February 26, 2009
Originally published November 21, 2003
In response to my Friday Five, Matt wrote:
4) Name a movie that made you cry (and if you say "I never cried over a movie, you should be dragged off and shot, you heartless shit!)
'October Sky' with Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Cooper. True story (based on Homer Hickam's book The Rocket Boys) of a group of kids from a coal mining town who discover model rocketry after the Russians launch Sputnik. The lead character's father is a hard-bitten old coal mine supervisor, who wants his younger son to quit playing games and accept the reality of his future. Kid perseveres, keeps building rockets and wins college scholarship (and out of the coal town) in the end.
The scene that will kill you is at the very end, when the father who had avoided all the son's rocket launches shows up for the big one, watched by the entire town.
Kid hands father the controller and says "You know, it won't fly unless somebody pushes the button. It's yours if you want it." Father presses the Launch button, and side by side they watch this beautiful rocket streak to the stratosphere.
Me and my best friend, both big, burly gun-owning he-men were both snuffling and wiping away tears at this scene. Absolutely wonderful movie that I can't recommend highly enough. Shit, I'm getting misty just thinking about it.
When I was laid up after prostate surgery, my mama gave me a copy of that movie to watch one night. "You'll like this one," she said. I LOVED it. I identified with the coal-mining scenes and I wound up with tears in my eyes and snot running out of my nose at the end of the movie. I recommend that one to ANYONE with half a heart and a faith in the human spirit.
And if you DON'T mist up at the end, you need to be dragged off and shot, you heartless shit.