Greatest Tearjerkers
Scenes and Movie Moments
of All-Time

Part 27

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

Star Trek Generations (1994)

Captain Jean-Luc Picard's (Patrick Stewart) choked-up sobbing as he told ship's counselor Commander Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) about the death of his brother Robert and nephew Renee in a fire: ("I've been thinking about all the experiences Renee is never going to have -- attending Academy, reading books, listening to music, falling in love ..."); and the finale in which android Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) cried yellow tears when he discovered his cat Spot alive and well after the U.S.S. Enterprise had crashed: (Data: "I am happy to see Spot, and yet I am crying! Perhaps the chip is malfunctioning?" - Deanna: "I think it's working perfectly").

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

The death scene of Captain Spock (Leonard Nimoy), who had just sacrificed his life (after being exposed to radiation) to save the doomed U.S.S. Enterprise from a deadly explosion; before Spock went to his death, he transferred his katra -- his memories and experience -- to Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley) with the word "Remember"; he reassured Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) as he died: "Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh (the needs of the few). Or the one. I never took the Kobayashi Maru test, until now. What do you think of my solution? (Spock knelt down) I have been, and always shall be, your friend. (Spock placed his hand on the chamber glass) Live long, and prosper"; Kirk placed his hand opposite Spock's hand as his friend slowly collapsed, slumped down and expired next to him; Kirk quietly said: "No" as Spock died; at Spock's funeral, Kirk delivered a heartfelt eulogy for his friend ("Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human") before Spock was ejected into orbit around a newly-birthed planet from the Genesis Effect explosion; also the subsequent reconciliation scene of Kirk with his son Dr. David Marcus (Merritt Butrick), capped by a hug: ("I was wrong about you and I'm sorry...And also that I'm proud. Very proud to be your son"); and Kirk's re-discovery of peace and purpose for his life ("'It's a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done before.' A far better resting place I go to than I have ever known...Something Spock was trying to tell me on my birthday") and his response to his friend Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy's (DeForest Kelley) question: "You okay, Jim? How do you feel?" with his reply: "Young. I feel young!" -- the film ended with Nimoy's concluding, tearjerking voice-over rendition of the famous television Star Trek opening monologue ("Space, the final frontier. These are the continuing voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her ongoing mission to explore strange, new worlds, to seek out new life-forms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.")

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

The startling, upsetting death of Genesis planet hostage Dr. David Marcus (Merritt Butrick) - stabbed in the throat by a Klingon on orders from treacherous Klingon Captain Kruge (Christopher Lloyd), and Admiral James T. Kirk's (William Shatner) stunned reaction to the news of the death of his son delivered by Lieut. Saavik (Robin Curtis) ("Admiral, David is dead") -- he stumbled backwards to the floor when trying to sit in his captain's chair on his own hijacked starship USS Enterprise, and croaked with anguish: "You Klingon bastard. You've killed my son. Oh! You Klingon bastard. You've killed my son! You Klingon bastard"

Starman (1984)

The eloquent speech by dying alien Starman (Oscar nominated Jeff Bridges) to scientist Mark Shermin (Charles Martin Smith) while trapped in federal custody in a restaurant: "We are... interested in your species...You are a strange species, not like any other -- and you would be surprised how many there are. Intelligent but savage. Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst"; and Starman's farewell to hostage-turned-lover Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen) in the middle of the Arizona crater where he was met by an alien search party: (Jenny: "I'm never going to see you again, am I?"), and the final lingering shot of Jenny's face as Starman's ship departed home to the sounds of Jack Nitzsche's swelling score.

Steel Magnolias (1989)


The upsetting scene in which Shelby Eatenton Latcherie (Julia Roberts) collapsed into a diabetic coma - discovered by her husband Jackson Latcherie (Dylan McDermott) as her 1 year-old son Jack, Jr. (C. Houser) screamed in horror; Shelby's mother M'Lynn Eatenton's (Sally Field) round-the-clock vigil (humming "Mockingbird" to her, reading beauty tips from a fashion magazine, etc.); and the scene of mourning M'Lynn's musings about death and the moment that Shelby died (when everyone else had left after the machine was turned off): "Shelby, as you know, wouldn't want us to get mired down and wallow in this. We should handle it the best way we know how and get on with it. That's what my mind says. I wish somebody would explain it to my heart...I find it amusin'. Men are supposed to be made out of steel or somethin'. I just sat there. I just held Shelby's hand. There was no noise, no tremble, just peace. Oh God. I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life" -- she also delivered an angry post-funeral speech at the injustice of her daughter's death: ("I'm fine! I can jog all the way to Texas and back, but my daughter can't! She never could! Oh God! I'm so mad, I don't know what to do! I wanna know why! I wanna know WHY Shelby's life is over! I wanna know how that baby will ever know how wonderful his mother was. Will he EVER know what she went through for him? Oh, God, I wanna know whyyyy! Whhhyyyyy?! Lord, I wish I could understand. No! No! No! It's not supposed to happen this way. I'm supposed to go first. I've always been ready to go first. I don't think I can take this. I don't think I can take this. I just wanna hit somebody til they feel as bad as I do! I JUST WANNA HIT SOMETHING! I WANNA HIT IT HARD!") - humorously undercut by Clairee's (Olympia Dukakis) cathartic offer of her sour-puss best friend Ouiser Boudreaux (Shirley MacLaine) as a punching-bag target for M'Lynn's anger ("Here, hit this! Go ahead, M'Lynn. Slap her!").

Stella Dallas (1937)


The touching, famous sequence of devoted mother Stella (Barbara Stanwyck) and her daughter Laurel (or "Lollie") (Anne Shirley) waiting at her unattended birthday party - removing plates as regrets were received until they were the only ones at the festivities; also the train berth scene in which Stella's caring teenaged daughter came down to "cuddle" with her mother who had overheard criticisms (about being "a common looking creature for a mother"); and the unforgettable final wedding scene with Stella's reactions as she was standing alone in the rain at the outer gate gazing lovingly and adoringly - with tears in her eyes (and biting a handkerchief in her mouth) - through the mansion's window at her daughter's high-society wedding - as the gathering crowd was told by a policeman to move along - and afterwards, her joyful stride down the street as the film faded to black.

Stuart Saves His Family (1995)

The heart-rending unsuccessful rehabilitation scene for the nasty, hard-drinking and abusive father (Harris Yulin) of effeminate Public Access Cable TV self-help host Stuart Smalley (Al Franken); and the touching final scene in which Stuart's bullying, under-achieving, pot-smoking older brother Donnie (Vincent D'Onofrio) unexpectedly showed up at the studio on Christmas Eve after having fled his dysfunctional life at home with their parents, as Stuart was talking to his best friend and Al-Anon sponsor Julia (Laura San Giacomo): (Julia: "We're gonna have a great Christmas" - Stuart: (seeing Donnie) "The best ever!")

Summer of '42 (1971)

The tearjerking romance and sexual awakening/coming-of-age by young 14 year-old teenager Hermie (Gary Grimes) with lonely, 22 year-old neighboring war bride Dorothy (Jennifer O'Neill) after she had learned by telegram that her husband had been killed in action; with tears in her eyes and slightly drunk, she put her head on Hermie's shoulder, slowly danced (barefooted) with him to the tune (the film's theme song) playing on a phonograph record, and tenderly kissed him a few times before beckoning him to her bedroom for comfort; after he left her that evening, that was the last time he saw her - she only left a note the next day to Hermie explaining that perhaps the meaning of the event would come to him in time; the film remembered, in flashback, their short summer romance on 1940s Nantucket Island.

Sunrise (1927)

The scenes of the loving reunion of the farmer/husband (George O'Brien) and his presumed-drowned wife (Janet Gaynor) after she had been found alive but unconscious - he rushed to his wife's bedside in the farmhouse where they were joyously reunited; he attentively sat by his wife's bedside, where she slept with their infant until the dawn's light appeared - she opened her eyes and smiled at him with an angelic face and long-flowing hair after releasing her tight bun. She opened her eyes and turned her head on the pillow toward her husband. Their lips slowly drew together for a kiss, dissolving into the bright rays of an art-deco sun filling the screen. The word "Finis" floated upward to take the place of the sun as the music dramatically swelled.

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

Previous Page Next Page