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Old 19-12-2004, 13:47   #1
John Hodson
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Which classics reduce you to tears everytime you watch them?

I can't stand it. I'm reduced to tears by the oddest things these days.

Not just the things I'm supposed to cry at, but anything I consider achingly beautiful reduces me to speechless wonderment, my throat closes up, tears welling up. I do this at the drop of a hat.

There are any number of scenes in The Searchers at which I'm reduced to a gibbering girly heap, I can't watch the opening of The Shootist without blubbing, knowing that both hero and actor are doomed. Dammit, I cried at The Third Man, both at Harry Lime's dying moments, his fingers clutching at the night sky through the grating, and at Anna's long walk down the avenue of trees. We'd be here all day if I listed every film I've wept buckets to, and continue to, every single time I watch them.

But the clincher, the realisation that I'm now an emotional train wreck, came the other night when I watched the Claire de Lune scene from The Right Stuff; it was only a fan dance for God's sake, but the sheer beauty of it all...

Is it just me, have I finally reached that age, or does anyone else here find movies so affecting?
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Old 19-12-2004, 14:01   #2
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All the time. Wisdom has taught me to stay away from "The End of the Affair" and "The Bridges of Madison County", although I'm still tempted by the latter for Eastwood standing in the rain, one of the most beautiful shots in a gorgeously photographed film.

"Kane" always turns me into a tear-sodden heap towards the end. I defy anyone with a sentimental streak not to weep buckets at "The Ghost and Mrs Muir" and "Now Voyager", let alone some of the great Warners tearjerkers like "Mr Skeffington" and "Dark Victory". "Blow Out" and "Carrie" always get to me and the same goes for a lot of Cronenberg's work, especially "Dead Ringers".

Particular scenes which have this effect:

"I knew these people... these two people..." in "Paris Texas". Harry Dean Stanton talking to his wife through the one-way glass.

"I have killed for my country, and I don't feel good about it": Jon Voight's talk to the school intercut with Bruce Dern walking into the sea at the end of "Coming Home". The use of Tim Buckley's 'Once I Was' has a lot to do with the power of this scene.

The fall of John Wayne in "The Cowboys" - it was like losing my innocence when I first saw this in the cinema.

Daniel Day-Lewis sees Michelle Pfeiffer standing by the sea in "The Age Of Innocence" - a beautiful shot, repeated at the end to devastating effect

The latter-day knights walk down to the surf for one last glorious campaign in "Big Wednesday".

"Let's Go", "Why not!" - striding into myth in "The Wild Bunch". The earlier scene where William Holden walks away from the camera suddenly appearing a hundred years old always gets to me too.

Nixon's farewell to the staff, quoting Teddy Roosevelt in "Nixon"

The famous crane shot synchronised with Morricone in "Once Upon A Time In The West" - I don't know why this affects me but it always does.

The flashback at the end of "Cries and Whispers".

Brando talking to his dead wife in "Last Tango In Paris".
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Old 19-12-2004, 14:12   #3
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I always blub at the end of A Bridge Too Far... Olivier and the family walking away from the slaughter slowly... not that it's a particularly great film... it's the sense of sacrifice (and of an avoidable sacrifice).

And of course Spartacus... I can never get through the 'I'm Spartacus' bit without blubbing like a babe... and from then on it's a blubfest when Antoninus gets killed and Varinia showing Spartacus his son as he's dying and "He's free, Spartacus"'... one to watch on my own there, I think. Blubfest isn't strong enough of a word. I actually start blubbing whenever I hear the score, the emotions are so firmly entrenched in my psyche.

I cried during Wind and the Lion at the sheer glorious spectacle of it... the sheer bloody honour of it.

If it's any consolation, John, I'm not even a big Wayne fan and I can't watch The Shootist without my lachrymal glands being given a severe workout... it's the sheer poetic perfection of it, how apt it was, how resonant as a final film...

As Mike says above, I can't watch Dead Ringers without being massively despondent: as someone said to Cronenberg and I paraphrase; 'it's hugely depressing and you're not even sure why you're depressed.'

I'll shut up now. Gurlyman that I am.

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Old 19-12-2004, 14:17   #4
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Just the usual suspects for me:

The end of 'A Canterbury Tale'.
The end of 'I Know Where I'm Going!'.
The end of 'Amelie'.
The end of 'Breakfast At Tiffany's'.
The end of 'It's A Wonderful Life'.

And in the "close to tears" category:

Life Is Sweet
The African Queen
It Happened One Night
A Matter Of Life And Death

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Old 19-12-2004, 14:57   #5
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I know it doesn't meet the classic date requirements but I always cry at Roy's speech in Bladerunner - 'All those moments will be lost like tears in rain' - perhaps the most most beautiful and simple summation of death.

End of Edward Scissorhands.

End of Ice cold in Alex

End of Rocky

End of OHMSS

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Old 19-12-2004, 15:28   #6
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Spartacus

It's a Wonderful Life

A.I (not a classic I know)

E.T

Disney's Beauty & The Beast

Disney's The Lion King

LOTR The Return Of The King
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Old 19-12-2004, 15:31   #7
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I shed a single solitary tear when Zhivago touches the ice on the window pane and it melts beautifully away as the balalaika strains wistfully...

It's just such a beautiful shot beautifully realised... Note to self: look here
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Old 19-12-2004, 16:02   #8
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The crane shot in High Noon, the shambling helplessness of Karloff's creature in Frankenstein, the conversation between Junior Bonner and his father at the rail station, Nathan Brittles saying his farewells, Billy Liar (just get on the bloody train...), Joe Buck and Ratso on their way to the sun in Midnight Cowboy, the final shot of 'Scottie' Ferguson in Vertigo, the almost unbearable start of Don't Look Now, practically any scene with the book people in Fahrenheit 451 with Herrmann's haunting music, the charge of the Scots Greys in Waterloo...

(You chaps are making me feel much better; the worrying thing is, that simply reading some of your choices, I find myself going all misty eyed... )

Keep 'em coming.

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Old 19-12-2004, 17:29   #9
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The reunion of Sydney Schanberg and Dith Pran at the end of 'The Killing Fields'. The cut of John Lennon's 'Imagine' from the AM radio to the Soundtrack is just beautiful.

"Nothing to forgive Sydney. Nothing"

Oh and embarrassed though I am to admit it: The firework sequence in 'Toy Story'. The soaring music just nails it.

"This isn't flying, this is falling - with style."
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Old 19-12-2004, 19:04   #10
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It wasn't stated what emotion should be connected with the tears and this isn't a classic film but I was close to crying after sitting though the Phantom Menace at my local multiplex a few years back.

More seriously the old chin wobbles a bit whenever I watch Blimp and Gone to Earth. Also the emotional intensity of Vertigo tends to get me. And who could not be moved when Clint comforts the dying soldier to the background of Morricone's score in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly?
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Old 19-12-2004, 19:18   #11
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The Elephant Man gets me every time.

As does It's a Wonderful Life, E.T., Vertigo[/b] (pretty much as soon as the music kicks in)...

I feel the same despondency when watching Paths of Glory that others above have mentioned while watching Dead Ringers.
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Old 19-12-2004, 20:10   #12
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Totally forgot about end of Midnight Cowboy - that is heartbreaking.


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Old 19-12-2004, 20:16   #13
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In Platoon as Willem Dafoe runs to his death, he falls to the ground, raising his arms to the sky in desperation. All the while the powerful music of ''adagio for strings'' soars high and I cry like a lost little boy.

In The Third Man the entrance of the enigmatic Harry Lime makes me well up with pride. The zither, the light, the cat, the smile, the tears. It's so good I actually cry. Really. That's what great movies do.

The end of A Bridge on the River Kwai when Alec Guiness stumbles to protect his precious work. Saving nothing, his distraught face is wracked with horror and we know, at last, he has been broken.

I'll think of some more later.

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Old 19-12-2004, 20:41   #14
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Elephant Man always gets me, so much that I've stopped watching it.

Plus, Ingmar Bergman's The Silence caught me out the other day too.
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Old 19-12-2004, 23:29   #15
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Scrooge when 'Fan', on her death bed, calls out to Ebeneezer to look after her son, when Bob Crachet returns from visiting where Tiny Tim will be laid to rest and when Ebeneezer begs forgiveness from his nephew's wife. I just watched this today.

I've been known to well up whilst watching It's a Wonderful Life, Ben Hur, Spartacus, E.T.

...but nothing beats Hindi classics for pure tear inducing melodrama with the likes of Mother India and Sholay, in fact practically every hindi film from the 70's and 80's I recall would have at least one one tear-jerking scene in it.

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Old 20-12-2004, 07:51   #16
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A Matter of Life & Death gets me every time. The moment of the Death Star's destruction, and the medal ceremony in the first Star Wars, tend to get my eyes drizzling too. The end of The Searchers, where Wayne returns Wood to her family, is a deeply emotional moment. And strangely, I weep at the final credits of A Clockwork Orange - perhaps because, in some fashion or other, I associate the film with Kubrick's premature death.
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Old 20-12-2004, 15:31   #17
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a fair chunk of 'A tree grows in brooklyn' has me holding back the floodgates (on dvd March 2005).

several scenes from 'its a wonderful life' - particularily at the grave scene 'harry won the medal of honour..' 'No harry died aged six.as you was not there to save Harry' (heck its swelling up as type)

some scenes from 'kings row' - this may be out on dvd next year (a post on dvdtalk said its being worked on by warners as we speak). Particularily the scene where Drake replies 'Give it to me' when Paris says 'I don't think you can take it'.

End of Spartacus

Kramer vrs Kramer - several scenes as they are so well acted eg when they are making the omelette (no dialogue)

Marty - 'Mary Finn. How about tomorrow night instead?'.....heartbreaking

Gallipoli - the advance 'remember who you are.' and of course the final shot of the film. Superb

and many more!
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Old 20-12-2004, 16:56   #18
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Well, It's a Wonderful Life, obviously
& also Random Harvest, The Bishop's Wife, & Dr Zhivago (classic weepies all, really).
Watched Coppola's The Outsiders not so long ago & had a right blubfest at it, which really caught me offguard, cos I'd seen it years before & it hadn't had that effect on me. Either a symptom of aging or I must have been feeling a bit sensitive at the time
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Old 20-12-2004, 16:56   #19
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Random Harvest (released 11/01/05).
Almost too much to bear. Herbert Stothart's magical score and the ever watchable Ronald Coleman


Searchers
When Ethan finallly catches up with Debbie and picks her up to carry her home

It's a Wonderful Life
Certainly the climax but as much when Mr Gower finds out that he'd mixed up the prescriptions and hugs the Young George.

2001 '
Shutting down Hal - very emotional scene

City Lights
Chaplin at his emotive finest. The climax is almost too intense. Again beautful score by Chaplin himself.

Soylent Green
Sol 'Going Home'

Silent Running
Climax again


Slightly too modern but....
The Climax to Peter Wier's 'Fearless' destroys me every time. Must have seen it 10 times now too.
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Old 21-12-2004, 11:36   #20
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Most of the above films.

One that gets me everytime is the Robert Donat film 'Goodbye Mr Chips', the remake also has the same effect.
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A Bridge Too Far, A Canterbury Tale, Breakfast at Tiffany's, I Know Where I'm Going, I'm Spartacus, It's a Wonderful Life, Kane, Now Voyager, Once Upon a Time in the West, Paris Texas, The Age Of Innocence, The Cowboys, The End of the Affair, The Ghost and Mrs Muir, The Searchers

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