50 most heartbreaking movie moments

21. Marley And Me (2008)

The Moment: John and Jenny Grogan (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) realise that surgery won't stop the suffering of their beloved Labrador Marley.

Get Your Tissues Ready: John stays at Marley's side as the dog is put to sleep.

If It Was Played For Laughs: The shot is actually a miracle-cure adrenaline boost that restores Marley to his earlier chaos-causing antics.

20. A Single Man (2009)

The Moment: George Falconer (Colin Firth) takes a call from who he thinks is his lover Jim (Matthew Goode).

Get Your Tissues Ready: It's bad news Jim has died in a car accident and George is gripped by numb, silent shock.

If It Was Played For Laughs: "Hang on sorry, wrong number."

19. Make Way For Tomorrow (1937)

The Moment: Elderly couple Barkley and Lucy Cooper (Victor Mature and Beulah Bondi) enjoy one last date before they are shipped off to separate retirement homes thousands of miles apart.

Get Your Tissues Ready: Despite a chipper Barkley telling Lucy he'll send for her, the look on her face as his trains departs is unmistakable she'll never see again.

If It Was Played For Laughs: Turns out Barkley hasn't got a valid ticket, so they chuck him off and he and Lucy run off together.

18. Dead Man Walking (1995)

The Moment: Rapist and murderer Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn) is brought to his execution by lethal injection.

Get Your Tissues Ready: Counselled by Sister Helen Prejean (Susan Sarandon), a repentant Poncelet admits his crimes and apologies to the families of his victims.

If It Was Played For Laughs: It'd need a show-stopping musical number to make this one cheery.

17. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)

The Moment: Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) return to Hogwarts from their Horcrux hunt, only to apparate into an ambush.

Get Your Tissues Ready: Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) kills Dumbledore with an Avada Kedavra curse and, if you think that's sad, wait 'til you find out why he killed him in The Deathly Hallows.

If It Was Played For Laughs: Dumbledore would have been knocked off the tower with a laughing curse.

16. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

The Moment: Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) visits the parents of his dead lover, Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal).

Get Your Tissues Ready: In the bedroom, Ennis realises Jack has kept the shirt he was wearing on Brokeback Mountain.

If It Was Played For Laughs: In a new epilogue, Ennis becomes a scientist and pioneers cloning technology so he can recreate Jack.

15. Kes (1969)

The Moment: Billy Caspar (David Bradley) discovers that his bullying half-brother Judd has killed his beloved kestrel.

Get Your Tissues Ready: Billy falls to pieces after he finds Kes dumped in a bin.

If It Was Played For Laughs: Billy stuffs the bird and continues to 'train' it, just to fuck with his brother.

14. The Elephant Man (1980)

The Moment: A cruel mob chases and corners deformed John Merrick (John Hurt).

Get Your Tissues Ready: Cornered, Merrick breaks down and cries, "I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!"

If It Was Played For Laughs: The speech would continue. "I like watching football. I'm a little lairy after a few pints. I quite fancy Scarlett Johansson."

13. Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)

The Moment: Learning that his sister Setsuko is dying of malnutrition, Seita hurries home with all the food he can find.

Get Your Tissues Ready: The delirious Setsuko is sucking marbles that she thinks are fruit drops, and offers her brother 'rice cakes' which are actually mud.

If It Was Played For Laughs: Seita reverses the game by feeding her real food but pretending they're eating horrible things like worms.

12. Ikiru (1952)

The Moment: Dying of cancer, Kanji Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) visits the children's playground he's fought to have built.

Get Your Tissues Ready: Despite considerable cold hastening his death, Watanabe sings happily to himself while playing on the swings.

If It Was Played For Laughs: He'd get dizzy on the roundabout instead.