Posted by: arjaylee | July 13, 2009

What Movies Make You Cry?

Filmmakers have a goal. “Of course” you say. “They want to make money”

Well, yes that’s true. But the non commercial goal is to emotionally affect us. If a film is unable to elicit excitement, amusement, sadness, anger, joy, or fear, it doesn’t seem worth the time or expense to see it. Many of these emotions can produce visible or audible reactions; laughter, screams, gasps, or tears. I love laughing out loud at a rollicking comedy. I remember seeing “Aliens” in the theater with a group of friends. The last 30-40 minutes was so intense, that I think I got an aerobic workout from the rate of my heart.

Some movies are tear jerkers. That is, they elicit such emotion as to bring tears to ones eyes. Sometimes they are tears of sadness, sometimes tears of joy. When I was in high school there was a field trip to see Zefferelli’s “Romeo and Juliet”. This was not a highlight for us macho guys. The girls on the other hand cried their eyes out. We mocked them severely. Guys didn’t cry. (at least not in public).

Well, I’m here to publicly confess that, the older I get, the more movies are able to make me cry. Okay, there. I said it. Sometimes I cry at movies. I don’t think I’m the only one. Yeah guys, I know you’re out there too. My wife sometime mocks me. She looks over at me to see it I’m tearing up at a particularly emotional scene.

What can I say? I’m an emotional guy. I remember the first movie that did me in. “Old Yeller”. I was four years old, and my parents took me to the movie theater to see it. Needless to say, I made a spectacle of myself when Old Yeller was going to have to be put down because of rabies. “Don’t shoot him! Don’t shoot him!” I screamed, in the crowded theater. My parents were a little bit embarrassed, but my mom probably cried too. That’s the last time I remember crying at a movie until I was well into my thirties. It might have been sooner than that but I’m not sure.

Sometimes I’ll merely get a lump in my throat. Other times, tears will start to form. On occasion, (Usually when I’m alone) I’ll bawl like a baby.

Sometimes a film will trigger an emotion in me that’s related to my past. “Field of Dreams” usually gets to me when Ray Kinsella asks his dad if he wants to play catch. I think that has affected me more since my dad has been gone. Another scene that gets me is in “Braveheart”. It’s When young Murron hands young William Wallace a thistle at his father’s funeral.
A tear trickles down his cheek. That one always gets me. “The Color Purple” has the scene of Shug Avery marching from the juke joint into the church as the choir is singing “God’s Tryin’ to Tell You Something”. It is such a redemptive scene. I just love it.

There have been films that illustrate suffering to the point that I realize I’ve never begun to suffer. Two dealing with apartheid in South Africa, “The Power of One”, and “Cry Freedom”, ripped my heart to shreds. “Schindlers List” did the same. It’s a good thing I never saw them in a theater.

What movies make you cry? C’mon guys, fess up! You know some of them have gotten to ya.

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Responses

  1. Robert, I can’t believe that you wrote about this. I was just talking to Shelton or Betsy or someone about the crying at movie phenomenom (sp?) Why do we cry. Why do women cry more than men? Is it a hormonal thing? I can cry, same movie, same place. I cry at Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. This is after I’ve laughed my guts out. I want to know if it’s a physiological thing..I’m serious. Great minds think alike.


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