DISCLAIMER: This is not a series dedicated to proving men shouldn’t cry, or to suggest ONLY women cry and are therefore inferior. The goal of this series is to dispel the pre-established (yet flawed) notion that being “manly” and being disconnected from your emotions go hand-in-hand. Even the most macho of men enjoy and even shed a tear at films, and the sooner we can admit that the sooner the concept that one sex is better than the other can go away. While the approach to these articles is one of light-hearted comedy, the emotional core is valid. While men might be more hesitant to admit it, movies often times have the potential to make us cry, for example:

“Movies with Ridiculous Directors”

The general public has a very simplified view of how a movie is made. We know about producers, actors, and directors, but the exact lines where those jobs begin and end are somewhat blurred. If a film is great, who do you congratulate? If the film is terrible, who do you blame? In reality there are hundreds of jobs at every point from pre-production through post-production, and a film really takes a life of its own with that many cooks in the kitchen. Like “Twitch plays X”, everyone pulls each decision in a million different directions. But there must always be a captain, and that captain is the Director. Can a movie be terrible despite a great director? Sometimes yes, but can a movie be great despite the director being bat-shit insane? As a matter of fact, here’s a list of five times that has occurred!

1. Braveheart
It’s clear why this film is emotional, and we’ve spoken about it in the past. The machismo that Mel Gibson shows as he’s being tortured, not giving up his fellow people despite the horror being inflicted upon him deserves a manly tear. The iconic blue-and-white face paint has become an enduring symbol of the underdogs rising up against oppression. And there was even a time where Mel Gibson wasn’t as insane as we all know him now to be. But much like William Wallace, that time is gone.
At first it was small. Mel was caught making anti-Semitic slurs while drunk, and it was almost accepted that he wasn’t in his right mind. Then it happened again and we realized that his right mind WAS the racist one. Then his girlfriend filed a restraining order against him. Now Mel Gibson is fondly remembered as a talented director and actor yet currently feared as a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic crazy man. Mad Max, indeed.

2. Million Dollar Baby
This movie is one of those that is great to watch up until a certain point. If you’ve seen the film, you know the moment I’m referring to, and if you haven’t seen it then I won’t spoil. Suffice to say, that one moment is what makes guys cry, through both the shock and injustice of it. Aside from directing, Clint Eastwood plays the role of a grizzled boxing trainer who’s convinced to work with a female boxer. Good lord, a female athlete?! It’s one of the more entertaining and powerful sports movies to watch, as is most of Clint’s works.
That doesn’t mean Clint Eastwood isn’t cuckoo-bananas. More recently he jokingly threatened that shooting Michael Moore would be a good idea. Prior to that, he made headlines by yelling at an empty chair for 10 minutes, pretending that Obama was sitting there. One of his several wives was 35 years younger than him…and they had a child together. The man’s played a tough guy so long, it’s seeped into his grey matter. The worst part is that he’s probably never going to play Wolverine in Old Man Logan.

3. Citizen Kane
Considered the greatest film ever made by those who value the craft of film over modern sensibilities of entertainment, Citizen Kane actually is a masterpiece. Bearing some thematic similarities to Animal Farm, it follows a poor boy who gains wealth and reputation, then turns into the rich 1% monster that he grew up hating. The journey that the film takes and the attention to details utilized are staggering, though not surprising coming from Orson Welles. The stories go that Orson and crew would stay up every night of shooting till 2:00 AM, drinking and planning shots, then barely sleep and do it all again. And that’s the normal part of Orson.
Remember when he tricked half of New York into thinking Martians were attacking, due to his radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” on Halloween? Remember when he demanded so much creative control and was so notoriously hard to work with that no studio would touch him? Remember when he was forced to star in a frozen pea (the vegetable) commercial just to finance his works? We remember.

4. Spartacus

This movie might be old enough that many of the viewers of this site haven’t seen it. I’m not saying they haven’t heard of it, but it might just be vaguely known as a good movie to them. Even with that ancillary knowledge, everyone knows the “I Am Spartacus” scene, where all of Sparky’s friends and comrades pretend to be him so that the baddies don’t know who to kill. The look in his eyes as he witnesses the bravery of his fellow men is contagious. The film as a whole is very well done, as is most work by the crazy-as-balls Stanley Kubrick.

During the shooting of The Shining, Kubrick supposedly made Shelley Duvall redo a single shot 127 times and elderly cast member Scatman Crothers redo a scene 148 times, which is a world record. The stress was so great for Duvall during shooting that her hair began to fall out. Mic drop on the crazy director stage; Kubric is known for being the most obsessive-compulsive perfectionists in the industry.

5. The Grapes of Wrath

If you read the book in high school you already know how bleak the movie is. A story of poor Americans suffering in the 1930s Great Depression, trying to get to California for the promise of a better life. Spoiler alert – they don’t find it. Between Grandpa dying on the way, preachers losing their faith, and “accidental” murders, this is a bleak movie but also a classic for a reason. And director John Ford is pudding-brain nutso.
Like many early Hollywood directors John Ford was known as a stern and at times overbearing man to work with, but Ford’s personality went farther than that. He was just a mean old cuss. The best way to summarize Ford’s personality is that he is said to be the only person who ever made John Wayne cry. Let me repeat that, he made John Wayne cry. He was infamous for how hard he would treat and work his actors. He would often mock and bully them. Boo on you, Ford.
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The general public has a very simplified view of how a movie is made. We know about producers, actors, and directors, but the exact lines where those jobs begin and end are somewhat blurred. If a film is great, who do you congratulate? If the film is terrible, who do you blame? In reality there are hundreds of jobs at every point from pre-production through post-production, and a film really takes a life of its own with that many cooks in the kitchen. Like “Twitch plays X”, everyone pulls each decision in a million different directions. But there must always be a captain, and that captain is the Director. Can a movie be terrible despite a great director? Sometimes yes, but can a movie be great despite the director being bat-shit insane? As a matter of fact, here’s a list of five times that has occurred!

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