The Top Ten Tearjerker Moments In Film


#10 – A happy marriage

Did you watch that clip? It’s the opening to Disney film Up! and had me sobbing in front of the whole office, like an absolute don. In a way. The reason this one gets us every single time is because it sums up a beautifully simple life, one which we all secretly crave for, completely devoid of the usual Disney magic and artistic license. We witness the span of a happy marriage, despite the heartbreak and mishap along the way, and watch as it ends with a gaping sense of loss. This is the happy ever after we never usually get to see and it’s just so terribly, terribly sad. Did I mention that I broke down in front of the whole office? Look, you’d have to be a robot not to.


#9 – He’s a cheating whore…

Natasha Hodgson is known for her steely resolve and impeccable movie taste amongst the Best For Film crew. On this basis, we were stunned to hear that her ultimate tearjerker is the moment when Emma Thompson discovers Alan Rickman is emotionally involved with another woman in Love Actually. Although we do have to admit it is pretty heartbreaking… Emma’s character is opening up her Christmas present, knowing all too well that she found an expensive golden necklace her husband had purchased. Imagine her dismay then when she discovers a Joni Mitchell CD; who got the necklace?! A slut, that’s who. It’s the combination of Emma sobbing, stemming the tears with the heels of her hands, all played out over the mournful wail of Both Sides Now that makes this a blub moment.


#8 – Wet forever

Caroline O’Donaghue’s saddest film moment is lifted straight from Big Fish, a film which blends fantasy and reality seamlessly into one big sobfest. The scene that got to her in particular was the one I’ve helpfully linked you to above, in which a terminally ill man shares a special moment with his wife, who sobs: “I don’t think I’ll ever dry out!” It makes sense if you watch it, trust me. However, Caroline’s moment has since been ruined by Hodgson’s sordid attempts to make the line sound dirty, sexy, nasty (playing on the word ‘dry’, I suppose). Oh woe.


#7 – It’s too beautiful

Lydia Shellien-Walker has opted for A Beautiful Mind as her emotional Achilles Heel. Her reasoning for this, when pressed, was that “HIS MIND IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND YET SO FUCKED!” Succinct and to the point. Thanks Lydia!


#6 – Teacher, teacher

John Underwood isn’t here to defend his manly prowess as a non-weeper, but that doesn’t mean he’s escaping the line of fire. Using the powers of deduction, I’ve decided that John’s the sort of guy who’d shed a tear or two for Robin Williams in The Dead Poets Society. The respect these students show for their mentor is inspirational and, pretty much, one of the most iconic movie moments ever. All together now: “O Captain, my Captain!”


#5 – You had me at hello

Magda Knight is a little bit of a mystery wrapped up in an enigma; when first pressed for her saddest film moment of all time, she opted for How To Train You Dragon, which apparently, and I quote, “gets her every time”. However, I decided to include her second option, lifted from Jerry Maguire, as it always feels charitable when I say something nice about Tom Cruise. He’s pretty amazing here, laying his heart on the line in front of a room filled with women. That takes some serious balls!


#4 – Like the drink, only spelled different

Welcome to the harrowing world of The Green Mile, which tells the story of the prison guards on Death Row. Tom Hanks, the chief warden, is thrown into a moral dilemma when Michael Clarke Duncan is incarcerated for child rape and murder, as the child-like and docile man harbours a special gift; the gift of faith healing. As Hanks himself says, “I just can’t see God putting a gift like that in the hands of a man who would kill a child.” This movie is littered with weepy moments throughout, yet it’s the last few scenes which will really form a lump in your throat.


#3 – Coming to terms with life

Beth Warin loves Stephen King, so it makes sense that she’s picked The Shawshank Redemption as her emotional Kryptonite. It is a terrific movie; nobody can ever deny that. Yet the most painful element is one which, I suppose, is more of a sub-plot. Meet Brooks; a man who spent the majority of his life in prison and, when he finally tastes freedom, can’t come to terms with the hurry of the outside world. “I’ve decided not to stay,” is, quite possibly, one of the most loaded and understated lines ever to be delivered. The reasons he chooses to end his life are so simple, too simple, and it really does break my heart every single time, as I just hear an old man with no reason to carry on anymore.


#2 – Growing up

Stephen King is, apparently, the master of making us cry. Stand By Me is the third of his film adaptations to feature on our Top Ten Tearjerkers list and makes it all the way into the runner-up position. “I never had any friends later on like´╗┐ the ones I had when I was twelve.” Ouch. It’s so horrible and yet so true. So, lost childhood, anyone? Lost innocence? And, on another note, this is as close as I could get to including Peter Pan which I decided against, as I didn’t want everybody to know that I spent my 18th birthday in tears because I knew I’d never get to Never Neverland. Sigh. Oh well, now you know!


#1 – The final goodbye

Everybody on the BFF team seems unanimous on the fact that The Fox And The Hound is the saddest movies ever made; Disney is clearly run by sadists. Who knew? Anyway, anybody who has ever owned or loved an animal will be able to relate to this scene; an elderly woman is forced to give up her beloved pet Todd, in order to save him from a hunter with a vendetta against all foxes. What a knob jockey! Ahem. The whole clip seems painfully reminiscient of taking an old furry friend to the vets to be put to sleep. The long drive, the show of love and, ultimately, the final goodbye. It’s Todd’s little face as he comes to terms with his abandonment that gets the tears rolling every single time…

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