#9- Forrest Gump (1994)

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Who's List Was This On
- Cubsfan4evr1: #4
- The 'Bright' One: #7
- Adam Kaplan: #12
- Dan Bennett: #24

Directed By: Robert Zemeckis
Written By: Eric Roth
Starring: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Sally Field, and Gary Sinise
Based Upon: The book Forrest Gump by Winston Groom

The Plot

This movie is about the life of Forrest Gump (Hanks)- a slow witted man with a below average IQ as he travels throughout the world, becomes a part of the United State's historic events, and searches for the childhood love of his life: Jenny (Wright)

Why This Movie Is Great

99.9999999% of a time a movie is great, or really any moving medium is great because there's a conflict. However, that .00000001% is Forrest Gump. Roth's script is so great and Tom Hanks's acting is so incredible that you care about what happens to this dim-witted man even though there's very little conflict in his life. Sure his mom dies and he searched for Jenny, finds her, she leaves him, he finds her again et cetra, et certa, but in the grand scheme of things, Forrest Gump is entertaining without having a major conflict.

The reason this film is so engaging without a major conflict because this movie is about the life and times of America with Forrest Gump representing the mainstream culture and Jenny representing the counter culture.

Forrest was born in the 1950's and was a part of many of America's most important moments. He taught Elvis Presley his signature move, he was a kick returner for Bear Bryant and the University of Alabama, he fought in Vietnam, and he was there when the National Guard was called when George Wallace refused to let African-Americans into public schools.

Jenny on the other hand was fully entrenched in the counter-culture movement and the sexual revolution of the 1960's. She does massive amount of drugs, she constantly has sex, she befriends Black Panthers, and basically personifies everything Ken Kesey stands for.

Although the characters of the movie are great, Robert Zemeckis does a great job with this film. First, the music in Forrest Gump and its soundtrack is probably the greatest music ever in the history of cinema. When Buffalo Springfield's "For What Its Worth" plays while the helicopters are flying over Vietnam is just amazing. The soundtrack includes other greats like "Fortunate Son" by CCR, "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" by The Doors, and "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Besides the music, the special effects in Forrest Gump is pretty incredible. While the film doesn't really contain explosions and giant action sequences like most Oscar winning films that win Best Special Effects what Zemeckis does is chop of Gary Sinise's legs as Lt. Dan and plants Forrest Gump right in the middle of famous historical events and he gets to meet many Presidents.

Tom Hanks does such an incredible job playing Forrest Gump and he helps to bring such an amazing character to life. The character of Forrest Gump is such an iconic character and has become fully entrenched as a part of Americana. No other actor could have pulled off playing Forrest Gump as what Tom Hanks did.

Tom Hanks has had a very interesting career and if you're as young as I am and you're first real memory of Tom Hanks is in Forrest Gump then you don't really remember what an odd career he had before the 1994 classic. He first started off in a TV show where he played a cross dresser in Bosom Buddies. Then, he starred in a lot of goofy comedies like Splash and Bachelor Party. He was still doing comedies but he evolved to better ones when he did Big in 1988. He then got to test his acting chops in A League Of Their Own. Then he did a 360 and starred in the romance classic Sleepless In Seattle. After 1992, Hanks finally got to play with the big boys when he starred in Philadelphia in 1993 and then Forrest Gump in 1994. Since winning back-to-back Oscars Hanks blew up and went on to star in: Apollo 13, Toy Story, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, Road to Perdition, Catch Me If You Can, and Charlie Wilson's War. What an amazing and incredible career that is. To start off doing a crappy cross-dressing television show and spending five plus years churning out comedy crap to becoming probably the best actor in the world and starring in three out of the top twenty five movies of the past 25 years (according to us here at GOI). His rise to the top was helped fueled by his amazing performance in Forrest Gump.

- Tom Hanks got his signature Forrest Gump accent from Michael Humphreys- the actor who played young Forrest Gump and who actually talked that way.
- Every time Forrest Gump enters a new stage in his life he wears a different blue, plaid shirt.
- Very rarely do movies released during the summer sweep the Oscars. Forrest Gump (released July 6, 1994) is one of the exceptions
- I love Forrest Gump and as great of a movie as it is, it was the third best movie of 1994. The two movies ahead of it? Well, you'll just have to continue to follow this list and you'll find out.