Best Tear Jerker Movies

Crying is good for you

Research has shown that crying is good for you for several reasons:

  • It reduces stress
  • Through tears, toxins can be removed from our bodies
  • Occasional crying reduces blood pressure
  • Crying releases negative energy
  • Research has proven that it reduces manganese, which is a mineral that is found in our bodies and affects our mood. There is more manganese found in our tears than in our blood.
  • It's way cheaper than therapy

Top tearjerker movies

With this in mind, what are you waiting for? If you're not in the mood for a kleenex moment then send your partner and kids out for the day, dim the lights, grab a box of tissues, draw the curtains and pop on a DVD. A real good cry will do you the world of good. These are a list of some DVD's I can recommend to release those tears:

Madame X

This is my all time favorite movie for getting the tears flowing. This is a bit of a "golden oldie" film, made in 1966. The story tells the tale of a young married woman Holly (Lana Turner) whose husband (John Forsythe) takes long frequent business trips abroad, leaving her to look after their young son. Lonely, she embarks on an affair with a rich playboy who dies tragically, and once again she is left alone. Her mother in law finds out about the affair and blackmails her into faking her own death, leaving behind a grieving husband and son.

Her life is a sad one and she never forgets what she lost. There are many twists and turns throughout the movie. I have seen this film many many times, and it has never failed to turn me into a sniveling wreck at the end. It is well worth watching, and guaranteed to unblock those tear ducts.

Movie poster from the movie "Madame X"
Movie poster from the movie "Madame X"

Imitation of Life

This is yet another old film from 1959 (before I was born), featuring Lana Turner again alongside John Gavin and Sandra Dee. The story is about a young light-skinned girl with a black mother. As the girl grows up, she wants to be seen as a white woman and rejects her black mother as it embarrasses her to the point that she runs away. Her poor mother is heartbroken and when she finds out that she is ill, she sets off to find her daughter and see her one last time. This movie will really tug at the heart strings. It takes all sorts to make a world and the film has a strong message that underneath the color of our skins, we are all the same.

The notebook

The film was made in 2004 with a cast including Rachel McAdams, Gena Rowlands and James Garner. Set during the war, a young woman from a rich family falls in love with a poor man. Their relationship is split apart by their social class, when the girls parents move her away in order that she will never see her true love again. Years later, she meets and marries a rich soldier, but never forgets her first love. She kept a notebook, where she tells the story of her life. The story starts at the end, with the young woman (now in a nursing home for the elderly) listening to her life story as told by one of her friends in the home, as he reads to her from her notebook. She now has Alzheimer's Disease and is struggling to remember her most cherished memories. This is another of my recommendations for giving those eyes a workout.

Ghost

This 1990 classic film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg is a real tearjerker which hits the spot every time. A young couple in love are devastated when a mugging goes wrong and Sam (Patrick Swayze) is tragically killed. He realizes that his death was not an accident and his deep love for Molly (Demi Moore) allows him to remain a ghost for a short while. After his death, time is running out for him to prove who was behind his murder, before being pulled to the afterlife by a heavenly light. In the last scene, Sam becomes visible to Molly and he has a minute to say goodbye before he leaves. Watch it and weep!

Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost.
Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost.

Love Story

This is a love story (surprise, surprise!) from 1970 starring Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal. Two students fall in love with each other, against the wishes of their families. The young lovers Jenny and Ollie decide to marry, and the boy's father disinherits him. Later on they decide to start a family and this is when fate has a cruel hand to deal. They find it hard to conceive and visit the doctor for medical advice. Their time together is to be short lived and they have to come to terms with the future, and the fact that the medical bills are becoming unmanageable. A real gripper of a film which will have you reaching for the kleenex.

Who will love my children?

This 1983 film is based on a true story of a woman named Lucile Fray who was diagnosed with cancer. She is married with ten children, whom she feels her husband would not be able to care for when she is dead. She sets out to find new homes for all of her children, so that she can finally die in the knowledge that they will all be cared for in new families. No matter how many times I see this movie, I always end up blubbing like a baby.

The Green Mile

This 1999 film was adapted from a book of the same name, written by author Stephen King. It stars Tom Hanks, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt and Michael Clarke Duncan. The story is set in prison, on death row in 1935. Tom Hanks is a prison guard, working in the Green Mile, so-called as it is the last stretch that prisoners walk (on green flooring) before reaching the electric chair.

John Coffey, a large, tall, innocent man is convicted and imprisoned wrongly for the rape and murder of two young white girls. He has special powers that allow him to heal the terminally ill, including a dead mouse which he brings back to life in a wonderful scene. His powers are put to good use and he even saves the Governer's daughter who had a brain tumor. He is a gentle man who has done no wrong. It will soon be his turn to walk the Green Mile. A heart-wrenching story which will keep your eyes moist throughout.

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Comments 23 comments

wanderlust65 4 years ago

It's true, sometimes we need to cry to get rid of all those ill feelings and toxins all at the same time. After we cried, we feel as though we unloaded a truckload of burdens and it feels really really good after. The last time I cried out loud was when my best friend was murdered almost two years ago..She'd been a very good friend and was like a sister to me. Can't remember I cried out loud for a movie. There's this book, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, I shed a tears reading it and just left me with a heavy heart. Will try to watch the notebook, a friend recommend it to me,thank you for the follow-up. The movie Ghost is also good, I almost cried watching it. I like your post..


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

....great choices here my friend as I wipe away my tears and post this essential film list to my Facebook page with a direct link back here - other film buffs who would like this are COGERSON, ROBWRITE and FLORA BREEN ROBISON .... you have done your homework here and it's a world class effort all of the way ..... lake erie time ontario canada 12:26pm and I would add one more to this list: Somewhere in Time with music by John Barry and starring the late Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

@ wanderlust65 - I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, that must have been devastating. I think crying is a bit like a release valve, and once it is turned, all the stress comes out. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Best wishes.


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

@ epigramman - thank you so much epi for your kind words and lovely comments which I truly appreciate. I haven't seen Somewhere in Time, and I will definitely check it out as I love a good weepie. Thanks once again for taking the time to read and comment. Lovely to hear from you. Warmest wishes. Jacqui


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi jacqui, the green mile - that's a fantastic film, one of my favourites and a real tear-jerker!

There are a couple of films here I haven't seen, so we'll try them out!

A good cry can make you feel tons better! many thanks for a great hub and voting up.

Best wishes Lesley


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

Hi Lesley, I loved The Green Mile, I cried so much at that film. It was such a sad film. I love when my other half is out and I can sit down and put on a sad movie. When he is at home, he just laughs at me when I cry at films. I always feel better after a good cry. Thanks for the vote up. Nice to hear from you. Take care.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 4 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Beautiful work, Jacqui2011. I didn't look at everything because just watching the trailor to The Notebook brought on the tears. I could see right away when that boy jumped onto the ferris wheel what was going to happen. And I do love Rachel McAdams. There have been a couple times in my long life that I have considered letting my feelings be known that drastically. Nothing like jumping on a ferris wheel, and I also haven't been brave with women at all. The only movie I've seen that you listed was The Green Mile. Anyway, great hub, and thank you for the follow.

James W. Nelson


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

@ SubRon7 - Thank you so much for your comment, I truly appreciate it. I cried for hours after watching The Notebook. I love your writing style and the way that you tell your stories. You have a fan for life! I am looking forward to reading more of your hubs. Thank you for taking the time to drop by. Best wishes. Jacqui.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 4 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Funny thing, Jacqui, and I almost never come back to comment again, but having read your glowing response to "my" comment I decided to again watch "The Notebook" and cried again, maybe a little worse. I so identify with that guy (Remembering my own first love way back in the second grade--she was in first--I can still see her and I'm still in love with her, although I haven't seen her for at least 40 years. In HS I did get to dance with her a couple times and rollarskate with her, but she was the girlfriend of a "rich" guy.) Anyway, I moved up to where you have the movies listed at Amazon and I've decided to buy it. Strange thing too, my books are all listed at Amazon but I've never bought a thing from them. I've seen Rachel in one other movie "The Redeye" I think. Not a tear-jerker, but I really liked what a "hero" she was.

Best wishes to you too, James


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

Thanks so much James, I will need to check out Rachel's other movies. She is a fantastic actress. First love's are probably the most memorable ones and stay with us all of our lives. I have watched the Notebook many times and end up looking like a panda each time. I will certainly check out your books - I've never read a book written by someone I know (well almost).


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

@ SubRon7 - I meant to say, I have just ordered myself a copy of your book Daughters, and can't wait to read it. Take care. Jacqui.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Interesting hub. I have seen most of these movies, i had forgotten all about Imitation of Life, I loved that when I first saw it. I love The Green Mile and never get sick of that and also The Notebook. Voted up!


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

@ Jools99 - Thanks for your comment and the vote up. I loved Imitation of Life, it almost broke my heart when I watched it. I have the DVD and put it on now and again and have a good cry. I never get sick of watching The Green Mile either, it's a wonderful film. Thanks for stopping by.


Juliek958 profile image

Juliek958 4 years ago from Norman, Oklahoma

If you haven't ever seen Brian's Song, I highly recommend it. It's a true story of two Chicago Bears football players - US Football. It's an amazing story of friendship in an era of the 1960's when men didn't admit to loving each other as best friends and certainly not one being white and one being black. Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers were amazing men and football players and their story of their friendship is heart warming and gut wrenching. I sob but I rewatch this film every couple of years. It's one of my brother's favorite movies and he doesn't make it through it with a dry eye either.


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

Hi Juliek958 - I have never seen Brian's Song. It sounds a real weepie and a film that I would like. I will definitely check it out. Thanks so much for recommending it. Best wishes.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

...hello my friend I have created a new FB group called LET'S JUST TALK MUSIC OR CINEMA - would love to have you join us - it would be a thrill and a honor - and you could post this great hub subject there or a video link of your choosing - my name is Colin Stewart with the same profile photo and on my homepage is the group title with the link to click - sending you warm wishes and good energy at lake erie time 5:35pm ontario canada


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

Hi epigramman, thank you for your lovely comments. I would love to join your new FB group. Thank you so much for the invitation, it is very kind of you and I will certainly join soon. Take care. Jacqui


mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 4 years ago from The Shire

Jacqui, I've seen a few of these and you're right, they're great for a rainy night alone when you want to eat popcorn and cry. Don't forget "Pride of the Yankees" and "An Affair to Remember."


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

@ mollymeadown - Oh I loved An Affair to Remember. I haven't seen Pride of the Yankees, but it is now on my list. Thank you for stopping by and for your comment.


BusterMcDermott 4 years ago

Tearjerker movies that make men and women cry? I found this very good list that you can also add on your collection. Enjoy. http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/top-tearjer...


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

@ BusterMcDermott - Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this article. I will check out your list too.


CJGrace profile image

CJGrace 4 years ago from California

What an excellent post! Yes, I agree with your choice of movies. It's been years since I have seen Madame X and Imitation of Life! The last time I saw those movies was with my mom. Of course, the Notebook is another good one, as it reminds me of my mom and dad when they were young. Then there's Somewhere in Time, which I think is another one along the lines of bringing tears. Love your writing and look forward to more!


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 3 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom Author

Thank you for your kind comments CJGrace, I appreciate you taking the time to write your comment. Madame X is my all time favorite and there is never a dry eye when I play the DVD.

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