Guy Cry Cinema
The Five Detective Movies That Tug at Your Heartstrings

Firefilm | 24 Sep 2015 15:00
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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:

"Detective Movies"

Everyone loves a good mystery, except those who like M. Night Shyamalan's more recent work. For the rest of us with good taste, a detective movie is like an amusement park ride. We're strapped in and have no control over where we're going, yet we strive to look around corners and figure out where the cart will take us before it does. Sometimes even being fully aware of the impending sudden drop doesn't detract from our thrill as we go along for the ride. Detectives can be hardboiled or neurotic, suave or disheveled. Their movies can be noir or modern, serious or comedic. Yet for all the variety that detective movies offer, a film that says upfront that there's a mystery and dares the audience to figure it out before the protagonist does makes this genre uniquely suited for audience participation. It's no wonder with such a relationship between audience and film, there's opportunities for emotional connection as well.

1. Chinatown
For those young'uns that aren't aware, this is a move from the mid-1970s and the main private eye is played by Jack "Joker" Nicholson back when that was a genius idea and not a recipe for crazy. Like most detective stories, it would take several paragraphs to recount the plot, but we're dealing with the classic trope of a dame hiring a detective to spy on someone, then turns out not to be who she claims to be and that someone ends up dead. That's a trope, deal with it.

What really sets this movie out as sad is a particular scene with Jack and the main love interest. As often happens in these films, the dame became hysterical and Jack had to slap some sense into her. In doing so, it's revealed that the girl's sister is also her daughter, and the implications of how that would work are just horrifying. This reveal, and then the retroactive context to her sleeping with Jack and him having to slap the truth out of her both make for a very tough moment in cinematic history. Faye Dunaway's performance is completely arresting.

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