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Forrest Gump

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Forrest Gump
Film poster with a white background and a park bench (facing away from the viewer) near the bottom. A man wearing a white suit is sitting on the right side of the bench and is looking to his left while resting his hands on both sides of him on the bench. A suitcase is sitting on the ground, and the man is wearing tennis shoes. At the top left of the image is the film's tagline and title and at the bottom is the release date and production credits.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Zemeckis
Produced by
Screenplay byEric Roth
Based onForrest Gump
by Winston Groom
Starring
Music byAlan Silvestri
CinematographyDon Burgess
Edited byArthur Schmidt
Production
company
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • June 23, 1994 (1994-06-23) (Los Angeles; premiere)
  • July 6, 1994 (1994-07-06) (United States)
Running time
142 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$55 million[1]
Box office$678.2 million[1]

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American comedy-drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Eric Roth. It is based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom, and stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump (Hanks), a slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama who witnesses and unwittingly influences several defining historical events in the 20th century United States. The film differs substantially from the novel.

Principal photography took place in late 1993, mainly in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Extensive visual effects were used to incorporate Hanks into archived footage and to develop other scenes. The soundtrack features songs reflecting the different periods seen in the film.

Forrest Gump was released in the United States on July 6, 1994 and received favorable reviews for Zemeckis' directing, Hanks' performance, the visual effects, and the script. The film was an enormous success at the box office; it became the top-grossing film in America released that year and earned over US$677 million worldwide during its theatrical run, making it the second highest-grossing film of 1994. The soundtrack sold over 12 million copies. Forrest Gump won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Hanks, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing. It won many other awards and nominations, including Golden Globes, People's Choice Awards, and Young Artist Awards.

Varying interpretations have been made of the protagonist and the film's political symbolism. In 2011, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[2][3]

Plot[edit]

In 1981, a white feather lands at a bus stop in Savannah, Georgia. A man named Forrest Gump picks it up as he recounts his life story to strangers who sit next to him on a bench.

In 1951 in Greenbow, Alabama, young Forrest is fitted with leg braces to correct a curved spine, and is unable to walk properly. He lives alone with his mother, who runs a boarding house out of their home that attracts many tenants, including a young Elvis Presley, who plays the guitar for Forrest and incorporates his jerky dance movements into his famous performances. On his first day of school, Forrest meets a girl named Jenny Curran, and the two become best friends.

Forrest is often bullied because of his physical disability and marginal intelligence. While fleeing from some bullies, his braces fall off, revealing Forrest to be a very fast runner. This talent eventually allows him to receive a football scholarship at the University of Alabama in 1963; he witnesses Governor George Wallace's stand in the schoolhouse door, becomes a top running back, is named on the All-American team, and meets President John F. Kennedy at the White House.

After his college graduation, Forrest enlists into the U.S. Army, where he befriends a fellow soldier nicknamed "Bubba", who convinces Forrest to go into the shrimping business with him after their service. In 1967, they are sent to Vietnam, serving with the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta region. After a few routine operations, their platoon is ambushed while on patrol, and Bubba is killed in action. Forrest saves several wounded platoon-mates—including his lieutenant, Dan Taylor, who loses both his legs—and is awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

At the anti-war "March on the Pentagon" rally, Forrest meets Abbie Hoffman and briefly reunites with Jenny, who has been living a hippie lifestyle. He also develops a talent for ping-pong, and becomes a sports celebrity as he competes against Chinese teams in ping-pong diplomacy, earning him an interview alongside John Lennon on The Dick Cavett Show. In New York City, he spends the holidays and the 1972 new year with Dan, who has become an embittered cripple. Forrest soon meets President Richard Nixon and is put up in the Watergate complex, where he accidentally exposes the Watergate scandal, forcing Nixon to resign. Forrest Gump is officially discharged from the army and his service is over. He decides to return home to his mother.

Returning to Greenbow, Forrest endorses a company that makes ping-pong paddles. He uses the earnings to buy a shrimping boat in Bayou La Batre, fulfilling his promise to Bubba. Dan joins Forrest in 1974, and they initially have little success. After their boat becomes the only one to survive Hurricane Carmen, they pull in huge amounts of shrimp and create the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, after which Dan finally thanks Forrest for saving his life. Dan invests into Apple Computers and the two become millionaires, but Forrest also gives half of the earnings to Bubba's family, giving them a better life. Forrest then returns home to see his mother as she dies of cancer.

In 1976, Jenny—recovering from years of drug abuse and returns to visit Forrest, and after a while he proposes to her. She declines, but then has sex with him that night before leaving early the next morning. Heartbroken, Forrest goes running, and spends the next three years in a relentless cross-country marathon, becoming famous again before returning home to Greenbow.

In the present, Forrest reveals that he is waiting at the bus stop because he received a letter from Jenny, who asked him to visit her. The strangers say that the address on the letter is only a few blocks away and Forrest immediately takes off. As Forrest is finally reunited with Jenny, she introduces him to their son, named Forrest Gump, Jr. Jenny tells Forrest she is sick with an unknown incurable virus, and the three move back to Greenbow. Jenny and Forrest finally marry, but she dies a year later. The film ends with Forrest seeing his son off on his first day of school as Forrest lets go of the feather from the beginning and the wind carries it back into the sky.

Cast[edit]

A man is at the center of the image smiling into the camera. He is sitting on a blue crate and has his hands resting on his legs.
A man is at the center of the image looking at the camera. He is dressed in Vietnam War-era military attire
Tom Hanks (left) and Gary Sinise (right) on the film set in 1993.
  • Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump: Although at an early age he is deemed to have a below-average IQ of 75, he has an endearing character and shows devotion to his loved ones and duties, character traits which bring him into many life-changing situations. Along the way, he encounters many historical figures and events throughout his life. Tom's younger brother Jim Hanks is his acting double in the movie for the scenes when Forrest runs across the U.S. Tom's daughter Elizabeth Hanks appears in the movie as the girl on the school bus who refuses to let young Forrest (Michael Conner Humphreys) sit next to her. John Travolta was the original choice to play the title role and admits passing on the role was a mistake.[4][5][6] Bill Murray and Chevy Chase were also considered for the role.[7] Sean Penn stated in an interview having been second choice for the role. Hanks revealed that he signed on to the film after an hour and a half of reading the script.[8] He initially wanted to ease Forrest's pronounced Southern accent, but was eventually persuaded by director Robert Zemeckis to portray the heavy accent stressed in the novel.[8]
    • Michael Conner Humphreys as young Forrest Gump: Hanks revealed in interviews that after hearing Michael's unique accented drawl, he incorporated it into the older character's accent. Winston Groom, who wrote the original novel, describes the film as having taken the "rough edges" off of the character, and envisioned him being played by John Goodman.[9]
  • Robin Wright as Jenny Curran: Forrest's childhood friend with whom he immediately falls in love, and never stops loving throughout his life. A victim of child sexual abuse at the hands of her bitterly widowed father, Jenny embarks on a different path from Forrest, leading a self-destructive life and becoming part of the hippie movement in the 1960s and the 1970s/1980s drug culture. She re-enters Forrest's life at various times in adulthood. Jenny eventually becomes a waitress in Savannah, Georgia, where she lives in an apartment with her (and Forrest's) son, Forrest Jr. They eventually get married, but soon afterward she dies from complications due to an unnamed disease.
  • Gary Sinise as Lieutenant Dan Taylor: Forrest and Bubba Blue's platoon leader during the Vietnam War, whose ancestors have died in every U.S. war and who regards it as his destiny to do the same. After losing his legs in an ambush and being rescued against his will by Forrest, he is initially bitter and antagonistic towards Forrest for leaving him a "cripple" and denying him his family's destiny, falling into a deep depression. He later serves as Forrest's first mate at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, gives most of the orders, becoming wealthy with Forrest, and regains his will to live. He ultimately forgives and thanks Forrest for saving his life. By the end of the film, he is engaged to be married and is sporting "magic legs" – titanium alloy prosthetics which allow him to walk again. Joe Pesci was considered for the role.
  • Mykelti Williamson as Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue: Bubba was originally supposed to be the senior partner in the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, but due to his death in Vietnam, their platoon leader, Dan Taylor, took his place. The company posthumously carried his name. Forrest later gave Bubba's mother Bubba's share of the business. Throughout filming, Williamson wore a lip attachment to create Bubba's protruding lip.[10] David Alan Grier, Ice Cube and Dave Chappelle were all offered the role but turned it down.[7][11] Chappelle said he believed the film would be unsuccessful, and also acknowledged that he regrets not taking the role.[7]
  • Sally Field as Mrs. Gump: Field reflected on the character, "She's a woman who loves her son unconditionally. ... A lot of her dialogue sounds like slogans, and that's just what she intends."[12]
  • Haley Joel Osment as Forrest Gump, Jr.: Osment was cast in the film after the casting director noticed him in a Pizza Hut commercial.[13]
  • Peter Dobson as Elvis: Although Kurt Russell was uncredited, he provided the voice for Elvis in the scene.[14]
  • Dick Cavett as himself: Cavett played a version of himself in the 1970s, with makeup applied to make him appear younger. Consequently, Cavett is the only well-known figure in the film to play a cameo role rather than be represented through the use of archival footage like John Lennon or President John F. Kennedy[15]
  • Sonny Shroyer as Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant
  • Grand L. Bush, Michael Jace, Conor Kennelly, and Teddy Lane Jr. as the Black Panthers

Production[edit]

Script[edit]

"The writer, Eric Roth, departed substantially from the book. We flipped the two elements of the book, making the love story primary and the fantastic adventures secondary. Also, the book was cynical and colder than the movie. In the movie, Gump is a completely decent character, always true to his word. He has no agenda and no opinion about anything except Jenny, his mother and God."

—director Robert Zemeckis[16]

The film is based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom. Both center on the character of Forrest Gump. However, the film primarily focuses on the first eleven chapters of the novel, before skipping ahead to the end of the novel with the founding of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and the meeting with Forrest, Jr. In addition to skipping some parts of the novel, the film adds several aspects to Gump's life that do not occur in the novel, such as his needing leg braces as a child and his run across the United States.[17]

Gump's core character and personality are also changed from the novel; among other things his film character is less of a savant—in the novel, while playing football at the university, he fails craft and gym, but receives a perfect score in an advanced physics class he is enrolled in by his coach to satisfy his college requirements.[17] The novel also features Gump as an astronaut, a professional wrestler, and a chess player.[17]

Two directors were offered the opportunity to direct the film before Robert Zemeckis was selected. Terry Gilliam turned down the offer.[18] Barry Sonnenfeld was attached to the film, but left to direct Addams Family Values.[19]

Filming[edit]

The shrimping boat Jenny used in the film.

Filming began in August 1993 and ended in December of that year.[20] Although most of the film is set in Alabama, filming took place mainly in and around Beaufort, South Carolina, as well as parts of coastal Virginia and North Carolina,[8] including a running shot on the Blue Ridge Parkway.[21] Downtown portions of the fictional town of Greenbow were filmed in Varnville, South Carolina.[22] The scene of Forrest running through Vietnam while under fire was filmed on Fripp Island, South Carolina.[23] Additional filming took place on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, and along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone, North Carolina. The most notable place was Grandfather Mountain, where a part of the road subsequently became known as "Forrest Gump Curve".[24] The Gump family home set was built along the Combahee River near Yemassee, South Carolina, and the nearby land was used to film Curran's home as well as some of the Vietnam scenes.[25] Over 20 palmetto trees were planted to improve the Vietnam scenes.[25] Forrest Gump narrated his life's story at the northern edge of Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia, as he sat at a bus stop bench. There were other scenes filmed in and around the Savannah area as well, including a running shot on the Richard V. Woods Memorial Bridge in Beaufort while he was being interviewed by the press, and on West Bay Street in Savannah.[25] Most of the college campus scenes were filmed in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California. The lighthouse that Forrest runs across to reach the Atlantic Ocean the first time is the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde, Maine. Additional scenes were filmed in Arizona, Utah's Monument Valley, and Montana's Glacier National Park.[26]

Visual effects[edit]

Black-and-white film screenshot showing the main character on the left looking towards another man, President Kennedy, (voiced by actor Jed Gillin), on the right. Kennedy is smiling and looking to his left. In the background, several men are looking in different directions and one is aiming a camera.
Gump with President John F. Kennedy. A variety of visual effects were used to incorporate Tom Hanks into archive footage with various historical figures and events.

Ken Ralston and his team at Industrial Light & Magic were responsible for the film's visual effects. Using CGI techniques, it was possible to depict Gump meeting deceased personages and shaking their hands. Hanks was first shot against a blue screen along with reference markers so that he could line up with the archive footage.[27] To record the voices of the historical figures, voice actors were filmed and special effects were used to alter lip-syncing for the new dialogue.[16] Archival footage was used and with the help of such techniques as chroma key, image warping, morphing, and rotoscoping, Hanks was integrated into it.

In one Vietnam War scene, Gump carries Bubba away from an incoming napalm attack. To create the effect, stunt actors were initially used for compositing purposes. Then, Hanks and Williamson were filmed, with Williamson supported by a cable wire as Hanks ran with him. The explosion was then filmed, and the actors were digitally added to appear just in front of the explosions. The jet fighters and napalm canisters were also added by CGI.[28]

The CGI removal of actor Gary Sinise's legs, after his character had them amputated, was achieved by wrapping his legs with a blue fabric, which later facilitated the work of the "roto-paint" team to paint out his legs from every single frame. At one point, while hoisting himself into his wheelchair, his legs are used for support.[29]

The scene where Forrest spots Jenny at a peace rally at the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., required visual effects to create the large crowd of people. Over two days of filming, approximately 1,500 extras were used.[30] At each successive take, the extras were rearranged and moved into a different quadrant away from the camera. With the help of computers, the extras were multiplied to create a crowd of several hundred thousand people.[8][30]

Release[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received generally positive reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 72% of critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 7.36/10, based on a sample of 98 reviews. The website's critical consensus states, "Forrest Gump may be an overly sentimental film with a somewhat problematic message, but its sweetness and charm are usually enough to approximate true depth and grace."[31] At the website Metacritic, the film earned a rating of 82 out of 100 based on 20 reviews by mainstream critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[32] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a rare "A+" grade.[33]

The story was commended by several critics. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "I've never met anyone like Forrest Gump in a movie before, and for that matter I've never seen a movie quite like 'Forrest Gump.' Any attempt to describe him will risk making the movie seem more conventional than it is, but let me try. It's a comedy, I guess. Or maybe a drama. Or a dream. The screenplay by Eric Roth has the complexity of modern fiction...The performance is a breathtaking balancing act between comedy and sadness, in a story rich in big laughs and quiet truths...What a magical movie."[34] Todd McCarthy of Variety wrote that the film "has been very well worked out on all levels, and manages the difficult feat of being an intimate, even delicate tale played with an appealingly light touch against an epic backdrop."[35] The film did receive notable pans from several major reviewers. Anthony Lane of The New Yorker called the film "Warm, wise, and wearisome as hell."[36] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly said that the film was "glib, shallow, and monotonous" and "reduces the tumult of the last few decades to a virtual-reality theme park: a baby-boomer version of Disney's America."[37]

Gump garnered comparisons to fictional character Huckleberry Finn, as well as U.S. politicians Ronald Reagan, Pat Buchanan and Bill Clinton.[38][39][40][41] Peter Chomo writes that Gump acts as a "social mediator and as an agent of redemption in divided times".[42] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called Gump "everything we admire in the American character – honest, brave, and loyal with a heart of gold."[43] The New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin called Gump a "hollow man" who is "self-congratulatory in his blissful ignorance, warmly embraced as the embodiment of absolutely nothing."[44] Marc Vincenti of Palo Alto Weekly called the character "a pitiful stooge taking the pie of life in the face, thoughtfully licking his fingers."[45] Bruce Kawin and Gerald Mast's textbook on film history notes that Forrest Gump's dimness was a metaphor for glamorized nostalgia in that he represented a blank slate onto which the Baby Boomer generation projected their memories of those events.[46]

The film is commonly seen as a polarizing one for audiences, with Entertainment Weekly writing in 2004, "Nearly a decade after it earned gazillions and swept the Oscars, Robert Zemeckis's ode to 20th-century America still represents one of cinema's most clearly drawn lines in the sand. One half of folks see it as an artificial piece of pop melodrama, while everyone else raves that it's sweet as a box of chocolates."[47]

Box office performance[edit]

Produced on a budget of $55 million, Forrest Gump opened in 1,595 theaters in its first weekend of domestic release, earning $24,450,602.[1] Motion picture business consultant and screenwriter Jeffrey Hilton suggested to producer Wendy Finerman to double the P&A (film marketing budget) based on his viewing of an early print of the film. The budget was immediately increased, in line with his advice. The film placed first in the weekend's box office, narrowly beating The Lion King, which was in its fourth week of release.[1] For the first ten weeks of its release, the film held the number one position at the box office.[48] The film remained in theaters for 42 weeks, earning $329.7 million in the United States and Canada, making it the fourth-highest-grossing film at that time (behind only E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars IV: A New Hope, and Jurassic Park).[48][49] Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold over 78.5 million tickets in the US in its initial theatrical run.[50]

The film took 66 days to surpass $250 million and was the fastest grossing Paramount film to pass $100 million, $200 million, and $300 million in box office receipts (at the time of its release).[51][52][53] The film had gross receipts of $330,252,182 in the U.S. and Canada and $347,693,217 in international markets for a total of $677,945,399 worldwide.[1] Even with such revenue, the film was known as a "successful failure"—due to distributors' and exhibitors' high fees, Paramount's "losses" clocked in at $62 million, leaving executives realizing the necessity of better deals.[54] This has, however, also been associated with Hollywood accounting, where expenses are inflated in order to minimize profit sharing. It is Robert Zemeckis' highest-grossing film to date.

Home Entertainment[edit]

Forrest Gump was first released on VHS tape on April 27, 1995, as a two-disc Laserdisc set on April 28, 1995, before being released in a two-disc DVD set on August 28, 2001. Special features included director and producer commentaries, production featurettes, and screen tests.[55] The film was released on Blu-ray in November 2009.[56] Paramount released the film on Ultra HD Blu-ray in June 2018.[57] On May 7, 2019 Paramount Pictures released a newly remastered two-disc Blu-ray that contains bonus content. Paramount Movies - Forrest Gump [58]

Accolades[edit]

Forrest Gump won Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Hanks won the previous year for Philadelphia), Best Director, Best Visual Effects, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing at the 67th Academy Awards. The film was nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards, winning three of them: Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, Best Director – Motion Picture, and Best Motion Picture – Drama. The film was also nominated for six Saturn Awards and won two for Best Fantasy Film and Best Supporting Actor (Film).

In addition to the film's multiple awards and nominations, it has also been recognized by the American Film Institute on several of its lists. The film ranks 37th on 100 Years...100 Cheers, 71st on 100 Years...100 Movies, and 76th on 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition). In addition, the quote "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get," was ranked 40th on 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes.[59] The film also ranked at number 61 on Empire's list of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.[60]

In December 2011, Forrest Gump was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.[61] The Registry said that the film was "honored for its technological innovations (the digital insertion of Gump seamlessly into vintage archival footage), its resonance within the culture that has elevated Gump (and what he represents in terms of American innocence) to the status of folk hero, and its attempt to engage both playfully and seriously with contentious aspects of the era's traumatic history."[62]

American Film Institute Lists

Author controversy[edit]

Winston Groom was paid $350,000 for the screenplay rights to his novel Forrest Gump and was contracted for a 3 percent share of the film's net profits.[63] However, Paramount and the film's producers did not pay him, using Hollywood accounting to posit that the blockbuster film lost money. Tom Hanks, by contrast, contracted for a percent share of the film's gross receipts instead of a salary, and he and director Zemeckis each received $40 million.[63][64] Additionally, Groom was not mentioned once in any of the film's six Oscar-winner speeches.[65]

Groom's dispute with Paramount was later effectively resolved after Groom declared he was satisfied with Paramount's explanation of their accounting, this coinciding with Groom receiving a seven-figure contract with Paramount for film rights to another of his books, Gump & Co.[66] This film was never made, remaining in development hell for at least a dozen years.[67]

Symbolism[edit]

Feather[edit]

"I don't want to sound like a bad version of 'the child within'. But the childlike innocence of Forrest Gump is what we all once had. It's an emotional journey. You laugh and cry. It does what movies are supposed to do: make you feel alive."

—producer Wendy Finerman[40]

Various interpretations have been suggested for the feather present at the opening and conclusion of the film. Sarah Lyall of The New York Times noted several suggestions made about the feather: "Does the white feather symbolize the unbearable lightness of being? Forrest Gump's impaired intellect? The randomness of experience?"[68] Hanks interpreted the feather as: "Our destiny is only defined by how we deal with the chance elements to our life and that's kind of the embodiment of the feather as it comes in. Here is this thing that can land anywhere and that it lands at your feet. It has theological implications that are really huge."[69] Sally Field compared the feather to fate, saying: "It blows in the wind and just touches down here or there. Was it planned or was it just perchance?"[70] Visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston compared the feather to an abstract painting: "It can mean so many things to so many different people."[71]

In The Simpsons episode "Gump Roast" opening scene, Homer Simpson is shown on a park bench, same like Forrest Gump. Homer gets stung in both his eyes by the acute tip of the gently falling feather.

Political interpretations[edit]

Hanks states that "the film is non-political and thus non-judgmental."[40] Nevertheless, CNN's Crossfire debated in 1994 whether the film promoted conservative values or was an indictment of the counterculture movement of the 1960s. Thomas Byers called it "an aggressively conservative film" in a Modern Fiction Studies article.[72]

All over the political map, people have been calling Forrest their own. But, Forrest Gump isn't about politics or conservative values. It's about humanity, it's about respect, tolerance and unconditional love.

—producer Steve Tisch[72]

It has been noted that while Gump follows a very conservative lifestyle, Jenny's life is full of countercultural embrace, complete with drug usage, promiscuity, and antiwar rallies, and that their eventual marriage might be a kind of reconciliation.[34] Jennifer Hyland Wang argues in a Cinema Journal article that Jenny's death to an unnamed virus "symbolizes the death of liberal America and the death of the protests that defined a decade" in the 1960s. She also notes that the film's screenwriter Eric Roth developed the screenplay from the novel and transferred to Jenny "all of Gump's flaws and most of the excesses committed by Americans in the 1960s and 1970s".[42]

Other commentators believe the film forecast the 1994 Republican Revolution and used the image of Forrest Gump to promote movement leader Newt Gingrich's traditional, conservative values. Jennifer Hyland Wang observes that the film idealizes the 1950s, as made evident by the lack of "whites only" signs in Gump's Southern childhood, and envisions the 1960s as a period of social conflict and confusion. She argues that this sharp contrast between the decades criticizes the counterculture values and reaffirms conservatism.[73] Wang argues that the film was used by Republican politicians to illustrate a "traditional version of recent history" to gear voters towards their ideology for the congressional elections.[42] Presidential candidate Bob Dole stated that the film's message was "no matter how great the adversity, the American Dream is within everybody's reach."[42]

In 1995, National Review included Forrest Gump in its list of the "Best 100 Conservative Movies" of all time,[74] and ranked it number four on its 25 Best Conservative Movies of the Last 25 Years list.[75] "Tom Hanks plays the title character, an amiable dunce who is far too smart to embrace the lethal values of the 1960s. The love of his life, wonderfully played by Robin Wright Penn, chooses a different path; she becomes a drug-addled hippie, with disastrous results."[75]

Professor James Burton at Salisbury University argues that conservatives claimed Forrest Gump as their own due less to the content of the film and more to the historical and cultural context of 1994. Burton claims that the film's content and advertising campaign were affected by the cultural climate of the 1990s, which emphasized family values and American values, epitomized in the book Hollywood vs. America. He claims that this climate influenced the apolitical nature of the film, which allowed many different political interpretations.[76]

Some commentators see the conservative readings of Forrest Gump as indicating the death of irony in American culture. Vivian Sobchack notes that the film's humor and irony rely on the assumption of the audience's historical knowledge.[76]

Soundtrack[edit]

The 32-song soundtrack from the film was released on July 6, 1994. With the exception of a lengthy suite from Alan Silvestri's score, all the songs are previously released; the soundtrack includes songs from Elvis Presley, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Aretha Franklin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Three Dog Night, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Doors, The Mamas & the Papas, The Doobie Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Seger, and Buffalo Springfield among others. Music producer Joel Sill reflected on compiling the soundtrack: "We wanted to have very recognizable material that would pinpoint time periods, yet we didn't want to interfere with what was happening cinematically."[77] The two-disc album has a variety of music from the 1950s–1980s performed by American artists. According to Sills, this was due to Zemeckis' request, "All the material in there is American. Bob (Zemeckis) felt strongly about it. He felt that Forrest wouldn't buy anything but American."[77]

The soundtrack reached a peak of number 2 on the Billboard album chart.[77] The soundtrack went on to sell twelve million copies, and is one of the top selling albums in the United States.[78] The Oscar-nominated score for the film was composed and conducted by Alan Silvestri and released on August 2, 1994.

Proposed sequel[edit]

The screenplay for the sequel was written by Eric Roth in 2001. It is based on the original novel's sequel, Gump and Co. written by Winston Groom in 1995. Roth's script begins with Forrest sitting on a bench waiting for his son to return from school. After the September 11 attacks, Roth, Zemeckis, and Hanks decided the story was no longer "relevant."[79] In March 2007, however, it was reported Paramount producers took another look at the screenplay.[67]

On the very first page of the sequel novel, Forrest Gump tells readers "Don't never let nobody make a movie of your life's story," though "Whether they get it right or wrong, it doesn't matter."[80] The first chapter of the book suggests the real-life events surrounding the film have been incorporated into Forrest's storyline, and that Forrest got a lot of media attention as a result of the film.[17] During the course of the sequel novel, Gump runs into Tom Hanks and at the end of the novel in the film's release, including Gump going on The David Letterman Show and attending the Academy Awards.

Bollywood Remake[edit]

In March 2019, Bollywood actor and filmmaker Aamir Khan announced he will produce and star in Lal Singh Chaddha,[81] an Indian remake of Forrest Gump, with Advait Chandan as director. Lal Singh Chaddha will be produced by Viacom’s local studio Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Aamir Khan Productions.[82] The film will be inspired by Indian history, with filming to start in October, and release slated for 2020.[83]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Forrest Gump (1994)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  2. ^ "2011 National Film Registry More Than a Box of Chocolates". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.
  3. ^ "'Forrest Gump' Bollywood Remake in the Works". The Hollywood Reporter.
  4. ^ Smith, Neil (June 16, 2017). "9 stars who turned down great film roles". BBC News. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  5. ^ "Iconic Roles and the Stars Who Regret Turning Them Down". Celebs.Answers.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  6. ^ Forbes staff (February 25, 2009). "Star Misses – 4) Forrest Gump Starring ... John Travolta". Forbes. Archived from the original on July 22, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c Wiser, Paige (December 17, 2006). "Might-have-beens who (thankfully) weren't: The wacky world of Hollywood's strangest casting calls" (Fee required). Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved July 1, 2009.
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