Cue the Waterworks!
During a recent online chat at, readers were asked to submit their memories of movies that moved them to tears. More than 50 responded; here is a selection of their comments.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

American Beauty

"I saw this three times and, every single time, had to stay in my seat several minutes because I was not just crying, I was bawling. Even now, just imagining Kevin Spacey saying, 'I can't help but feel grateful for every minute of my stupid little life,' and 'You don't understand, but you will' chokes me up. How much have I not noticed, how much am I not appreciating because I'm blind and angry and upset about the other things? Why do I only get it in brief glimpses here and there?"

Renee Roberts, 43, Fort Collins, Colo.

Big Fish

"My brother and I (neither of us ever cry at movies) were literally sobbing in our seats at the end when Albert Finney tells [his son] Billy Crudup to finish his story and that it 'begins right now.' . . . Our father is an oversized personality, prone to storytelling, and we both agonized over what it would feel like to be estranged from such a man (and sit next to his deathbed knowing he was about to die)."

Craig Weaver, 35, Seattle


"I was about 12. I was with my dad and sisters and was very embarrassed that it happened."

Anne Lind, 63, Goshen, Ind.


"The notion of fast-forwarding through life and missing some wonderful, everyday moments can hit home to any busy mother of a teenager. I tell you, I was sobbing. And so were many other people in the theater! Never thought I would cry at an Adam Sandler movie -- I usually don't even admit to even going to one."

Anne Fletcher, 44, Oakton

Dancer in the Dark

"The final scene where Bjork is waiting (and sobbing) in her cell to be hanged. . . . That's when I lost it. I guess I was putting myself in her shoes and thinking how terrible it would be to be executed -- especially because she was innocent."

Lee Steidel, 38, New York

Eight Below

"Minutes before the movie started, [my girlfriend] jokingly pressed some tissues in my hand. 'For later,' she whispered, smugly. I held up my fistful of napkins, indicating that I was already prepared. She snickered at me. 'We'll see!' I mouthed. She caved first."

Cat L. Needham, 40, Chantilly

Field of Dreams

"Really didn't get the deeper meaning of it until I got older (35 now). As I see my own dad approaching 75, 'Field of Dreams' really lets you know that we all must find a common ground, put away petty squabbles and tell your dad that you love him before it's too late. I'm lucky in that I've always had a good relationship with my dad. But I treasure it even more, realizing that I'm only going to have my own father around for a few more years. And that's why 'Field of Dreams' is a movie that guys can cry about."

Brendan S. Joyce, 35, Harrisburg


"Three scenes get me every single time. First, as Denzel Washington's character is getting whipped for going AWOL, the close-up of his face, how he is able to show anger, pride and shame all in a period of about 10 seconds, unreal. When that single tear falls down his cheek, I absolutely lose it. The night before the final battle, as the black soldiers are sitting around a campfire, their passion and joy, as they know they are about to die. And again, when Denzel speaks and says [of] the 54th . . . 'Ya'll is the onliest family I's got.' . . . And as the 54th Regiment makes their way to the fateful final battle, a soldier, who had berated the black soldiers with racial insults only a few days before, screams, 'Give 'em hell, 54th!' "

Jeremy Ratner, 30, the District

House of Sand and Fog

"I started convulsively crying in that movie when the father [Ben Kingsley] was running wildly, desperate to see his son. I could not stop, wracked with sobs. My husband was weeping, too. . . . It was one of the most beautifully desolate and un-hopeful movies I have ever seen. "

Lily Engle, 36, Alexandria

The Incredibles

"When missiles are homing in on Elastigirl and her kids in their jet and she's making frantic radio calls to stop the attack, it puts a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes every time. I was a new dad, so the combination of the music, Brad Bird's amazing script, and the near-panicky reading that Holly Hunter gave all came together so well that I couldn't help but really be drawn in."

Jeb Hoge, 33, Midlothian

It's a Wonderful Life

"The last few minutes (I know, I know), when Harry Bailey toasts George as 'the richest man in town.' That's it for me. It's downright Pavlovian."

Carol Banta, 36, Bethesda

The Little Mermaid

"It didn't help that the movie was (and continues to be) my daughter's favorite movie, and we watched it at least once every day for quite some time. She is now 19."

Sharon Rosenthal, 49, Potomac

The Mission

"I was bawling. I mean, out-loud, copious bawling, very pronounced in the quiet room. Then the lights came up, I jumped out of my seat and turned to see the entire, huge theater filled with people staring at me. I ran!"

Lynn Weber, 43, Columbia

North by Northwest

and . . . Dumbo

"I have a weird aversion to movies where someone gets blamed for something they didn't do. I got 20 minutes into 'North by Northwest' and had to turn it off. This goes back to the first movie that ever made me cry: 'Dumbo.' I was 5, the movie was playing on TV on 'The Wonderful World of Disney,' and the scene where his mother is put in chains just for trying to protect Dumbo had me sobbing. My mother kept asking why I was crying, and I was unable to explain it to her because I couldn't understand it myself."

Rita Premo, 34, Portland, Maine

Babe and

Charlotte's Web

"I'm fine during 'Steel Magnolias,' 'Casablanca,' 'Kramer vs. Kramer,' etc. But I seem to have an issue with cinematic pigs. Take the movie 'Babe,' where he says 'I want my mom,' and when James Cromwell begins to sing to him to cheer him up, and then the end of 'That'll do pig, that'll do.' Is this just me? I always cry. And, both in book and movie form, the ending of 'Charlotte's Web' makes me cry, when he says: 'It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.' "

Elizabeth Leis, 28, Baltimore

The Pursuit

of Happyness

"When Will Smith is chosen as the best candidate for the internship and he tears up but never fully cries and he leaves out of the office and he's walking down the street and just starts clapping his hands, still never fully crying. Hold on, I need a moment. . . ."

Ronda Robertson, 29, Laurel

The Right Stuff

"It reminded me about my 1960s childhood, when I watched all the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo shots, when I daydreamed about going up to space. So here I am bawling like a baby at the end of the movie, crying because I realized that because of my horrible vision (20-400), I was never going to be an astronaut. Lots of emotions came together, and I cried all the way home."

Larry Mattivi, 50, Lexington Park

Star Trek: The

Search for Spock

"Our beloved hero Admiral Kirk has just found out that his son is just murdered, stumbles backwards and falls, then declares in a dramatic outcry, 'You Klingon bastard, you killed my son.' He then musters the strength to get up and utters the line more emphatically and angrily. It's not so much just his declaration but the reaction shots from his friends and colleagues Scotty and McCoy, who look onward with equal grief with glistening tears in their eyes, sharing the shock and grief of the moment. . . . People joke about men crying in movies but I say, hey, it's dark and who is going to see you?"

Joe Darr, 42, Bowie

Terminator 2:

Judgment Day

"When the Terminator said goodbye and lowered himself into the liquid fire."

Catherine Conk, 26, Dallas

Terms of Endearment

"The scene where the daughter needs morphine and Shirley MacLaine runs around saying, 'It's 10 o'clock, it's 10 o'clock, give her the shot.' At the time the movie came out I had never had the burden of taking care of a dying relative, but as a nurse I understood the urgency of wanting to relieve someone of their pain. I'm tearing up just thinking about that scene."

Beth Glicker, 42, Vienna

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