Stupid Tuesday questions, Holly Hunter edition (Part 1!)

An unnamed woman stoops before an elderly couple, viewed from the back.  She looks into the face of the man and puts her hand to his cheek.  She speaks a single word — “Dad.”  That is all we see and hear of her before she steps out of view.

While this is happening, we hear the voice of a man describing the dream we are witnessing.  As he speaks, we hear him say of the couple in the dream “We can be good, too.”

For those of you familiar with the film, this is obviously the closing scene of “Raising Arizona.”  (Yes, for those of you unfamiliar with it, I guess this counts as a “spoiler.”  But the movie has been out for roughly nineteen million years, and you have no excuse for not having seen it yet.)  I love “Raising Arizona.”  It and “Fargo” are my two favorite Coen Bros. movies, and I go back and forth as to which is my very favorite.  (I still haven’t seen “No Country for Old Men,” as I know I would have trouble with its unremitting bleakness.)

I mention the final scene and those two moments in particular because they will, without fail, make me cry.  Not outright bawling, mind you, but definitely watering eyes and runny nose.  Heck, just typing up the above description made my throat tighten.  As sure as night follows day, as soon as we hear the word “Dad” my face will start to scrunch up.

I am not afraid to admit this.  We’re all friends here, right Internet?

The only other sure-fire trigger I can think of for the water works is a two-word sentence spoken by Joelle van Dyne to Don Gately after a Major Plot Occurrence in Infinite Jest.  It makes no sense out of context, and since Infinite Jest remains one of my very favorite books and I would hate to spoil it for anyone I’ll have to leave it at that.  Suffice it to say that a mere two words will make me cry, and (like the “Raising Arizona” bit above) it makes me mist up just thinking about the scene.

So that’s this week’s Question — what reliably puts a lump in your throat?  What will you admit in front of everyone gets your tear ducts going?  It can be a movie or a show, or when that team you’ve rooted for thanklessly for years finally makes the play-offs.  Real life or fiction, what has you complaining that your allergies are acting up?

[Tune in next week when I ask yet another Stupid Question inspired by the same movie!]

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


    • It didn’t embed properly. For me, its not a scene from a movie, but the song: My Grandfather’s Clock. For some reason that song always brings at least a lump to my throat. To add context, I had a small music box as a kid shaped like a very wide grandfather’s clock. Also, I never really knew my paternal grandfather who passed away when I was about a year old. Apparently I take after him in many ways. Ever since I learned the words of the song, hearing the tune from the music box would very nearly drive me to tears. As with a lot of music boxes, when you wind it up the music will play very quickly and it will slow down as the spring unwinds. The song, as it slows down takes on a mournful tone. And given that it is about a grandfather clock stopping there is a further resonance there as well. That clock is now very old and the spring has lost most of its elasticity or maybe the gears are just very stiff. When you wind it up, it starts off slow and goes even slower to the point that your realise that the it is in its last legs and is itself about to die sometime soon. If I ask my mom I might be able to find that box….

  1. This one’s easy for me, even though I have a heart of ice cold stone. Okay, here goes: 1) The very end of The Lord of the Rings, when Sam says to his family, “Well, I’m back.” 2) The end of Moulin Rouge. 3) The end of the intro to the 2009 Star Trek movie, when newborn Kirk’s parents discuss his name seconds before his father dies. 4) End of Mark Helprin’s novel A Soldier of the Great War. 5) Several scenes in Paul Thomas Anderson’s film Magnolia.

    • You made it to the end of Moulin Rouge? I tried, three times, at the begging of a good friend, and never made it past the 20 minute mark. If I just watch the last 15 minutes, will the ending have the desired emotional impact?

      • I may have finished the movie, but I really didn’t like it. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief enough to accept that people in the 1890s would be singing Nirvana songs.

        • I loathed Moulin Rouge… something about the male lead whining and mincing about love without ever offering a plausible alternatives to the female leads very real and concrete problems and then seething with jealous rage over her choices make my gorge rise.
          “A girl has got to eat” “All you need is love!” *SMACK* Off the gilded elephant and flat upon the street!

  2. Oh gosh… confession time I guess.

    Also the end of Cordwainer Smith’s “The Dead Lady of Clown Town.” And I believe I cried while reading Toni Morrison’s Jazz, too, though I don’t recall the specific passage.

  3. it was very hard to read the road while my wife was pregnant.

    i’ve managed to see the car crash scene in “into the void” twice now. it’s awful – the first person pov from the eyes of a child watching his parents die suddenly is just too much.

  4. Toy Story: Buzz learns he really, really can’t fly.

    T0y Story 2: “When She Loved Me”.

    The first bit of “Up” (though I have only seen it once, so maybe this doesn’t count).

    But mostly songs.

    Neko Case: “The Tigers Have Spoken” (actually, there’s a few Neko songs that get me, but this one is the most reliable; I’m a mess).

    Queen & David Bowie: “Under Pressure”, when Bowie’s vocal comes back in with the ascending “Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word…” I have heard this song a MILLION times and it almost never fails.

    It’s not an every-time thing when I hear it, but the last time I saw LCD Soundsystem do “All My Friends”, I definitely squirted a few. Ah, who’m I kidding – I had tears streaming down my face. But good ones.

    • So Pixar will play a prominent role in next week’s follow-up STQ, is all’s I’ll say.

      And “All My Friends” has the same effect on me, too. But I mustn’t go on, or I’ll tip my hand too much for next week.

      • Looking forward to your take “All My Friends”. I was actually thinking, as I was writing my comment on it, that that might have to be an upcoming Wed. music post at MD.

        SO, Doc, if you have a lot to say about it, you could do a guest post (hint, hint). They are always open.

        • Well, I happen to love that song. And now I’ll fold it into what I was planning on saying next week. But it’s not so much about that song, as… I’ve already said too much.

    • i’ve mentioned this before, but my wife cried the entire time during toy story 3. my son was mystified – it’s all talking toys and BUZZ LIGHTYEEEAAAAAAR to him. “why’s mommy crying?” he’d ask every so often.

    • We watched “Up” (not the first time we saw it) around months 6 or 7 of the pregnancy. Zazzy lost it. “EVERYONE’S EVENTUALLY GOING TO DIE!!!”

      This isn’t the first time we’ve gone down the road of her prematurely crying about people’s eventual death, but the pregnancy hormones made it the strongest.

      • To elaborate… when we first got the cats (5-week old kittens then and genuinely likable for about 2 weeks), I found Zazzy quietly crying as she watched them do kitteny things.

        “Why are you crying? You wanted cats for so long and now we have two!”
        “I know. But they’re going to die one day. And that is going to be terrible. Maybe we never should have gotten them.”
        “But that won’t happen for years!”
        “I know! Imagine how sad I’ll feel after years of loving them instead of just a few days.”
        “You know… I’m going to die one day.”
        “You are?!?!?! YOU ARE!!!!” [hysterical crying]

        Oddly enough, I knew at that moment I had proposed to the right girl.

        • Pretty shortly after getting my first dog, I realized that the BEST-case scenario was that one day I’d be putting her down; and the worst-case scenarios were things like her getting out & getting hit by a car & dying alone and afraid.

          Ah jeez, here I go again. Good dog.

          • Well, that is the best case scenario for her passing… but why we focus on that point instead of the hours/days/weeks/years between now and then boggles my mind.

      • why would you show a pregnant woman “up”? that seems counterintuitive!

          • man you just pull the socket out of the wall and start screaming “BLACKOUT DRILL! BLACKOUT DRILL!” and make her pretend to pack up the baby for an evac from the house.

            totally less stressful than watching up. i’ve only ever watched my wife watch the credits – before she was swollen from within – and i just up and left the house.

  5. I first read The Little Prince when I was 9 or 10, on a family vacation road trip. When I got to the end of the book, I cried and cried as we drove down the highway. My younger brothers were worried, but my mom explained that is was just from reading the book.

    “And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure . . . And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, ‘Yes, the stars always make me laugh!’ And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you…”
    ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

    • God dammit, Angela! I’m supposed to be working! (I check comments in the gaps between appointments.) Now I’m going to have to tell my next patient that my allergies are acting up!

    • Dammnit I forgot about the little prince. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. Curse you Russell, you’re bringing more tears* to my eyes with this post than any other in this whole blog.

      *manly ones of course!

  6. In Nineteen Eighty-Four when O’Brien breaks Winston with the rats-in-the-face cage in Room 101, and Winston calls out “Do it to Julia!” Fear triumphs over love, and Winston intentionally becomes a creature of the state. He knows but does not care that Julia has done, or will do, the same.

    …Oh, spoilers. Sorry.

    • It doesn’t bring a tear to my eye but it is a powerful scene in a powerful book. I probably need to reread it soon.

  7. The end of Big Fish. The end of Cyrano.

    The death of grand storytellers apparently gets to me.

    • Big Fish is a fantastic movie that I feel doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

      • Big Fish pushed the definition of what was possible with film making about four miles in the right direction. What a movie!

      • After Mars Attacks, Sleepy Hollow and Planet of the Apes, I was pretty annoyed with Tim Burton and ready to never to watch another of his films.

        Big Fish granted him a reprieve. Good movie.

  8. I am going to go a bit highbrow and say the films of Koreda Hirokazu are good at eliciting an emotional reaction. So does Au Revoir Les Efants by Louis Malle. Ikiru, Madadayo, and Rhapsody in August by Kurosawa. Also various plays by Shakespeare like the Winter’s Tale, the end of King Lear.

    Catharsis done right is good for the soul.

    For a more common touch, My Neighbor Totoro.

      • Well he is very popular.

        How about 50/50? That touches me.

        My office mates make pop culture references all day that I vaguely know about but don’t really get. It is a bit disconcerting and last week I managed to raise an eyebrow by mentioning I had some favorite journalists and remembering who Sisyphus was.

    • Catharsis done right is good for the soul.

      This isn’t meant critically in any way, but your comment made me wonder what would be an example of catharsis done wrong? Perhaps something like people standing in the theater cheering the torture scene in Zero Dark Thirty? Two Minutes Hate?

      • The Two Minutes of Hate is a good example of catharsis done bad.

      • My old friend and roommate laughed during the “landing” scene at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan… in the theatres, he felt like a bit of a pariah.

        I did my best not to laugh during the funeral scene in ‘Remember the Titans’.

        I can see catharsis done wrong.

        • I thought I was the only one! It was the scene with the field medic frantically trying to save the soldier with the sucking chest wound. “Well, we finally stopped the bleeding!” <> as a bullet slices through his patient’s helmet. I got some really nasty looks from the people sitting around me. I can’t really explain it. The scene was ridiculously ironic with all the pointlessness of this medic working his ass off to save a fellow soldier only to have him die anyway–it made me laugh.

      • Did people really cheer the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty?

        I was one of those liberals who felt uncomfortable by the celebrations and euphoria at the announcement of the Death of Osama Bin Laden. We had a right to go after him because of 9/11 but I wish victory was treated more somberly in this case instead of being a real life “America, Fuck Yeah”

  9. Roxanne: “I’ve loved but one man and I have lost him twice.”

    Harmonica: “Someday.”

    The music wells as Scout and Jem amble into the woods, her in her ham costume, and the waterworks don’t stop until long after “Hey, Boo.”

  10. About Schmidt, the scenes [*****spoilers*****] where his wife dies and where he receives the letter from the Nun who takes care of Ndugu.

  11. The end of Field of Dreams.

    The last scene of Schindler’s List (at the grave).

    • “Schindler’s List” doesn’t really count as an answer for me with this week’s STQ, largely because I’ve seen it only once and I think once will be enough for me.

      However, 0n that same note, the friends I saw the movie with told me that even the theater manager seemed impressed with how much I was crying at the end of that movie. The tears were… copious. And yes, that final scene at the grave put me waaaaaaaaaaaaay over the edge.

  12. What is this crying you speak of? Is it like self-doubt? Is it something people feel?

    Heh… I’m not one for emotions, really. I last cried about 8 years ago over an ex. We broke up right after college graduation, when I was in a weird and bad place because of all the transitions I wasn’t really interested in making.

    Since then, and largely before that (excluding early childhood), I was a steel trap. I remember Mufasa’s death in “The Lion King” being upsetting, but I didn’t cry. I watched “The Express” on an airplane drunk and sleep deprived and that ALMOST made me cry, though there were some extenuating circumstances. There are things that certainly pull at the heart strings but crying isn’t really my thang.

    Ohhh… when I get pink eye, my eyes water. Does that count?

      • Indeed. Interestingly, what makes me so fond of you is that many of the differences between you and I are similar to those between my wife and myself. You and her serve as both a mirror and a counterbalance to me at times, which I am immensely grateful for.

        • Well, not to be a sap, but it’s nice to know the fondness is mutual.

          Which reminds me — March is a big month for basketball, right? Should we plan something?

          • March is big for college basketball, which is not necessarily my forte. The phenomenon that exists around “March Madness” is unique and interesting and the perspective of an outsider would be fascinating, but it’d be something you’d have to go watch a game on a college campus or in a sports bar populated by young people to really see and appreciate. That is a tall order.

            June is when the NBA playoffs and finals hit and, provided the timing works for you, would be my preferred event.

            (Also, be prepared for a potential onslaught of the locals arguing the respective merits and demerits of college basketball versus the professional game.)

          • Wait, we’re going to do an NBA thing? I’m in! I’m in! What can I do? Am I jumping the gun? I LOVE BASKETBALL.

          • Sam,

            Russell and I are going to do a similar post to the one we did on the Oscars, but flip the script and have him watch an NBA basketball game and exchange emails about the experience.

          • He is not. Which is what will make it fun.

            Did you see the Oscars post? It was an expert and a noob responding to the same event.

          • I get that Russell is the noob in this scenario, but who is the expert? #nailedit

          • Kazzy, I do believe he parted your hair with that one.

          • Fell for it, hook, line, and sinker.

            Well played, sir. But, just like that, you’re out of the little exchange!

      • For the record, my sadness was derived from the consequences of his illness. And the 2 hours sleep. And the 8 beers/Bloody Marys.

    • When my oldest son had just turned 3, he saw the movie.
      He went astonishingly fast from “Did Mufasa die?” to “Will my daddy die?” to “WILL I DIE???”
      It turned into a pretty good discussion of life, death, time and loss.
      And when my mom died suddenly, 6 months later, I was really glad we had had those discussions over a movie.

  13. Everything Pixar has ever done wrecks me, whether it’s a goddamned robot being heartbroken about not getting to see another goddamned robot or Sully getting to see Boo again or literally all of the Toy Story movies and Up and Marlin’s and Dory’s devastation during Finding Nemo and oh my god.

    The other day my daughter and I, while my wife and son were sick, watched Men In Black 3 and we cried like hell at the end of that too. How about in Angus when the kid’s grandfather passes away? GAAAAAH.

    Thanks for ruining my day Dr. Saunders.

  14. There are a few things, I’m sure, but not that much that is springing to mind. Here is one, perhaps unlikely source:

    (I should mention that I’ve found I’m more of a raw nerve ever since my mother died. She had a protracted battle with cancer, so her death was both sad and a bit of a relief that she was done suffering.)

    The end of Mary Poppins. ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ is a wonderful song and wonderful end to the movie. And Mary Poppins is a movie that my daughter loves and that I loved as a child. It’s also one that my mother loved, and I know that she would have loved watching it with her grandchildren. So whenever I get to the end of that movie, I just know that there’s someone missing from the experience.

  15. Oh my. Let’s sees….

    The last chapter of The Brothers K, by David James Duncan.

    The last line of Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett.

    Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King.

    This line in the Paul Simon song, Graceland:

    She comes back to tell me she’s gone.
    As if I didn’t know that, as if I didn’t know my own bed.
    As if I never noticed the way she brushed her hair from her forehead.

    The ending scene of Field of Dreams where Kevin Costner plays catch with his father.

    Chopin’s Prelude #4.

    Sinead O’Connor’s version of Skibereen, which I listen to once a year, every year on March 17.

    Big Fish, which I have only seen once – a month after my father’s passing – and which I have never been able to get up the stones to see again since.

    The final ice sculpting scene of Edward Scissor Hands.

    Where the Red Fern Grows

    At least, these are the ones off the top of my head.

    • I’d totally forgotten about songs. Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt” is pretty brutal. As is the following line from Radiohead’s “There, There”:

      “Just cause you feel it, doesn’t mean it’s there.”

      • Michelle mentioned “Hallelujah” (as I said, I prefer Cale’s cover) already, and the line that gets me is:

        Maybe there’s a God above
        But all I ever learned from love
        Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you

        • I think I’m the only person on Earth that thinks that song is erotic, and is *supposed* to be erotic.

          I blame how Hollywood has used it for death scenes.

          • Oh, it’s an erotic song (read the lyrics) – but it’s a SAD erotic. It’s the memory of eros.

            It’s about the aftermath; about how all-consuming love destroys and it’s the only thing that matters anyway; because the memory and brokenness resulting from it is still better than never having had it at all.

            How’d Bathsheba work out for David?

            And the use of it in Watchmen was just…awful. Laughable.

            Cohen is still touring. Amazing. If you’ve never seen him, try to do so while you still can. I saw him a few years ago and he was still phenomenal.

          • I think most people generally prefer the soulful versions of the song like the Buckley or Wainwright covers.

            Very few people like the Leonard Cohen version. I’ve played the Cohen version and had people scream “What the fuck is this? This isn’t sexy at all!”

        • Yes. I think I cried at that song when I watched Shrek. Which…seriously, it’s Shrek. Maybe I was in an emotional mood.

    • The ending scene of Field of Dreams where Kevin Costner plays catch with his father.

      Yeah. Along with “I want my father, you son of a bitch.”

      • For me it’s the ending scene of The Natural where Robert Redford plays catch with Glenn Close’s son. Or the part moments earlier when he breaks Wonder Boy and the bat boy gives him the bat Roy taught him to make.

        And an awful lot of other scenes, movies and documentaries.

  16. I assume we’re all in agreement that Bill Pullman’s speech in Independence Day is a guaranteed tear-jerker, right?

    • I don’t recall anything about that film that engaged me, other than the idiocy of a Mac being able to talk to any other kind of computer.

        • Hey, it’s all TCP/IP, right? I mean, every computer network in the galaxy conforms to IEEE standards, right?

          • In those days, the Mac barely even spoke TCP/IP.

    • You guys take all comments very, very literally.

      One of my favorite memories of childhood was that the local bargain theater was showing this movie forever. So we saw the film five times in the theater. And by the fifth time, we’re bored, and so we convince a friend of ours that we’re all going to stand and cheer enthusiastically after Pullman finishes prattling on about, “our INDEPENDENCE DAY!” Of course, he stands up and starts going nuts, and we all sit there, looking at him.

  17. By the way, what does any of this have to do with Holly Hunter?

      • I… don’t… know?

        I was 4 when it came out. Also, I constantly mix up “Leaving Las Vegas” with “Raising Arizona” because they both have desert places in the title and involved Nic Cage.

        • I don’t get a chance to say this often, but…Son, you got a panty on your head.

        • You make me want to become an IMDB member, so I can list “Leaving Las Vegas” s a remake of “Raising Arizona”.

        • Ah. Yes, they do star Mr. Cage from way back when he was still an actor.

          They are, however, rather different movies in pretty much every other regard. “Raising Arizona” is a beautiful affirmation of life’s beauty, no matter our flaws and faults. “Leaving Las Vegas” is about the depths of human misery.

          I would watch “Raising Arizona” over and over and over. Once was plenty for “Leaving Las Vegas.”

          • My running mentor watches “Leaving Las Vegas” regularly. She’s made of incredibly tough stuff.

          • Which one has an image of a baby sitting in the middle of a road? Maybe the baby is wearing sunglasses? I have a weird mental image of that associated with one of these movies. I want to watch that one, because babies are funny.

          • Is the baby named Arizona?

            We’re probably going to have to Netflix these during the baby sabbatical. Well, the heartwarming one, at least.

          • Also, is it indeed wearing sunglasses? Oh, how I hope it is.

            OOO! Now I hope *MY* baby wears sunglasses.

          • You’ll just have to watch the movie now, won’t you?

            It is eminently worth watching. Though from what you tell me of Zazzy’s emotional state (a woman, it seems, after my own heart), you’ll want to tread lightly, especially if you’re both going to be brand new parents when you watch.

          • OOO! Now I hope *MY* baby wears sunglasses.

            You’ll just have to wait and see.

          • “Raising Arizona” wouldn’t be bad by any stretch of the imagination. As I’ve indicated, I love the film without reservation. Just, if she’s at all like me, expect Emotions to Surface.

          • I don’t know, they was jammies! They had Yodas and s**t on them!

  18. When the Angels Take Manhattan episode of Doctor Who. And then again when I watched this.

  19. Cinema Paradiso, the montage of kisses scene.

    AI the movie. At various times, watching it in the theatre, either my little son or I was crying.

    • AI is HEARTBREAKING. I am a big defender of that movie. How little was your son? That could have been traumatic for him.

      • And David continued to pray to the blue fairy
        She who smiled softly forever.
        She who welcomed forever.

        Eventually, the floodlights died
        But David could still see her, palely, by day.
        And he still addressed her, in hope.

        He prayed until all the sea anemones had shriveled and died
        As the ocean froze
        And the ice encased the amphibicopter and the Blue Fairy
        Locking them together where he could see her
        A blue ghost in ice.

        Always there.
        Always smiling.
        Always awaiting him.

        Eventually, he never moved at all
        But his eyes always stayed open
        Staring ahead forever
        All though the darkness of each night
        And the next day and the next day

        Thus, 2000 years passed by.

          • Are you one of those people that sees the “alien” (=superadvanced humans and/or cybernetic beings) coda as “inappropriately happy ending”, rather than the “by the way, here’s one additional gut punch for the road: there is no god and any perceived moment of happiness or comfort is simply a false illusion” that it actually is?

          • You’re not alone in thinking so. The ending was a sucker punch, a strange rallando postlude, like some bits of Rameau: Les Triolets (here, commencing at 2:39). Ending after ending, that’s a baroque modality.

            No other ending could have been so triste, so gut-wrenching: that last pull-out shot. The original Aldiss story ends with David and Teddy, very happy:

            “Teddy — I suppose Mummy and Daddy are real, aren’t they?”

            Teddy said, “You ask such silly questions, David. Nobody knows what real really means. Let’s go indoors.”

            “First I’m going to have another rose!” Plucking a bright pink flower, he carried it with him into the house. It could lie on the pillow as he went to sleep. Its beauty and softness reminded him of Mummy.

  20. Also: the very end of The Princess Bride, when a young Fred Savage says to Peter Falk, his grandfather who just read him the story, “Maybe tomorrow we could read the story again, Grampa?” and Peter Falk says back, “As you wish.”

    • The book ends:

      But that doesn’t mean I think they had a happy ending either. Because, in my opinion anyway, they squabbled a lot, and Buttercup lost her looks eventually, and one day Fezzik lost a fight and some hotshot kid whipped Inigo with a sword and Westley was never able to really sleep sound because of Humperdinck maybe being on the trail.

      I’m not trying to make this a downer, understand. I mean, I really do think love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops. But I also have to say, for the umpty-umpth time, that life isn’t fair.It’s just fairer than death, that’s all.

      (Y’all need to read the book.)

      • Everybody needs to read the book. I mean, how great is the part where he talks about who was the most beautiful woman in the world before Buttercup?

        • Or the part where Buttercup realizes she’s in love with the Farm Boy (AKA Westley).

        • The film was its own animal, a truly wonderful telling of the story. But it’s not as droll and wise as the book, imho.

          • In some ways I kinda think the movie did a better job of selling the Meta Story than the book did.

          • I’ve said this before: when John Fowles was on set, consulting on the making of his novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman into a film, he came to realise the director and actors and cinematographers loved his book as much as he did but they were making a different thing entirely. His best response would be to let them do their jobs.

            He describes this process in Wormholes, a fine collection of essays, well worth looking up.

        • No question, Goldman knew how to turn his book into a screenplay. But “Life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all.” just gets me. Every time.

          • I don’t know….Death is pretty fair in applicability.

      • Did you (or any of us here, really) ever write the publisher with a SASE for the missing piece of dialogue?

        I didn’t. I thought about it… but I never got around to it.

        I figure that if anybody did, you (Schilling) would have.

        • I never did, but I’ve read that the result was a letter saying that the scene is unavailable due to a copyright dispute with the Morgenstern estate.

          By the way, the person you were instructed to write to, Urban Del Rey, was actually a stuffed bull belonging to Judy-Lynn Del Rey. She named him that because he was a papal bull.

  21. Zazzy’s contribution…

    “Home Makeover… The dad’s quadriplegic, the mom’s blind but the kids are all deaf… everyone’s crying… and then that bus pulls away. Gets ya everytime.”

  22. Up. If I don’t tear up at the beginning Carl-and-Ellie montage, I am pretty much guaranteed to do so in the scene where he finally gets around to reading her Adventure Book. And I am not generally a person who cries at movies. At all.

    Ah, Pixar.

    There’s a couple of parts of the second part of Little Women (the book) that tend to get me crying as well (Beth’s death and Jo’s poems).

  23. I’m not much for remembering the tear-jerker scenes, though I cry freely watching a good tale.

    But Raising Arizona ranks high on my favorite movies list. Momento, Mad Max, Stranger then Paradise, and Repo Man might keep it company. I don’t really think of any because they moved me to tears like ET.

    For tear jerks that I loved, The Time Traveller’s Wife has the added bonus of time travel that doesn’t degrade into obvious paradox because it’s a closed loop.

  24. Boy. Rutger hauer’s final scene in Bladerunner. The sword fight in The Secret of Nimh. The endings of Once and The Shawshank Redemption

  25. The Iron Giant.
    In real life:
    1) when my student workers graduate
    2) thinking in any detail about what incredibly wonderful people my sibs are, and how great my life turned out to be, despite such rocky beginnings.

  26. Alister Sim’s A Christmas Carol, at the end when he goes to his nephew’s for dinner: The niece-in-law’s reaction when he shows up and makes his cryptic apology: she has no idea what he’s been through or why he’s doing this, but she accepts him unconditionally. Also the maid nodding encouragement when Scrooge’s courage flags in front of the closed doors. This movie is so many light years better than the book it would have made Dickens cry.

  27. When Mayonnaise emerged and finally gave his first cry, I’ll say that I was about half a beat from crying.

    I don’t know if this makes me human or a monster…

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