Monday, July 10, 2017

My Ten Saddest Movies

Elena posed a fascinating question the other night-name your ten saddest movies for all time. I had to think long and hard about this. I came up with the following choices:
From Argentina:
A Man Facing Southeast from 1987. This was a low-budget film with unknown actors. It concerns an inmate in a psychiatric hospital. He shows magical powers and does wonderful deeds. Then he suddenly dies. His psychiatrist and family wonder if he was a troubled man from an alcoholic family or an alien from another planet. In all my life no film touched my heart like this one.
The Secret of Your Eyes from 2009: This film had a big budget, superb writing, cinematography, actors, etc. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language film in 2009.It showed the Argentina Dirty War in graphic and accurate detail. It shows how it affected those who lived through it for decades later. It was sad all the way through but had a surprise happy ending.
From South Africa:
Shepherds and Butchers from 2016: It is a court room drama. A guard on death row who weekly participates in executions gets into a shooting incident. He kills seven people in a van. His lawyer convinces tree judges that the trauma he suffered in weekly executions caused him to "go off" and kill seven people. This is a grim and graphic film.
From The United States:
Valley of the Dolls from 1967: Three young women come to New York to make it in show business. All have great success and various personal tragedies.
I Want To Live from 1958: Susan Hayward won an Academy Award for best actress for her role of the murderess Barbara Graham. One third of the film is the 24 hours leading up to her execution in San Quentin's gas chamber.
Somewhere In Time from 1984. This movie proved that Christopher Reeves could really act. A man is transported back in time and falls in love with an 1890's stage actress. You cry at the end.
Dr, Zhivago from 1967: This was the film based on Boris Pasternak's classic Russian novel. It follows Russian from before the Russian Revolution to 1967. A couple fall in love and then are torn apart,
Rocketship X-M from 1951:This was a pioneering movie both in science fiction and for women. The film had a strong woman character who was a scientist. Ossa Massin of Denmark played this part brilliantly. She is a woman who devoted her life to science and ignored men. While on a flight to Mars, she falls in love with fellow astronaut Lloyd Bridges. As the ships returns from Mars and gets ready to reenter the earth's atmosphere, it runs out of fuel. As it is crashing to earth, Ossa and Lloyd hug each other.
The Goodbye Girl from 1976: A single mom has no luck in love until she falls in love with an eccentric played by Richard Dreyfuss. He is called far away to work on a new project and she can't come along.
Love Story from 1970: A poor Radcliff students with lots of brains falls in love with a wealthy Harvard Law school student. Despite the objections of the man's wealthy family, they marry and find great happiness. She contracts cancer and dies suddenly.
My choices of films focus on the following areas:
1) People who find true love and tragically lose it.
2) The futility of the death penalty.
3) Military dictatorships.
4) How badly we treat people with mental illness.
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