The main goal of most movies is to tell a great story that emotionally impacts the audience in some way. Viewers know what they’re watching isn’t “real,” but if the filmmakers do their job, it will feel that way. One way of knowing that a narrative has connected with moviegoers is if people cry during a specific scene. Throughout history, there is no shortage of movies that can start up the waterworks, and that’s what this video is all about. Here are 10 famous movie scenes that will make anyone cry.
Not every film can come out of the gates like this. The opening segment of Pixar’s Up chronicles the love between Carl and Ellie, as the two childhood friends grow to become a happily married couple dreaming of seeing the world together. As they get older, Ellie unfortunately dies of an undisclosed illness, leaving Carl feeling lonely and extremely sad. Nobody expected what was sold as a fun adventure movie to start with this sequence, and the results ripped our hearts right out. The beautiful musical score by Michael Giacchino helps the scene resonate even more, and the tears were out in full force.
The Lion King
Disney has a history of emotionally devastating the audience, and The Lion King is no exception. The scene that gets viewers all the time is Mufasa’s death scene, with Simba trying to wake his father up following the wildebeest stampede. Few things are as heartbreaking as a child telling his dead parent “You gotta get up,” before realizing the tragedy of what has happened. Main characters dying have been a part of films for years, and at times it’s necessary to propel the plot forward, but it doesn’t make scenes like this any easier to watch.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
After embarking on a journey across Middle earth with Frodo and Sam, audiences became very attached to the two friends and enjoyed seeing them together. This is why it absolutely wrecked viewers when at the end of Return of the King, Frodo says farewell to his beloved companion and sails off to the land of the elves with Gandalf. The Hobbits had been through so much together in their quest; it was impossible to imagine one without the other. After all, Frodo wouldn’t have made it that far without Sam. More than a decade later, this scene still makes fans cry. Knowing it’s coming doesn’t make it any better.
Toy Story 3
The Toy Story trilogy had plenty of emotional moments, but few can match up to the whammies served up in Toy Story 3. For those who grew up with the franchise, watching Andy’s toys all hold hands in the incinerator thinking they’re about to die is brutal, but the movie’s end had a whole other thing coming. Before he drives off to college, Andy makes a stop at Bonnie’s to give the young girl his collection of toys, providing each one with an individual introduction. By the time he gets to Woody and Buzz, it’s more than a little dusty in the theater as the young adults bid adieu to their childhoods.
Saving Private Ryan
The brotherhood between soldiers in the military is strong, and the team shown in this modern classic certainly feels like a family by the end of it. Tom Hanks’ John Miller was the glue that kept it together, always doing the right thing and keeping his focus on the mission at hand. During the final battle when Miller met his end, it certainly struck a chord, and even the most-hardened men got choked up. He yearned to go back home, and now he’ll never get that chance. If that wasn’t enough, the time jump showing James Ryan as an elderly man asking his wife if he’s led a good life is all we need to weep.