What's The Big Screen Recipe For A Good Guy-Cry? You Tell Us

Aug 4, 2014
Originally published on August 5, 2014 3:50 pm
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



OK, grab the tissues, get a firm shoulder to lean on. It's time for a big cry.


WILL FERRELL: (As Ron Burgundy) (Crying).


Yes, as part of our series on men, we asked our male listeners to tell us what movies make you cry.

CORNISH: Well, thousands of you wrote in about movies such as "The Notebook, "Love Actually," "Kramer vs. Kramer."

BLOCK: Films about men and women and their complicated relationships.

CORNISH: And movies about less complicated ones - think dogs and the occasional cat - "Old Yeller," Homeward Bound," "Marley and Me."

BLOCK: Now we noticed a couple of themes in particular seemed to open those male tear ducts the most. For instance, the bond between father and son.

CORNISH: "Man Of Steel," "Nebraska," and of course, "Big Fish," where a dying father who spun tall tales his whole life asks his son to give him one final story.


BILLY CRUDUP: (As Will Bloom) And the strange thing is there's not a sad face to be found. Everyone is just so glad to see you.

CORNISH: This scene causes Will Francis of Dothan, Alabama to quote, "lose all control of my face excretions. This includes snot I've recently found out."

BLOCK: OK, but there is one line in a film that really gets you guys going. It's a story that unites a son and the ghost of his dad on the baseball diamond - "Field Of Dreams." And this is the line.

JONATHAN HILBUN: Hey, dad. You want to have a catch?

MARK RICKENBACH: Hey, dad. You want to have a catch?


KEVIN COSTNER: (As Ray Kinsella) Hey, dad. You want to have a catch?

CORNISH: That's actor Kevin Costner. Before that, Jonathan Hilbun from Gulfport, Mississippi and Mark Rickenbach from Madison, Wisconsin.

BLOCK: So why does this scene resonate so much among men? NPR reporter - and we should add huge baseball fan - Cory Turner says "Field of Dreams" gets to the heart of father-son relationships.

CORY TURNER: We just never say what we should when we should. And then we have regrets. And this movie is all about giving a son a second chance to say what he should have.

CORNISH: Now some other sports movies that make men cry - the boxing film, "Rocky."


TALIA SHIRE: (As Adrian) I love you.

SYLVESTER STALLONE: (As Rocky) I love you.

CORNISH: And "Rudy" about a young man - an underdog - who aspires to play football for Notre Dame.


KEVIN C. WHITE: (As Roland Steele) You ready, champ?

SEAN ASTIN: (As Rudy) I've been ready for this my whole life.

BLOCK: And now from the playing field to the battlefield. Many of you wrote in about war movies - two big ones.


KEVIN JARRE: (As 10th Connecticut soldier) Give 'em hell 54.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: Give 'em hell. Give 'em hell.

CORNISH: "Glory" which tells the story of the first black unit to fight for the North in the Civil War - the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts. And the World War II film, "Saving Private Ryan."


TOM HANKS: (As Capt. John H. Miller) Earn this. Earn it.

BLOCK: That's actor Tom Hanks, Oscar winner, noted thespian. We wanted to give him another honorary title - the man who makes men cry.

CORNISH: Yes, as we read through your thousands of suggestions, films starring Tom Hanks were mentioned again and again and again. Think of it - he can be an animated cowboy in the "Toy Story" trilogy.

BLOCK: He will make you cry.

CORNISH: He can play a hostage on the high seas in "Captain Phillips."

BLOCK: He will make you cry.

CORNISH: And so many others - "Apollo 13," "Philadelphia," "The Green Mile," "The Terminal," "Big," "Cast Away" and yes, even "Forrest Gump."


HANKS: (As Forrest Gump) My momma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

CORNISH: Well, all you men out there, we're telling you what you're going to get if you watch Tom Hanks on screen.

BLOCK: Big, manly tears or a little bit of a guy cry.

CORNISH: Now for some of Tom Hanks's saddest scenes, head to our website, npr.org. In the meantime, thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.