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16 July 2010


J P Richardson

Never. Except ...

The last scene in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"
Bits of "Field of Dreams"
The lift-off sequence in "Apollo 13"
"It's a Wonderful Life", passim.

Maybe a couple of others.


I also cry at films! Looking forward to Toy Story 3 (Kevin Smith nicknamed it Schindler's List and said he hadn't cried that much since his dad died).

Actual weepies, in the disease-of-the-week sense, never make one cry (Philadelphia, for example, was an important movie and ends with a Neil Young song possibly even better than Bruce's 'Streets of Philadelphia', but its too chocolate-box and sanitised to elicit emotion). Spielberg is surely the master - Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, A.I., and, of course, E.T. David Baddiel wrote a brilliant piece once about how, as an adolescent, he claimed that his favourite movie was Greenaway's The Draftsman's Contract , and went to ET expecting to rubbish it. He left, of course, in tears.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has an ending that (at the risk of having Wilde's point about Little Nell paraphrased!) I can't watch without crying :

The genius of Magnolia's Wise Up scene deserves mention :

not least as it was probably the best film of the 90s. Great ending too.

Also like Raging Bull - best film of the 80s - and I hope you appreciate the great use of Scripture here :) :


soz, nicknamed it 'Schindler's Toybox' , I mean.


Bawled buckets at The Green Mile, Philidelphia and Marley and Me.

Might give Toy Story a look- sounds worth it.


When the dog has to die in "I am Legend"


No tears at Inception, but wasn't it genius GV?


women and animals, eh? :)


I really liked it. An action movie that you need to think about. A lot of folk watching it were very confused.


Yes, it was a bit cerebral. But that was a strength -when I saw the teaser footage (involving the corrider fights) I thought the movie might fall into the trap of trying to top Matrix type bullet-time tricks, but its (dream) reality was far more ingenious. Bold of Nolan to show the most seemingly powerful tricks early on (when Ariadne first enters the dream world)before focusing on DiCaprio's character, whilst still leaving the brilliant dream-within-the-dream-within-the-dream construct up h is sleeve for the finale. The use of 'limbo' for the last dream stage suggests religious parallels but, unlike the bloated Matrix sequels, Nolan doesn't beat you over the head with subtext in a bid to be 'more' than an action movie! Great soundtrack too. You might want to check out Shutter Island when it comes out on DVD - Leo DiCaprio's *other* dreams v reality dead wife (or is she?) thriller of this year! :)


Here's the article where David Baddiel talks about films that make you cry :

September 19, 2009
David Baddiel: Patrick Swayze’s death reminded me of the world’s second-best ‘crying film’
If you’re not moved by Ghost, you should book a heart transplant
It’s not often — in fact, it’s never — that I’ve been genuinely moved by a tweet, but it happened this week. Even more surprisingly, the tweet came from the computer/BlackBerry/hand-held- communicator-with-added-age-reduction-capability device of Demi Moore. It said, in response to Patrick Swayze’s death: “In the words of Sam to Molly, ‘It’s amazing Molly. The love inside, you take it with you . . .’ ” I read it going up an escalator in Oxford Circus, and real, salt tears stained my London Lite.

It is, of course, a quote from Ghost and will, of course, seem entirely hokey to those of you who were not moved by Ghost. But to be honest, if you were not moved by Ghost, I think you should stop reading immediately and book a heart transplant, assuming that there is a surgeon out there strong enough to lift from its casing your one of stone.

Ghost is the second-best crying film of all time (I won’t use the demeaning term weepie). The best is ... well: when I was a student, I only ever went to see art films. I honestly thought, when I was 19, that my favourite film was Peter Greenaway’s The Draughtsman’s Contract. And then, for a laugh, for a piss-take, I went to see E.T. When the lights came up, I thought there wasn’t enough tissue paper in the world to dry my face. Steven Spielberg had burst a dam in my soul.

But Ghost: I cried so much at the end of Ghost — watching it on my own, late at night, on videotape — I wanted to laugh. It came out, you may remember, at the same time as the similar in plot but much less glossy Truly, Madly, Deeply, which led, at least in this country, to some belittling comparisons (Ian Hislop notably described TMD as “Ghost for people who can do crosswords”). But if you look through the gloss, and the slightly embarrassing clay-wheel scene, and Patrick Swayze’s blow-wave, Ghost is, believe me, a magnificent, romantic, sweeping meditation on love and death that makes Truly, Madly, Deeply, sweet though it is, look just a bit Radio 4.

Canned laughter is not canned!
Big Hollywood film it may be, but the tears in Ghost are not provoked crassly, by button-pressing emotional manipulation; they are provoked by very clever, highly original and deeply felt emotional manipulation. To take one example: you might think that in a film that is meant to move you, about two lovers, one of whom dies, the thing to do would be to make the couple, while both alive, very firmly in love (as is the case in Truly, Madly, Deeply). But it’s a Route One idea; it’s the obvious choice. In Ghost, instead, there’s a crack in Sam and Molly’s love, exemplified by Sam’s inability, while alive, to say “I love you”. Famously, when Molly says that to him, he says “Ditto”, which she reads, correctly, as not enough. What the film then does is explore the idea of a man falling properly in love with his wife only after he’s died: a much more unusual, moving and dramatically correct idea, for a film about life after death.

But that idea doesn’t just work structurally: it also works within the plot, as the turning point when Whoopi Goldberg’s psychic Odo Mae (again, a brilliantly counter-intuitive idea, to make that character a charlatan up to the point of contact with Sam’s ghost) has to convince Molly that Sam is standing next to her. It’s very well known but, just one more time: Molly is walking away, and Sam, desperate, tells Odo Mae to say “I love you”, and Odo Mae repeats it, and Molly turns, crying, and says — after a superbly poised beat — “Sam would never say that”, and Sam says “Ditto: tell her ditto”, which Odo Mae does and then Molly has to listen to her. It’s entirely beautiful, and also immensely fitting artistically, because it transforms a failure to say “I love you” into a statement of love. It’s scriptwriting of the highest order.

It’s also chock-full of great sidebars — the conceit that a ghost has to learn, mentally, to control the movement of objects, that ghosts, like buskers, have their patches that they’re defensive about, that possession might not be a creepy thing but rather a way of feeling a lover’s touch one last time — and it’s also, in bursts, funny (certainly Whoopi Goldberg has never been funnier). It’s a masterpiece. I mean it. I’m not being ironic.

It’s a film that — if you’re a fan of, and I think you may have worked out that I am — stamps the actors as forever those characters. Often, actors don’t like that; actors don’t want to feel that people are still thinking of them as someone they played in a movie 20 years ago. Which is why I think I find Demi Moore’s tweet so moving: in her putting on again, just one last time, to say goodbye to Patrick Swayze, Molly’s costume. I love her for that, even if my tweets telling her so haven’t even got back a “ditto”.


Read something recently where the great James Earl Jones said he prefers it when someone mentions his turn in 'Field of Dreams' instead of getting him to sign Darth Vader merchandise! One of Costner's best movies (the part where he gets to play ball with his dad cracks me up, and the ending is both very moving and somewhat understated)

Believe James Earl Jones has also done an audio Bible!! Not sure if Lucasfilm let him use the Vader breathing tho ;)


In terms of explicitly *manly* tearjerkers, there is surely nothing quite like the ending of Gladiator :

To this day, I'm incapable of hearing my fellow Christians talk of the afterlife without thinking of the lines : "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. Commander of the Armies of the North. General of the Felix Legions. Loyal servant to the true Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife – and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."



Schindlers List

Steel Magnolias

Oh - Pixar's "UP" - I don't think I could even watch it again as the portray of friendship, love, marriage, disapapointment, ageing, death and subsequent loneliness has got me sniffing even now....


Not a popular movie, but the ending of Vanilla Sky moves me still.


Possibly the greatest non-Magnolia Tom Cruise performance (although his rock-climbing and somersaulting in MI:II was fab too!)

You'd like the soundtrack to Vanilla Sky ,David, and, perhaps uniquely, they could have released an equally impressive second cd of songs in the movie (Spiritualized, Sigur Ros' 'Nothing Song' etc) but not the first soundtrack


oh yeah, that is a great line, had forgotten that one.


Saw Toy Story 3 today, and it very much warrants a place in the Tearjerker pantheon. I opted for the 3-D showing; the funny glasses covered my tears and helped maintain one's butch image :).

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