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Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump poster
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Produced by Wendy Finerman
Steve Tisch
Steve Starkey
Charles Newirth
Starring

Tom Hanks
Robin Wright
Gary Sinise
Mykelti Williamson
Sally Field

Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Don Burgess
Editing by Arthur Schmidt
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release July 6, 1994
Running time 142 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $55 million
Gross revenue $677,387,716

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and starred Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise and Sally Field. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump, a naïve and slow-witted yet athletically prodigious native of Alabama who witnesses, and in some cases influences, some of the defining events of the latter half of the 20th century in the United States; more specifically, the period between Forrest's birth in 1944 and 1982.

The film differs substantially from Winston Groom's novel on which it is based, including Gump's personality and several events that were depicted. Filming took place in late 1993, mainly in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Extensive visual effects were used to incorporate the protagonist into archived footage and to develop other scenes. A comprehensive soundtrack was featured in the film, using music intended to pinpoint specific time periods portrayed on screen. Its commercial release made it a top-selling soundtrack, selling over twelve million copies worldwide.

Released in the United States on July 6, 1994, Forrest Gump received critical acclaim and became a commercial success as the top grossing film in North America released that year, being the first major success for Paramount Pictures since the studio's sale to Viacom earlier in the year. The film earned over $677 million worldwide during its theatrical run. The film won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director for Robert Zemeckis, Best Actor for Tom Hanks, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects and Best Film Editing. It also garnered multiple other awards and nominations, including Golden Globe Awards, People's Choice Awards and Young Artist Awards, among others. Since the film's release, varying interpretations have been made of the film's protagonist and its political symbolism. In 1996, a themed restaurant, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, opened based on the film, and has since expanded to multiple locations worldwide. The scene of Gump running across the country is often referred to when real-life people attempt the feat. In 2011, the Library of Congress selected Forrest Gump for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Plot

While waiting at a bus stop, Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) begins telling his life story to strangers sitting near him on the bench. His story begins with the leg braces he had to wear as a child, which resulted in him being bullied by other children. He lives with his mother (Sally Field), who tells him that "stupid is as stupid does." His mother runs a rooming house and Forrest teaches one of their guests, a young Elvis Presley (Peter Dobson), a hip-swinging dance. On a bus for his first day of school, Forrest meets Jenny (Robin Wright), with whom he immediately falls in love, and they become best friends. One day, while fleeing from some bullies, Forrest's leg braces break apart and fall away and he discovers that he can run very fast which, despite his below-average intelligence, earns him a scholarship to the University of Alabama from Bear Bryant. While in college, he witnesses George Wallace's Stand in the Schoolhouse Door, is named an All-American football player, and meets President John F. Kennedy.

After graduating, Forrest enlists in the United States Army, where he befriends Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue (Mykelti Williamson), and they agree to go into the shrimping business together. They are sent to Vietnam, and while on patrol, their platoon is ambushed. Forrest saves four of the men in his platoon, including platoon leader 2nd Lt. Dan Taylor (Gary Sinise), but Bubba is killed. Forrest himself is shot in the buttocks and receives the Medal of Honor from President Lyndon B. Johnson. While recovering from his injuries Forrest meets Lt. Dan again, who has had both of his legs amputated below the knees due to his injuries. He is furious at Forrest for leaving him a "cripple" and cheating him out of his destiny to die in battle like his ancestors. In Washington, Forrest is swept up in an anti-war rally at the National Mall and is reunited with Jenny, who is now part of the hippie counterculture movement. They spend the night walking around the capital, but she leaves with her abusive boyfriend the following day.

Forrest discovers an aptitude for ping pong and begins playing for the U.S. Army team, eventually competing against Chinese teams on a goodwill tour. He goes to the White House again and meets President Richard Nixon who provides him a room at the Watergate hotel, where Forrest inadvertently helps expose the Watergate scandal. For his numerous accomplishments, Forrest is invited onto The Dick Cavett Show alongside John Lennon, and helps inspire Lennon's song "Imagine". He again encounters Lt. Dan, who is now an embittered drunk living on welfare. Dan is scornful of Forrest's plans to enter the shrimping business and mockingly promises to be Forrest's first mate if he ever succeeds. Meanwhile, Jenny is living life on the edge of self-destruction, having been with countless men and become addicted to heroin; on one occasion she contemplates suicide.

Forrest is discharged from the military and uses money from a ping pong endorsement to buy a shrimping boat, fulfilling his wartime promise to Bubba, and names it "Jenny". Dan keeps his own promise and joins Forrest as first mate. They initially have little luck, but after Hurricane Carmen destroys every other shrimping boat in the region, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company becomes a huge success due to the elimination of competition. Having had an epiphany during the hurricane, Dan finally thanks Forrest for saving his life. Forrest then returns home to care for his ailing mother, who dies soon afterwards. Forrest leaves the company in the hands of Dan, who invests their wealth in shares of a "fruit company" (Apple Computer), making them both millionaires.

Jenny returns to visit Forrest and stays with him. He proposes but she turns him down. They make love, but she quietly slips away the next morning. Distraught, Forrest decides to go for a run, which turns into a three-year coast-to-coast marathon. Forrest becomes a celebrity, attracting a band of followers and inspiring a number of failing entrepreneurs to success. One day he stops suddenly and returns home. He receives a letter from Jenny asking to meet, which brings him to the bus stop where he began telling his story. Once they are reunited, Forrest discovers they have a young son, also named Forrest (Haley Joel Osment). Jenny reveals that she is suffering from an unknown virus. She proposes and he accepts, and they return to Alabama with Forrest Jr. and marry. The wedding is attended by Lt Dan, who now has prosthetic legs and a fiancee. Jenny dies soon after. Forrest waits with Forrest Jr. for the bus to pick him up for his first day of school, and sits on the same tree stump where his mother sat on his first day of school, and watches his feather bookmark float off in the wind.

Cast

  • Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump
  • Robin Wright as Jenny Curran
  • Gary Sinise as Second Lieutenant Dan Taylor
  • Mykelti Williamson as Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue
  • Sally Field as Mrs. Gump
  • Haley Joel Osment as Forrest Gump, Jr.
  • Peter Dobson as Elvis
  • Dick Cavett as himself
  • Sam Anderson as Principal Hancock
  • Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Dorothy Harris
  • Sonny Shroyer as Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant
  • Grand L. Bush, Conor Kennelly, and Teddy Lane Jr. as the Black Panthers

External links

Tom Hanks films

Forrest Gump (1994)  · Toy Story (1995)  · Saving Private Ryan (1998)  · You've Got Mail (1998)  · Toy Story 2 (1999)  · Toy Story 3 (2010)  · Captain Phillips (2013)  · Saving Mr. Banks (2013)  · Bridge of Spies (2015)  · Sully (2016)  ·

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