February 24, 2016

The 4 Best Tearjerkers to Hit the Small Screen….Well, Almost!

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Written by: Lee Skavydis
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The mark of a good film has always been its ability to pull in the viewer emotionally. Take Battleship (2012) for example. Motion pictures tend to bomb when it contains no interesting characters or a story that contains at least a couple of layers to explore. Different movies have a vast range in strength of ability in terms of how much they want to affect audiences. Ones designed to evoke the most feeling, affectionately labeled as ‘tearjerkers,’ probably have the strongest propensity to do so. Surprisingly, many so called sad movies can be found in the ‘made for television’ category, possibly due to the fact that studios who make these pictures do not have the type of budget to wow audiences with huge special effects like their bigger rival brothers do. But this can, of course, be a good thing considering that a story strong enough to pull you in becomes a priority!

Today we are going to examine 4 of the best tearjerkers to have hit the small (well, mostly) screen.

I Know My First Name Is Steven (1989)

This is a harrowing account of a young boy named Steven Stayner who was abducted by the dastardly Ken Parnell and was abused for 7 years before making his escape along with another potential victim. The case, based on a true story, made national headlines in America during the 1980’s. The sad thing about the whole occurrence is that it is disclosed at the conclusion that little Steven unfortunately lost his life in a motorbike accident and only got to know his family for a further seven years after he absconded. The real Ken Parnell was put away in prison, only to be released and attempted to have his way with another young lad, but was thankfully arrested again and this time he was left to die in jail. Where he should have always belonged.

Go Toward The Light (1988)

Probably most famous for starring in the first two Terminator movies and in the tv show, Beauty and the Beast, Linda Hamilton plays a mother who is delivered the heartbreaking news that her young son has AIDS. Based on the real life account of Ben Oiler and whose character has the same first name, Ben contracts the fatal disease after receiving a blood transfusion that was infected. Set before a time when it became a regular precaution to screen blood transfusions for such things, Claire and father, Greg have to work together to make their dying son understand that there is nothing to be afraid of as he heads toward the inevitable. Joshua Harris (of Dallas (1978) fame) delivers one of his finest performances. No stone is left unturned as the film charts the emotional struggles of not just the parents, but friends and grandparents who have no choice but to face a heavy loss.

David (1988)

Based on yet another real life tale, David is both a sad and nauseous film about a father who deliberately sets fire to a hotel where his 6 year old son is sleeping to get revenge against his former partner and mother. Fortunately, David Rothenberg survived and his father was sent to prison, although he spent less than seven years in confinement. Understandably, the film is difficult to watch but it does chart the bravery and determination of the little boy who battled his way back, walking out of the hospital three months later with over 90% burns over his body and away from almost certain death!


A Walk To Remember (2002)

Landon is a troublesome teenager who is punished after pulling a silly prank. He is put together with a teenage girl named Jamie who eventually helps him change his ways and the two fall in love. But little does Landon realise that Jamie has been keeping a secret. She has leukemia and only has a limited amount of time to live her life. But her bravery and positive attitude motivates and inspires her new found love to lead a better life long after she passes. Some would criticise the movie for preaching Christianity, but if you are able to see the film on a more superficial level then it is nothing but a beauteous story that is supported by strong performances and a smooth narrative that is hard to dismiss.

About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.



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