Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies with Devastating Crushing Endings that Makes You Want to Weep


Hey all, it's once again time for Thursday Movie Picks. As you can guess by the title, this is a tough week. As always, our host for this weekly event is Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves. Please check out her sit for the particulars on how to join this little party of ours. The short of it is she gives us a topic and we suggest three movies that fit.

This week, well, we're going out of my comfort zone simply by including the word 'weep.' When it comes to movies, I just don't do it. However, there are some rather soul-crushing movies out there where I understand why people do. I'm going to try explaining why I feel this way without actually spoiling any of these films. Wish me luck. Here it goes:


The Champ
(1979)
Okay. I told a little bit of lie in my intro. I have cried over a movie. Once. This was the movie that did it. It came out when I was eight and I saw it when I was nine or ten. It was the Movie of the Week, way back when that was a thing. The story, from what I remember because I've refused to watch it since, follows a boxer and his little boy. It's one of those stories where the fighter should quit, but for one reason or another, does not. Things don't work out the way anyone wanted, leading to the scene depicted above. I actually made it through that without tears. When I got to bed, however, it was boo-hoo city.


Boys Don't Cry
(1999)
The true-life story of Brandon Teena is one that depletes your faith in man. Brandon is biologically a woman, but identifies as male. This is not something he's advertising and when people find out it causes problems for him, generally of the physical kind. After one such incident, Brandon moves to another town, falls into a tight-knit group of friends, and fell in love with a young lady. Then, all hell breaks loose.


Mysterious Skin
(2004)
This movie is particularly devastating. It deals with two young men who were molested by their baseball coach back when they were eight years old. In the years since, they have gone down separate, but troubled paths. One becomes a male prostitute while the other becomes so withdrawn everyone thinks he's asexual. When we get to the ending, I really wish that comet would come along and wipe us all out.


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24 comments:

  1. Boys Don't Cry and Mysterious Skin are great films with great and devastating endings. The Champ.... I did see that film as a kid and.... I didn't cry at all. I was like "this is crap". I still don't like it.

    I do cry at the ending for Brian's Song.

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    1. Lol. I don't remember enough about The Champ to say whether it's any good or not. Great call on Brian's Song.

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  2. Poor me, I've never seen any of your picks, but I guess they might give me a real weep. Hopefully :)
    Anyway, may I put your link to my blogroll? I think I'll do it right away :)

    sinekdoks.com

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    1. The last two should be easy to get a hold of. Both are excellent, but infuriating.

      I'd be honored if you include me in your blogroll. Thanks!

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  3. Mysterious Skin is one of my favorite movies even though it's so hard to watch. The only reason that didn't end up on my own list was because I didn't cry. I just felt cold and depressed. Boys Don't Cry is rough too. I haven't seen The Champ.

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  4. Boys Don't Cry. YES. Although for me it's more a movie that makes me want to curl up in a little ball and never deal with people ever again for the rest of my life. I haven't yet seen Mysterious Skin, but it's on my list, even though everyone says it's miserably soul-crushing.

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    1. Yup, that's what BDC does and that's what MS is.

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  5. Like you I'm not a crier but I love a certain kind of sad movie, more along the lines of the cathartic, tragic type rather than the devastating soul crushing ones. Relating back to the recent film emotion blogathon ones that induce sadness as opposed to disgust but that can be a fine line. Your three picks are a good example I think.

    The Champ killed me even if I remained dry eyed, such a heart tugger! Voight and Schroder had a compelling chemistry, they looked like they could be father and son! Have you seen the original version that won Wallace Beery an Oscar. He and Jackie Cooper also have a great onscreen chemistry so that one is a plays with the heart strings too.

    Your other two, while fine films, were ones that gave me a feeling of disgust. I barely made it through Boys Don't Cry and even the teeny tiny glimmer of hope at the end of Mysterious Skin did little to alleviate my feeling of utter hopelessness. I saw it in the theatre with a friend and after we left he said "That was one of the most depressing things I've ever seen!" I agree completely.

    So I went with ones that leave a feeling of sorrow but don't make me feel like an emptied out husk despairing about the future of humanity.

    It's My Party (1996)-Eric Roberts, in the best performance of his career, plays Nick Stark a man with AIDS who chooses to end his life when told by his doctor that he is entering the final stages of PML which will reduce him to a vegetative state prior to death. Before doing so though he throws one last big party to say goodbye to all his friends and family. Randal Kleiser, director of Grease, based this on personal experience and called on many industry friends to work for scale. The film is loaded with a star filled cast including Olivia Newton-John, Margaret Cho, Marlee Matlin, Lee Grant (wonderful as Roberts’ mother) and a host of others. Laced throughout with gallows humor this will still punch you in the gut by its conclusion.

    Running on Empty (1988)-In their youth protesting American involvement in the Vietnam War Arthur and Annie Pope (Judd Hirsch & Christine Lahti) bomb a napalm plant resulting in the blinding of a man who was there by mistake. They’ve been on the run ever since along with their two children. It's now sixteen years later and the musically gifted older son Danny (River Phoenix) longs to quit running and pursue his own dreams but his leaving will tear the family apart and he may never see them again. Can the family spare him and can he handle the loss if he decides to go? The film doesn't go for easy answers leading to an emotional workout. Phoenix was nominated for an Oscar and Lahti should have been.

    Dark Victory (1939)-Bette Davis plays Judith Traherne a headstrong somewhat reckless 24 year old heiress who lives life on her own terms until she starts suffering from crippling headaches. It's discovered she has a brain tumor and she has what appears to be successful surgery. During her recovery she falls for her handsome doctor and they plan a life together only for her to stumble across the fact that her prognosis is negative and she only has a short time to live. How she copes with that information fuels the rest of the movie. Beautifully acted with a poignant deeply moving final act.

    Honorable Mention-All Mine to Give (1957)-A young Scot couple (Glynis Johns & Cameron Mitchell) face many hardships as well as joys as they build a life in the logging town of Eureka, Wisconsin during the 1850’s, having six children along the way. When the family is hit by a succession of tragedies the mother extracts a promise from oldest son Robbie to secure the futures of his siblings. As Christmas approaches he sets out to fulfill her wish. The audience weeps. Based on a true story the British release title of this picture was “The Day They Gave Babies Away”.

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    1. Haven't seen any of your picks, but they all sound pretty rough. And the British title of that last one...yeesh.

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  6. I have not seen any of these and need to remedy that. They all sound weep worthy for sure

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    1. If you're given to crying then, yeah, you might need to have some tissue nearby.

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  7. Mysterious Skin and Boys Don't Cry have been on my watchlist for a damn long time. Too long.

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    1. Definite must-sees in my book. Just know going in that they're pretty grim.

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  8. I forgot how devastating Boy Don't Cry is. Oh my Mysterious Skin, its one my friends' favourite films, the whole story is sad.

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    1. I find both to be excellent, but man they hurt.

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  9. I haven't seen any of your picks, but they all sound very weepy. Especially Boys Don't Cry.

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    1. They're definitely sad. That's for sure.

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  10. Boys Don't Cry is a perfect choice. That movie broke my heart. I haven't seen the other two.

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  11. Dammit, man! I haven't seen any of these (therefore, I skimmed - sorry).

    What's the best one? You know, for an idiot.

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    1. Hah me too...just skimmed. But I do know the ending of Boys Don't Cry only because it's based on an actual person.

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    2. I think Mysterious Skin and Boys Don't Cry are pretty close as far as the best. Don't think you can go wrong either way.

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  12. Yep. Great picks! All of these worked for me as well. The Champ. Man, is that movie crushing. Totally forgot about that one.

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