Movies to make men weep

A couple of weeks ago, while waiting in Gatwick to fly home, I picked up two magazines for the flight: an Economist and a UK version of GQ. One of most the interesting articles in that GQ was about which movies make men — 50 of whom they interviewed — cry. Though I myself haven’t cried since I was 12, it got me thinking about which movies get me choked up. Warning: spoilers. If you haven’t watched the movies listed, don’t read this. I give away too much.

  • Hotel Rwanda. As I wrote about last year, seeing this at the film festival — and seeing who was there — just about put me over the edge. Closest I’ve come to crying since my kitten died in 1987.
  • The Godfather Part III. This film, unfairly maligned in my opinion, culminates in one of the greatest cinematic expressions of pain I’ve ever seen. Only Pacino could get away with something as groan-inducing as a silent scream followed by a hair-raising wail as his daughter lies limp in his arms. And really, while we’re on the topic, had the daughter — played by Sofia Coppola, the weakest part of the movie — been played with any sort of proficiency at all, this might’ve gone down as an all-time classic cinema moment. But even as it is, with Michael Corleone’s mind racing past all the women he’d danced with and loved, all of whom were now dead or despised him, when you the realization that his whole life had been leading to the death of his daughter, he just implodes on the screen. It’s hard to watch.
  • Braveheart. I know, I know. Cheese. But the moment where, as he’s being drawn & quartered, he yells “Freedom”, it still produces a lump.
  • 61*. The scene at the end, where Mark McGuire gets choked up when he talks about Roger Maris.
  • In The Name Of The Father. When his father dies. Duh.
  • Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King. “My friends…you bow to no one.”
  • Dead Poets Society. The doozy. It’s certainly one of my favourite movies of all time, so every time I watch it I’m completely into it. The scene that gets me is, of course, the scene at the end where they all stand on their desks and say “Oh captain my captain!”; probably the only thing that keeps me from losing it every time is the horrible synthesizer soundtrack. It’s truly dreadful, and it’s the one thing that ruins the moment. But it still takes a minute to collect myself afterwards.

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