What were the most tragic movies you actually liked?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Vash01, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Messages:
    25,115
    I am a sucker for happy endings in movies. I hate walking out of a theater feeling sad, and yet there are movies that are so good that in spite of the sadness, I feel- that was a really good movie. Many great works of art are tragic, so may be it's not such an anomaly. I can't say I 'enjoyed' the movie and yet in a way I did, because I appreciated the art.

    Here is my list (not in any order):

    The boy in striped pajamas (may be the most heartbreaking I have seen in the last few years)

    Never let me go (saw it just a few months ago)

    The cranes are flying (very old Russian movie that I happened to see on TV)

    Salaam Bombay (Meera Nair's movie. I was sad for days after seeing this)

    The thief- (another Russian movie that I saw a few years ago, or may be just last year)

    Saving private Ryan (need I say more?)

    Boys don't cry

    Million dollar baby

    Finding Neverland (one of my favorite movies)
    Domshabfan and (deleted member) like this.
  2. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    I also enjoyed Finding Neverland.

    From this year I liked Melancholia.
  3. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,536
    Ooh, I lurves me some depressing endings! :)

    The French are especially good at them. For example:

    37°2 le matin (Betty Blue) :wuzrobbed
    L'Amour à mort (Love Unto Death)
    La femme d'à côté (The Woman Next Door)
    Sans Toit ni Loi (Vagabond) ;)
    Monsieur Hire
    La Veuve de Saint-Pierre (The Widow of Saint-Pierre)
    Police
    Le Retour de Martin Guerre (The Return of Martin Guerre)
    L'Histoire d'Adèle H. (The Story of Adele H.) :(
    Un cœur en hiver (A Heart in Winter)
    Outremer
    Olivier, Olivier [In French, set in France, but directed by a Pole]
    La princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier)
    Au revoir les enfants

    As far as English-language movies go, The English Patient was pretty darned depressing. :wuzrobbed

    ETA:

    Also, the Spanish-language movie Pan's Labyrinth and the Finnish-language Zombie and the Ghost Train. :( :(
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  4. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    17,991
    The most tragic movie I ever saw was Once Were Warriors. A New Zealand film about a Maori community and domestic violence. Absolutely gut wrenching. But brilliantly done.
  5. Spazactaz

    Spazactaz New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,812
    Titanic <33333
  6. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,222
    Some of these aren't movies I really liked (I didn't catch that part in the thread title), but a quick list of movies that came to mind are....

    - Au Revoir Les Enfants
    - Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father
    - Sophie's Choice
    - The Green Mile
    - American History X
    - Philadelphia
    - Exodus
    - The Diary of Anne Frank
    - Revolutionary Road
    - Selena
    - Dead Poet's Society
    - Apt Pupil
    - Midnight Cowboy
    - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
    - Trainspotting
    - Marley and Me
    - Ghost
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  7. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    25,006
    This will be a good thread of movies I should never see. I hate sad movies - and heaven help me if it involves an animal dying, I'll be sobbing. I remember seeing Shadowlands on a date once - that was a mistake. It's hard to look attractive with red eyes and streaked makeup.
  8. mrinalini

    mrinalini Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    990
    OMG, I happened to catch this film while randomly flipping channels in my motel room in NZ and I was absolutely blown away by it. Something awful was happening in nearly every scene, but all of it was just so riveting. Remember Rena Owen's reaction to a certain tragedy later on in the film? If that scene doesn't wrench something out of you, you may want to consider getting a heart transplant.

    The fact that the Oscars ignored that performance while "actors" like Julia Roberts have one makes me want to spit.
  9. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    16,753
    Rosas Blancas Para Mi Hermana Negra
    imitation of Life
    All The Fine Young Cannibals
    Sophie's Choice
    Andrei Rublev
    Lady Jane
    Roots (not a movie I know but worth the mention)
  10. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,414
    I have to think about this but I do remember when I was quite young crying my eyes out watching a tv movie called "Brian's Song." I think that was my first experience with a sad movie.

    The one movie that came to me first was from Canada? It was called The Sweet Hereafter and I thought it was both a sad and fantastic film.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  11. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    17,368
    Vash01, I watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas on cable last week. I did not know what to expect, I had never heard of it before. It was devastating on so many levels.
  12. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,460
    Lol, I was going to say, if one can actually call the PLOT a tragedy (and not something to sit there laughing at when it's not being ridiculously offensive to every real person it portrays), Titanic...I need to see "A Night To Remember." Supposedly the effects aren't as good (duh, 1958) but you can actually make it through without inappropriate snickering. But I like Cameron's Titanic for the pretty. (EVERY ONE OF KATE'S DRESSES MUST BE MINE!)
  13. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,147
    Salaam Bombay and Hotel Rwanda. They both gave me that chilly feeling but for the grace of God go I.

    Especially Hotel Rwanda. I was a manager in an inner city hotel and I remember my older peers tales of being trapped in the hotel during the 1968 riots after Martin Luther King's assignation, although that was nothing compared to the genocide in Rwanda.

    Salaam Bombay! was about children surviving on the streets of Bombay without parents or families.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  14. skategal

    skategal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,703
    Another Canadian one that was awesome, starring Sarah Polley...

    My Life Without Me.

    Three hanky alert...but brilliant.
  15. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Messages:
    25,115
    Looks like I have to create a really long list of sad movies on my Netflix account, but make sure that I have at least 2-3 lighter movies in between, or I will be sad for a long long time.:lol:

    Thanks for all the responses. I had not heard of so many movies that are listed here, particularly the foreign films.
  16. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Messages:
    25,115
    I first heard of it from my coworker. She said it's a really good movie. Then my hairdresser said it's a really good movie, but it's about the Holocaust. Are you sure you want to see it? I said, yes, I have seen Holocaust movies before, but when I saw this one, I felt that nothing had prepared me for this.:(
  17. Myskate

    Myskate New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Messages:
    125
    I don't know if you would consider these sad. Maybe more emotionally draining:
    Legends of the Fall and Gone With the Wind. I always feel so exhausted after watching them but I can't not watch them.

    If I even hear the music for Brian's Song, I start to tear up.
  18. skipaway

    skipaway Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,533
  19. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2001
    Messages:
    5,859
    Third Star is a little known movie I just watched and really enjoyed.
    Life is Beautiful
  20. Jimena

    Jimena Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,384
    Oh goodness, yes. That was a devastating film.

    The other ones that come immediately to mind are The English Patient and Brokeback Mountain.

    Brokeback Mountain makes me weep like a baby. Weep, I tell you.

    Never Let Me Go is also very sad. I read the book and watched the movie and I enjoyed both tremendously.
  21. duane

    duane New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    2,173
    Dark Victory
    Sunset Boulevard
    Caged
    A Place In The Sun
    Diabolique
    Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer
    At Close Range
    Sister My Sister
    Talented Mr Ripley
    Mystic River
  22. BittyBug

    BittyBug Quadless

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    15,094
    El Norte, the story of a brother and sister who flee war-torn Guatemala and make their way to the U.S., with a backdrop of one side of life as an illegal immigrant in the U.S.

    I might also add Das Boot, but I found it a very difficult movie to watch.
  23. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    21,980
    It is a devastating movie, but the end in the novel actually is even more powerful.

    ::::SPOILER ALERT:::::

    In the book, as they go into the gas chamber, Bruno takes Shmuel's hand and says, "You are the best friend I've ever had."

    The parents never really find out what happened to him, though they suspect once they find the clothes. I prefer this ending because it isn't fair, imo, that the Nazi family in the film gets to know what happens to Bruno. The book ending parallels most Jewish family's experiences--they suspect what happened, but never really know. The way the movie ends, it makes Bruno's death more tragic than Shmuel's and that isn't right.

    Which still doesn't mean I'm not a wreck every time I show this movie in class.
    Vash01 and (deleted member) like this.
  24. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    13,782
    Even though I cried like a baby at Brian's Song, I wouldn't put a movie where only one person died in this category. And there shouldn't even be a mention of Titanic...one of the most galastically stupid movies I've ever seen. IMO nearly everyone in the movie had a more tragic story than Rose & Jack....theirs was merely laughable.

    OTOH A Night to Remember haunted me for years. But my #1 choice is Shindler's List. And the last made for TV movie of The Diary of Anne Frank was the most well done & the most heart-wrenching that I've seen.

    Roots wasn't just tragic....it was a long overdue education. But for mini-series, the one that fits this thread the best IMO is Holocaust.

    I learned that I don't do well with tragic movies, esp the older I get. That's why I refuse to see Hotel Rwanda and many others in this thread.
  25. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    884
    Some not already mentioned:

    Back Street
    My Girl
    House of Sand and Fog
  26. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,414
    Oh boy I hate to admit this choice: The sad event that happened in this movie happened so suddenly that I was not prepared and cried. It was not on par with the movies we are talking about here but when you see the title you will understand why I watched it:

    "Champions: A Love Story"
  27. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    17,368
    Even though it goes unsaid in the film, I understood that.

    Comparing it to the book, you might have gotten that feeling. Not having read the book, I did not get any sense of Bruno's death being more tragic. I saw two innocent, terrified children murdered.

    In the book, does the Nazi family discover that Bruno snuck into the camp? Was the mother as troubled by what was going on, in the book? Did you get the impression that she wanted to leave to protect her children or because she was disgusted by what her husband was doing, or both?
  28. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2002
    Messages:
    7,488
    The Sweet Hereafter is one of my favorite movies. There are so many layers to it, and so many complexities. It is just haunting.
  29. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    20,740
    Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father

    Just horribly :wuzrobbed and it is a DOCUMENTARY! I can't express how tragic this film is, it starts off as a message of hope and love and the turns it takes are so horrible you can't believe this is actually happening and not planned.
  30. joeperryfan

    joeperryfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,002
    I was going to say this one. It's a war movie, you know someone will die and yet until the very last second you have hope that no one will! Pete Weir is a genius.

    Jude - with Chris Eccleston and Kate Winslet

    The constant gardener - I don't think I could watch it again.
  31. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2002
    Messages:
    672
    I dislike tragic movies that make you cry/feel depressed after watching them... So I usually stay away from them. :scream:

    I don't know if this can be considered a tragic movie or not, but I really like "Perfume, the Story of a Murderer".

    I really like it a lot too, but can this movie be considered tragic? It feels a lot like a fairy tale... (a lot like Perfume-lite :lol:)
  32. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    17,368
    Oh, I think so. It is terribly tragic.

    Another Holocaust movie that was tragic - A Beautiful Life.
  33. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,319
    I was surprised to see Everything Is Illuminated advertised as a comedy. Sure, it had lots of hilarious moments but the denouement is :fragile:
  34. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,536
    Pan's Labyrinth a very dark, disturbing fairy tale that ends tragically.
    She is shot in the stomach and dies.
    That's probably the most tragic (indeed, horrific) ending of any movie mentioned in this thread.

    One movie I didn't mention upthread but which is tragic in its own way is Sous le sable (Under the Sand). From the protagonist's perspective, the ending is a happy one, but from ours, it is a tragic one.

    The ending of Raise the Red Lantern is wonderfully tragic too. :wuzrobbed
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  35. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2001
    Messages:
    4,749
    I agree with many posted here.
    One that really got me was 'Das Boot'. The story of the soldiers on the Uboat and how it showed soldiers, regardless of what side, as real people and professioina, and the respect the german captain (not sure of title) of his opponent during one encounter. But the ending was wow, just drove in what is war.
  36. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,437
    Most recently, I would describe Oscar foreign film nominee "A Separation" as a tragedy, albeit in a more psychological sense...
  37. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Messages:
    25,115
    I saw this very recently. My reaction after coming out of the theater was that of numbness. I overheard a couple of ladies being asked about it by others and they could not say if they liked it or not. It's a movie that makes you think and think and think. It's not tragic in the traditional sense because nobody dies. Divorces take place daily and children are affected, but the families in this movie are in situations that have practically no solution, so in that sense it is tragic.
  38. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2002
    Messages:
    672
    It was definitely a dark fairy tale... I wonder if the degree of how tragic it is depends on whether
    you believe the other world was real or not... If you do, it wasn't so tragic because she ended up returning to her kingdom and live happily ever after.

    It's a lot like the Little Mermaid (original version) and whether you believe in souls and the afterlife...
  39. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,859
    I will second this one! I saw this while flipping channels. I had no idea what the story was about and was both angry and sobbing like a baby at the end for hours afterwards. The story was beautifully told, but so tragic and sad.
  40. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,698
    There's not enough money in the world to get me to see War Horse. I'm with you -- animals dying (or even aliens, I went through about twenty napkins during ET) just kills me. I couldn't even rewatch Bambi when my daughter was small.

    The English Patient and Gone with the Wind. Even as a 12-year-old I knew Rhett wasn't coming back. Not a terrible tragedy like movies where someone dies, but it was so hard to watch a character I really identified with lose the love of her life due to her own stupidity.