Top Five… Tearjerker Moments


Wake up… time to cry. There is nothing better than a movie which spurs you into a good eye-soaking. Here are five scenes (and there are many, many more) that have left me sobbing like a big baby.

5. Dumbo

Had E.T. stabbed himself in the face as he was saying goodbye to Elliott it still couldn’t match this on the lump-in-the-throat-meter. As soon as those two big water droplets seep down the face of the little elephant with the big ears, I am gone. The cute little tiger yawning is just an added blubbering bonus.

4. The Natural

Here we have some tears of joy, as Robert Redford’s everyman hero Roy Hobbs hits the home run to end all home runs. Once the sparks fly and that music kicks in, there is plenty here to make a grown man cry. Pick me out a winner Bobby, indeed.

3. Watership Down

Had this film been about a bunch of rats or a gang of ferrets, would it have made a generation of children burst into tears? No. Bunnies are cute and cute bunnies in peril is sad.

2. Philadelphia

Sentimental? Yes. Manipulative? Almost certainly. Heartbreaking? Without a doubt. The ending to Philadelphia uses the voice of Neil Young and some home video to leave you bawling through the credits. Come on, who wouldn’t be sad if Tom Hanks died? Watch it and weep.

1. Little Women

I’ve never read Little Women. I’m not particularly little. And I’m not a woman. Yet I cannot make it through this scene without waterfalls streaming out of my eye sockets, even without the rest of the movie, which some of these clips admittedly require. Go to about 4m40 and bring a hankie. A great big one.


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26 Responses to “Top Five… Tearjerker Moments”

  1. Dumbo, is there a bad moment in that film?

    Two others that might be worth 6th and 7th place.

    Cinema Paradiso, great ending when Salvatore’s lifetime mentor/hero Alfredo gives him a touching present that can only be opened after the funeral.

    Tears streamed and I was sitting next to a then girlfriend who sat stony-faced and unmoved. We broke up a few days later and that film confirmed we weren’t right for each other.

    Also Midnight Cowboy when Dustin Hoffman dies.

    Good to see A Wonderful Life not in the top 5. Overrated, Bill

  2. Justin Michaels Says:

    Don’t laugh, but when Andy Garcia gets his head whacked off by that crazy Japanese ganglord while Michael Douglas watches on helplessly in Black Rain, it gets me every time…

  3. Little – there’s noone I love more than my sisters – Women, is a howler for sure. But where is the Champ in this list??

    With a red faced, sobbing TJ (rick schroder) shaking his dead father (jon voight) who is laid out, clad in redemption and boxing gloves, screaming at “jackie” to wake him up…. man, I dare anyone to see that and feel nothing.

    PS although Ive never seen Cinema Paradiso, Im quite interested in the cry or goodbye test !

  4. TayloScott Says:

    Field of Dreams where father and son finally play a game of catch, gets me every time.

    Backdraft when Kurt Russels character is in the ambulance with Daniel Baldwin and Kurt says to Daniel….who’s your brother …. SOB!!!

    all in all you have a good list here.

  5. I refuse to discuss this online – don’t want me and sharon to be the katie price and peter andre of ross v ross

  6. Justin Michaels Says:

    nice to see a guy refuse to discuss something online by posting a comment on an internet blog…
    TayloScott: excellent shout on Field Of Dreams – despite being hampered by featuring the dullest sport ever invented, that scene never fails to get the waterworks going.
    and Backdraft would have been so much better with Daniel and not Billy Baldwin…

  7. The end of the Hired Hand, and the bit in Barry Lyndon where his son dies would be my top two movie crying moments

  8. Monsters Inc, when Sulley tells Boo he can’t stay with her, and she’s running around her room showing him all her toys ’cause she thinks he’s gonna stay with her forever…..jesus, I can’t type any more, I’ve something in my eye…

  9. Seriously, you cried at Monsters inc?

    Elephant Man when the nurse shows kindness to the man with the bag on his head.

    Kramer vs Kramer/Way We Were

    Bits that are meant to be sad but are funny – Kate Winslet drowning Di Caprio in Titanic, Gibson dying in Braveheart.

  10. HungLikeaHorse Says:

    The end of Rudy, ’nuff said.



  11. TayloScott Says:

    Justin….my bad…there are way too many Baldwins….lol….

    another one that gets me going…

    romancing the stone, when they burn up all that pot and im not there to enjoy it….crying like a little girl!!!

  12. Bruce Willis at the end of armegeddon!!!! PUSH THE BUTTON STAMPER!!!!! DADDY!!!!! BOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. The end of The Railway Children with Jenny Agutter running along the platform shouting “Daddy, my Daddy”. Actually that’s just started me off sniffing.

  14. Three that always get me:

    1) The Patriot, when the little girl finally talks to Mel Gibson. “Papa!”

    2) The Sixth Sense, when Cole finally tells his mom his secret. “Gramma says hi.”

    3) The end of In America when the kids are getting the dad to “say goodbye to Frankie.”

  15. El Diablo Says:

    What about when Spock died at the end of Khan… Sniff, sniff.

  16. Fox and the hound. Gets me every time

  17. Mine is definitely in the Lion King when Simba returns home to see his Kingdom ruined.

  18. Little women?? That had to be McD!

  19. uh, no Lorcan, sorry, for once McD is not guilty of being a wuss

  20. Oh God Baby Mine has always taken me down…

    Am I the only one who cries at the end of Braveheart when they reassemble at Bannockburn?
    And Armageddon. And Deep Impact.
    And for some reason, that bit in Billy Elliott when he gets accepted to Ballet School.

    I’m such a girl.

  21. Jordana Says:

    Im kinda made of stone when it comes to crying at the movies, there are a few exceptions and when I do cry, it pours! The Lion King when Mufasa dies and Simba says “Dad get up” and hes all biting his ear and nudging him. Oh Lord help me in that scene.
    I bawled at King Kong when they’ve basically killed him and he gives Naomi Watts that dumb animal ‘why are the bad men hurting me look’ and then he makes the sign for sunrise and falls.
    And lastly, dont laugh but I sobbed out loud in the cinema at eight below, the Disney movie with Paul Walker. If there is one thing I cant watch, its when the dog dies in the movie, (thank you Turner and Hooch, assholes).
    Eight below had quite a few of my four legged friends going to dog heaven, it was kinda an overload. I can barely take one dog death per movie! Im like Tony Soprano, dont have a lot of feelings for human deaths but cant look at an animal being hurt! Maybe thats why I dont eat them any more. Yay! Vegans rule!!

  22. Aw come on what about Life is Beautiful? We watched it in English class and if ya ever want to make a bunch of 16 year old guys cry, that’s how you do it.

  23. A few movie moments that make this hard-hearted Hannah weep every time:

    1) The end of “Harold and Maude” … because it’s so tragic and beautiful and hopeful all at once.
    2) That scene in “Turner and Hooch” where … ah, hell, I can’t even TYPE it without getting misty.
    3) When Sonora Webster gets back on her horse (so to speak) in “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken”
    4) Drew Baylor takes a road trip with his father’s ashes in “Elizabethtown” (it’s a crap movie, but I love it)
    5) “Old Yeller.” Need I say more?

    M. Carter at the Movies

  24. Justin Michaels Says:

    youre right about one thing, M Carter, Elizabethtown is a crap movie.

  25. The scene in ‘Schindler’s List’ where Oskar Schindler breaks down, is on the ground crying, lamenting all the lives he could have saved but didn’t. All while the Jews he did save try to tell him how much good he did, that there would be genereations because of what he did. If that scene doesn’t choke you up, you aren’t entirely human.

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