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The Most Heartbreaking Death Scenes, Ranked

Updated 2 Oct 2019 1.1k votes 285 voters 1.1k views27 items

Legendary film critic Roger Ebert often said that movies are a machine that generates empathy. The best sad death scenes in movies prove him correct. When a film is really working and the audience is engaged with the characters, tragic movie deaths can pack a real wallop. Anyone who claims they haven't cried at the passing of someone onscreen is either lying or has no emotions. 

When you look closely at some of the great sad movie death scenes, you notice that they aren't all the same. While the vast majority of famous death scenes involve human beings -- like Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack in Titanic -- there are plenty of cases where an animal's demise has left audiences in tears. In fact, some viewers are more sensitive to those deaths than anything. If you've ever seen the elderly pooch expiring at the end of My Dog Skip, you know exactly what we mean. Even when the characters are animated, a passing can yank the tears from your eyes. Look no further than Ellie's death in Pixar's Up if you doubt that claim.

Grab your tissues, watch the videos below, and vote up the sad death scenes that most leave you an emotional wreck. And if you're in the mood to weep, check out these other emotional movies that'll make you cry.

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