All morning, the bloggers have been passing around movie clips trying to make each other cry. Popular choices have included Terms of Endearment, The Way We Were, and Beaches. The inspiration is the recent news that scientists have officially named the saddest movie scene ever. The winner is… The Golden Globe-winning performance by a young Ricky Schroder in the 1979 film The Champ. Apparently, it's even sadder than the death of Bambi's mother.
The hunt for the saddest movie scene has been going on since 1988, when two researchers, now at Stanford, starting looking for a clip that would reliably bum people out that they could use for studies. After testing hundreds of movies on hundreds of viewers, they settled on The Champ as the cinematic scene "most likely to produce tears." The deserving couple of minutes depict the titular champ, after winning a come-back match, slowly dying in front of his young son. The son, Ricky Schroder, has a full head of bouncy blonde hair, and he doesn't take it too well.
This saddest of scenes has been used by masochist scientists for years in all sorts of studies. Are depressed people more likely than happy people to cry? They are not. Are sad people more likely to spend money? Yes, and old people are more weepy than the young. They also reported that people with binge-eating disorders do not eat more when sad, but that's crap. After spending the morning watching these clips, we decided to move our lunch break up an hour.