10 Saddest Movie Moments

The saddest movie moments can make a grown men cry and remain many women’s favorite type of films. The movies that can make a person cry can be dramas, action blockbusters and animated features. Whether the moment shows someone dying, suffering from a broken heart or losing the most important thing in his/her life, these movies live on in the history of cinema as touching and significant scenes.

  1. “Up” Pixar’s 2009 animated film opened with a sad movie moment that set the scene for one of the greatest animated movies in years. Without a bit of dialogue, the movie presents a four-minute montage set to music of Carl Fredricksen meeting his wife as a child, marrying her, growing old and eventually watching her die. It is heartbreaking for a kid’s flick.
  2. “Dead Poets Society” Robin Williams plays a poetry teacher in this coming-of-age story and helps a group of young men discover themselves. When one of the students with a rough home life commits suicide, the school’s administration and the young man’s parents blames the teacher. As William's character is escorted out of the classroom, all the students stand on their desks in salute to their instructor in one of the saddest movie moments.
  3. “Magnolia” Tom Cruise plays Frank T.J. Mackey, a man neglected for years by his father, Earl (Jason Robards). He finally breaks down and faces his father for the first time in years as the old man lays on his death bed. It's a sad movie moment to know Robards died only one year later from cancer.
  4. “Legends of the Fall” There are a number of sad moments in this melodrama, but the one that hits people the most involves the death of Tristan’s (Brad Pitt) wife Isabel thanks to a ricocheting bullet. Brad Pitt lifts her into his arms and carries her lifeless body home in one of the saddest movie moments.
  5. “The Lion King” From the time that Bambi’s mother was shot, there was always a chance for a cartoon to present some of the saddest movie moments. “The Lion King” featured a heartbreaking moment when Mufasa died saving his son’s life and causing his boy to run away from home in shame.
  6. “Saving Private Ryan” This movie is full of sad movie moments. The moment that tops the list is when Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) dies and tells Private Ryan (Matt Damon) to “earn this.” Fifty years later, Ryan asks his wife if he was a good man.
  7. “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” This “Star Trek” film features one of science fiction's saddest movie moments. As Spock sacrifices his life to save the crew of the Enterprise, Kirk stands at the glass door and says goodbye to his oldest friend.
  8. “Elephant Man” Many point to John Merrick taking his own life to see what it is like to sleep lying down. However, the moment where he is chased by a mob into a bathroom where he screams, “I am not an animal! I am a human being!” is another of the saddest movie moments.
  9. “Armageddon” This scene is highly contrived and overlaid with an Aerosmith ballad. However, the scene where Harry sacrifices his own life to save A.J. so the young man can marry his daughter is still one of the saddest movie moments.
  10. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” Jack Nicholson is R.P. McMurphy, a petty crook who swindles his way into serving time in a mental asylum instead of jail. He works to help the other inmates find hope and sacrifices his own life as a result. After receiving a lobotomy, his close friend The Chief, smothers McMurphy to put him out of his misery before escaping the institution.
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