5 GREAT TEARJERKING SCENES
Warning: contains spoilers
PUBLISHED 22 JULY 2016
STAND BY ME
Rob Reiner / 1986
“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?”
Four friends go out in search of a dead body and in the process discover more about themselves and the harsh reality of life. STAND BY ME is a classic coming-of-age film about the loss of innocence. No moment is more melancholic than the final scene of the film where Gordie (Wil Wheaton) utters the above line. It is such a profound statement and makes us all nostalgic for our childhood.
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
Frank Darabont / 1994
“They send you here for life, and that's exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyway.”
This film follows incarcerated banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), his experiences in Shawshank Prison and his relationships with other inmates, including the ageing Brooks (James Whitmore). When Brooks is released on parole after 45 years, he struggles to adapt to the outside world, a struggle that culminates in the most heart-breaking sequence of the film. The power of the scene is that we are reminded to see these characters as more than convicts but instead as people that we care about and empathise with.
Sam Mendes / 1999
“You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday.”
When Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) starts to fantasise about his daughter’s 16-year-old friend, he sets off a chain of events that will affect everyone around him and that results in his untimely death. In his final monologue, Lester explains how it feels to die and what he misses most. Sombre, melancholic and beautiful, it is a tragic end to a fantastic film.
GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES
Isao Takahata / 1988
“Why must fireflies die so young?”
When Seita (Tsutomu Tatsumi) and Setsuko (Ayano Shiraishi) lose their mother in a bombing, they struggle to survive as war tears their country apart. Setsuko’s gradual loss of health is shocking but her eventual death results in an extraordinary scene where we see apparitions of her playing. It is the tragic loss of life of someone that is still innocent to the horror around her. While a difficult film to watch, GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES is a powerful anti-war film and is by far one of the most human ones.
Pete Doctor / 2009
“Thanks for the adventure. Now go have a new one.”
After the death of his wife, Carl (Ed Asner) becomes determined to fulfil their dream of travelling to South America. The presentation of Carl and Ellie’s relationship in the opening five minutes is profoundly moving, accompanied by Michael Giachinno’s fitting score. There is no denying that this scene is an emotional milestone in contemporary film.