Movies have the power to stir up a range of emotions in viewers, from laughter and joy to dread and sorrow. One particularly powerful type of emotion is heartbreak, which can be evoked from watching characters going through struggles and making sacrifices, and ultimately, experiencing a heartbreaking death. To feel the full scope of emotions that bring tears and sadness, here are some of the most heartbreaking movie deaths that will leave you in tears.
Titanic’s Jack and Rose
The romantic drama movie set on the iconic Titanic ship gave fans a love story for the ages. Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and Rose, played by Kate Winslet, were an ill-fated couple that faced many obstacles throughout the movie trying to stay together. With the ship faced with sinking, Jack made the ultimate sacrifice and sacrificed himself so Rose could survive, resulting in one of the most heartbreaking movie scenes of all time.
The 1957 Disney movie ‘Old Yeller’ is the all-American tragic story of the bond between a young boy and his dog, Yeller. The film shows a realistic portrayal of how animals are sick and could pass away, forcing the boy and his family to make the heartbreaking choice of shooting Yeller. It’s a tear jerking movie, as they realize that they must do what’s best for their beloved dog and let him go.
Forrest Gump’s Jenny
Also known as one of the most iconic movie couples of all times, Forrest and Jenny from the 1994 film Forrest Gump. For most of the movie, we view their love story which falls into an unspoken separation many years after meeting. The near end of the film shows Jenny’s death from an unknown illness, showing her still struggling from her past. She dies with Forrest by her side, clutching his hand, making it one of the most heartbreaking movie deaths of all time.
The romantic drama The Notebook (2004) follows Noah and Allie’s forbidden love story set in the 1940s. While it’s a beautiful story of love, it’s also filled with devastating heartache. The movie reaches its heart-wrenching climax with their loving embrace and subsequent passing. After living a full, happy life together, the couple reunite and die together in their sleep.
Toy Story 3
The third installment of the Toy Story trilogy is no exception to the heart-wrenching death in movies. In an act of self-sacrifice, the toy characters take off in a garbage truck heading to the incinerator, planning to use the explosions to send their friends to safety. It’s one of the most bittersweet endings in movie history, with the main characters Woody and Buzz honoring their friendship and the ultimate self-sacrifice.
The 2009 Pixar movie Up is widely known for its first 10 minutes sequence, which is already a major tear-jerker. We follow the story of an old man, Carl, and his lifelong dream of exploring with his late wife, Ellie. While preparing for their journey, audiences witness the heart-breaking death of Ellie before their trip. This is another example of a character’s self-sacrifice and the power of true love, represented through a devastating scene.
The 1995 movie Braveheart pays tribute to William Wallace’s brave decision to lead a revolt against the English army and avenge his wife. Despite his victory in many battles and his insurmountable courage, his efforts fail and he unfortunately gets betrayed by Robert the Bruce. In one of the bleakest movie scenes ever, Wallace is hanged and beheaded in a heartbreaking death, losing the love of his life, his country, and his freedom.
The Green Mile
The Green Mile (1999) is a classic Stephen King movie about life on death row. It follows the story of an innocent inmate, John Coffey, and a correctional officer, Paul Edgecomb. Coffey is a kind-hearted soul with magical powers that put him at risk. His friendship with Paul and their bond that transcends death is one of the most emotional moments ever put in a movie, making it one of the most heartbreaking deaths in film.
Romeo and Juliet’s, Romeo
The 1996 movie adaptation of Romeo and Juliet is a classic example of Star-crossed lovers. Romeo, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and Juliet, played by Claire Danes, experience a tear-jerking death as they both attempt suicide by drinking poison. As they unknowingly consume the substances and lay together to meet the same fate, it’s arguably one of the most heartbreaking endings ever told.
Heartbreaking movie deaths can evoke an outpouring of emotions, leaving us in tears. The power of these scenes makes us realize the strength of true love, friendship, and self-sacrifice. Whether you’re looking for a classic love story, a timeless tragedy, or an unforgettable bond between man and animal, you can count on these movie deaths to bring tears and leave you feeling heartbroken.