I saw on cable TV recently a short documentary about the Greatest American Film Tearjerkers throughout cinematic history.
At first, I thought the list will be full of those women pictures or what we call now as chick flicks but suprisingly there’s a lot of movies included that did not cross my mind to be considered to be touching dramas.
Then after making a list myself I realized that any movie may it be comedy, action or suspense can have scenes that are as emotionally stirring as any love story or family drama can be.
Let me give you a rundown on some of my favorite scenes and characters in movies that were released internationally.
I cried buckets seeing Noah patiently reminding Allie of their love story in The Notebook. Allie is suffering from an illness called Alzheimer’s disease. She could only remember him and their story for just five minutes. Noah kept on reading to her their love story every single day from an old notebook diary that Allie herself made in the early years of their relationship. Both of them died while holding hands in the same bed and the heart warming thing is she remembers him that fateful night.
Oscar Schindler’s “I didn’t do enough.” monologue in Schndler’s List while talking to his accountant Itzhak Stern. I felt his pain in his regret of not being able to save more Jews from incarceration and in death. The girl in the red dress innocently walking to her death as the Germans were following Hitler’s order.
William Wallace’s torture and beheading in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart had me crying silently. How he bravely endure the torture while seeing his dead wife Murron, as if her presence is removing the pain of the knife slashing his insides and still be able to shout “Freedom!” with his last breath.
The death scene in Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon wherein Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) gave his long overdue declaration of his love for fellow warrior Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) with his dying breath and small kisses: “I’ve already wasted my whole life. I want to tell you with my last breath that I have always loved you” and “I would rather be a ghost drifting by your side as a condemned soul than enter heaven without you. Because of your love, I will never be a lonely spirit”.
The distinctive and effective performance of hotel waiter Guido (Oscar-winning Roberto Benigni) gave his young son Giosue (Giorgio Cantarini) to protect and shield him from the terrible reality of a Nazi concentration camp where they were imprisoned. Who can forget the story/game he created and his unexpected death scene after he was caught by a soldier during an escape and tried to still play up to the last moment knowing his son is watching him from a hiding place walking to his execution and that scene in which his son was reunited with his mom Dora (Nicoletta Braschi) after they were rescued by the Americans thinking he’d won the “game”.
The final moments of the movie where the former general turned into a slave, the dying wounded Maximus (Russell Crowe) as he sees visions of his murdered family, and himself walking through his property, touching the weeds while Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) who is sitting by his side painfully encouraging him to let go and said “Go to them” and “You’re home”.
I cried when Karen (Emma Thompson) excused herself to go to the bedroom after she received a Joni Mitchell CD for Christmas from her husband Harry (Alan Rickman), expecting a different gift. She earlier saw an expensive necklace in his pocket and realized painfully that the other gift was for his mistress as she listened to Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” then she put on a happy face when she returned from her bedroom to rejoin her family in the living room.
These are just some of the movies that touched my heart and soul that made me weep. I have more on my list but I guess I have to write a part II.