Greatest Tearjerkers
Scenes and Movie Moments
of All-Time

Part 5

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

The Champ (1931)
The Champ (1979)

#38 (1931)
#8 (1979)

The emotional locker room death scene of mortally wounded boxer Billy Flynn (Jon Voight) with his young son T.J. (Ricky Schroder) at his side - a remake of the original classic 1931 film starring Wallace Beery as boxer Andy "Champ" Purcell and Jackie Cooper as young son Dink.

Charlotte's Web (1973)

The moving death of spider Charlotte (voice of Debbie Reynolds) on a wooden beam while singing the last lines of "Mother Earth and Father Time," after sacrificing herself for ill-fated friend Wilbur the pig (voice of Henry Gibson) and producing her magnum opus (an egg sac) -- and Wilbur's despairing cry of "CHARLOTTE!" when he realized she was gone forever.

Charly (1968)


The sorrowful scene in which former 59-IQ Charly Gordon (Cliff Robertson) found out that his newfound super-intelligence was only temporary and then told former teacher and lover Alice Kinnian (Claire Bloom) to leave him (after she had proposed marriage to him); and the tearjerking freeze-frame shot of Charly, once again mentally retarded but smiling and care-free, playing with other children on a see-saw.

Chinatown (1974)

The tragic ending scene in LA's Chinatown, when Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) fled in a convertible and was shot in the back of the head - with the sense of loss and dread as the car slowed to a stop in the far distance with its horn blaring as her blonde daughter Katherine (Belinda Palmer) screamed, and the revelation of Evelyn - shot through the head from behind as her face was horribly blown apart through her flawed eye; and the haunting closing line to a stunned and saddened private investigator Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson): "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown".

A Christmas Carol (1951) (aka Scrooge, UK)

The sad moment that Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim) learned the fate of Bob Cratchit's (Mervyn Johns) son "Tiny" Tim (Glyn Dearman) when he visited the future with The Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come (C. Konarski), beautifully signified by the shot of an empty stool with a small crutch leaning against the wall next to it; and Scrooge's visitation of his own grave, and his pleading to the ghost: ("Why show me this, if I am past all hope"); and the joyous redemptive ending in which a reformed Scrooge visited the Cratchit family on Christmas morning, and Tiny Tim's famous last line: "God bless us, every one!"

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

The scene of the cruel sacrifice of the majestic, Messianic lion Aslan (voice of Liam Neeson) at the Great Stone Table. Aslan proceeded alone to the altar, through a gauntlet of the White Witch's (Tilda Swinton) hideous and evil followers. After the "great lion" was humiliated and laughed at - without fighting back, he was bound up and his glorious mane was shaved. Aslan was then dragged to the altar where the White Witch told him: "Did you honestly think by all this that you could save the human traitor? You are giving me your life and saving no one. So much for love." She stood and announced to the cheering, frenzied crowd: "Tonight, the Deep Magic will be appeased. But tomorrow, we will take Narnia forever! In that knowledge, despair and die!" She then plunged her dagger into Aslan's side to kill the "Great Cat." Having witnessed the death, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Susan Pevensie (Anna Popplewell) afterwards went up to the altar to grieve over Aslan's corpse

Cinema Paradiso (1988, It./Fr.)


There were two very touching moments in this film: first, the scene of teenaged projectionist Salvatore (nicknamed Toto) (Marco Leonardi as teenager) of the local Cinema Paradiso movie theatre being advised when leaving the small Sicilian town of Giancaldo at the train station bound for Rome, to never return or look back, by his loving, blinded mentor/surrogate father Alfredo (Philippe Noiret): "Don't come back. Don't think about us. Don't look back. Don't write. Don't give in to nostalgia. Forget us all. If you do and you come back, don't come see me. I won't let you in my house. Understand?"; Toto then thanked Alfredo: "Thank you. For everything you've done for me"; Alfredo's last words were: "Whatever you end up doing, love it. The way you loved the projection booth when you were a little squirt"; also, the touching moment when middle-aged, world-famous Italian film director Salvatore Di Vita (Jacques Perrin as adult) returned to his peasant childhood Sicilian hometown of Giancaldo after 30 years to attend the funeral of Alfredo, whom he succeeded as the town's movie theatre projectionist after a devastating fire blinded him; he was given a gift of a reel of film by Alfredo's widow; when he returned to Rome, he projected the reel, watching the long montage of romantic ("pornographic") amorous screen kisses ordered spliced out of numerous films (i.e., His Girl Friday, The Gold Rush, The Outlaw, The Son of the Sheik, The Adventures of Robin Hood, etc.) by the village priest Father Adelfio (Leopoldo Trieste) when he was a boy

See "The Censored Kisses and Scenes of Cinema Paradiso (1988): The Kissing Montage"

City Lights (1931)

One of the greatest endings in cinema history, in which the now-wealthy Flower Girl (Virginia Cherrill) encountered the vagrant Little Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) in an accidental meeting for the first time since the Tramp selflessly sacrificed his own money to restore her sight -- when the Flower Girl recognized him, the Tramp's face showed a bevy of mixed emotions: shame, fear, bravery, pain, tentativeness, love, bliss and joy. At first, she appeared slightly dismayed and confused - he looked so completely different from what she expected - and then she was moved. The Tramp smiled and his eyes lit up when she recognized and accepted him for who he was.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

The finale in which the doors opened and humans who had been missing emerged - and young Barry (Cary Guffey) was reunited with his mother Jillian (Melinda Dillon); and when Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) was chosen or 'adopted' and taken into the 'mother-ship' craft, and one of the aliens said farewell with hand signals to UN scientist Claude Lacombe (Francois Truffaut) before the Mother Ship departed, and the final shot of Roy ascending into the wondrous, ethereal heart of the mothership as John Williams' soared in triumph - incorporating "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio (1940).

Cocoon (1985)


The sad scene of the reckless behavior of retirement home residents who unwittingly drained the life-giving qualities of the nearby magical swimming pool - and caused the death of one of the ancient Antarean aliens (one of the ground crew) in one of the cocoon pods; also the heart-breaking scene of the death of Rosie (Herta Ware) - the wife of Bernie Lefkowitz (Jack Gilford) - after which he carried her over to the non-functioning life-giving pool near the Florida retirement community, completely rife with guilt over forbidding his wife to sample the pool's power - out of fear and timidness; the poignant scene of Ben Luckett (Wilford Brimley) telling his grandson David (Barret Oliver) goodbye - while standing in knee-deep water fishing - and what he would miss on Earth (grandsons, fishing holes, hotdogs, baseball games, etc.) by going away forever to another planet - but also the benefits: ("When we get where we're going, we'll never be sick, we won't get any older, and we won't ever die"); and the finale in which the boat-load of seniors were transported upwards into a departing Antarean spaceship for the unknown planet and immortality.

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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