Saddest Movies Ever Made - Part 2

Posted on 1 Sep 00:00

Occasionally, people enjoy watching sad movies. Watching sad movies can be therapeutic the same as listening to sad songs. As people watch these films, some reflect on the reality of life and possibly relive real life situations. Sad films evoke some of our most sensitive emotions, and in many cases we through the sadness, we are able to find a release of our pinned up emotions making us feel better.  Discussed here are seven (7) more of the saddest movies every made.

1.  Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)

Plot: This movie features the story of a desperate donkey. The donkey is passed to various masters, and treated cruelly by most of them. His sufferings reflect the life of the donkey's first owner, Marie, who also suffers at the hands of people. Their lives parallel.

Director: Robert Bresson.

Main Cast: Anne Wiazemsky (as Marie), Walter Green (as Jacques), François Lafarge (as Gérard), and Philippe Asselin (as Marie's father).

Commercial Performance: This film grossed slightly more than $45,000. There is no information about the budget.

Awards and Nominations: Many critics noted Au Hasard Balthazar for Bresson's excellent directorial style and consequently considered it a work characterized by profound emotional effect. It is frequently listed as one of the greatest films of all time. At the film's premiere at the 1966 Venice Film Festival, the movie was awarded three awards, including the OCIC (International Catholic Organization for Cinema) Award, the San Giorgio Prize, and the New Cinema Award. In 2012, the Sight & Sound magazine conducted the critics' poll of ‘the greatest films of all time,' which ranked the movie sixteenth. In the director’s poll, Au Hasard Balthazar ranked 18th. In 2008, 203 film critics from 43different keys ranked the movie 52nd on the BBC's list of the 100 greatest foreign-language films.

2.  Autumn Sonata (1978)

Plot: This film features a Charlotte (a famous pianist) and her daughter, Eva, who are reuniting with after separating for years. Charlotte left Eva seven years ago when she signed for a job as a pianist. They have a very troubled relationship and both are deeply hurt. Eva reveals to Charlotte that Charlotte's mentally ill daughter is now out of the mental asylum and lives with her. 

Director:  Ingrid Bergman.

Main Cast: Ingrid Bergman (as Charlotte Andergast), Liv Ullmann (as Eva), Lena Nyman (as Helena), and Halvar Björk (as Viktor).

Commercial Performance: Not known.

Awards and Nominations: This movie was a great critical success, garnering numerous accolades. The film received many awards, particularly because of Ingrid’s performance. The Academy Awards nominated him for two roles, Best Actress and Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen). The National Board of Review awarded Ingrid for two roles, Best Director and Best Actress. The same event left the film with two other awards for Best Foreign Language Film and Top Foreign Language Film. The New York Film Critics Circle nominated Ingrid for two roles, Best Director and Best Actress. She won the Best Actress Award but came third in the Best Director list.

3.  Beyond the Hills (2012)

Plot: Tis film depicts the lives of two young women who, as children, were orphaned and shared an orphanage. However, when they grow up, they take different paths in life. One goes to take refuge in the Romanian Convent while the other moves on to live in Germany. Their lives are examined.

Director: Cristian Mungiu.

Main Cast: Cosmina Stratan (as Voichiţa), Cristina Flutur (as Alina), Valeriu Andriuţă (as Priest), and Dana Tapalagă (as Mother superior).

Commercial Performance: This film grossed $129,919 million. Its budget is unknown.

Awards and Nominations: Commenting on the movie's greatness, Screen Daily's Dan Fainaru said this about it, ‘Spare, unadorned and strikingly shot, Cristian Mungiu's film is an unusual rendering of a Romanian exorcism case and is bound to split both audience and critical opinions, some considering it a major achievement and others blaming it for overlong pretentious sensationalism. But it will certainly not pass unnoticed.’ In constituting its list of best films of 2012, Sound & Sight recognized the film and listed it as the eighth-best movie in 2012. During the movie's premiere in 2012 at The Cannes Film Festival, the movie won three awards, the Best Screenplay Award, and the Best Actress Award that Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan shared. During the 2012 Mar del Plata International Film Festival, Beyond the Hills movie won the Golden Astor for Film Award. Beyond the Hills film also received the Romanian selection to enter the Best Foreign Language Oscar during the 85th Academy Awards, making the January shortlist.

4.  Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

Plot: This film portrays the hard times that a female-to-male transgender youngster experiences. Things go bad for Brandon Teenan when his sister's ex-girlfriend realizes that Brandon is biologically female, which causes him to leave home. When he begins taking an interest in a singer and they plan to start a life together, Teenan ex-convict friend learns his secret, and his life, again, takes a downward turn.

Director: Kimberly Peirce directed the film.

Main Cast: Hilary Swank (as Brandon Teena), Chloë Sevigny (as Lana Tisdel), Peter Sarsgaard (as John Lotter), and Brendan Sexton III (as Marvin 'Tom' Nissen).

Commercial Performance: 'Boys Don’t Cry' was a tremendous commercial success and a box office hit, grossing $20.7 million on a $2 million budget.

Awards and Nominations: 'Boys Don't Cry' received many award nominations. During the 72nd Academy Awards held in 2000, Swank was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress. During the same event, Sevigny was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. The two additionally received nominations at the 57th Golden Globe Awards, in which Swank won the Best Actress – Drama award. The New York Film Critics Circle, the Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, and an Independent Spirit Awards awarded Swank and Sevigny the Best Actress Awards. At the Boston Society of Film Critics’ Awards, the movie won three awards; Best Actress (Swank), Best Supporting Actress (Sevigny), and Best Director (Peirce).

5.  Boyz n the Hood (1991)

Plot: 'Boyz n the Hood' has a title that is a double entendre; a play on the term boyhood and a reference to the 1987 N.W.A Boyz n the Hood rap song written by Ice Cube. The plot is about three childhood friends, Darrin, Tre, and Ricky, who must struggle to cope with the distractions and dangers of growing up in a Los Angeles ghetto, a neighborhood with booming gang culture.

Director: John Singleton.

Main Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr. (as Jason ‘Tre’ Styles III), Angela Bassett (as Reva Devereaux), Laurence Fishburne (as Jason 'Furious' Styles Jr.), Ice Cube (as Darren 'Doughboy' Baker), and Morris Chestnut (as Ricky Baker).

Commercial Performance: 'Boyz n the Hood' is one of the most successful saddest movies every made. The film was produced on a budget of $6.5 million, and it grossed $57.5 million.

Awards and Nominations: John Singleton was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. He won three other awards from MTV Film & T.V. Awards (Best Filmmaker), Political Film Society (For Peace), and New York Film Critics Circle (Best New Director).

6.  Breaking the Waves (1996)

Plot: The setting is the 1970s in the Scottish Highlands. The film chronicles a young woman whose husband has a horrific accident at work. Because of the accident, he becomes permanently immobilized. Her husband convinces her to sleep with other men while he is in this state. She complys, but is devastated because but still loves her husband.

Director: Lars Von Trier.

Main Cast: Emily Watson (as Bess McNeill), Stellan Skarsgård (as Jan Nyman), Katrin Cartlidge (as Dodo McNeill), and Jean-Marc Barr (as Terry).

Commercial Performance: Though critically acclaimed, 'Breaking the Waves' movie was not a great commercial success. It grossed $4 million, below its $7.5 million budget.

Awards and Nominations: This movie was a tremendous critical success and is perhaps Trier's most acclaimed movie. Among the many rewards the film received, was the 'Grand Prix' at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. Emily Watson was nominated for the Best Actress by Bodil Awards, Academy Awards, Golden Awards, and BAFTA Awards. She also won several Best Actress Awards, including that from the National Society of Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

7.  Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Plot: The plot depicts a boy who grew up in a native Sicilian Village who returns home as a famous director after he receives news about an old friend of his who has died. Growing up in the village, Di Vita found life unbearable and escapes but now comes back and reflects on his life.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore.

Main Cast: Philippe Noiret (as Alfredo), Salvatore Cascio (as child Salvatore Di Vita), Agnese Nano (as Elena Mendola), and Antonella Attili (as Maria Di Vita).

Commercial Performance: Cinema Paradiso was a tremendous commercial success. It was produced on a budget of $5 million and grossed more than $12 million in the U.S.

Awards and Nominations: This movie was widely acclaimed. The Best Foreign Language Film Award was granted to the film at the 62nd Academy Awards. The film also won the Golden Award for Best Foreign Language Film and César Award for Best Poster for Jouineau Bourduge.


This article focused on seven of the many saddest films every made. One seeking an emotional release through crying, would do well to check out these films.

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