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Today's second guest is award-winning fellow author Charlie Cochrane, who's been inspired to talk about a different medium than usual - films with a high hankie rating!


Inspired by Jenre’s post about ROM-Coms, I’ve put pen to paper (finger to keyboard?) to talk about the films which make me a blubbering mess. No Great Romances, though; they do absolutely nothing for me. (I know, disgrace to the genre, should have my RNA badge ripped from my bosom).

So, what makes me cry…?

Finding Neverland 4 hankie rating

Went to see this with youngest, on an INSET day so there was just us plus I think two others in the cinema. Just as well, as I had tearing up. Brilliantly moving performance by Depp and Winslett, and Freddie Highmore was a revelation. Moving without being mawkish, this film really got to me when it examined Barrie’s relationship with his mother and his own ‘lost boyness’.

Senna 3 hankie rating.

I could fill this list with the sports films which have got me snivelling, but I won’t, just whispering “Invictus” in passing, to represent them.

Even though Senna was documentary it made great drama and if you’d written some of the story arc as it happened or some of the lines as spoken, people would say your story was unbelievable! But true it was and we all knew the ending before the start. I can remember watching the race in which he was killed and the eldest Cochrane (who was very young at the time) asking me if he’d be alright. I had to find a gentle way to say, “I don’t think so.”

When the film laid out the events of that last, fateful say, the tears started to roll.

Born Free/Ring of Bright Water 5 hankie rating.

I’ve not seen these films since I was a child – deliberate choice, too traumatised. Imagine me as a wee girl, being taken by my mum to the ladies’ loo at the cinema in Clapton (north London) because I was howling so much at “Born Free”. We joined a great queue of mothers with howling children. I was old enough to see “Ring of Bright Water” on my own but the tears flowed nonetheless.

I even cried when they killed King Kong…

Scott of the Antarctic 2 hankie rating

I’ve included this as the type specimen for all those heroic films (typically British made and in black and white) featuring oodles of stiff upper lip and noble suffering. John Mills was the king of this sort of thing, as was Michael Redgrave. (My goodness, Jamie Bamber would have been brilliant in those movies, suffering so nobly and beautifully before he gets shot. As usual.)

Sacrifice, male bonding, handsome chaps, “I may be away some time”. Sniff.

And the winner, with a 5+ hankie rating, is… “Master and Commander”

Not a word of a lie, I’m starting to well just thinking of this film. I get into a lather even if I just hear Vaughn Williams’ wonderful “Variations on a theme by Thomas Tallis”.

Picture this: the rows of bodies lain out to be sowed into hammocks for burial at sea. The music swells. The camera moves along the row, showing all those who’ve died in battle. It stops at Calamy, with Davies and Blakeney ready to do the honours. Blakeney says, “Not through the nose”. I start to weep. For Calamy and Allen, for Nelson, for Wilfred Owen and Ivor Gurney, for all my heroes.

*sighs*. Off to find the Kleenex.

Charlie has a website and pages at GLBT bookshelf  

For more news, visit Charlie's blog or follow me on Twitter and Facebook

To sign up for my newsletter, mail me at cochrane.charlie2@googlemail.com.

Named Author of the Year 2009 at Speak Its Name


FOLLOW the Birthday Blog so far:
Jan 09: Lee Rowan shares her healthy resolution.
Jan 10: Rowena Sudbury and the beauty of a blue moon.
Jan 10: Sandra Lindsay and her WIP characters.
Jan 11: Shelley Munro and a tour of bedrooms through the ages.
Jan 11: Dany Sirene and her love of Goth characters.
Jan 12: Sarah Madison and her decision to stop competing.
Jan 13: Alix Bekins shares her love of kink.
Jan 14: Janis Susan May on writing one word at a time.

Jan 01: luscious_words shares some fabulous icons.
Jan 02: Jordan Castillo Price shares her experience of re-releasing books.
Jan 03: Mara Ismine wonders how important is continuity in fiction?
Jan 04: Jen shares her favourite Rom Com movies.
Jan 05: Karenna Colcroft introduces her unusual werewolf.
Jan 06: Stevie Carroll takes us on a pictorial tour of her favourite locations.
Jan 07: Tinnean quotes Jack Benny on age.
Jan 07: Josie makes a brave leap into a scary sport.
Jan 08: Elin Gregory finds inspiration at every turn.

Check up on:
Prior years fun HERE and
The 2012 Guest schedule HERE.

Want to join in but missed the original call? Email me at clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.



( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 14th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
I've not seen any of those films, but I too cried when King Kong was killed. He was just misunderstood.

I cry during kids animation movies, only to get the raised eyebrow from my own kid when she was small. Heartless I tell you. What's with kid's movies having so much sadness anyway?

I cried during Titanic, but not because of Kate and what's his name, I didn't really care about them. The scene where the mother knows her children are going to die and she tries to get them to sleep so they won't be afraid when it happens rips me up. Gah! I hated that movie, mostly because of that scene. LOL I tend not to watch movies that make me cry now, more sci fi and action which tend to have less sentimentality as a rule.
Jan. 14th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
I've never watched Titanic - not my cup of tea. The classic Cochrane line regarding that film was uttered by Mr C who, after watching it on TV said, "That would put you off cruises for life!"

I think (like the examples given above) children's films can be incredibly tear inducing. Just look at Dumbo or Bambi!
Jan. 15th, 2012 02:58 pm (UTC)
I cried at that bit in Titanic too. It was totally embarrassing because I was at my in-laws during Christmas Day and it was the family afternoon film. My FIL laughed at me for being so sentimental. I so cross with that woman and wanted to tell her do something to save her kids other than accept they were all going to drown. Crass sentimentality at its worst, but it worked on me :).
Jan. 16th, 2012 02:41 am (UTC)
I was an embarrassing mess when King Kong was killed. Luckily my ex and I were the only ones in the theater. There's just something hideous about a magnificent creature destroyed by some jerk's greed that feels too real for me.
Jan. 16th, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
*nods* Abso-blooming-lutely!
Jan. 14th, 2012 07:11 pm (UTC)
I blub just hearing the music for Champions. I'll cry several times during the Lord of the Rings movies, but especially when Pippin sings as Faramir leads his men out to certain death. Oh and Gandalf and the Rohirrim charging down the ridiculously steep hill into the battle of Helm's Deep. Yeah, especially that too. And Boromir's death. And the very end of course. And... basically it's a two boxes of hankies job that one.

And of course I cried like a baby when Spock died, and then, I confess, I cried even harder for the Enterprise at the end of Star Trek III.

I've never cried as much at any movie as I did at Shadowlands. Not only because it's obviously a very sad story in itself, but because it was only a few months after my mother had died from cancer too. I probably shouldn't have gone to see it, but it was quite cathartic too. Around the same time I remember seeing a thing on Channel 4 I think, which was a monologue by an American writer, about his wife's death from breast cancer and that was so moving I still think of it as having been an important part of my grieving process for my mother, because of the emotion it released.
Jan. 14th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
Oh that music. The way it swells - they always have it on SPOTY somewhere and it makes me snivelly. And, like you, I cried when Pippin sings (and when Theoden died).

I can understand your reaction to films which reminded you of your mum. I suspect that's one of the reasons I get into a state about black and white war films. Make me think of my long departed dad.
Jan. 14th, 2012 08:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, you've chosen some good ones there. I haven't seen Senna [deliberately] and Finding Neverland, while fabulous, is a bit too carefully sad for me to get really teary, but the other three, yes, and especially Master and Commander. It's butchly sad in a way that just kicks the feet out from under me. Can I also suggest The Cruel Sea, both book and film? Heart wrenching.

Jan. 14th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes to The Cruel Sea.

Love the description "butchly sad". Spot on.
Jan. 14th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks for hosting me, Clare. Sorry I was late in responding. Rugby (almost brought me to tears, London Irish played so badly).
Jan. 14th, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
Charlotte's Web. Book of course, but also the silly cartoon movie.
Jan. 14th, 2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
We read Charlotte's Web in primary school, I howled the place down.
Jan. 15th, 2012 01:17 am (UTC)
'It is not often that someone who comes along who is a good writer, and a true friend. Charlotte was both.'

The innocence of Wilbur, and the loving resignation of Charlotte. Still makes me cry.
Jan. 15th, 2012 12:26 pm (UTC)
I haven't read that. Must rectify (I'm sure we have a copy somewhere, in one of the 5/6 book cases).
Jan. 14th, 2012 10:03 pm (UTC)
I find that most films that don't rely on lots of explosions and fast cars make me cry. Kids films are a dead cert - I even cried in Disney's atrocious Song of the South.

I tend to avoid anything that looks like it might have hankie moments and try and stick to the mindless violence.
Jan. 15th, 2012 12:32 pm (UTC)
LOL I don't watch many films and tend to stick to sport. Of course, that gets me blubbing, as well. Shane Williams' last international. *howl*
Jan. 14th, 2012 11:00 pm (UTC)
I'm a big cryer at films/TV and have never mastered the art of doing so in a dignified manner. I'm especially useless with anything involving animals. I cried at Invictus when the won and everyone was hugging each other and not caring what colour the person beside them was
Jan. 15th, 2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
I even cried at Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Several times. And Invictus was a three hankie job, at least.
Jan. 15th, 2012 11:50 am (UTC)
I cry over the various adaptations of The Railway Children and Black Beauty. I probably shouldn't be allowed to go and see Warhorse in the cinema.
Jan. 15th, 2012 12:45 pm (UTC)
Mr C wants to go and see Warhorse - I'll have to take a whole sheet to snivel into.
Jan. 15th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to have given you some inspiriation :).

I haven't seen any of your hankie films but I cry at most films. No really, even comedies. However, the film that made me cry most recently was the Pixar film Up. Twenty minutes in and I was sobbing in the cinema, much to the disgust of my then 12 year old son. We have the film on DVD and I can't bring myself to watch it.

Jan. 15th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
I knew Up was going to be a tearjerker when I read that at the first screening hardened movie critics were crying into their 3D glasses!
Jan. 15th, 2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
This doesn't surprise me in the slightest. The thing was, I knew what was coming and I still sobbed!
Jan. 15th, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
Not seen that. Not sure I should.
Jan. 15th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
I can't watch Toy Story 2. The scene where Jessie goes to the garage sale... Wah!
Jan. 17th, 2012 08:29 am (UTC)
oh my goodness, I can tear up just THINKING about the song "When She Loved Me."
Jan. 16th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
We all seem determined to keep the tissue companies in business. I'll cry throughout movies, television programs, and music. An equal opportunity sobber.
Jan. 17th, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC)
*nods* Add in sports events for me. Or anything featuring the Ghurkhas.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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