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Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse

Updated March 23, 2020 1.3k votes 287 voters 35.1k views39 items

List RulesVote up the best films about a lover dying, whether a husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

The death of a spouse or a lover is one of the most devastating losses in life. The top movies about a spouse dying find widows and widowers trying to put the pieces of their life back together in a time of great sadness. This is a list of the best movies about the death of a partner including everything from The Fugitive to Ghost to What Dreams May Come.

What films will you find on this list of the best spouse dying movies? The Descendants tells the story of a husband coping with the fact that his wife is dying while learning that she was having an affair. George Clooney stars in this 2011 film directed by Alexander Payne. Sleepless in Seattle is another good movie that deals with the death of a wife - Tom Hanks's character is a single dad. Up is unique among wife dying movies, thanks to its vivid animation and light-hearted, yet bittersweet, tone. Other good films featured on this list include Moonstruck, P.S. I Love You, and Moonlight Mile.

Which movie do you think is the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any notable films that are missing.

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  • 1
    Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    82
    6

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 2
    Sleepless in Seattle is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    80
    14

    Sleepless in Seattle

    Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan

    Released1993

    Directed byNora Ephron

    Sleepless in Seattle is a 1993 American romantic comedy-drama film directed and co-written by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 3
    Ghost is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    55
    32

    Ghost

    Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg

    Released1990

    Directed byJerry Zucker

    Ghost is a 1990 American romantic fantasy/crime thriller film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 4
    P.S. I Love You is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    58
    39

    P.S. I Love You

    Gerard Butler, Hilary Swank

    Released2007

    Directed byRichard LaGravenese

    P.S. I Love You is a 2007 American drama film directed by Richard LaGravenese. The screenplay... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 5
    Up is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    79
    70

    Up

    Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner

    Released2009

    Directed byPete Docter

    Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama film produced by Pixar... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 6
    Me Before You is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    31
    17

    Me Before You

    Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin

    Directed byThea Sharrock

    Me Before You is a 2016 American-British romantic comedy drama film directed by Thea Sharrock... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 7
    What Dreams May Come is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    33
    20

    What Dreams May Come

    Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr.

    Released1998

    Directed byVincent Ward

    What Dreams May Come is a 1998 American fantasy drama film, starring Robin Williams, Cuba... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 8
    A Single Man is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    24
    15

    A Single Man

    Julianne Moore, Jon Hamm

    Released2009

    Directed byTom Ford

    A Single Man is a 2009 American drama film based on the novel of the same name by Christopher... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 9
    The Time Traveler's Wife is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    20
    10

    The Time Traveler's Wife

    Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana

    Released2009

    Directed byRobert Schwentke

    The Time Traveler's Wife is a 2009 American romantic science fiction drama film directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 10
    Mary Poppins Returns is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    22
    13

    Mary Poppins Returns

    Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Directed byRob Marshall

    Mary Poppins Returns is a 2018 American musical fantasy film directed by Rob Marshall. In... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 11
    City of Angels is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    18
    11

    City of Angels

    Nicolas Cage, Meg Ryan

    Released1998

    Directed byBrad Silberling

    City of Angels is a 1998 American romantic fantasy drama film directed by Brad Silberling. The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 12
    Message in a Bottle is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    25
    20

    Message in a Bottle

    Hayden Panettiere, Kevin Costner

    Released1999

    Directed byLuis Mandoki

    Message in a Bottle is a 1999 American romantic drama film directed by Luis Mandoki. Based on... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 13
    Replicas is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    26
    22

    Replicas

    Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve

    Released2019

    Directed byJeffrey Nachmanoff

    Replicas is a 2019 American science fiction thriller film directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff. In a... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 14
    Dan in Real Life is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    12
    5

    Dan in Real Life

    Emily Blunt, Steve Carell

    Released2007

    Directed byPeter Hedges

    Dan in Real Life is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Peter Hedges, starring Steve... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 15
    Inception is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    23
    20

    Inception

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

    Released2010

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 16
    Silver Linings Playbook is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    16
    13

    Silver Linings Playbook

    Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro

    Released2012

    Directed byDavid O. Russell

    Silver Linings Playbook is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 17
    Things We Lost in the Fire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    15
    12

    Things We Lost in the Fire

    Halle Berry, David Duchovny

    Released2007

    Directed bySusanne Bier

    Things We Lost in the Fire is a 2007 drama film directed by Susanne Bier and written by Allan... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 18
    Irreplaceable You is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    14
    11

    Irreplaceable You

    Claire Holt, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

    Released2018

    Directed byStephanie Laing

    Irreplaceable You is a 2018 American drama film directed by Stephanie Laing. The lives of two... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 19
    Shadowlands is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    12
    10

    Shadowlands

    Claire Bloom, Joss Ackland

    Released1985

    Directed byNorman Stone

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  • 20
    I Still Believe is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    4
    1

    I Still Believe

    KJ Apa, Britt Robertson

    Released2020

    Directed byAndrew Erwin, John Erwin

    I Still Believe is 2020 Christian biographical drama film directed by the Erwin Brothers and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 21
    Catch and Release is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    2
    1

    Catch and Release

    Jennifer Garner, Juliette Lewis

    Released2006

    Directed bySusannah Grant

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  • 22
    Just like Heaven is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    11
    10

    Just like Heaven

    Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo

    Released2005

    Directed byMark Waters

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  • 23
    Birth is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    7
    5

    Birth

    Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall

    Released2004

    Directed byJonathan Glazer

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  • 24
    Bounce is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    7
    5

    Bounce

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck

    Released2000

    Directed byDon Roos

    Bounce is a 2000 American romantic drama film starring Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 25
    Ordinary Love is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse
    2
    1

    Ordinary Love

    Liam Neeson, Lesley Manville

    Released2020

    Directed byLisa Barros D'Sa, Glenn Leyburn

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