The Elephant Man (1980, dir. David Lynch)
Aside from Dune, The Elephant Man might be the closest David Lynch has ever come to directing a mainstream film with a wide appeal (it was nominated for eight Academy Awards, although it didn’t win any). It’s also generally considered one of the more depressing films out there, and its depiction of cruelty towards John Merrick, the Elephant Man, is sure to move a sensitive soul to tears. Lynch’s use of the “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber (later made famous in Platoon) is classic, and surely goes a long way in tugging our heart strings. The only other Lynch film that comes close to being as sad is 1999’s The Straight Story, which tells the story of an elderly man driving a tractor across the Midwest to visit his estranged brother who recently suffered from a stroke.