Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #41 -- 13 Tearjerkers


I do not cry in public. Never have. Unless I’m watching a movie. Then the faucets open up. Perhaps it’s because I’m so in love with the movies that it’s easy for me to get drawn into their world. Or maybe we each get a certain number of tears to shed in life and the ones I don’t weep in “real” life, I cry in “reel” life. But I’m not sure it really matters. I love a good tearjerker, and here are 13 reliable ones.

1. Titanic. (1997) Poor Jack, who perished. Poor Rose, who persevered without him. “Jack Dawson saved me in every way a person can be saved.”

2. The Wizard of Oz. (1939) I agree with Dorothy. The Scarecrow was my favorite, too, and I believe I’d miss him most of all.

3. Gone with the Wind. (1939) Damn that Civil War! But don’t you worry about Miss Scarlett O’Hara. She’ll never be hungry again. Not her, nor any of her folk. If she has to lie, steal, cheat or kill, as God is her witness, she’ll never be hungry again.

4. Casablanca. (1942) Damn that World War II! But thank God for men like Rick. He was wrong, you know. He was “good at being noble” after all. That’s why he sacrificed his great love so that right could prevail.

5. Shenandoah. (1965) Damn that Civil War! When Jimmy Stewart visits his wife’s grave and tries to explain how it decimated her family, how it took her sons, how only the politicians and undertakers and old men won, I just dissolve.

6. Mr. Roberts. (1955) Damn that World War II! It took a good and decent man like Doug Roberts, broke his spirit and then took his life. Some consider this movie a comedy, and it has its moments, but its portrayal of mundane reality of war and what it does to the soldiers and sailors who live it day to day breaks my heart.

7. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. (1967) OK, so it’s well-meaning but dopey and dated and at times even insulting. But if you can get through that scene near the end without tears … that scene where art imitates life, when an aging Spencer Tracy, in his last movie, publicly tells Katharine Hepburn – the woman he secretly loved for decades – that his passion for her is still there, that he remembers how it felt to first fall in love with her … then there’s something very, very wrong with you.

8. Splendor in the Grass. (1961) When a grown-up, married Bud tells Deanie he doesn’t think much about happiness anymore, and she gets back in the car to go home, impossibly beautiful in her white hat and gloves, and recites to herself, “nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass or glory in the flower, we will grieve not but rather find strength in what remains behind,” I ache for them both.

9. To Kill a Mockingbird. (1962) I know young Scout has no idea why her neighbor tells her to stand up because her father is passing. But I also know that some day she will, and she’ll be a proud woman because her father was Atticus Finch.

10. The Way We Were. (1973) Yes, I know Hubbell is a shitheel – a man who knowingly squanders his talent and refuses to stand up for what matters. Yes, Katie probably is better off without him. But how she loved him and believed in him! It’s so hard to let go of such a beautiful dream. Who hasn’t felt this romantic, impossible longing?

11. Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (1961) That scene in the alley in the rain … am I happy because Holly reunites with Paul, or with Cat? Oh, what difference does it make? Just so all three live happily ever after.

12. Brian’s Song. (1971) A male buddy of mine says that there are only 3 acceptable reasons for a real man to cry: Pain, extreme pain, and Brian’s Song. Maybe it’s a Chicago thing, but I know of no one over 30 who can be in an elevator when the theme comes on without choking up. There are many movies about romantic love, but few that tackle (pardon the pun) the powerful, platonic love of friendship. This is the true story of enduring Bears hero Gale Sayers and his brave, doomed teammate Brian Piccolo. The shy, private Sayers really did accept the Halas Award saying that “I love Brian Piccolo. And tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him, too.”

13. Old Yeller. (1957) I can’t even look at the DVD cover without welling up. Was he a great Yeller Dog or what? Capable of so much joy, so much love, so much courage. This movie introduced me to one of life’s toughest lessons – our furry friends never live as long as we need them to, and they depend on us to do right by them when they’re suffering, even if it breaks our hearts.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Nicole Austin has a seasonal TT with a great banner

2. Chelle Y. has a warm and lovely list of things she's thankful for

3. Susiej's TT is an important one -- safe toys

4. Tink shares facts about her favorite jungle cat, the black panther

5. Sandee asks Why? 13 provocative times

6. Malcolm takes us down memory lane with 13 terrifically sleazy quotes from my favorite nighttime soap, Dallas

7. Crimson Wife shares 13 yummy recipes

8. WorksforMom shares bumper sticker wisdom

9. Hard-hearted Nicholas lists 13 books with cities, states or countries in their names

10. Susan Helene Gottfried sings the praises (as it were) of the rythm guitar

11. Janet gets down to basics with her TT

12. Sandy Carlson shares fascinating facts about her family tree

13. Greatfullivin has a TT that will leave you feeling warm all over

14. Leeann shares some amazing pregnant lady cravings

15. Lori offers up lovely quotes on love and friendship (and a really cool banner, too!)

16. Nononsense Girl lets us read the thought bubble over head

17. The Head Gaggler comes clean and names the worst bands

18. Journeywoman has a wise and sensitive TT about IVF

19. Jenny McB is back and funnier than ever!

20. Open Grove Claudia was kind enough to do a TT that makes me feel better about myself

21. Fresh Girl has a birthday coming up. Swing by and wish her well.

22. Wakela's TT was is all about hyperthyroidism

23. Megan is a frustrated book-a-holic

24. Morgan Leigh shows off her beautiful family

25. Heads up! Crazy Working Mom has a birthday coming up, and her gift list is her TT

26. Mitchypoo has 13 one-liners about weight loss and diet

27. Becka muses about 13 imponderables

28. Visit Grace for 13 facts about dates (as in tasty food, not men nor the calendar)

29. MomG has funny courtroom anecdotes

30. Raggedy takes us back to airforce in 1920

31. Xakara gives us insight into her creative process

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!