Today we celebrate the release of 42, a proper tearjerker about Jackie Robinson and his role in the history books, by looking at the films that activate our tearducts.

42 - 1 Sheet42

Jackie Robinson was the first of many black professional Major League Baseball players to break the colour boundaries in American sports. The film is full of moments that will make you pledge allegiance to the flag, whether you were born in America or not. The moments that stand out are the ones that bring you to tears. A young boy goes to a ballgame with his dad to cheer on his hero, Pee Wee Reese. When Jackie Robinson takes the field, the crowd boos and throws racist slurs his way. The boy, unsure of what to do, looks up at his dad who is also screaming insults. The boy joins in, and the audience tears up. It’s this moment that speaks volumes about how discrimination is deep-rooted and taught, and we’ve come a long way.

upUp!

This won’t be Pixar’s first entry on this list, because they really know how to turn on the waterworks. Up! Follows Carl on a long-awaited adventure over the skies and far away. But it’s the first 15 minutes that really get to you. The story of Carl and Ellie’s life together is packed into a short space of time with maximum impact on your emotions. Their friendship in childhood, their marriage, setting up their new home together, plans for children, then their plans for an adventure together. If you’re thinking about it now, you’re probably fighting back the tears a little bit. No, YOU’RE fighting back the tears a bit! *sniff*

My Girl 

His glasses! He can’t see without his glasses! Anna Chlumsky in her debut acting role is wonderful as Vada Sultenfuss, a young girl navigating her first summer of adolescence. It’s a film that will make you laugh out loud, but that’s not what this list is about. It’s the moment when her best friend Thomas Jay kicks the bucket, and she desperately tries to find his glasses at his funeral.

The Notebook

They broke the mould after the made this epic love story (pretty sure they broke the mould after they made Ryan Gosling, too). Noah, a penniless young man falls in love with Allie, a complicated heiress (Rachel McAdams on top form), and so begins their fraught, electric love affair. It could have been a dud of a movie, but Gosling and McAdams throw themselves into their roles 100% and you invest in the story all the more. Oh, why can’t those crazy kids just make it work? 

A League of Their Own

Geena Davis, Tom Hanks and even Madonna join forces to bring us the true story of the All-American Professional Baseball League. Formed during WWII when the majority of professional ball players went abroad to fight the war, the industry was under threat of collapse. The women of America stepped up and played baseball for their country. The film focuses on sisters Dottie and Kit, but you meet a whole host of warm, interesting characters, pretty much all of whom will make you a little wibbly.

Forrest Gump 

Were it not for the commitment and sheer talent of Tom Hanks, this could have been a complete mismark of a film. Fortunately Forrest Gump is in just about everyone’s watch list for a cathartic cry. From his new legs as a kid, to his lifelong love of Jenny (they’re like peas and carrots) to his friendship with Bubba, Gump is filled with scenes that just make the heart swell. The one that tips you over the edge, though, is the most subtle. Jenny introduces Forrest to the son he didn’t know he had, and he asks her “is he smart or is he…” Despite his accomplishments, he’s still self-conscious about his below average intelligence. 

Toy Story 2 

Sure, all three Toy Story films have the ability to separate you from your salty, salty tears, but the stand out tearjerker in the series is number 2, by sheer virtue of Jessie’s Song. It takes a cold, dead heart to not be moved by Jessie’s tale of her owner Emily growing up and leaving her. Shut up, I just have something in my eye. 

The Shawshank Redemption 

This sleeper hit stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman as two men who are serving out lifetime sentences in prison. It is an astonishingly good film that stands the test of time, and has moments that will make you well up, regardless of which stage of your life you find yourself. When you’re younger, Red’s musing that he simply misses his friend is relatable and heartfelt enough to make you feel sad, while Andy’s mourning of a lost decade is enough to make older viewers reflect on their own life in a similar way. Pass the tissues, and the double fat ice cream.

Bridge to Terabithia

A surprise inclusion in this list perhaps, but a good one. Jesse and Leslie are both outcasts with big imaginations, and discover a magical new world to escape to together. It revives your sense of adventure and give your nostalgia a kick up the bum, but it’s the moment where the film shifts tone very suddenly, and very well, that sets the tears flowing. A beautiful, heart-breaking film.

Stepmom 

I don’t care who you are, or where you’re from, but it takes a hard heart not to lose it a little when Anna tearfully tells her father off for not even asking if it was OK to bring a new mother into their lives. A great film with excellent performances by Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon playing two women vying for their shared family’s affections.

 

When you’re done weeping over these movies, wipe away the tears and put a smile on your face by selling your unwanted DVDs, CDs and games for cash and get that new movie you’ve been after!

42 the biopic about Jackie Robinson is out in cinemas now. Check out the trailer below.