posted by Michael Zoldessy on January 12, 2007 at 1:15 pm

I hate the feeling when I know it’s coming. The film is reaching its climax and some watershed moment turns into a sad realization. Then it happens. I feel the tears coming on and I discreetly make sure the people sitting next to me don’t notice. The blinking, excessive blinking takes over. Hopefully, I can widen my eyes enough to drown the tears or just think of something completely off subject like igloos to take my mind off things. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes not.

I have a little fear about crying during movies. Not that I think I’m any less of a man for doing it but I just get a little embarrassed. It’s just that I find watching movies to be a very personal endeavor. When you experience an intimate moment like that, it feels a bit odd to have all these strangers around you.

There are plenty of plot developments that will get me a little teary-eyed. While a death certainly gets me most of the time, I am most helpless when it comes to reunions. “Forrest Gump”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Love Actually”, name your poison. I succumb to them all. But don’t tell anyone that.

Partly I shy away from doing it because I’m also afraid of being obtrusive to other moviegoers. We talk so much here about inconsiderate theater habits. What about the controlling of emotions? Sure, crying occasionally is fine but what about people that constantly are guilty of it? I mean at least the movie should be good if you’re going to cry for it, right?

Maybe walking out of a theater are glass-eyed is silly. Bringing some tissues and letting it all out would probably make me feel a lot better. For now though, I’m staying strong. Come to think of it, a good solution would be to stop going to movie theaters and watching everything on DVD and television so I could cry all I want in private. Wait, just kidding.

(Thanks to Susan NYC for providing the photo.)

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Comments (8)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 12, 2007 at 4:08 pm

LOL. I think is acceptable to get misty eyed when you revisit the assassination of Bobby Kennedy but it’s downright embarassing when a CGI penguin is tap dancing and you incomprehensibly start weeping.

It happened to a friend of mine and I am sticking to that story.

JodarMovieFan on January 12, 2007 at 8:16 pm

What is the big deal of being misty eyed during a movie? The place is dark, you and say, 600 patrons are there. They can’t see you that well, you can’t see them all that well. Is it wrong to admit some emotional connection that causes a reaction to what is happening on screen? If so, then I forsee the need for a Dr. Phil intervention in one’s future. :) Now with male friends it may be different, what you do is breath deeply and sigh as you sink in your chair during that sad moment. If you’re with female friends/dates, then you can be less non-chalant about it but whatever the situation, make sure you’ve regained composure when the house lights come up unless you want to risk embarrassment as patrons file past you.

The last time I was moved to tears watching a movie was probably the euthanasia scene of Hillary Swank’s character at the end of “Million Dollar Baby.” Prior to that, probably Schindler, at the end of Schindler’s List, where he cries out that he could have/should have done more to save Jews with John Williams'/Isthak Perlman’s (s)weeping score in accompaniment. Going back to the classics..the end of “Wuthering Heights” where both Heathcliff and Cathy find each other death.

If a good movie can bring one to tears, in the relieving sense, not because it was a waste of your $10.50 or your date forced you to watch “Police Academy: The Next Generation,” than the filmmakers have done their job. Don’t fight the emotion, just embrace, let it go and enjoy it.

moviebuff82 on January 13, 2007 at 9:44 am

I almost cried at the end of “Children of Men”, when the main male character (spoiler alert!!!!) dies from gunshot wounds while sitting in the boat with his love, who now has a baby boy. I hope she takes care of her only child and that she’ll be allright in all that London fog!!! This was a tearjerker of a sci-fi movie, more so than “E.T.”.

Trolleyguy on January 13, 2007 at 12:10 pm

We are all humans, and therefore capable of deep emotion. Nothing to be ashamed about with that. As for myself, I bawled during “Bang the Drum Slowly” when the Robert DeNiro character was dying but continued bravely playing with his team.

klebrun on January 14, 2007 at 5:45 am

“Brian’s Song” with James Caan and Billy Dee Williams gets me every time.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on January 16, 2007 at 12:00 am

Over the past six decades I’ve gushed enough tears to float the liner Queen Mary… and I love to have a good cry in a movie palace!

The music, especially quivering violins, turn on my water works: GONE WITH THE WIND’s “As God is my witness…” along with dear Max Steiner’s crashing fanfare statement of music… Bogy’s “Here’s looking at you kid” has to be just about tops … The consummate Clifton Web aboard the sinking TITANIC giving an Oscar performance goodbye to Barbara Stanwyck… Such a tender farewell scene in BRIEF ENCOUNTER … Captain Rex Harrison saying “Come Lucia” to Gene Tierny as they pass through the door into the eternal swirling fog in THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR … My boyhood pinup Ava Gardner who blew the most delicate dockside kiss as SHOWBOAT sailed into the lovely Mississippi sunset.
And the third LORD OF THE RINGS finale flushed my pupils for ten minutes! Disney’s “FANTASIA” finale, with the long procession of angels entering the cathedral and the glorious choir performing “Ave Maria” … but the grand-daddy of all has to be of Gloria Swanson decending that awesome staircase for her final closeup in SUNSET BOULEVARD.
O.K. Projection… the curtains, quickly! I feel another gullywasher coming on!!!

GaryParks on January 17, 2007 at 2:17 am

I am not in the least ashamed to shed tears during a movie. When I pay my money, I am paying to get emotionally swept away, be it tears or guffaws!

I remember, shortly before going to the 1990s retelling of the TITANIC story, a co-worker of mine at the time who was a tattoo-covered, Harley-riding, heavy metal guitar-playing guy had seen it a day or two previous, said to me, “Good movie. Bring a tissue though, dude. It’s a tear-jerker.” While sitting in the theatre I thought to myself that if my co-worker friend, with his reformed tough-guy history and image, could shed tears at this, I certainly could. And shed I did—bigtime.

Another one that did it for me: The ending of “Random Harvest” with Greer Garson; “Smithy?” “Paula!” I’ve only seen it once, at Palo Alto’s Stanford Theatre, but I remember I wasn’t the only one so affected that night.

An unusual one: In the 1950s version of DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments,” tears come when the Pillar of Fire is inscribing the tablets. This may sound wierd, but not to me. My Dad was the animator of the Pillar of Fire. He passed away in 1999, and quite simply, I miss him. Combine that with Elmer Bernstein’s stirring score, and that does it.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 18, 2010 at 3:21 am

Can’t remember crying at a film unless it was laughing so hard watching “THE GROOVE TUBE” in my youth.In fact,I don’t think i was quite 17 when I saw it.

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