Sentimental Journey

The older I have gotten it seems the more sentimental I have become. Certain scenes from movies will cause me to tear up or become emotional no matter how many times I see them.

Watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the umpteenth time on Christmas Eve, I am sucker for the ending. Especially moving to me is when Harry Bailey arrives and makes a toast to “My brother George, the richest man in town.” Seeing how George made such a difference through kind and courageous acts is compelling.

Another movie scene that gets me is the end of “Field of Dreams” with Kevin Costner. Ray Consuella, played by Costner, asks his father if he wants “a game of catch.” My Dad played catch with me often. So it gets me every time.

Yet, it is not just tears that can be evoked. There is no harder movie to watch than “Sophie’s Choice.” For those who have not seen this, it is Meryl Streep’s finest performance. Without giving away the plot, the movie climax will be as troubling as any you will witness.

The same holds true about a pair of movies that have similar themes. “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and “Life is Beautiful.” They both are about Nazi persecution. While the latter is in Italian with subtitles, it is both terribly sad and uplifting at times, with the love of a father for his son and wife.

There are certain movies where we know the endings will be tough. “La Bamba” and the “Buddy Holly Story” are sad for the same tragic event which took the lives of three entertainers. “Terms of Endearment” was heading toward the ending from the outset. All are wonderful movies.

Yet, what seems to impact me most are parent/ child moments in movies. For that reason, I will end with “Steel Magnolias,” which had a wonderful cast surrounding the mother/ daughter relationship of Sally Field and Julia Roberts. Two scenes stick out – the first is the scene in the beauty parlor where we first realize Roberts’ character is diabetic as she goes into insulin shock. The second is the cathartic moment when Olympia Dukakis’ character offers up her sour-puss friend Weezer (Shirley McClain) as a punching bag for comic relief to the grief stricken mother.

This is by no means a complete list. What are some of your favorite sentimental scenes?



17 thoughts on “Sentimental Journey

  1. Dear Keith,
    I have had the pleasure of having watched and enjoyed all of the movies you have mentioned.

    Movie watching gives me pleasure as well.

    I am most moved by movies like the “Blind Side,” “Hidden Figures,” Hacksaw Ridge,” The Imitation Game,”which are stories based on real characters who have overcome significant obstacles but who ended up making a difference for the better.

    Hugs, Gronda

  2. These are good choices. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ being amongst my ‘new’ favourites.
    I’m not sure if these qualify as sentimental but:
    1. ‘Chariots of Fire’ as Eric Liddel wins his gold medal and his speech ‘…..God made me for a purpose and he made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure…..’ goosebumps every time.
    2. ‘Glory’. As the 54th march up to their last charge, Denzil Washington exchanges glances with a white soldier he had squabbled with the days before and the man calls out ‘Give ’em hell 54th!’. Goosebumps again as these men who have been denigrated all their lives are suddenly being treated as equals.
    3. ‘Hamburger Hill’. The painful scene where the medic Abraham ‘doc’ Johnston is cracking up having lost another man and his fellow African-American soldiers gather around doing a hand jive and saying ‘It don’t mean nothing’ until he calms down. Powerful bonding of people pushed to places we can only imagine.

    • Roger, agreed on Hacksaw Ridge. There are many great scenes, but when his father dons his WWI uniform and goes to bat for him is memorable. What Doss did was courageous beyond words and shows that bravado does jot often equate to real courage.

      I love Chariots of Fire, with the two main stories interwoven with the minor supplemental ones – Lindsey giving up his spot on the 200 meters to watch Liddell run. The pompous deans telling Abrams he could not use s coach and him telling them to mind their own business.

      I love Glory as well, but I don’t think I saw Hamburger Hill. Great actors in Glory. Thanks, Keith

      • Agree with you Keith all the way. If Doss’ story was simply a screen play people would not accept it. The quiet courage of some folk is humbling!
        I could spend a great deal of time stories of the performances and scenes from Glory!
        Hamburger Hill is based on fact. Overall might not be as powerful as say ‘Once We Were Soldiers’, but some of the individual scenes pack achingly effective punches.

      • Thanks Roger. Seeing Doss’ story I am reminded of the old saying “to watch out for the quiet guy.” They are the ones with the courage and determination and do not see a need to beat on their chest.

        I need to look into Hamburger Hill, especially after seeing Ken Burn’s Vietnam War series. Thanks again. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: Another movie that gets me every time is “Brian’s Song” about the friendship between football players Gale Sayers and Brian Piccollo.

  4. I acted out that scene from Steel Magnolias for my theater camp. Another Julia Roberts parent/child relationship movie that gets me is Stepmom especially that Christmas scene at the end between Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon.

  5. I don’t watch very many movies, but I thoroughly agree with you on that last scene in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ … I have never watched it without tears welling. Bur then, I cry at the end of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer when they return to the Isle of Misfit Toys! My all-time favourite, I think, is The Sound of Music’, though I cannot seem to point to just one scene … perhaps when Christopher Plummer is singing Edelweiss and chokes up. I am also a fan of West Side Story. I should watch more movies … there just never seems to be enough time.

    I love it when you do these posts that get everybody involved!

    • Jill, I am a Sound of Music fan as well, and the Edelweiss song when he sings for the kids for the first time is a heart wrencher. Westside Story’s dramatic scene is quite memorable. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to ever learn that lesson and have seemingly retrenched. Thanks for the kudos. Keith

  6. Sophie’s Choice, hands down. But any film with animals is likely to turn me into blubber. Based on the trailers I saw of Warhorse, I knew that was not a film for me. But then I got suckered into seeing the traveling Broadway production of the Warhorse. Even though there were no animals onstage, the only thing that kept me in my seat was the fact that I was trapped in the middle of the hall… near the stage and it would have been too disruptive to climb over everyone. I had my face in my hands for most of that play.

      • Oh yes, Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Amazing Journey…or whatever that one was called where the cat and dog travel cross country to find their family….yeah….I’m a real sucker for those. Oh…Bambi….that terrified me for years. Fire. Oh no!

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