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Ovation: Ernest Borgnine (1917 – 2012)


I cry at movies.  Not all movies, of course, and not always when the filmmakers likely intend to illicit emotion from their audience.  There are some movies that bring me to tears the first time I see them but never again after that.  And yet others that make me emotional every single time.  Most recently, I found myself with a big stupid grin on my face and a small tear in the corner of my eye for the duration of the Dolly Parton/Queen Latifa movie, Joyful Noise.  I probably won’t get choked up again should I watch it a second time but it’s now on my list.

One of the films at the top of my Movies That Make Me Cry List will always be The Poseidon Adventure.  Produced by Irwin Allen, this 1972 movie was one of the first of “disaster movies” genre that continued to be popular throughout the seventies.  The plot of the movie centers on the SS Poseidon, an aging luxury liner, on her final voyage from New York City to Athens before being sent to a scrap yard.  During a New Year’s Eve celebration, the ship is overturned by a tsunami caused by an underwater earthquake.  Passengers and crew are trapped inside and an outspoken preacher attempts to lead a small group of survivors to safety.  One of only six survivors is a curmudgeonly man, who loses his new young bride during the ordeal, and is played with love and affection by the late Ernest Borgnine who died yesterday at the age of 95.

Borgnine, whose acting career began in 1951, appeared on-screen hundreds of times including his memorable roles as a scheming Navy officer in the sitcom McHale’s Navy and a lovesick butcher in 1955’s Marty for which he won an Academy Award.  Children might recognize his voice as that of Mermaidman in many episodes of Spongebob Squarepants.

It’s sad when a screen icon passes.  But, fortunately, their work lives on and they can continue to touch our lives for years to come.  Long after his passing, Borgnine’s work will still be emotional.

Are there any movies that make YOU cry?

Copyright © 2012

From → Ovations

  1. Most of them. I am a total wuss.


  2. Poseidon– ah I remember it well! On the way home the car radiator started spewing water. Then when we got home, a game on tv had to be canceled because the field was flooded! I think that was the last time I ever saw Ernest Borgnine. He was memorable too. 🙂


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