No matter what our own personal circumstances are, there comes a time in everyone’s life when you just need to have a good cry. But summoning those tears isn’t always easy; sometimes we need Hollywood to give us a bit of a nudge in the right direction and you can certainly rely on them for that. So, if you ever need to get in a tearjerker mood then here is the first of two articles listing the saddest films of all time. You have been warned…
1. Bambi, 1942
Arguably the saddest Disney film of all time, I count myself as one of the many people who still has to hide my head under a pillow when Bambi’s mother runs in to the bushes. It’s just too much.
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2. It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946
In spite of the fact that this is one of the most widely renowned Christmas movies of all time, there’s no running away from the fact it gets pretty downright dark and depressing before a thankful ‘epiphany moment’ for the main character George Bailey.
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3. The Way We Were, 1973
If you haven’t already watched this classic movie you will have heard them talk about its resonance in Sex and the City. Basically this is the ultimate breakup story, so if you’re going through anything similar yourself you’re going to be boo-ing like a baby by the end of it.
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4. Watership Down, 1978
Even just looking at this picture reminds me of the sheer and utter fear and panic you feel for the poor rabbits in Watership Down, who decide to up sticks and search for a better life for fear of their homes being destroyed. You might want to keep a pillow handy for this one too – either to hide behind or cover your tears.
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5. Terms of Endearment, 1983
There is nothing like a complex mother / daughter story told well and this is very much the case in Terms of Endearment. Told over the course of 30 years, Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger make for the perfect mismatch parent-child combination as they both set out on a quest for love.
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6. The Land Before Time, 1988
Any child of the 80s will be familiar with the feeling of those tears stirring when ‘Littlefoot’ is separated from his parents and left to fend for himself. Luckily he makes a few friends on his journey to The Great Valley, which makes it slightly more bearable.
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7. Steel Magnolias, 1989
Definitely one to watch with your girlfriends, this is one of Julia Roberts’ earliest and finest works, telling the story of a group of Louisiana women who stick together through the toughest of times.
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8. My Girl, 1991
For those of you not familiar with this 90s classic, it stars Anna Chlumsky and a very young Macaulay Culkin navigating their way through their quirky young lives, only to be presented with ultimate tragedy at the end. Those of you that have seen it will know what I mean when I say I have been terrified of bees ever since.
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9. Schindler’s List, 1993
If you really want to jump straight in at the deep end of the misery pool then you needn’t look any further than Schindler’s List, which depicts one man’s remarkable attempts to save his Jewish workers from the certain death of Hitler’s Nazi concentration camps in World War 2. It goes without saying this film is not for the faint-hearted.
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10. Forrest Gump, 1994
Although this movie has its painfully sad moments, it is essentially an incredibly heart-warming tale (told by the legend that is Tom Hanks) so you can prepare yourself for a mixture of tears of sadness and joy.
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