Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Movies that make men cry

The Sporting News has an article with a "top 25 list" of movies that make men cry. ( Click on the title for a link) My top two are:

1. Old Yeller (1957)

I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade when I first saw this Disney movie at a Saturday Matinee in Boise Idaho in the 1950's. It was the first movie I can remember crying at when Tommy Kirk has to shoot his dog "Old Yeller" who has rabies after "Old Yeller has saved his life by taking on a mountain lion.

A boy and his dog. The boy loves his dog. The dog loves his boy. The dog saves the boy's life. The dog gets rabies. The boy has to shoot his dog. We cry. Because we love dogs, and animals in general. This is the kind of "coming of age" film that will always make a man cry.

2. Saving Private Ryan(1998)

Private Ryan, now an old man, returns to Normandy with his family and visits the grave of the man who saved him, Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks), at the American Cemetery up above Omaha Beach and says to his wife...."Tell me I have led a good life.......Tell me I'm a good man."

In the end, when the former Private Ryan, asks his wife if he is a good man, if he's led a good life, if he has, in fact, "earned this," the life that all of those other man provided him by sacrificing their own, a sacrifice he never expected or wanted. He carried all of their lives with him, every day, from the war onward. That's a heavy burden to any man to bear, and it breaks your heart when you realize he needs to prove to Capt. Miller that he has led a good life.

Best movie for a man to recover from crying:

Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

At the end of the Sands of Iwo Jima the John Wayne's character, Sgt Stryker, is killed by a Japanese sniper.( Yes John "Wayne was killed in several of his movies) The men of his platoon then discover a half written letter Stryker has written to his son and read it. They are all feeling down that their leader has been killed . Then John Agar, the private Sgt Striker has been trying to turn into a solder for the whole movie, takes charge of the platoon and repeats a phrase of Sgt Stryker " All right!...SADDLE UP.... let's get back to this war!" The tears for Sgt Stryker are forgotten for the moment but not what he has taught them.