The Saddest Movie in the World

August 02, 2011

Since it seems to be film week (or month) here anyway, here’s something for you if you’re into film and science. It’s about the 1979 film The Champ, its rise to become the saddest movie in the world and about the study of negative emotions like sadness in general:

The story of how a mediocre movie became a good tool for scientists dates back to 1988, when Robert Levenson, a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and his graduate student, James Gross, started soliciting movie recommendations from colleagues, film critics, video store employees and movie buffs. They were trying to identify short film clips that could reliably elicit a strong emotional response in laboratory settings.

Read it, then come back here and watch the part of the film that’s so sad. Beware though, it may actually make you sad: