The Saddest Movies Ever Made

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
> IMDb rating: 8.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 98%
> RT audience score: 89%
> Directed by: Lewis Milestone
> Starring: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy

Hailed as one of the best war movies ever made, this World War I epic follows young German schoolboys who enlist in the army and witness the horrors of battle, coming to realize that there’s nothing glorious or romantic about war. The main character, Paul, who at one point tries to save the life of a French soldier he has stabbed, is himself killed at the end as he reaches for a butterfly.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

The Way We Were (1973)
> IMDb rating: 7.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 64%
> RT audience score: 81%
> Directed by: Sydney Pollack
> Starring: Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman, Lois Chiles

Spanning the decades that encompass the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the Red Scare, “The Way We Were” follows an unlikely couple with radically different personalities — she a liberal, Jewish political activist and he a Waspy writer who couldn’t care less about politics — as their differences put immense strain on their relationship.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

The Towering Inferno (1974)
> IMDb rating: 7.0 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 70%
> RT audience score: 72%
> Directed by: John Guillermin
> Starring: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway

On the night of its grand opening, a poorly-built office building catches fire in this seminal disaster flick. Fire department Chief Michael O’Halloran (Steve McQueen) resorts to extreme measures as he tries to save all those trapped inside. Not everyone makes it out alive.

Source: Courtesy of New World Pictures

Autumn Sonata (1978)
> IMDb rating: 8.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 87%
> RT audience score: 92%
> Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
> Starring: Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Lena Nyman

An aging world-famous pianist travels to a small village to visit the daughter she hasn’t seen for years. To her dismay, her second daughter, who is mentally disabled, is present in the house. Despite the tragedies all have endured, the mother and the first daughter reveal long pent-up feelings to each other opening the road to reconciliation.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

The Elephant Man (1980)
> IMDb rating: 8.1 / 10
> Tomatometer score: 92%
> RT audience score: 93%
> Directed by: David Lynch
> Starring: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud

David Lynch’s sophomore feature examines the life of John Merrick (John Hurt), a disfigured man with an intelligent disposition. As he goes from circus sideshow to high society, Merrick encounters different forms of exploitation. His story was inspired by Joseph Carey Merrick, the subject of both previous books and a 1979 play.

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