Though my knowledge of popular culture, especially movies, contains a massive void of anything made over the last fifteen years (due to kids and night school), I constructed a list of five “guy-cry” or better yet “guy-makes-awkward-faces-and-then-suddenly-leaves-the-room-to-check-the-oil-in-the-car” movies:
5. Shenandoah (1965) This classic tale starring Jimmy Stewart follows a large Virginia family who unsuccessfully try to stay neutral during the Civil War. I can’t hear the old church hymn “Rock of Ages” without remembering the film’s vivid scene involving Stewart’s younger son entering their church.
3. Saving Private Ryan (1998) In comparison to Titanic, when you have a main character “thinking back,” this movie was done so much better as the audience did not know whose grave the old man was viewing at the start of the film. In contrast, with Titanic, everyone knew from the start the surviving woman’s identity, therefore making the scenes where she almost died so much less dramatic.
2. Where the Red Fern Grows (1974) Anything with dogs in it is a slam dunk for causing most guys to sniffle. This movie based on the classic novel set in Tahlequah, Oklahoma (not to far from my childhood stomping grounds) follows a boy’s dream of purchasing Redbone coonhound hunting dogs. According to Indian legend, wherever a red fern grows is sacred ground—-wonderful title, excellent book, good movie. Old Yeller was a special one as well.
1. Brian’s Song (1971) This film is based on the true story of the friendship of professional football players Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo. Actors Billy Dee Williams and James Caan excel in this movie. I remember as a child, watching this movie on television with my dad and brother—and all three of us sitting silently doing are best to “think happy thoughts.”
Also, I looked at several online compilations of “guy cry” movies (including this one), and saw on a few that Field of Dreams and Glory were listed. Even as a baseball fan, I did not like Field of Dreams; much less feel teary-eyed while watching it.
With Glory, the movie was well done and had dramatic scenes, but maybe I know too much about that history-- I was just too caught-up in watching what scenes were accurately portrayed versus parts that involved the writers’ creative licenses.
I am sure that as soon as I post this, I’ll think of several other films that should be on the list.