene from "My Girl" after Maculy Culkin's character dies from bee stings and they all have to face the reality of an untimely, tragic death of an innocent child

    • Some Douche

      That shit killed me at age 7.

      • Jeff

        +1, definitely this one for me

    • Brigite

      This is the first one that came to my mind as well. I cried like a baby the first time I saw this as a child and have the exact same reaction with every re-watching. When Veda starts talking about how he can't see without his glasses during the wake....gets me every time.

  • Kaitlyn

    Life as a House. Throughout.
    Armageddon. When Bruce Willis' character says "goodbye" to Liv Tyler's character
    Marley and Me...the whole last half hour.
    A Time to Kill...Matthew McConaughey's summation
    The Passion of the Christ made my ball like a baby when I was a teenager bc I was scared shitless.
    but I have to be honest, movies don't make me cry as much as much as documentaries do these days (e.g., The Cove, Waiting for Superman, etc.)

    And Its been years since I've seen either of these but I remember as a kid, but the last scenes in Ghost (why I was allowed to watch this as a kid is a question I have yet to answer) and My Girl always got me.

    • Brett

      Definitely "A Time to Kill"--many different emotions

      • Travis

        Agreed

  • goavs

    End of Marley and Me.

    • carrie

      mee too

  • Andrew

    Lord of the Rings: Return of The King- when Sam tells Frodo, "I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you" and carries him up the mountian. That one always gets me.

    127 Hours- when Aron Ralston is rescued. Surprised that I got as emotional as I did during this movie.

    • Some Douche

      I loved the books, but the relationship between Sam and frodo in the movies sucked, it was so sappy, melodramatic and homoerotic that I couldn't feel anything for them.

    • Owen

      Return of the King for me too, except the bit that gets me is when Aragorn is about to lead the charge at the Black Gate, but just before he does he turns to Merry and Pippin and says "For Frodo."

  • Gilmore

    Even though it was really long, the execution of John Coffey at the end of The Green Mile always makes me bawl. There is something about the way that Hanks and Duncan silently interact with each other in this scene that is so tragic.

    • Kristen

      I've seen this film once & I bawled at the end. It is probably the hardest I have ever cried at a film. I will never watch it again either because it is just so incredibly sad. I totally agree with you 100%...

  • https://moviesandchocolate.wordpress.com/ Lara

    The saddest movie scene ever? I nominate the whole film: "The Green Mile".

    Also the scene from "The Shawshank Redemption" Jack's mentioned.

    • Gilmore

      I couldn't agree with you more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamie-Lyons/1236420543 Jamie Lyons

    When Forrest is saying goodbye to his mother and Jenny

    • Forrest Gump

      I can't believe I forgot those

  • adu

    There are plenty, but the recent one that come to mind is from the movie Moon, when Rockwell's character learns about his daughter....what a performance!

    • Dani

      I agree. That part made me cry the hardest from any movie I've ever seen.

  • Trevor

    Top 4:

    Lion King - Mufasa's demise

    Shawshank - "Brooks Was Here"

    My Dog Skip - I only saw it as a kid, but there's a scene where the dog is hit with a shovel and I remember me and my sister just started crying and saying "NO!". Traumatizing.

    Forrest Gump - Forrest cradling Bubba in his arms as he says "Forrest...I wanna go home."

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Myles-Taylor/663067114 Myles Taylor

    For me it's actually all of Rory O'Shea was here, and specifically the scene where Michael confesses his love to Siobhan. On the whole though as a disabled man, that film just reaches a place in me I don't often feel in film.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Myles-Taylor/663067114 Myles Taylor

    If I could also add (after seeing Brad mention it) The diving bell in the butterfly again for personal reasons, this one just makes me jelly.

  • Eric

    The scene at the end of Terms of Endearment when Debra Winger's character is in the hospital saying goodbye to her sons. It nearly gets me teary eyed just thinking about it.

    • Eric

      Also, the scene (you know which one I'm talking about) in Sophie's Choice. That scene just kills me, it's so sad.

  • Antonio A

    More recently I cried a lot while watching 127 Hours and Toy Story 3 (I still do everytime I catch it on TV). Of all time I remember crying desperately while watching One True Thing, to the point where I just had to stop it several times, and after Boy A's devastating(!) ending.

    • Antonio A

      I didn't specify the scenes:

      127 Hours- When Aron imagined his child and the scene when he finally was rescued

      Toy Story 3- The scene in the incinerator, when Andy said goodbye to his mother in his bedroom, and the last scene and shot

      One True Thing- Many (!), but specially the scene when Meryl was singing with the chorus at Christmas in front of Renée

      Boy A- The ending

  • lz

    Marley and Me :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alejandro-Roggio/1487010008 Alejandro Roggio

    I've never cried in a movie, but two scenes do come to mind:

    - Will Smith's bathroom scene in The Pursuit of Happyness
    - Will Smith choking his infected dog (and only living friend) in I am Legend

    It is only a coincidence they both involve Will Smith.

    • Kristen

      The scene where he chokes his dog is incredibly sad.

      • Logan

        I didn't find that scene sad, I found one of the resulting scenes much more depressing (read: I did not cry, but was moved), when he starts talking to the mannequins again, and he asks one of them, "Please Say Something to me" or something to that effect. That was moving. The dog I actually expected.

  • Fin

    Two movies/scenes came to mind first, one being the ending of Million Dollar Baby which someone already mentioned and the other being the final scene in Donnie Darko with "Mad World" playing.

  • RIPsquishy

    to name a few:

    -ending of Schindler's List. i cry the same way i cried the 1st time i saw every time i watch it.
    -ending of Empire of a Sun. oh my heck.
    -Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
    -Grave of the Fireflies.

    (see a pattern!?)

    • MajorFilmFan

      Yeah. Don't watch WWII/Holocaust movies.

  • Josh

    The end of Flags of our Fathers when the father and son make their peace with each other a d say goodbye to each other made me cry only because It brought back the memory of me having to do that with my father.

    The End of Platoon seeing Sheen's emotions while in the helicopter is a very very sad scene

    The Green Mile for reasons people have seen it know why.

    Munich- seeing what happened to the athletes and seeing the world trade center in background at the end.

  • Winchester

    I have a few, I guess.

    I don't necessarily cry outright at all of these, but some that certainly do bring out the lump in the throat and the often highly moist eyes.

    These are just in the order I recall them - and i can't guarantee there are not spoilers in here either.

    Saving Private Ryan - the aforementioned part where the older Ryan needs (and you can see he needs it, like REALLY needs someone to tell him) to be told he was a good man because of the ones who had died to save him. That he was worth it in some way.

    Deep Impact - OK, I'm gonna say it, but it's the part where Denise Crosby finally breaks down with her husband after giving the newborn baby to Leelee and Elijah to take to safety and the kids have left, knowing she will soon die. Like she's been holding everything in, and can finally let it out because it's just her and her husband.

    Crash - I think the part where the gun fires at the little girl and the (silently done) scream from the father is one of the singular most heart-stopping moments in a film that I can ever recall. I can't recall the actor who played the dad of the girl, but the sheer impact of his reaction stopped me dead when I saw the film.

    The Rules of Attraction - the final scene in the snow-covered quad between the characters of Paul and Sean (who have had totally different stories through the film but it makes sense if you've seen it) when Paul says 'I just wanna know you.....' and Sean tells Paul 'Your never gonna know me' and Paul kinda just collapses into his inability to understand really because he's had a different perspective on events. It's him having his heart broken by someone who doesn't even know what it felt in the first place. So, that's more a scene that makes me sad, rather than welling up etc

    I also found Blue Valentine and also recently Rabbit Hole, quite draining emotionally as well (and Kidman and Eckhart's pain filled fight in the middle of the film is another I could add to the list of lumps in throat).

    I think the crowd scenes etc at the end of Milk also had an effect, if I recall correctly.

    What else.........

    Gattacca - the final sequence when Jude Law does what he does to allow Ethan Hawke's character to live. But again, Micheal Nyman's score is a big chunk of that.

    Julianne Moore's performace in The Hours................and her confession at the end of the film about her reasons for leaving her family. That's one I put to sad, but I find that whole film highly emotional as well.

    The Remains of the Day - the 'it's just a silly book, nothing scandalous at all' scene between Thompson and Hopkins.

    (Man, I seem to have a lot here)

    There is one film though, and one scene in that film which is virtually 100% guaranteed to truly have me bawling almost every time (and I'm to this day not even sure why specifically) and it is the final scene to the 1985 film Lady Jane.

    The young Jane (Helena Bonham Carter) has been put in the tower, and Dudley her husband has been hung. The priest comes to her before she is taken for her own hanging, but she asks him to tell her exactly what happened to Dudley as he was walked to his death, while the film then begins to follow her take the same journey as her husband to her own hanging. I think it's the way Carter plays it, plus perhaps the music score over the sequence. Whatever it is, the very first time I watched it on a Sunday afternoon about twenty years ago, it blindsided me and before I knew it, I was basically flooding. And for some reason.................it almost always still does. I have to actually seldom watch it, because of that.

    Oh.............and fuck it.............I cried once or twice during Titanic when I was younger. Sometimes direct and shameless emotional manipulation by a director works. I haven't watched it for a bit, so it's not impossible I still would.

    There may be more, but that's all I can think of just now without requiring tissues...............yeah, I think I've shared more than enough and probably too much so I'll leave it there.

    • angel

      I believe Michael Pena played the father of the little girl in "Crash." He is a very good, underused, underrated actor.

      • Fan

        I agree Michael Pena is great and underrated.

        That scene in Crash is with the little girl is great. Well, written and well acted and directed. Powerful scene.

        And I think Titinic when they're all f'n drowning and dying, that sh*t is just sad.

    • Soho-Driver

      Okay, come on! Did NOBODY notice how the girl "magically" survived? The film wasn't supposed to be fantasy, goddamnit.

      • Winchester

        It's a while since I saw the film, but yes I believe everyone noticed the girl survived.

        I'm not a weapons expert, but certainly it's made clear in the film that it was blanks fired, not real bullets. The shopkeeper's daughter was revealed to have not bought those, but he thought she had. He didn't know the difference which (I think) was why she. If I recall There's also the whole thing about the 'invisible cloak' the father gave the girl earlier in the film after she had been scared and which she believed she had, and then man who shoots believing she was an Angel for blocking what he thought were real bullets.............which kinda brings him to his senses and I can't really recall exactly how it all plays out.

        Crash itself is not a film that as a complete film I am overly fond of, because I don't think it's connections between the characters are always plausible, but the point is at that moment.................you believe the little girl has been shot dead. That's the moment I referred to. Not the after scenes.

        If it doesn't for anyone else, for whatever reason - cool.

    • buzzword

      The scene you mention of Julianne Moore in The Hours is the only time that I have ever teared up at a movie.

  • The Dead Burger

    Not many people remember this movie, even though it was a Best Picture nominee, but I sob through basically the whole last hour of the De Niro film "Awakenings" every time I watch it.

    • marco_ccs

      Also when mother and son hug after so many years :-(

    • emmy

      Love that movie!

  • Mason Williamson

    Only two movies have ever put me on the verge of tears, one of which actually succeeded in reducing me to a blubbering pile on the floor.

    Magnolia - The Wise Up scene, which follows Earl Partridge's heartbreaking 10-minute monologue, actually had me in tears.

    The Wrestler - The ending nearly made me tear up in theaters, but I just managed to hold back.

  • maja

    A select few for me that get me every single time:

    - Cinema Paradiso - the final scene
    - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    - The Notebook

  • Alan McCleaf

    Old school: Old Yeller, when the boy has to shoot his beloved dog. Saddest. Movie. Ever. Did everybody forget this?

    Present day: Marley & Me. Also about a dog. There's a reason they are called man's best friend.

  • Kyle Griffin

    -the last scene in CHUNGKING EXPRESS
    -Two Mann moments: The final battle scene in LAST OF THE MOHICANS, last scene of PUBLIC ENEMIES (Marion Cotillard hears the last words of "her Johnny"; also teared up when she's saved from a police beating by Stephen Lang and Christian Bale)
    -Giulietta Masina looks directly into the camera at the end of NIGHTS OF CABIRIA, seemingly saying, "Oh well, that's life!" after yet another guy screws her over
    -A grieving daughter exclaims "Life is so hard sometimes!" after the death of her put-upon mother in TOKYO STORY
    -The door slams in Kay's face at the end of THE GODFATHER, ending forever the life she thought she would have with Michael (ie, one that doesn't involve duplicity and murder; runners up from the same movie-Brando says "See how they massacred my boy!" over Sonny's corpse, Michael says, "I'm here, pop" to his dad after saving him in the hospital scene)
    -I could just say "Charlie Chaplin" and be done with it, but the one scene in particular I remember balling through was the scene in CITY LIGHTS when the ex-blind girl realizes who her benefactor is

    • Kyle Griffin

      One I forgot to mention: the cornfield baseball bat beatdown involving Joe Pesci in CASINO, for the sheer sadness and horror of it all. I think that movie is outstanding and even rivals GOODFELLAS for 1990's Scorsese brilliance, but I can only watch it once every 5 years or so, largely because of that scene.
      Wait, one more: The death scene of Juanita Moore in Douglas Sirk's IMITATION OF LIFE ( and the following funeral scene).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Corey-Bloom/685603836 Corey Bloom

    The end of schindlers list always gets to me. as a jew and one whose entire extended family was lost during the holocaust the scene where liam neeson is crying and saying that he could've saved more people always affects me the most.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Corey-Bloom/685603836 Corey Bloom

    in fact john williams score is enough on its own to bring me to tears

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Corey-Bloom/685603836 Corey Bloom

    o yeah and the first movie to ever make me cry was Armageddon when a father says goodbye to his daughter

    • Monte V

      Actually I am with you, but the part that gets me is when the little boy sees his dad on TV and he says "Look Mommy that salesman is on TV" and mom replies "Thats no salesman, thats your daddy." Ahhhh gets me even thinkin about it!

  • Jon

    The Fountain when he discovers the cure just too late. Benjamin Button when he walks out on his family. Up when he reads her note thanking him for the adventure. All three movies evoke near depression beyond sadness.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Corey-Bloom/685603836 Corey Bloom

      damn i forgot about UP

  • Monte V

    The saddest movie I can remember is an old movie which I beleive is called Love Me Tender, about a little mentally retarded girl who is in love with Elvis Presley, her death scene will completely devistate even the coldest heart. Good luck if you watch it.

  • angel

    I always cry while watching:
    Schindler's List
    Titanic (the very end, when she's going up the stairs)
    Shawshank Remption
    Life is Beautiful (when he's marching away)
    Steel Magnolias
    The Lion King
    LOTR:Return of the Kings (when they kneel to the hobbits)
    E.T. (the end)
    The Professional ("This is for...Matilda...")

  • Erik

    Schindler's List- When he gets the ring, and when everyone is passing his real grave.

    Life is Beautiful- The ending. Surprised it it hasn't been mentioned yet, unless I missed it.

    127 Hours- When he starts to cut his arm off until the credits roll.

    Man on Fire gets an honorable mention because despite its flaws it has a lot of powerful moments.

    And when I was younger... Lion King (still kind of gets me), and Remember the Titans.

  • http://www.stickskills.com Hamza Zain

    The scene in Precious where she breaks down in class and calls herself worthless.

    The end of 127 Hours.

    The Prince's Tale from Deathly Hallows Part 2.

    Trash compactor scene in Toy Story 3

    The marriage montage in Up.

    The ending of 25th Hour.

  • Badge

    I just can't watch GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES again - without a doubt the saddest FILM I've ever seen (not just a sad 'scene').

    Animation always affects me more emotionally than real-life films - most recently the final scenes of L'ILLUSIONISTE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tyler-Rosini/600405947 Tyler Rosini

    I am not one to cry during movies, and I don't actually associate crying with being the most sad. Sometimes you can find something extremely sad and yet not cry and I think it all depends on the state you are in at the time.

    As for one of the saddest scenes I have watched it would have to be awarded to The White Ribbon. The scene were the older sister tries to explain death to her younger brother and he finally realizes that his mother isn't coming back. The children were so perfect in that scene and the scene itself had me thinking about it long after.

  • buster bluth

    no old yeller fans?

  • Elizabeth

    Recently, Blue Valentine when they are in the kitchen and they are both breaking down whilst scenes of their wedding are cut to.
    Also, Never Let Me Go when Tommy gets out the car and screams. I was sobbing in the cinema.
    And for some reason I always cry during the Breakfast Club when they are explaining why they're in detention.
    Brokeback Mountain - "I wish I knew how to quit you!"
    In Little Miss Sunshine when Dwayne finds out he's colourblind and wants to get out the car.
    The end of In America - such an underrated film.
    I get too emotional during films.

  • Grissom

    -The final dream erased in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    -The ending of The Last of the Mohicans
    -Ending of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

  • Buddy

    Pixar's Up and one hindi movie "My Name is Khan" Watch it!

  • john

    The end of Godzilla 1985, even some of the japanese people were crying when he fell to his doom.

  • jbob

    I don't know what the most sad is, but Grave Of The Fireflies I found to be the most powerful and depressing. So much so that I can not will myself to watch it again. I did not like the way that movie made me feel.

  • Nick J

    When

    *SPOILER*

    Giovanni Ribisi's character dies in Saving Private Ryan

    also LIam Neeson's speech at the end of Schindler's LIst

    • Phil5150

      THANK YOU! thats exactly what I was thinking when I reading through everyone else's post. This IMO is the saddest part.

      Also the end of Shawshank Redemption....

  • TS

    Toy Story 3 - So Long Partner

    Marley and Me - (SPOILERS)Marley's death

    Mysterious Skin - I wish we could just rise like two angels in the night and magically...disappear

    American History X - Derek's reaction to (SPOILERS) Danny's death

  • Mr Pink

    -Final hour of Kramer vs. Kramer (Why am I the first to write about this?!?!)

  • Tony

    When Maximus finds his wife and son dead and burnt :( gets me every time. So sad and depressing.

  • Rashad

    End of Empire of The Sun
    Ribisi's dying pleas in Saving Private Ryan
    I Am Legend dog scene

    Leo's face at the end of Revolutionary Road when he asks Winslet "You don't hate me or anything?"

  • Matt

    - The final/first memory in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" makes me extremely upset. I've watched that movie many, many times and it always seems to get to me.
    - Quite a few scenes in "Garden State", though I haven't seen that movie in a while and can't think of one at the moment.
    -(spoilers) After Holden and Alyssa get in a fight at the hockey rink in "Chasing Amy", I get very sad. Don't ask me why, because I honestly have no idea.
    - Anything with child abuse gets me very sad, even in bad movies.
    - Anything involving dogs getting hurt or killed makes me very sad. I can't watch "Marley & Me" or else I'd probably just hug my dog for the rest of the night crying.
    - The scene in the junk yard, the scene where Andy's mom talks to him about going to college near the end, and of course the last scene in "Toy Story 3."
    - A lot of "Schindler's List"
    - The final scene in "Big Fish", I think, is absolutely beautiful but made me very sad.
    - Much of the ending to "The Brothers Bloom." I absolutely love that movie and it just reminds me of my relationship with my brother.
    And by far the worst:
    - The first time I watched "Requiem for a Dream" i was an emotional train-wreck. The only movie to ever actually make me cry hysterically. The scene where Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly are on the phone is what really gets to me.

    • Matt

      Just by looking through the list I realized I forgot a few:

      -The last scene of "Blue Valentine" made me a little upset. Not exactly depressed, but upset.
      -No shame, the end of "Armageddon." That movie is a total guilty pleasure of mine.
      -Tom Cruise confronting his father in "Magnolia", and a lot of the scenes involving Melora Walters ( I think that's her name?)
      -Two scenes from "Boogie Nights": (spoilers) The scene in the limo with Heather Graham, and the scene when Mark Wahlberg is prostituting himself (not sure if that's the right term, but whatever). They are kinda the same scene I guess.
      -The scene where Precious breaks down in the classroom.

  • C138

    Oh boy, there are a lot of touching/sad scenes in various movies for me. There will unavoidably be spoilers mentioned...

    THE THIN RED LINE
    - The scenes between Witt and Welsh talking
    - The scene where Keck dies
    - Witt's final scene, especially the look on his face before he is shot

    GLADIATOR
    - Basically the last 10 minutes of the movie

    MOULIN ROUGE!
    - The final scene where Satine dies

    MILK
    - Everything from when Harvey Milk is shot and through the end credits

    THE GREEN MILE
    - The execution of John Coffey

    LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
    - The scene when the U.S. Marine executes the Japanese POW's

    TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY
    - The final scene when the Terminator is lowered into the lava

    BEFORE SUNSET:
    - The final shot

    THE LIVES OF OTHERS
    - The final scene in the bookstore

    THE TREE OF LIFE
    - The moments early on in the film when the parents discover the death of their child

    HARRY POTTER
    - The scene in Deathly Hallows Part 1 when Harry visits his parents' grave, and when Dobby dies
    - Snape's flashback, the scene where Harry sees the ghosts of Sirius Black and other people in the woods, and the epilogue at the train station

    And, to this day, I still find Titanic to have several touching and very sad moments.

  • Fan

    Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the Godfather part 2 the end, when Michael has Fredo killed. That is some sad sh*t. He had to do it, Fredo couldn't not be trusted, that's sad his own brother.

    And Godfather 3 when Michael dies alone. No one there. That's treadic, his how life he tried to protect his family and in the end no one was there when he died. Sad. Just sad.

    There Will Be Blood where Daniel goes on a rant about how his son is deaf and a bastard from a basket, and just his competition. He couldn't be happy for his son. That's mess up. In the end when he had everything but nothing just an bitter old man.

    Blow when George broke his promise to his daughter, she was out there waiting all day.

    Casutle of War all the sh*t they did to the vietnamese girl, f-up.

    Mysetic River when Jimmy finds out hs daughtr's dead. And then when he mistakenly kills Dave.

  • Nitin Bohara

    I personally felt a sense of loss during the climax funeral scene in Out of Africa.
    And yea, the scene where Oskar breaks down in Schindler's List.

  • viral

    2 scenes in philadelphia
    - the opera scene and the final scene when Tom Hanks is fluttering his eyes barely able to keep them open and he sees his parents as they were when he was young... that scene is the reason i refuse to watch that movie in a crowd cause i bawl like a baby...

    StepMom - the scene where Susan Sarandon is in the hospital and benjamin calls and she tells him they can always talk through the moon...that is just an absolute beauty of a scene.. the whole movie infact...

    also for its emotional weight the final performance at carnegie hall in the "music of the heart"

  • carrie

    recently,
    *the last scene in THE FIGHTER when Dickie says he's proud of his brother
    *in UP,every time that the old guy remembers his wife
    *ET when ET died
    *end of MARLEY &ME
    *ANTARTICA when the dogs die
    *several secenes in TOMBOY(a french movie) and DOG POUND(again a french movie)

  • Jimmy Diamies

    1st time I watched Up it got to me at the beginning and the aforementioned scene in Armageddon when Willis says his goodbyes to Liv Tyler and his crew, gets me almost every time.Probably more but they arent springing to mind.

  • Darth Agnan

    Grave of the Fireflies - The whole film is depressing. So much that I'm not sure I can watch it again. I cried at the end; and I mean cried, not wept.

  • Forrest Gump

    I've only cried in Platoon (scene where they're burning the village) and at the ending of I am Sam

    • Forrest Gump

      and the ending in Seven Pounds (one of the most underrated films ever)

      • LouAnn

        I am so with you one this one. That movie didn't just make me cry, it hurt my very soul. I had tears streaming down my face. Even after the credits had rolled, I just sat there unable to make myself stop. My husband asked me if I was alright and I choked out "no". In fact, my eyes are welling up as I type this.

        The other film I can't see, even after repeated viewing, without crying is the end of 'The Color Purple'.

        And I agree with all the Forest Grump, RotK, and Million Dollar Baby scenes.

  • Stiggy

    For some bizzare reason The Golden Compass sticks to mind.

    Specifically when Billy Costa lost his deamon and gets reunited with his mum courtesy of Lyra just before the Samoyeds ambushed the Gyptians.

  • Steve J

    End of "Control" when Ian Curtis's wife found the hung body of her husband. (Not shown, but her scream sent chills down my back). Knowing that is what really happened shook me up.

  • Winchester

    I thought of a couple more overnight - potentially more spoilers.

    Up - I had forgottan about that one, but the opening story of the life of Carl and Ellie and then later when he reads the photo album and she's written her final message to him.

    A Single Man - the scene where George recieves the phone call about the death, and he is told essentially that it's a secret courtesy call only and not to come to the funeral of his lover. Firth's acting in that scene is perfect. He really should have won the Oscar for this film, but he was excellent in The King's Speech as well though.

    Into The Wild - When Hal Holbrook asks Emile's character to stay with him and not continue with his journey. Holbrook just kills me half the time I watch it.

  • Bill W

    The scene from "the Grapes of Wrath" as the family is being forced off their land and Ma Joad sits alone in her room, trying on her earrings.

  • Alex G

    Up - The "Married Life" sequence
    Toy Story 3 - The incinerator, Andy gives his toys to a new child
    Cinema Paradiso - The ending
    American Beauty - The ending
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - The epilogue
    Brief Encounter - The ending
    Precious - The mother's final monologue
    Requiem for a Dream - The aftermath of the three stories' climaxes
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - The memory of Joel getting made teased as a child

    And then movies I cried for out of happiness/beauty:
    Amelie - Guiding the blind man to the kiosk
    The Tree of Life - The universe is created, "I give you my son"
    2001: A Space Odyssey - The starchild is born
    127 Hours - Aron finally leaves the crevasse

    • Eric

      That scene in Amelie makes me so happy.

  • chriscarmichael

    The ending of 25th Hour.

    The Fountain- Scenes near the end when Tree dies etc.

    Synecdoche New York (Many monents during this film but mostly towards the end)

    Lolita (Adrian Lynes version) When jeremy Irons finds Lolita all pregnant

    The LIfe Aquatic With Steve Zissou - WHen Sigur ROs' Staralfur stars playing when they are in the sub until the end.

    ALso not movie but the last 10 mnutes of Six Feet Under and Lost are certainly tear-inducing to me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stefan-Tonio/747288922 Stefan Tonio

      YES-YES-YES-YEEEES to the last 10 mins of Six Feet Under!! STILL tear up every time i see it... and i dont know WHY i still watch it from time to time....

  • Helgi

    Finding Neverland. The ending is all powerful and reduces anyone to tears.

  • chuck

    Shelly Winters Death scene in The Poseidon Adventure!

  • http://pixel-drama.com Leandro Dubost

    This is a complicated question. There are so many, but SO MANY sad scenes in all of the movies I've seen, it's hard to know which one is the saddest.

    Because it always depends on the moment of your life, wheter that scene evokes more or less from a particular sentiment. But thinking off my head right now, I'm thinking the ending of 'Titanic' and 'Schindler's List'.

    When Rose says "Fifteen-hundred people went into the sea, when Titanic sank from under us. Six were saved from the water, myself included. Six... out of fifteen-hundred.", God I feel sad just remembering Gloria Stuart's delivery of this line (her expression, I still have that image in my memory, you know?). Then there's Schindler's List ending with "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire." Same thing. Perfect.

    Two very powerfull lines, delivered perfectly by their actors. And the fact that they both remember me of the real life tragedies, it makes them even sadder.

  • tom z

    * CastAway - Wilson lost at sea (as someone mentioned above)
    * Dead Ringers (spoiler) - Jeremy Irons' character calling for his brother after he's dead
    * The Road - final scenes

    • Phil5150

      yep. the road did it for me too. forgot about that one.

  • Bill_the_Bear

    The one that made me cry at the movies for the first time in over 30 years was in Benjamin Button, when the 80-year old baby Benjamin dies in Daisy's arms. I just blobbered when I saw that, and it still chokes me up.

  • Adam

    Not crying, but movies that really affected me.

    Grave of the fireflies - pretty much the whole movie.
    Requiem For A Dream - same as GotF, but especially Ellen Burstyn's final monologue. wow.
    Up - the early montage, and the music score is just brilliant and sad .

    there are heaps more, but these movies stick out

  • Jsaurus

    Milk- The scene where he's talking to Scott on the phone at the end.

    Requiem For A Dream- The scene where Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto have their final moment together in the kitchen.

  • adam

    i dont cry at movies but only one scene has gotten me close to it

    the death of Dobby the house elf in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

  • Ryan

    Two scenes above all.

    -BROTHERS, where Tobey Maguire loses it ("DO YOU KNOW WHAT I DID?!", "I'm drowning, Tommy"), and the final shot where his wife comforts him;

    -THE STONING OF SORAYA M. (a fine, underrated movie that is an emotional roller coaster), where...well, Soraya is stoned.

  • MajorFilmFan

    Marley and Me (The death of Marley)
    Up (The wedding montage/death of the guy's wife)

    Also, the last 10 minutes of "Waiting for 'Superman'" are so uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time, you can't help get tearyeyed.

  • Kristen

    Sweet November is a movie that I always cry while watching. Give a character that seems completely normal a life threatening illness & (as long as I don't see it coming) I will cry like a baby. I have cried at a lot of the aforementioned scenes & movies too, but Sweet November is one that always gets me.

  • m1

    I can't believe I didn't think of this, but the ending of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was absolutely stunning and sad.

  • Winchester

    These ones aren't ones that lead to crying but I remember finding the moment in Almost Famous when Kate Hudson finds out she was 'sold' for beer and asks if it was decent beer. I think it's more the way she plays it.

    And the ending of Lars and the Real Girl..............I really would not have thought the 'death' of a plastic doll would actually make one sad but......it did. Again, probably more the way it was played by the rest of the cast.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      That scene in Almost Famous was excellent, I swear it's the moment that earned Hudson the nomination.

      • Winchester

        I don't think I would argue with that. I tend to agree.

  • Rocketman

    Twister - When Helen Hunt's character tels Bill P, 'you've never seen it miss this house and that house and come after you.'

    Also +1 for Up, Armageddon, Toy Story 3

  • http://www.rogers.com villedeville

    The end of the 1952 French movie "Forbidden Games" when in the middle of a huge wartime crowd, lost little girl Paulette started calling her child friend Michel.

  • Mr Stark

    The Church scene in Cool Hand Luke.

  • Grissom

    Almost forgot:

    Field of Dreams - "Hey, Dad, would you like to have a catch?"

  • Win

    When G-baby dies in Hardball.
    The end of Simon Birch

  • ENOLA

    Leaving Las Vegas
    The Thin Red Line
    The ending scene in "The New World"
    Central Station
    The Outsiders
    Dancer in the Dark
    The Cure
    ...just a few of so many

  • Sean

    Mystic River- "I just wanna hug her one more time."

    Sean Penn at his absolute finest.

  • emmy

    I'm a horse nut so Black Beauty makes me bawl. It has the most beautiful score by Danny Elfman. Also, The Horse Whisperer scored by Thomas Newman. Actually any movie scored by Thomas Newman (The Green Mile, Shawshank, Road to Perdition, WALL-E). Into The Wild kills me.

  • Leocdc

    I could name a lot of movies, because I am kinda emotional with movies, but the last one I saw and that broke my heart like no other movie ever (well, maybe The Schindler's List) was Trust. A movie from 2010 about a pedophile and a girl that trust in him. The consequences on her family are powerful and so hard to watch. It was a great movie, but one I really had to survive to see completely.

  • Logan

    If I had to say for sad scenes in movies, I'm at a little bit of a loss, but I think I can think up a few that wrecked me:

    Mary & Max (2009): Animated Picture from Australia. The Last scene, the very last scene. Just go watch the whole movie. My synopsis won't do justice, but it was so sad (and beautiful), I just bawled my eyes out. I did not cry at Up, I did cry for this movie. Why Mary & Max wasn't nominated for best Animated Picture, I will never know.

    Also (For me, personally):
    Harry & The Hendersons: The Eventual goodbye. I can't even write about it, right now, at this moment, because I just want to cry right now thinking about it.

    Sad (But Didn't Cry): Requiem For a Dream...I almost put myself on Suicide watch after I finished it. I'm not kidding.
    A Scanner Darkly: Regardless of an animation gimmick and a not great premise, the ending left me numb inside.

    Nope, that's about it.

  • Dannyzacc

    I don't know why "The Deer Hunter" was not mentioned...

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stefan-Tonio/747288922 Stefan Tonio

    The execution scene at end of "Dancer In The Dark" anyone...??

  • EJ

    An American Crime.
    I knew how it would end as I'd previously read about the horrific true store but I couldn't finish the movie. It was too disturbing and I could not stop crying.

  • Alex

    The final scenes of "Dancer in the Dark" and "Morvern Callar."

  • matt

    Godzilla 1985 and KRULL. godzilla dies at the end and the cyclops gets crushed in krull.

  • Royce

    The ending of United 93

  • Brigite

    I should first mention that I cry at A LOT of movies, both from happiness and sadness, so I could make a looooong list. However, the ones that immediately come to mind are....

    My Girl - Thomas J's wake
    Schindler's list - practically the whole thing makes me cry, but the end kills me every time
    Driving Miss Daisy - when Hoke is feeding Miss Daisy at the end of the movie
    Empire of the Sun
    Hotel Rwanda
    Brokeback Mountain
    Stepmom - when Susan Sarandon give the kids their last xmas gifts (the cape and blanket with the pictures sewn in)

    I also always cry at the end of Rudy, but that is out of uncontained joy1

  • Anette m

    Agree with a lot of the above but would like to add

    My Life with Micheal Keaton
    Beaches
    August Rush
    It's a wonderful life
    Nights in rodanthe

  • Alynna

    OMG!!!! I toally agree with the movies listed above:

    -Definatly armageddon at the final scene

    -Deap impact ***SPOILER*** when the news ancor gives up her seat on the helicopter to stay behind with her father

    -Seven pounds the ending,ect. ect. ect.

    But I think that there are a few movies that were not mentioned that I think should have been like...

    -A day in the life of David Gale, the ending part

    -Pearl Habor,**SPOILER**when the people are trapped in the ship

    -I am Sam,**SPOILER**When the kid gets taken away

    -Everybodys fine,**SPOILER** The heakattack scene

    -My sisters keeper, the ending

    -Space Cowboys, The ending

    -Perfect storm, the ending

    -And anything that has to do with war

  • Alana

    Reign over Me!

  • Travis

    Schindler's List when all the little kids are on the truck/he starts the list
    The Passion is just overwhelming
    The end of Milk
    Toy Story 3
    Harry Potter 6-7 Pt. 2
    Up

  • http://twitter.com/DnTRY delolet

    i always remember:
    PEARL HARBOR...
    the saddest movie ever,especially when danny almost die,and rafe told him the he gonna be a father.... so sad.. :'''(

  • Mike

    The final scene of Shindler's list gets me. It's the way Liam Neeson breaks down when The survivors give him the ring they made.

  • Jeff

    All of cinema paradiso I was holding back tears but that last scene where Salvatore was watching the reel Alfredo gave him got me. I can't even think of that movie without crying.