D: Robert Zemeckis
Paramount (Wendy Finerman, Steve Tisch & Steve
USA 🇺🇸 1994
W: Eric Roth [based on the novel by
DP: Don Burgess
Ed: Arthur Schmidt
Mus: Alan Silvestri
PD: Rick Carter
Cos: Joanna Johnston
Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump), Sally Field
(Mrs. Gump), Gary Sinise (Lieutenant Dan Taylor), Robin Wright (Jenny Curran), Mykelti Williamson (Benjamin Buford Blue - "Bubba")
Robert Zemeckis' whimsical, bittersweet slice of
Americana was amongst the biggest hits of 1994, not only at the box office, but also a huge success come the awards season, when it won a slew of prizes, including the Oscar for Best
Tom Hanks plays the title character, a simple man from
a humble background whose adventures throughout his life interact with some of the 20th centuries most important figures and events, but despite his achievements, all he ever really
wanted was for his childhood love to reciprocate his feelings.
Vastly different from Winston Groom's novel upon which
it is based, Zemeckis' film borders upon fantasy, aided by groundbreaking visual effects and a unique style of filmmaking usually associated with the director's high standard. Much of the
script's dialogue has since become part of movie folklore, with such sound bites as "stupid is as stupid does", "life is like a box of chocolates" amongst other "Gumpism's", made even
more famous by Tom Hanks' excellent leading performance.
The film is high quality entertainment, although as a
history lesson it has about as much impact as the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start The Fire", merely mentioning all and sundry but doing little more than skimming around the periphery of
them, and if you look a little deeper, the film also suffers from a cynical message that "you need to be an idiot to live the American dream".
I'll agree that it's a modern classic and an iconic
film of the 1990's, but it beat both The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction on its way to Oscar glory, and it really isn't better than either of them.