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10 Most Heartbreaking Goodbyes in Movies

In films, like life, we have to bid some difficult goodbyes. And no matter how prepared we are to watch that sad goodbye scene, we probably can not control our tears or save our hearts from breaking for the unfortunate series of actions on screen. Yet the whole of those scenes are to move us, and if it does, it’s brilliant. Here is a list of the best, I mean, most heartbreaking goodbyes in movies.

1. Sophie’s Choice

Heartbreaking Goodbyes in Movies

A woman, who is a mother of two makes two unimaginable choices, one after another. Her first goodbye comes after a choice she’s compelled to make, between the two of her children, choosing one to be executed by a Nazi soldier. In choosing death for one child, she chooses life for another. But if she doesn’t choose, both her children die. So she lets her daughter go, and the lump in your throat makes you choke and tears flow down your cheeks watching the young daughter being taken away from her mother.

2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

A childhood favourite, everyone was heartbroken when ET had to go back to his home planet. And Elliot, for whom we felt pity when he was confronted with the creature in the beginning of the movie, was now best friends with him. And to know that your best friend is going away forever and not coming back to meet you next summer vacation is heartbreaking for any child, and we could all empathize with Elliot. Shout out to that scene when ET says, “I’ll be right here”, suggesting memory will keep their friendship alive.

3. Casablanca

Heartbreaking Goodbyes in Movies

Rick chose to join the Resistance in fighting the Third Reich’s Forces and stay in Casablanca. This decision of his to say goodbye to his true love forever for the greater good of the world is heartbreaking. Rick and IIsa will always have Paris, but our hearts will never be mended because they deserved a forever.

4. Stand By Me

A grown man reminisces about the last goodbye to his best friend in the last summer of his childhood, as he was brutally murdered right after. It was as if he was saying goodbye to him one last time by remembering their last actual goodbye when they were both alive. This one is a real tear-jerker, so keep the box of tissues close!

5. Before Sunrise

Jesse and Celine, after getting off a train and spending a whole day together in Vienna, gloriously in fresh love, even when it was too soon to call it love, have to separate at a Train station. Celine is going away, and it was supposed to be the end, but then something in them couldn’t let go and they decide to meet at the same place where they separated exactly a year later, after a year of no communication. It leaves us with little hope, and little fear, and a heavy feeling in the end.

6. Boyhood

Heartbreaking Goodbyes in Movies
Heartbreaking Goodbyes in Movies

A teenage boy who is ready to go away to college is saying goodbye to his mother and in that moment, the mother realizes the meaning of her everyday life that is shaped by the presence of this boy, is going to change as she also has to let him go with a goodbye. The film shows the same actors grow up and older, and it is an emotionally wrecking experience to see the two at the brink of separation.

7. Her

Theodore is in love with his AI girlfriend named Samantha. Her goodbye comes out of nowhere, and she is going nowhere. She tells Theodore that she feels like she’s reading her favorite book, but slowly so that it doesn’t get over. When Theodore asks why she’s leaving, she says that they’re all leaving. All the OSs are leaving and both the lovers feel helpless, showing us that love will never be easy, even when you can buy it and get it to say exactly the things you want to hear.

8. Dead Poets Society

Keatings comes to collect his things from the former classroom and sees his replacement teacher teaching in traditional ways, but still is not able to nullify the impact he had on the students. His students stand up on their desks, one by one, and chant “O Captain My Captain!”

9. Schindler’s List

Heartbreaking Goodbyes in Movies
Heartbreaking Goodbyes in Movies

A businessman saves his Jewish employees from the Nazi Concentration Camps. But as he says goodbye to the grateful group of people, he is filled with regret and shame. This is because he realizes he could have saved a thousand more people, had he created space for them. And after this goodbye, he will be burdened with this awareness of his vain life filled with useless possessions.

10. Titanic

Who has been able to hold their tears in when Jack saves Rose and freezes to death? The misfortune of that goodbye shook us to our very core, also because Jack’s character was so dear to everyone who watched Titanic.

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