We all know the cliché - the long, drawn-out, noise of anguish that characters in movies wail in a moment of true drama. In other words, when the scriptwriter was up at 3am just trying to finish the scene.
So here’s a list of the top anguished cries in movie history (Spoilers ahead):
8. The Panicked Security Guard v. the Steam Roller
The first Austin Powers movie has some pretty good sight gags, but nothing beats that 30 seconds when the security guard stands there with his hand outstretched and his bottom jaw seemingly unhinged to let out his scream. He holds this scream for quite a while as the object of his demise slowly inches towards him from about 6 feet away.
7. The “What’s in the Box” No.
A more subtle no delivered by Brad Pitt, but considering how anguished this Seven performance is, I’m adding it to the list.
6. The Lord of the Rings No.
Any time someone does the long nooooooo in the LOTR trilogy, it’s pretty epic. Even when Sam does it. And Sam was probably the least dramatic Hobbit.
5. The All Eyes NOOOOOO!!!
Independence Day gave us some great action movie moments, including Will Smith crying out when his buddy, Harry Connick Jr., is shot down. What makes this anguished cry standout is the oxygen mask Smith is wearing, meaning he had to express his pain entirely through his eyes. It really does look like his eyebrows are trying to leap off of his head in order to emote.
4. The Point Break Yell and Shoot
This is of course a quintessential anguished cry. Keanu truly makes you feel his frustration and pain . . . And makes you wonder what happens when those bullets come back down.
3. The Hot Fuzz Parody of the Yell and Shoot
Nick Frost’s take on the Point Break moment is still weirdly emotional. In fact, something about the character reliving what is one of his favorite moments in cinema while he is debating shooting someone so close him is much more heartbreaking.
2. That’s Impossible!
Following the loss of his hand, Luke Skywalker’s discovery and then adamant denial of his true parentage feels like an appropriate time to yell “No!” No one wants to admit that the feelings they are searching told them that they guy who just sliced off your limb might be Dad. You’d rather hope that the feeling is indigestion.
1. The Childhood Trauma No!
You’re sitting in that movie theater or in your living room. You’re young and innocent and just bouncing happily to the music of Elton John. What could possibly go wrong? Then it happens. Mufasa plummets into that rampaging herd of water buffalo. And as he falls, Simba lets out a cry which matches the sorrow in your heat.
Honorable Mention: KAAAAAAHHHHHNNNN! Even though this is clearly the greatest of all anguished cries in any movie ever, because this amazing wail is a proper name, I am putting it in the honorable mention category. Thank you, Shatner, for yelling it. And thank you, Ricardo Montalbán, for inspiring it.
In No Way Honorable and Not Worth Mentioning: Where is Padme? Don’t worry about it, because that cry of anguish is not on this list. Total waste of James Earl Jones.