15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry

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Grab the tissues, Boomers! This is a tear-jerking cinematic journey that will make you cry harder than the finale of MAS* H. From timeless classics to modern masterpieces, here is a curative list of 15 movies that tug at the heartstrings of the Baby Boomer generation. So, buckle up! It’s time to take a sentimental trip down memory lane, filled with laughter, love, and a good old cry.

Forrest Gump

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
© 1994 Paramount Pictures

“Forrest Gump,” a cinematic gem from the 90s, is one of those movies that can make even the most hardened Boomers reach for a box of tissues. This heartfelt tale whirls around the life of its namesake character, Forrest Gump, a simple man with a low IQ but a heart of gold.

Our sweet, luck-streaked hero, played to perfection by Tom Hanks, stumbles through defining moments of the second half of the 20th century, all while pining for his childhood sweetheart, Jenny. A potent concoction of humor, love, and raw emotion, “Forrest Gump” is a guaranteed tear-jerker that hits boomers right in the nostalgia.

The Notebook

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
Photo by Melissa Moseley

This film has been pulling at the heartstrings of boomers (and, let’s face it, just about everyone else) since its release in 2004. Set in the backdrop of South Carolina in the 1940s, this tear-jerker follows the passionate love story of Allie and Noah, two young individuals from different social classes.

Their love story told through an older man’s reading to a woman in a nursing home, is a journey of everlasting love that persists through war, sickness, and time’s cruel march. From the moving performances by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams to the film’s nostalgic setting, The Notebook is a cinematic sucker punch straight to the feels.

Saving Private Ryan

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
© 1998 Paramount Pictures

“Saving Private Ryan,” a cinematic masterpiece that never fails to make boomers reach for the tissue box. This heart-wrenching war film directed by the legendary Steven Spielberg takes you on an emotional roller-coaster. Set against the backdrop of World War II, the story centers around a group of U.S. soldiers who brave the horrors of war, venturing behind enemy lines to bring Private James Francis Ryan home.

The powerful depiction of brotherhood, sacrifice, and the harsh truths of war often evokes a deep emotional response from the boomer generation, who grew up listening to their parents’ war stories. Spielberg’s masterful storytelling truly tugs at the heartstrings, making “Saving Private Ryan” a profoundly moving film that resonates with viewers.

Schindler’s List

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
Photo by Universal Pictures – © 1993

“Schindler’s List” is a cinematic masterpiece that has been known to leave even the most stoic of Boomers reaching for a tissue box. Renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg directs this captivating black-and-white masterpiece, which weaves a powerful narrative of Oskar Schindler.

Against immense personal peril, Schindler, a German industrialist, courageously saved over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust. With its heartrending performances, poignant narrative, and stark portrayal of the atrocities of war, “Schindler’s List” is one movie that sheds Boomers, and indeed viewers of all ages, a tear or two.

Dead Poets Society

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
© 1989 – Touchstone Pictures

“Dead Poets Society,” a classic tearjerker, is the kind of movie that has boomers reaching for the tissue box. This 1989 cinematic gem, directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams, is a stirring narrative that intertwines themes of self-discovery, the pursuit of passion, and the effects of rigid institutional norms.

Set against the backdrop of a conservative prep school, the film explores the transformative impact an inspirational teacher can have on his students. With its poignant ending, “Dead Poets Society” is sure to make even the most stoic boomer shed a tear or two.


15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
© 1997 – Paramount Pictures

“Titanic” is a cinematic masterpiece that has been known to transform even the most stoic of boomers into a sobbing mess. Directed by James Cameron, this blockbuster released in 1997 swiftly sailed its way into the hearts of viewers across generations.

The poignant tale of Jack and Rose, entangled in a love that transcends the boundaries of fate, unfolds against the haunting backdrop of the ill-fated luxury liner. This captivating narrative amalgamates heart-wrenching emotions and irresistible allure, leaving a lasting impression. This movie puts you on an emotional rollercoaster, right from the captivating romance to the horrifying inevitability of the ship’s sinking.

“It was the ship of dreams to everyone else. To me, it was a slave ship, taking me back to America in chains. Outwardly, I was everything a well brought up girl should be. Inside, I was screaming.” Such a sentiment from Rose will never fade away.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
Photo by Sunset Boulevard

“E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” certainly tops the chart when it comes to movies that make boomers cry. This Steven Spielberg classic, released in 1982, takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride that transcends generations. The story revolves around a gentle alien, E.T., accidentally left behind on Earth. He befriends a young boy, Elliott, and the deep bond they forge tugs at your heartstrings.

The iconic scene of E.T.’s finger touch with the heartfelt line, “E.T. phone home,” is enough to make even the most stoic baby boomer reach for a box of tissues.

Field of Dreams

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
Field of Dreams

“Field of Dreams” is a heartwarming cinematic gem from 1989 that never fails to coax tears from even the most stoic Boomer. It’s the perfect blend of baseball nostalgia, father-son relationships, and the timeless tug of unfulfilled dreams.

If you’re a Boomer who grew up tossing a baseball in the backyard, this Kevin Costner classic will likely conjure a lump in your throat. The magical phrase, “If you build it, he will come,” transcends the movie, making it a part of the pop culture lexicon and a guaranteed tear-jerker for Boomers everywhere.

Steel Magnolias

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
Photo by Rastar Films – © 1989

Released in 1989, this star-studded drama serves a slice of Southern life, sweetened with wit, and sprinkled with heartbreak. The film circles a group of women in Louisiana, navigating through life’s ups and downs, from weddings to funerals. With a cast featuring Sally Field and Julia Roberts, “Steel Magnolias” is like a hearty bowl of gumbo – it’s warm, it’s comforting, and it packs an emotional punch that will have Boomers reaching for the tissues.


15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
© Disney/Pixar

“Up” is a heart-tugger that packs an emotional punch, a Pixar classic that could melt even the steeliest of boomer’s hearts. This animation film is a poignant exploration of life, love, loss, and the tenacity of the human spirit.

The story revolves around Carl, an irascible septuagenarian, who embarks on a wild adventure in a flying house buoyed by helium balloons, fulfilling a promise made to his late wife. What makes it a true tearjerker is the touching depiction of enduring love and the heart-wrenching reality of dreams left unfulfilled. Buckle up, boomers, because “Up” will take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride.

Terms of Endearment

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images

This 1983 gem, directed by James L. Brooks, explores the poignant, sometimes turbulent bond between a mother and daughter. With a cast that includes Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger, it’s no wonder this film has the power to pull at the heartstrings. The compelling narrative, coupled with its relatable themes of love, loss, and family, has certainly etched “Terms of Endearment” into the list of movies that make boomers cry.

The Color Purple

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

“The Color Purple”, a cinematic masterpiece that could unravel even the staunchest of boomers, is a poignant story of resilience and transformation. This film, set against the rural Georgia backdrop in the early 20th century, follows the turbulent life of Celie, a young African-American girl.

With Whoopi Goldberg’s riveting performance, the movie touches on themes like love, sisterhood, and the enduring human spirit. It’s the sort of movie that leaves your heart aching, your tear ducts working overtime, and a renewed faith in the joy and pain of being human.

The Green Mile

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
Image courtesy gettyimages.com

This 1999 American fantasy drama, directed by Frank Darabont and based on Stephen King’s 1996 novel of the same name, is a guaranteed tearjerker. The story revolves around Paul Edgecombe’s life as a death row corrections officer during the Great Depression, and his encounter with John Coffey, an inmate with supernatural healing powers.

The eloquent depiction of friendship, loss, and redemption in the face of despair is enough to make any boomer’s eyes well up. So, boomers, keep your handkerchiefs handy as you navigate this emotional roller coaster!

The Shawshank Redemption

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
© 1994 Castle Rock Entertainment

“The Shawshank Redemption” is a cinematic tour de force that has been pulling at the heartstrings of Boomers since its release in 1994. Starring Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman as Red, it breathes life into the tale of an innocent man sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary.

Against the grim backdrop of prison life, a story of resilience, friendship, and redemption unfurls. This iconic film’s riveting narrative, combined with masterful performances, leaves even the most stoic of Boomers reaching for the tissue box.

On Golden Pond

15 Movies That Make Boomers Cry
Photo by Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

“On Golden Pond” is a cinematic tear-jerker that never fails to pull at the heartstrings of Boomers. This 1981 classic, starring the power duo of Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, explores the dynamics of aging, family conflicts, and reconciliation.

The plot revolves around an elderly couple spending their summer at their vacation home, “Golden Pond,” and their evolving relationship with their daughter. The movie’s potent blend of humor, drama, and poignant moments makes “On Golden Pond” a surefire recipe for a good, old-fashioned boomer cry.

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    Dennis brings a comprehensive worldview to the Frenz Hub team, fueled by his passions for writing, reading, documentaries, and community involvement. His educational background enhances his thoughtful contributions.

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