Think a grim war movie can't be a tearjerker? Think again.
The goal of this series is to show that being "manly" and being disconnected with your emotions do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. While the approach to these articles is one of comedy and satire, the emotional core of these movies is very valid. Manly movies make guys cry, for example:
I'm not talking about a war with the machines a la The Terminator, or a war on drugs as in Scarface, or even the mob wars showcased in The Godfather. War movies are literally movies that take place during a war. Generally it's Vietnam or WWII, though WWI creeps in there sometimes. War movies allow us, as an audience, to see the ground level horrors that soldiers experience, instead of the propaganda-filtered newscasts served to us. Per Ron Perlman, "War never changes," but they sure change those who fight in them. These movies are intense, with emotional bombs that blast through even the thickest walls protecting our hearts. Revealing, sometimes funny but always captivating, war movies are some of the most manly films... as well as routinely tear-jerkers.
1. Saving Private Ryan
These days either Tom Hanks or Matt Damon would do as a lead in a war film, but this doubles down and gives us both. Lucky us, though the bulk of the film is Tom looking for Matt. The film expertly shows how priorities shift in battle. What started as an extraction mission changed to a bridge defense mission, and men who began as cowards became brave. Personally, I was only able to watch this film once due to a very disturbing and heart-wrenching scene.
One of Tom "Woody" Hanks' men is vocally Jewish, taunting the Germans that he's still living. Later in the film this man, played by Adam Goldberg, is in a sniper tower with another soldier who's "protecting him." Screw this other soldier. Screw him sideways. A German soldier gets to Adam and a fight ensues, leading to a stalemate with a knife, while Corporal Coward sits there peeing himself. Adam loses stamina and SLOOOOOWLLLY gets stabbed to death, begging for his life while the enemy whispers for him to be quiet. THAT'S A BIG FAT PILE OF NOPE! The whole whisper-slow stab thing is on my phobia list now.