Sunday, July 28, 2013

Touching Our Emotions...


The other night I watched the movie “Back Street,” the 1961 version with Susan Hayward and John Gavin. The premise of the movie is a wealthy – and married – man (John Gavin) has an affair with a single, career-minded woman (Hayward). The couple is truly in love, but the husband has two small children and an alcoholic, self-centered wife (Vera Miles) who tried to commit suicide when he mentioned divorce. The Hayward character is content to be “the other woman.”

In the end, the husband and wife are killed when the car the wife is driving crashes.

The scene that breaks my heart and has me running for the tissues is the very last one. When the two devastated children come to visit a grieving Susan Hayward and tearfully ask if they could visit her from time to time, she gathers them in her arms.

The movie is actually based on a novel written by Fannie Hurst (since I’ve never read the novel, I’m not sure how closely the 1961 version follows the book or earlier movie versions). As I cried my eyes out while Susan Hayward gazed at the grief-stricken children, I imagine an author at her computer typing out this scene and contemplated the power of the written word to touch our emotions.

What about you, readers? Has anyone seen an earlier version of "Back Street?" Are there any movies or books out there that have you crying long after the words, “The End”?

6 comments:

  1. I'm not much of a really old movie buff, but I can recommend two more recent films. One that always has me crying at the end is "A League of Their Own," because the women baseball players had a tough but wonderful experience, only to have all their efforts shut down and forgotten at the end of the war when the men came home, just like what happened to so many other women doing "men's jobs" at the time. The other movie that always makes me cry is "Courage Under Fire," where Meg Ryan dies a hero in battle but the circumstances of the incident are covered up by the men under her command. Two excellent tear-jerker movies about heroic women, in my opinion.

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    1. Hi, Pamela,

      “A League of Their Own” is one of my favorite baseball movies. And, yes, there is crying in baseball. I shed a lot of tears this weekend over my Phillies. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  2. Angela,
    My favorite tear jerker book and movie is The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. I shed real tears reading the book and watching the movie. Sometimes I get emotional when I write certain passages because I know how it's going to fit in the story but others taking the passage out of context may not think it is sad. They'll have to read the book, if it ever gets published.

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    1. The book, “The Notebook,” had me in tears. But, not the movie. I never could figure out why. Thanks, Nick, for stopping by.

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  3. I watched "Back Street" long ago and it is truly a big hankie movie. I'm going to have to think about this for a while and try to remember which ones make me sob like a big baby. I did scream out when Han Solo was frozen.

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    1. There aren’t enough hankies out there for all the sad movies on my list. Thanks so much, Vicki, for stopping by.

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