Sad movies that make men cry

Easy Rider, Deer Hunter and a Western make the list

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

When The Gazette’s Arts and Entertainment editors told me they wanted a column about movies that make men cry, I was apprehensive. After all, there are many “top” lists out there, and they all tend to list the same movies.

So I propose a list without Titanic " the ship sinks and Leo turns into a popsicle: get over it. Nor will The Notebook make the list, since no guy watches that without being coerced by a girlfriend. Instead, here are three lesser-known movies that make guys cry.

Easy Rider: It still mystifies me that this narcotic-loving movie hasn’t attained more popularity, especially at universities. Chronicling the tale of two drug-fueled bikers, Captain America (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper), the movie features hippies, free love, drugs, and a snapshot of the ‘60s counter-culture.

So how does a movie featuring a cast stoned out of his gourd make the list? The ending. Like Old Yeller, this movie ends tragically. When Bob Dylan refuses to write music for a film because he thinks the ending is too sad, you know you’ve got a tearjerker.

The Deer Hunter: A Vietnam War movie of a slightly different note, this subdued flick features a strong cast, including Robert de Niro, John Cazale (Fredo in The Godfather) and Christopher Walken. This film portrays life in a small Pennsylvania town bleakly and provides a similarly bleak portrayal of the war. The majority of this film doesn’t take place on the battlefield, but instead addresses the psychological effects of war on a man. Walken in a serious role and another emotional ending puts this film on the list.

Once Upon a Time in the West: A Western? Yes. This film, in addition to its incredible performances (Henry Fonda in one of his few “evil” roles) also features epic music. The soundtrack pulls at the heartstrings in ways a whale jumping over a kid never could.

To everyone who hates Westerns because of John Wayne, I urge you to see this flick. It’s serious, epic and morally ambiguous. After all, who wants to watch movies where the good guys always win?

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