A Favorite Throughout Many Generations
Even if you’ve never seen Forrest Gump, chances are you know many references from the movie. Maybe you’ve eaten at one of the 40 Bubba Gump restaurants around the nation or heard “run Forrest, run!” many times. Whatever it may be, one thing is for sure, the film left an unequivocal impact on the world.
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As Forrest Gump awaits his bus at a bus stop in Savannah, Georgia, he begins telling the stranger next to him about his life. Though many strangers come and go during the story he tells, Forrest is committed to sharing.
It started out when Forrest was a child, on his first day of school, he meets Jenny. A little girl who shows him kindness when all the rest of his classmates were making fun of him for his leg braces. Forrest’s childhood isn’t kind to him; he’s constantly getting made fun of and treated poorly because he’s a bit slower than those around him and is mentally disabled.
When Forrest graduates high school, he gets a full football scholarship to attend college because he can run so fast. After four years, he immediately enlists in the army and is sent to Vietnam. There, he meets one of his best friends, Bubba. Bubba and Forrest hatch a plan to go into the shrimping business when the war ends, but when their platoon is attacked, Bubba loses his life. Forrest saves many men and was shot in the butt, so he goes back to the US to recover, receiving a Congressional Medal of Honor upon his return.
While recovering, Forrest discovers he has a natural talent for ping-pong and he eventually becomes a well-known ping-pong player, even competing against world-renowned Chinese teams. After competing, Forrest goes home and endorses a company that makes ping-pong paddles; that endorsement puts $25,000 in his pocket.
With the money, Forrest buys a shrimping boat as an ode to Bubba. His commanding officer, Lieutenant Dan, comes along on the boat to help Forrest. The pair didn’t find much success at first, but after Hurricane Carmen destroyed most of the shrimping boats in the area, they began scoring massive amounts of shrimp. With the shrimp, came money. The money bought more boats and allowed Dan and Forrest to invest in Apple, setting them up for the rest of their lives.
Throughout his life, Forrest has fleeting moments where he runs into Jenny. Eventually, he decides to propose to her, though she turns him down. Despite declining his proposal, Jenny sleeps with Forrest that night but slips out early the next morning before Forrest wakes up. Confused, Forrest wakes up and decides to go for a run. Ultimately, he just kept going, running across the country several times and amounting massive fame in the process.
At the end of the movie, Forrest tells the stranger next to him that he is waiting for the bus to go see Jenny. She sent him a letter and asked him to visit. Once he arrives, Forrest discovers that Jenny has a son, and he is the father. Jenny reveals that she is sick and the three move back to Alabama together where the pair get married. Jenny dies soon after the wedding. The closing scene shows Forrest and his son waiting for the bus on his first day of school.
- Tom Hanks decided not to take a salary during filming. However, he negotiated with producers to get a portion of the film’s earnings. That turned out to be a very good decision.
- Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis both took pay cuts to stay under the studio’s budget. In exchange for full salary, Tom took “points” (a percentage of net profits) on the film and eventually netted over $40 million
- During filming, the production almost had to shut down because of financial problems. Instead, Hanks and the film’s director paid for the rest of the scenes with their own money.
- In every scene where Forrest is getting progressively older, he is still wearing a blue plaid shirt
- The ping pong matches were filmed with no ball, which was added in during editing using computer generated imaging (CGI)
- Tom Hanks was the film’s fourth choice for the role of Forrest. John Travolta was the star producers wanted. When he turned it down, they asked Chevy Chase and Bill Murray before making their way to Hanks.
Forrest Gump Cast:
- Tom Hanks – Forrest Gump
- Robin Wright – Jenny Curran
- Sally Field – Mrs. Gump
- Gary Sinise – Lieutenant Dan Taylor
- Mykelti Williamson – Bubba Blue
- Michael Conner Humphreys – Young Forrest
- Haley Joel Osment – Forrest Junior
- Dick Cavett – Dick Cavett
- Harold G. Herthum – Doctor
- George Kelly – Barber
- Sam Anderson – Principal
- Margo Moorer – Louise
- John Worsham – Southern Gentleman
- Peter Dobson – Young Elvis Presley
- Siobhan Fallon Hogan – School Bus Driver
- Hanna Hall – Young Jenny Curran
- Kevin Mangan – Jenny’s Father
- Fay Genens – Jenny’s Grandmother
- Frank Geyer – Police Chief
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