Greatest Tearjerkers
Scenes and Movie Moments
of All-Time

Part 18

The Greatest Tearjerkers of All-Time
Movie Title/Year and Brief Tearjerker Scene Description

Modern Times (1936)

The final unforgettable image of the Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) arm in arm with the homeless Gamin (Paulette Goddard) silhouetted together and walking into the sunrise to face a new day, at the film's conclusion.

Monsoon Wedding (2001, India/UK)


Ria Verma's (Shefali Shetty) angry and malignant revelation that family friend Tej Puri (Rajat Kapoor) sexually molested her as a girl after realizing that he was repeating those offenses with 10 year-old cousin Aliya Verma (Kemaya Kidwai); and Ria's uncle and adoptive father (and father of the bride in the wedding) Lalit Verma's (Naseeruddin Shah) tearful realization in bed with his wife Pimmi (Lillete Dubey) that Ria was not lying - and that he must break with tradition by confronting Tej and telling him and his wife to never return again.

Moulin Rouge (2001)


The ending in which Moulin Rouge's star and beautiful courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman) died of tuberculosis in the arms of penniless writer/lover Christian (Ewan McGregor).

My Dog Skip (2000)

The touching relationship in 1940's Mississippi between frail, young boy Willie (Frankie Muniz) and his faithful Jack Russell terrier Skip (played by Frasier TV sitcom dog Moose); the scene in which Willie slapped Skip for running onto the baseball field to comfort him; and the scene in which Willie's older best friend and ex-star high school athlete Dink (Luke Wilson) returned home after fighting in WWII - now a broken man who never left his home: ("It isn't the dying that's scary. It's the killing"); also the scene in which Willie saw a deer die before his eyes; and Skip's sad death from old age.

My Favorite Year (1982)

The sad scene in which drunken, swashbuckling movie star Alan Swann (Peter O'Toole), hidden in his limo, watches his estranged daughter Tess (Cady McClain) ride a bicycle in Connecticut - after Swann has driven away, his daughter looks on, knowing he'd been watching; and the sentimental ending after Swann had saved the day on live TV - his last great moment - as young comic writer Benjy Stone (Mark-Linn Baker) narrated about it: ("The way you see him here, like this...this is the way I like to remember him. I think if you had asked Alan Swann what was the single most gratifying moment in his life, he might have said this one, right here. The next day, I drove up to Connecticut with him and Alfi (Tony DiBenedetto). THIS time, he knocked on the door, and when he and Tess saw each other, it was like they'd never been apart. Like Alfi says: 'With Swann, you forgive a lot, you know?' I know.")

My Girl (1991)


The touching, poignant first kiss between pre-teens: precocious 11 year old hypochondriac Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky) and allergy-ridden, geeky Thomas J. Sennett (Macauley Culkin) discussed the facts of life, before coming around to their first kiss; Vada assertively asked: "Have you ever kissed anyone?" with his response: "Like they do on TV?" and then she suggested: "Maybe we should, just to see what's the big deal"; when he said: "But I don't know how," she proposed that they practice kissing their arms, and then close their eyes for the real thing, on the count of three -- afterwards, she demanded that he say something because it was "too quiet", and being agitated, he began to recite a mangled version of the Pledge of Allegance ("On political agents to the flag of the United States of America...") (Note: the scene won MTV's "Best Kiss" movie award); and Thomas' funeral scene after he died from a bee sting with Vada first coming down the stairs to listen to the minister from afar, and then her tearful, mournful breakdown at Thomas' open coffin: "Wanna go tree climbing, Thomas J.? His face hurts. And where is his glasses? He can't see without his glasses. Put his glasses on! Put on his glasses! He was gonna be an acrobat...!"; when she was restrained, she went running out of the ceremony; and also the final scene of Vada reading a poem to her summer writing class about a weeping willow tree - their favorite spot: "Weeping willow with your tears running down. Why do you always weep and frown? Is it because he left you one day? Is it because he could not stay? On your branches he would swing. Do you long for the happiness that day would bring? He found shelter in your shade. You thought his laughter would never fade. Weeping willow, stop your tears. There is something to calm your fears. You think death has ripped you forever apart. But I know he'll always be in your heart"; the film then ended with the playing of the Temptations' "My Girl" on the soundtrack

Mystic River (2003)

The scene of grieving ex-con and corner grocery-store owner Jimmy Markum (Oscar-winning Best Actor Sean Penn) learning of the discovery of a body in the local park - belonging to his 19 year-old daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) and screaming out to Massachusetts State homicide detective Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon) as he was restrained: "Sean, is that my daughter in there?!"; also the powerfully-acted scene of Jimmy on the back porch with Dave struggling to grieve and let go with his tears over the hurtful, wrenching loss of Katie (Jimmy: "There's one thing you could say about Katie even when she was little. That girl was neat... And it's really starting to piss me off, Dave, because I can't cry for her. My own little daughter, and I can't even cry for her." Dave: "Jimmy. You're crying now." Jimmy: "Yeah, damn. I just want to hug her one more time. She was 19 f--king years old"); also the scene of an emotionally-scarred Dave with his untrusting, fragile, and panicky wife Celeste (Marcia Gay Harden) recalling his 4-day abuse and feeling like an undead vampire ("Maybe one day you wake up and you forget what it's like to be human...Dave's dead. I don't know who came out of that cellar, but it sure as shit wasn't Dave...It's like vampires. Once it's in you, it stays..."), and the scene of suspected teen Brendan Harris (Thomas Guiry), Katie's boyfriend, who spoke poignantly about his lost love after her death: "I'm never gonna feel that again. It doesn't happen twice"

Nashville (1975)

The concluding tragic and shocking sequence at a country music festival/political rally at Nashville's Parthenon in which popular country singer Barbara Jean (Ronee Blakley) had just finished performing "My Idaho Home" and then was assassinated - and quickly replaced with unknown performer Albuquerque (Barbara Harris) who calmed the crowd with "It Don't Worry Me".

The Natural (1984)

The final (tacked-on) concluding scene of a redeemed ballplayer Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) finally reconciled and together with ex-girlfriend Iris Gaines (Glenn Close) and their 16 year old son as they played catch on the farm in the golden warmth of the sun.

The New World (2005)

The late scene in which the Native American ("natural") princess Pocahontas (Q'orianka Kilcher) was reunited in an England garden with her first love after a few years: regretful Jamestown explorer Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell), asking: "Did you find your Indies, John? You shall" and his response: "I may have sailed past them" - and then the following scene in which she fully expressed her devoted love with a kiss to loyal farmer-husband John Rolfe (Christian Bale) ("My husband"), with a score enhanced by Mozart's concerto and a recurring prelude from Wagner's Das Rheingold.

Nixon (1995)

The scene in which a resigning and sobbing President Nixon (Anthony Hopkins) prayed with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Paul Sorvino) and his poignant conversation to a portrait of Kennedy: ("When they look at you, they see what they want to be. When they look at me, they see what they ARE..."), before delivering his TV resignation speech ("My mother was a saint...").

Greatest Film Tearjerkers, Moments and Scenes
(alphabetical by film title)
Intro | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10
Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20
Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30

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