Here is the saddest movie ever made, according to science: The Champ, starring Jon Voight. Watch it! A guy dies! In front of his son! After winning the, uh, boxing... trophy! Are you crying? Are you sobbing? Okay, whoa, stop, you're embarrassing yourself in front of your coworkers.

The Champ was identified as being, scientifically, hella sad in a study by psychology professors James Gross and Robert Levenson. As CTV explains, due to so-called "ethics," scientists are not technically allowed to "trick a subject into thinking something awful has happened in order to induce feelings of sadness." Moviemakers, on the other hand, are actively encouraged to trick people into thinking awful things are happening, and psychologists can use the fruits of their labor to put together their own devious sadness experiments.

And now they know which film the use: The final scene of 1978's The Champ, which "produced levels of sadness that were much greater than any other emotion," and higher than in movies like Kramer vs. Kramer and Bambi. (The study is here if you want to read it.)


I don't know! The Champ didn't exactly jerk any tears from me, but maybe you need to go in unprepared, or not thinking about how creepy little Ricky Schroder looks, and how he still looks basically the same in 2011 as he did in 1978. Surely there are sadder movies than this? Obviously, I never cry at movies, ever, but I've heard that a lot of people, even strong, masculine men, have been known to cry at the scene in Toy Story where Buzz Lightyear finds out he can't fly. That's just what I hear.


[CTV via Reddit]