Saddest Movies Ever Made - Part 3

Posted on 1 Oct 00:00

Fail-Safe (1994), Dead Man Walking (1995) and Dead Poets Society (1989) and Days of Heaven (1978); there is one thing these four movies have in common, they are all sad films. They make one cry. Watching sad movies boosts the endorphin levels in one's brain. Eventually, one gains physical and emotional benefits when they become more tolerant to pain. Discussed here are seven more of the saddest movies ever produced.

1. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Plot: 'Dallas Buyers Club' features the story of Ron, a man diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the 1980s. At this time, the research that has been conducted on the virus is quite limited, and there is a stigma attached to AIDS patients. Ron must find a way to handle his symptoms. He gets involved in an experimental movement and smuggles unapproved pharmaceutical drugs to Texas. Ron experiences a lot of opposition from the Food and Drug Administration regarding the drugs. He uses them to treat his symptoms and helps fellow AIDS patients using the same drugs. To facilitate this, he opens a center called Dallas Buyers Club as an outreach to support the other AIDS patients.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée.

Main Cast: Matthew McConaughey (as Ron Woodroof, the real-life AIDS patient), Jennifer Garner (as Dr. Eve Saks), and Jared Leto (as Rayon, another AIDS patient that proves helpful to Ron)

Commercial Performance: This movie was a commercial success. It grossed $55.7 million on a $5 million budget.

Awards and Nominations: This film was a subject of wide critical acclaim that resulted in it receiving many accolades in the form of awards and nominations. Most critics praise Matthew and Leto for their roles. The two won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Academy Awards during the 86th Academy Awards. Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews also won the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar. The Golden Globes awarded the film two awards; Best Actor - In a Motion Picture - Drama (Matthew McConaughey) and Best Supporting Actor - In a Motion Picture (Jared Leto).

2. Dancer in the Dark (2000)

Plot: This film tells the story of Selma, a Czech immigrant working in an American rural factory. Her life is hard as a single mother with a son. Worse, she is soon going to lose her eyesight. Selma's son is also facing the same predicament; he will lose sight if Selma does not get enough money to have an eye operation. Selma hides her pain with her passion for music, specifically, the singing and dancing numbers found in classic Hollywood musicals.

Director: Lars von Trier.

Main Cast: Björk (as Selma Ježková), Catherine Deneuve (as Kathy (Cvalda), David Morse (as Bill Houston), Peter Stormare (as Jeff), and Joel Grey (as Oldřich Nový).
Commercial Performance: This movie was a commercial success, grossing $45.6 million on a budget of $12.5 million.

Awards and Nominations: This melodrama was a modest critical success. It received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. The 2001 Bodil Awards recognized the film’s great performance, nominating Lars von Trier for the Best Danish Film and awarding the Best Actress Award to Björk. At the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, Lars Von Tier won the Best Director Award, while Björk won the Actress Award. The European Film Awards nominated the movie for four awards; Best Film (Lars von Trier), Best Actress (Björk), Best Director – People's Choice (Lars von Trier), and Best Actress – People's Choice (Björk).

3. Days of Heaven (1978)

Plot: 'Days of Heaven' depicts a story of love and murder expressed through a child's voice and uses images of nature in 1916. A steelworker, Bill, during a fight with his boss kills him and flees to Chicago. As he takes his little sister and girlfriend with him. A series of unfortunately events occur.

Director: Terrence Malick.

Main Cast: Richard Gere (as Bill), Brooke Adams (as Abby), and Sam Shepard (as The Farmer).

Commercial Performance: 'Days of Heaven' did not do well commercially. It grossed $3.4 million which was only slightly above the $3 million budget.

Awards and Nominations: Despite the lack of commercial success, the film was a subject of tremendous critical acclaim, garnering accolades in the form of numerous awards and nominations. Almendros received the Best Cinematography Academy Award. The Academy Awards additionally nominated the movie for three awards; Best Original Score (Ennio Morricone), Best Costume Design (Patricia Norris), and Best Sound (John Wilkinson, Robert W. Glass Jr., John T. Reitz, and Barry Thomas). The movie also received a BAFTA Award for Best Original Music for Ennio Morricone and two Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture- Drama and Best Director. The National Film Society nominated the film for three awards; Best Film, Best Director (Terrence Malick), and Best Cinematography (Néstor Almendros). Malick and Almendros won their awards.

4. Dead Man Walking (1995)

Plot: This movie depicts a sister, Helen Prejean, who is trying to honor a desperate man's request, she writes to the condemned killer of two teenage lovers. Unknown to her, a new relationship develops between them.

Director: Tim Robbins.

Main Cast: Susan Sarandon (as Sister Helen Prejean), Sean Penn (as Matthew Poncelet), Robert Prosky (as Hilton Barber), and Raymond J. Barry (as Earl Delacroix).

Commercial Performance: 'Dead Man Walking' is one of the most successful crime drama films. It grossed $83 million on a $11million budget.

Awards and Nominations: This movie was a critical success and received many awards and nominations. The 20/20 Awards nominated the film for several awards; Best Picture, Best Actor (Sean Penn), Best Actress (Susan Sarandon won the award), and Best Song ‘Dead Man Walkin’– Bruce Springsteen. The film received the Best Actress Academy Award (for Susan Sarandon) and other three Academy Award nominations; Best Director (Tim Robbins), Best Actor (Sean Penn), and Best Original Song. Other nominations include the Australian Film Institute Awards (Best Foreign Film for Jon Kilik, Tim Robbins, and Rudd Simmons), and the Awards Circuit Community Awards (Best Actor in a Leading Role for Sean Penn and Best Actress in a Leading Role for Susan Sarandon).

5. Dead Poets Society (1989)

Plot: This film tells the story of a progressive English teacher,John Keating. John encourages the students he teaches to rise above odds and live a free life. To achieve this, he advises them to break free from the norm, advance pass the status quo and live a life without regrets.

Director: Peter Weir.

Main Cast: Robin Williams (as John Keating), Robert Sean Leonard (as Neil Perry), Ethan Hawke (as Todd Anderson), and Josh Charles (as Knox Overstreet).

Commercial Performance: 'Dead Poets Society' was a commercial success. The movie's budget was $16.4 million, and it grossed $235.9 million.

Awards and Nominations: This movie was a critical success, and received many awards. In the 1990 Academy Awards, the film won the Best Original Screenplay (Tom Schulman) and was nominated for three other roles; Best Actor (Robin Williams), Best Director (Peter Weir), and Best Picture (Steven Haft, Paul Junger Witt, and Tony Thomas). The 1989 UK BAFTA Awards earned the movie two awards for Best Film and Best Original Film Score (Maurice Jarre). The BAFTA nominations were; Best Actor in a Leading Role (Robin Williams), Best Achievement in Direction (Peter Weir), Best Editing (William Anderson), Best Original Screenplay (Tom Schulman), and Best Director (Peter Weir).

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Plot: This film's plot explores the pain of losses and the intricacy of relationships. It features two lovers, Joel and Clementine, who go to extremes to forget each other after their two-year relationship ends. Clementine undergoes a procedure to erase Joe from her memory. When Joel discovers what she has done, he goes the same route.

Director: Michael Gondry.

Main Cast: Jim Carrey (as Joel Barish, a bookish introvert who gets into a two-year relationship with Clementine), Kate Winslet (as Clementine Kruczynski), and Kirsten Dunst (as Mary Svevo).

Commercial Performance: This movie excelled commercially. It was produced on a budget of $20 million, yet it grossed $74 million.

Awards and Nominations: Many critics acknowledged the film for its wonderful work. The Academy Awards nominated Kate Winslet for the Best Actress Award and awarded Pierre Bismuth, Michel Gondry, and Charlie Kaufman for Best Original Screenplay Award. The movie also received two British Academy Film Awards for Best Original Screenplay (Charlie Kaufman) and Best Editing (Valdís Óskarsdóttir).

7. Fail-Safe (1964)

Plot: This film tells the story of an electronic malfunction that takes place in the American Air force, that sends an incorrect message to the pilots. Following the erroneous text, the pilots take action and launch an attack on Russia. The plot explores whether the Americans can avert the danger of a failsafe war that results.

Director: Sidney Lumet.

Main Cast: Henry Fonda (as the President), Dan O’Herlihy (as Brigadier General Warren A. ‘Blackie’ Black, USAF), Walter Matthau (as Professor Groeteschele), and Frank Overton (as General Bogan, USAF).

Commercial Performance: the box-office gross of this movie was $1.8 million. It's budget is unknown.

Awards and Nominations: Sidney Lumet received the UN Award (BAFTA Award) nomination. Henry Fonda emerged fifth in the Laurel Awards' list of Dramatic Performance, Male. At the same time, the film also emerged fifth in the Laurel Awards Best Film selection.

Sad movies often result in the audience in tears. However, while painful, science shows that watching sad movies can be therapeutic by helping one to release stress. After watching them, people are often better able to confront pain and hardships.

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