Saddest Movie Ever Pinpointed by Science

If you ask 100 people what the saddest movie ever would be, you’re likely to get 100 different answers… or so you’d think.

Perhaps Bambi among Disney fans, or The Crow among goths, or Big Momma’s House among people who actually appreciate humor. All would be wrong, however, according to science. A recent delving into sad movies has determined the saddest movie of all time, and none of the above were pinpointed as the most sad movie ever.

Smithsonian Magazine wrote about the sad movie study this month, citing data from 1995 wherein scientists made the determination. It turns out that it was necessary to use a movie clip to induce sadness- as telling people their puppy was run over or that their grandma had succumbed to a disease is considered unethical. And out of all the clips used, one from the film The Champ starring Jon Voight and Ricky Schroder was most likely to get the waterworks going:

According to, scientific study has determined that the most reliable tearjerker of all time is 1979’s ‘The Champ,’ in which washed-up boxer Jon Voight returns to the ring in order to earn enough to retain custody of his son, Ricky Schroder. Particularly, the climactic scene where — spoiler alert! — the little boy watches his battered dad die (end spoiler). It’s a moment that makes Schroder and the hardened old men in the scene all bawl their eyes out, and it’s all but guaranteed to do the same to you.

Do you agree? What do you think is the saddest movie of all time?