10 Heartbreaking Movie Moments

1. Schindler’s List


Oskar Schindler’s breakdown when he believes he didn’t do enough. One car, one pin, would have been enough to save more lives. His heartrending cries seem endless.

Also, the ending scene with hundreds of Schindler’s Jews lining up to place a pebble on his headstone. You can see the line of people almost to the horizon.

2. Philadelphia


The moment when Denzel Washington’s character, Joe, goes to the hospital to tell Tom Hanks’ character Andrew that they won their lawsuit.

Joe, a former homophobe, reaches out to grasp Andrew’s hand just to give him comfort.

3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

snape killing-dumbledore

Harry and his mentor Dumbledore apparate back to school, only to end up into the middle of a battle.

Dumbledore is killed by Severus Snape. Watching the next movie and finding out why he was killed causes almost as many tears.

4. Toy Story 3


Andy realizes that it’s time to grow up, and hands over his box of toys to Annie instead of keeping them forever in the attic. He knows toys are better off with children.

With one last parting twinge, he saves Woody for last and finally hands him to the girl, acknowledging that childhood is over.

5. Bambi


Hunters attack the deer herd, and Bambi’s mother is shot and killed. Bambi nuzzles his mother, trying to get her to get up.

Bambi’s father tells him that “she can’t be with you anymore.”

6. Up


Carl and Ellie live their lives, always dreaming of visiting Paradise Falls. Now that they’re old, Carl finally makes arrangements for their lifelong dream trip.

Ellie gets sick and dies, leaving Carl a depressed and angry man living in his memories.

7. The Shawshank Redemption


Brooks the librarian is paroled after he has grown into an old man. He finds the world outside of prison a cold and unforgiving place.

Unable to deal with life outside the walls, he hangs himself in the small room he exists in.

8. Brian’s Song


This bio-pic of the friendship between Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, two pro football players, could have been the average buddy film except for the underlying bro-love between the two.

Piccolo contracts cancer and Sayers helps him through to the very end. This is universally acknowledged as the one picture during which even the most stalwart of men is allowed to cry.

9. Forrest Gump


Not only does this movie tug our heartstrings when Gump’s love interest Jenny dies, but an even more emotional scene comes earlier in the film.

When Forrest is introduced to his son for the first time, he is struck dumb for a moment. After staring at the boy, he asked in a trembling voice, “Is he smart, or is he dumb?”

10. Old Yeller

Old_Yeller_vs Wolf

The very first tearjerker movie for a generation of children. A faithful dog in pioneer days fights off a rabid wolf to save his family.

After finding out that his beloved pet has contracted rabies himself, the main character Travis, a young boy, has to go out and shoot his own pet.